The “Friendzone” is B.S. because friendship should never be seen as a waiting period.
The idea of the “friendzone” is oftentimes encouraged by romantic storylines in popular media. Think of the will-they-or-won’t-they romantic subplots of shows like the Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, etc. or the pining geeks of movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Superbad. These tropes—categorized as “Just Friends,” “Give Geeks a Chance,”or “Dogged Nice Guy” by TV Tropes—are not only ubiquitous, they also emphasize this misleading idea that if a person tries their hardest, they can get the object of their affection to fall in love with them.
Here’s the thing: the “friendzone” is B.S. because (1) attraction shouldn’t be forced and (2) because friendship shouldn’t be acknowledged as a zone or waiting period for something more.
If someone has ever told you that you put them in friendzone, understand that you have the right to say no and the power to end relationships you’re not comfortable with. No amount of kindness or friendship (especially those under false pretences) is worth your discomfort and discontent, and if your “friend” really cared about you, they would understand this.
Friendship should be valued, and while romantic feelings can occasionally arise from it, it’s up to both parties to decide and consent if the relationship should make that change.
That being said, go hang out with your real friends—those who will stand by you through it all—and show your haters what being a friend actually looks like.
(Featured image via Davis Bates)