It was a bright, sunny day in summer’ 14 when I inadvertently enrolled myself in the Friend Zone. In a nutshell, I confessed, he politely (indirectly) rejected me and told me he only saw me as a pal, my dignity was squished on the floor and yet, here I stand – a female survivor of this earth-shattering predicament. How did I do it, you ask. And so, friend-zoned demographic of the world, I tell. Here’s my quick survival guide to rocking the friend zone.
Find a quiet spot, curl up like a baby and cry your heart out. There’s only so long you can pretend to be okay with it and so much you can take. It’s going to come to a point when you’re going to have to let out all that heartache and pain. Besides, the act of crying itself is sort of therapeutic. I personally enjoy doing it while sitting on window seats on buses or trains while I place one hand on the window and stare out into the distance. It just makes the situation all the more dramatic. But seriously, though. Stop trying to be the tough guy. You go to that corner and cry, you hear me.
Recruit a group of friends
You can only be a miserable, heartbroken loner for so long. Pick the first 5 people in your
Whatsapp conversations list to be part of your personal cheer squad. Chances are, they’re the ones you talk to the most right now, anyway. Think of them as your very own UN Security Council, those who will help you make your comeback into reality. In my team, it helped to have one person who served as the logical thinker of the pack. She would remind me to think straight when I thought I was losing it. Of course, having that other irrational friend who’ll temporarily join you in your newfound hate of love and the world in general, helps too. Choose wisely.
Allow yourself a mourning period…and stick to it
You feel like your heart has been yanked out of your chest and trampled on. I get it. But sticking to your cloud of sorrow and gloom is only going to make you feel worse about yourself and upset all those around you who just want to help. Tell yourself that you’re allowed to sleep in, lounge around the house in sweatpants and eat tubs of ice cream for a fixed period of time (I’m talking less than 2 weeks here). After that, you’re jumping back on track and getting your Beyoncé on.
Listen to empowering music
There’s nothing like listening to a fist-pumping, soul-baring, “I-am-stronger-than-this” track to get you through these rough times. Make a playlist of songs that’ll make you feel invincible all day err day- the cheesier, the better. I personally recommend a lot of Destiny’s Child, Little Mix and Pharell.
When you get past the sad stage, all you are is angry. You’re frustrated he didn’t feel the same way; you’re wondering why you completely read all the signs wrong and you’re embarrassed that you ultimately received the short end of the stick. But before you go all The Hulk on this and wreck havoc in the streets, take a breather and start thinking straight (with help of logical friend). Turn it around and learn to vent your fury in a way that’ll benefit you – exercise. As it turns out, running away the heartache also releases endorphins and makes you feel real good about yourself after.
Stop comparing yourself to his new girl
Ah, the new girl. You’ve prepared yourself for this but you’re never quite ready when said chick finally strikes. To be fair, you were never really considered his “old girl”, but this other woman seemed to have appeared out of nowhere to claim your friend-zoner as her own. You’re going to have to remind yourself that your friendzoned situation has nothing to do with her. If he really liked you, he would have made it clear whether or not new girl showed up or not. Sure, you wonder what makes her more likable to him than you, but that doesn’t mean you launch yourself into a comparison with her. You are your own person and you have your own unique characteristics and traits. You’ll find someone someday who’ll appreciate that. You just do you.
You might as well make the most out of your dramatic situation. Your emotions are on a high so why not channel this energy into something creative? Pull a T.Swift and write a song, choreograph a dance, perform a haiku, build a house…etc. I feel that some of the best human inventions came with heartache. Don’t quote me on that. It was totally a sweeping statement meant to make you feel better.
Actually stay friends with him (this is tricky)
I think that it’s incredibly tragic when good friends become strangers. Yes, he broke your heart. But if he’s too good of a friend to let go, then even heartache shouldn’t get in between your friendship. Obviously, give yourself however long you need to get over the awkwardness first. Then try chatting him up and gauge if the friendship is reparable. If he’s a true pal, he’ll work on reviving the friendship too, just cos it means too much for both of you to just let it go.
Make sure that you’re completely over him before you start talking to him though. You don’t want to be thrown back into heartbreak cycle all over again. Be mature enough to understand that you both are no more than friends now and move on. It was his loss that he didn’t take hold of the greatness that is you. At the end of the day, he was but a tiny Bluefin tuna in your vast ocean of colorful sea creatures. So just keep swimming.