You hate me, but secretly you want to be me – just a little bit. Maybe you want to be WITH me, and it makes you angry that I put you in the “friend zone”. Don’t worry, I’m going to explain some things about the millennium for you. First, there’s some backstory.
I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and girls that played with the boys. My favorite cousins were always the guys, and when I got to middle school most of the companions I sought out were male as well. Let me tell you, establishing and preserving these relationships hasn’t been easy. Actually, a lot of them have just passed through my life.
For one reason or another, there is a female that will be intimidated by the platonic relationship (in some cases, even a male partner in a homosexual relationship has been made uncomfortable with my level of platonic intimacy with my boys…) or the male will develop feelings. I’m not ashamed to admit that it has been me, too, that has entertained romantic thoughts when I should have been staying in my zone. I’ve been friend-zoned more times than I can count, actually. It hurts like hell – every time.
The friend zone, when used properly, can be a wonderful place to live. It’s like any other platonic relationship… There’s compassion, understanding, and the urge to help that person succeed. I’m not threatened by my best friend’s love prospect – I want them to be happy and loved. Friendship really can work between men and women and not just boys and girls. If all of us started acting like the team I’ve got, mankind could do anything.
I’m the girl that your boyfriend wants to hang out with because I know when to keep my mouth shut. Whether it’s his depression and anxiety acting up or a problem with a girl or parent – he’ll tell you when he’s ready, but you just can’t ever wait for him to open up. You’re spending all of your time trying to crack open all his darkest secrets. I wait, talk briefly about my day and wait around if I think he needs to talk about something. I understand that men need more time to gather their thoughts than we do sometimes. They don’t always know what questions to ask until you ask a few to get the conversation going.
I’m the GIRL that he calls when you fight and he doesn’t know how to fix it. Tell me this, though, is the problem really that he told a girl or that he didn’t tell you? Focus on your answer and think about what it means to your relationship. He could have just as easily dished all the feelings you never get to see out to his mother. I’m like his sister, and I’m never going away. That’s what scares you worst of all.
I’m the girl that “teased” you for three months for you to find out that I had already put you in the category with my brothers. I didn’t actually mean to hurt you, but by the time months had gone by, any romantic prospects went out the window. I did start talking to you for a reason though, and that was probably because I thought you were a fun person to hang out with. You never told me that you had feelings for me until you saw me with someone else or I asked you for advice on a matter of the heart. Girls like me don’t always get the hint. Make a move if you’re interested, before it becomes a fight. It will suck to lose you as a friend, but I don’t want you hurting because I needed a friend, either. You’d be amazed at how far honesty will get you with women. Had you had any friends that were female that you didn’t expect sex from, you would know that… and know your own woman better.
Maybe I am your best friend. I’ve still been a problem for you just because of my gender. It’s harder to find a partner simply because I’m here in your life. It’s even harder to keep them. That doesn’t mean that you give up on our friendship or searching for love. These men are the strongest out there. They know themselves better for being able to tell the difference between being in love romantically and loving a friend like they’re family. For me, I fall in love with people in so many different ways. Romance is only one… and not the one I’ve always succeeded at.
I’m married now, far older than I was when I became friends with the boy next door. My husband, child, and I share a house with my mother and our best friend. Before you ask, we live this way by choice. We actually enjoy each other (most of the time…) enough to stick it out forever. Realistically, it’s safer on so many levels and the emotional support that’s shown sometimes can be incredible. Financially, it’s more people to split the bills with. On top of all of that, we’re comfortable with each other and no one has to be alone if they don’t want to be.
No, my husband has not always been approving of my friendships. This isn’t only applicable to the men, however. If you’ve ever cheated, you’d know that sometimes there’s a manipulative woman in your life that possibly persuaded or at least condoned the action. Women will die defending each other’s affairs just as men would. A male/female friendship is no different – it just isn’t accepted by the masses quite yet. If you think your partner is cheating, it has little to do with anyone but you and him. Cheaters get out of taking accountability when they get to blame others. Women that hang out with men so that they have options are just using another man, one that treats them better but was previously in “the zone”, to justify the fact that they did something wrong.
When I was two, I feel in love with my first best friend. You can say what you want about a two-year-old’s feelings, but I remember when I was around five what jealousy felt like for the first time. My best friend next door turned into our friend’s boyfriend. All of a sudden, she didn’t have time for me and he was too old to be hanging out with me. We had been fake married around four, but that actually had little to do with why I threw a softball at her face. They excluded me from their relationship, and that hurt. I wanted them to be happy, but I wanted my friends, too. I had to fight hard to keep the brothers I’ve made in my thirty years, and I’ll be damned if anyone will stand in the way of me showing my love and support for them.
You can say whatever you want, but at the end of the day my heterosexual best friend sleeps upstairs and I have never once thought to crawl into bed with him to get sex. I have never sat in my room and wondered what it would like to be with him, and he hasn’t either. I do know this, there is no discussion. He’s not a pussy waiting for my marriage to fall apart and he’s not “just secretly gay”. He’s my best friend, and I’m the girl you have to get through before you get to steal any piece of his heart. I’m the girl that’s been here every time someone left and watched him put his life back together. He’s the guy that let me put my head in his lap and cry when my life was falling apart… and he didn’t get an erection! (I know, it shocked me too… not really, though.) We’ve moved together, we’ve traveled together with and without the rest of my family, and none of that is going to change. Evolve or get out of the equation before both of you get hurt over something that wasn’t worth ending love over.