This may or may not come as a shock to you considering my unabashed affinity for obscure reality television, but I’ve never had a boyfriend. Not for lack of trying, mind you; I’ve got plenty of boy friends — i.e. friends who are boys—who would make excellent companions, which is likely why I have harbored crushes on most of them at one point or another in our friendship. Unfortunately, the feeling was never mutual — by some cruel design, it seems I’m destined to live in an episode of True Life: I’m In The Friend Zone.
The only good things to come out of my circumstance are the stories I have picked up along the way. Maybe I have a high percentage of weird friends, but most of them forego the whole, “hey, you’re really cool, but I’m not interested” route, opting instead for much more obscure methods of letting me down gently. From the vault of my life, I give you a sampling of the various ways in which I’ve been relegated to the Friend Zone.
My downhill experience with dating all started with Ryan. We were in seventh grade, and he was, like, the cutest ever, except that he was dating someone. And by someone, I mean the hottest girl in school. Let me paint you a picture of my middle school self: I’m half Greek and half Lebanese, meaning I was swarthy and more than a little hairy (waxing was not socially acceptable at such a young age). I also had a very unfortunate haircut, some unshed “baby fat,” and no desire to wear bras. Oddly enough, this didn’t prevent my pursuing Ryan from the sidelines. I told anyone who’d listen that I had a crush on him, and — no shocker here — he eventually found out. He didn’t break up with his girlfriend, but he did show up at my house on Valentine’s Day with a dozen consolation roses.
Happy Valentine’s Day, I’m still going to date my girlfriend. Friend Zone’d.
My obsession with Kyle spanned the course of my high school years, which should have been my first indication that he wasn’t interested. Alas, I was unwilling to believe that things were never going to happen for us. The summer before our senior year, he pulled me aside and said, “every time my mom and I talk about the perfect girl for me to marry, we always talk about you.” Then he went to college and met the love of his life, a girl who he married last year (in case you’ve yet to deduce, that girl was not me).
You’re perfect, let’s get married — oh wait, I married someone else. Friend Zone’d.
If you read this site often, you may have heard of Ben — he lets complete strangers live in his basement. Well, Ben and I went to college together, and before we became best friends, I was straight crushin’ on him (if only because our friendship blossomed under a mutual love for Harry Potter). A few months after we met, we both showed up to a party thrown by mutual friends. We were totally meshing, having a conversation about some book that I probably hadn’t read but pretended like I had in an effort to seem perfect for him, when he stopped talking and let out a sigh. “Man,” he said. “I wish I could find a cool girl to date who could talk about literature in the middle of a party.”
You’re cool, we’re talking about literature in the middle of a party, but you’ve already fallen into the category of someone I address as “man.” Friend Zone’d.
Tommy and I had a whirlwind non-romance. We would iChat for hours at a time every night and hang out several times a week, which indicated to me that he was interested. For months I was sure he would ask me out, and during one of our iChat sessions, I thought he was actually going to pull the trigger.
“What would you do if there was this girl you liked but didn’t know how to ask her out,” he typed. I thought he was being cute; that I was the girl he liked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I guess just ask! I’m sure she’ll say yes :)”
“Really? Ok cool, there’s this girl who’s a sophomore that I think is really great, blah blah blah…”
I’m going to spend all my time talking to you and then ask for dating advice because we’re just buddies. Friend Zone’d.
I’ve saved the best for last. Jonny was (and still is) a Latino demi-god, part rebel-without-a-cause, part Antonio Banderas circa this photo. His hair alone was worth the months of unrequited interest. The two of us were out at a bar one night my junior year when he suggested we “go home and watch a movie.” Oh yeah. I knew what that was code for — “let’s go home and make out.” We walked back to my place where he proceeded to recite poetry in Spanish and suggest we share some popcorn (both of which certifiably fall in the canon of pre-make out rituals), and then: he fell asleep. As in, he went to sleep sans making out with me. The next day, I told one of our mutual friends the whole story and she looked embarrassed. “What,” I asked. “Well,” she started, “Jonny told me he only wanted to go back to your place because he needed to poop and didn’t want to do it at the bar.”
Let’s go back to your place so I can sing you to sleep with Spanish Poetry… but mostly just poop.