You meet someone, you hit it off. You hang out every weekend. You get drunk. You exchange book recommendations. Make plans to watch the latest in cinema and theatre. Troll movies together. Text all day about basically nothing. You tease each other about things only you find funny.
And then, the inevitable happens. One of you, falls for the other.
(Notice how I say only one? That’s the focal point. Because if it were both, we would be talking about fairy tales and you and I both know they don’t exist!)
So here’s the thing. These feelings? They are perfectly natural. But what is unfortunate is the horror that ensues after it. A supremely awkward conversation follows peppered with phrases like “I think I sorta…kinda like like you”, “I never thought of you like that” or “I’ve always considered you a great friend but I could never date you!” and the worst “but you’re like my brother!” (Major #brozone, bro.)
If this conversation wasn’t painful enough, you then undergo a personality transplant. Because if it wasn’t for that, how do you go from being someone’s apple of eye, muse of all art and subject of all affection to a cruel man-eating bitch who only toys with the feelings of unsuspecting men? How do you go from having such a great time at the movies to monosyllabic responses and lifeless conversations? HOW do you go from I Love You to Bye, I can’t bear to talk to you anymore.
Ok I get it. You’re hurting and hate everything in the world. You can’t fathom how the universe could conspire to make life so miserable for you. But is a passing feeling more important than the joy of companionship with someone like-minded? Wouldn’t you rather preserve something that was so wonderful in your life as is, than get greedy? Does it have to be All or Nothing? Is the friendzone really such a terrible place to be?
So here’s a bunch of tips for potentially love-struck to identify signs of when it could be un-requited love, avoid all the awkwardness and champion that friendzone.
- Know Their Relationship Status: First and foremost please find out if this person that you are trying so desperately to charm is even available. You would have saved yourself many a anxious evenings styling the hair just s0 if you knew that they are happily unavailable. And no, don’t romanticise thoughts of how you can be the answer to all their prayers and they will forget their man once they realize your awesomeness. That’s just wrong.
- Just Because They Spend Time With You Doesn’t Mean They Want to Fuck You: This is especially in the case of extroverts. The problem is, these are people who can magically conjure up enough time and energy to be just as charming and vivacious with their friends they are meeting at 10pm for a round of drinks after having dinner and pre-drinks with their colleagues. So when they are spending every other weekend with you with sparkling eyes and witty comebacks, it may not always mean they are into you. They enjoy your company, sure, but trust me you’re not the only one.
- Watch the Conversation: More often than not you will notice that conversation in situations like these is often one-sided. While you will be trying to make it more intimate by sharing personal details about your heartaches and life stories, the other one would try to keep it light and fun with funny anecdotes from work, the music or recounting something from previous drinking sessions. Watch out because you may suddenly feel close to them for having bared your heart, while they were just trying to be a good listener while looking at next drink to order.
- It’s Not Always “Playing-Hard-to-Get”: If your subtle hints have gone unnoticed or they didn’t pick on your suggestion to watch the latest Rom-Com together, it doesn’t mean they want the thrill of the chase! Sometimes their doing that is their way of hinting that they are not interested while sparing you the agony of a painful confrontation.
- Saying It Will NOT Make It Better: There are so many times that you will be advised by rooting friends, movies or even books to just go out and tell them how you feel. Because after all, they need to know. Bad Idea. They don’t. What you will ensure is that at least one of you will be too awkward around the other to ever be able to have a decent conversation ever again thus making you both miserable. So if you do find yourself gripped with feelings of undying love, suck it up and keep them inside. Enjoy the company and they will pass. Hopefully someday you will come to even laugh it off (or not).
So folks, that’s pretty much it. People would have lost many dear friends in this minefield of love / infatuation / friendship and I’m sure they would like to have them back in their life. Because you see, you may have been heartbroken but losing a friend is pretty tough too.