Read This If You’re Stuck In The ‘Friend Zone’


“Find what you love and let it kill you.”

–Charles Bukowski

When I read this quote, I can’t help but think of him. Of him, and then of how I friend zone myself with him.

Yes, you’ve read this right: “friend zone myself”. Because it is what it is. We friend zone ourselves and we have to be honest about it.

There is no rule that says that when we have a crush on someone, the other automatically has to have a crush on us. The other doesn’t owe this to us. There isn’t any definition that says that a crush is something mutual. Quite the opposite, a crush is a one-way feeling, with no reciprocity. Because if so, it’s not anymore a crush, it’s love.

So yes, you can have a crush on someone, but don’t blame the other if the attraction isn’t mutual.

Don’t blame the other by claiming that he friend zoned you: you put yourself here all alone, like a grown up. And if a fault there is, it’s yours and only yours.

And don’t get me wrong here. I know how it works… You see him, his gorgeous smile and stupid hair… Sometimes you get to know him, and become friends with him… And this crush grows and grows, because he cares and because he’s here and understands you with one simple look… But still, no line crossed or special move that could show you that he wants more. Just a crush growing… Growing with that look that he throws at you across the room, with that text at 5 am “just to wake you up”, with those sleepless nights where you talk about nothing and everything, with those times where he introduces you to his friends and family… And finally, growing with the interpretation that you will make of it and the fact that you won’t dare.

Because a crush is all about this: the interpretation that you will make of it. As your crush rarely knows that you have a crush on him, you will lock yourself in these pseudo-interpretations of the look he has, the moves he does, the words he says. What did it mean when he’s said that you were different? What did it mean when his hands laid on your thigh a few seconds too much? What did it mean when he looked at you that way? Or every time he cares…? A never-ending nightmare where everything about him haunts you night and day, and tears you down when you start according too much importance to these things, when he becomes your source of happiness and fulfillment…

This is why I say that we friend zone ourselves. And we do so because of this interpretation and the happiness we’re trying to extract from it. We cause our own pain by feeding our own crush. It’s not him, or her, it’s us and our inability to move on.

And the only way to go out of this cursed land is to dare. To dare to make a move or to dare to move on.

So now, if you’re tired of crying yourself to sleep, bleeding out and caving in, and that you’re too scared to make a move towards him, it’s time for you to back off for a while and stop this self-destructive investigation that you’ve led for too long. Build back these walls that you’ve let fall for him. Build back your life, your time without him in your schedule. Give some space to this relationship and distance yourself from him, a bit. Stop overanalyzing his moves and words. Stop telling yourself that you should keep this behavior because maybe tomorrow or the day after that he will do the move or say the words that’ll bring you together. Finally, stop relying your emotions and moods and behavior on him. You were someone before him and you will still be someone after. So give yourself this chance, to be yourself without him.

And I know that it’s hard, because you will certainly suffer more than he will. You will feel like you’re losing everything. Losing yourself, losing him and losing the world you’ve built for you two, even though it’s an imaginary one.

And maybe you’ll cry, and feel down and think that suffering while believing that you have him is much easier than suffering while losing him. And maybe you’re right. I don’t know. I will test it for you…

Yeah, I will…

Because you may have noticed that I’ve put a “he” and a “him” in this writing (at your choice to make it a “she” or “her”). And it’s because that I’m living something like this with him. Something that I can only call a “crush”. In all the ambiguity in his moves and words and all about him, I’m still here, in my “friend zone” that I so carefully maintain with the interpretation that I will draw from everything we do.

We friend zone ourselves because we do not dare to make a move and ask for more. And we do so because we know what we will lose but not what we may get… And sometimes hope isn’t enough. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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