Sometime back, prompted by some friends, and a bit of alcohol (obviously), I decided to lay out my cards on the table. I’d been talking to this guy for some time, and as it turned out, had developed a liking towards him. So, I went ahead and told him. Well, not directly. But my hints were pretty obvious. As I sat with a half empty bottle of Chardonnay and a group of tipsy friends, I got a text that very explicitly described how I’ve always been there for him and how thankful he was and what a great friend I am to him. A FRIEND. It took me 5 minutes to process what happened. And another 5 to finish the Chardonnay.
Since then, I was unable to figure out what exactly went down with me at that instant. Until now. And in the interest of womankind, I’d like to share my list of stages you go through when you realize you’ve been FRIENDZONED.
Stage 1: SURPRISE
Yes, I admit under the influence of alcohol some level of confidence instills in you, but when you express your feelings to someone, a little part of you is sure your feelings will be reciprocated, regardless of how small that part may be. And when the opposite happens, by golly are you taken aback. You blink your eyes multiple times while looking at your phone (Or at the person, if you are THAT ballsy to say this to his face). You take a deep breath, and then recall what you just read (Or heard. Jesus, woman. Ballsy). Then you nod a couple of times, take a deep breath again. All this under mere 20 seconds. Wow.
Stage 2: COMPREHENSION
Huh. So I’m a cherished friend. Huh. Okay, so you’re left with a foot in mouth situation. No problem. At least you’ve let it sink in. That’s a good sign. Half a second after you get over the surprise, your mind starts racing. How do I get out of this without looking like a fool? (Alcohol is your safest bet. Take a sip, or a glug. Buys you time to think.) And then you start thinking. And understanding. And thinking some more.
Stage 3: AMUSEMENT
Yeah. You laugh. Or snort (That’s what I did). Suddenly, the whole notion of you wearing your heart on your sleeve seems funny. Hilarious. In reality, you laugh only to salvage the situation. To save yourself from looking like a complete ass. So, you laugh. And you hope they laugh with you (And not AT you). This stage is you trying to brush this whole thing off, as if you didn’t really mean it. More often than not, luck is not on your side. Because the dude realizes you meant what you said and now you’re embarrassed. Be thankful if he’s a nice guy and helps you blow this over. If you ended up crushing over an egomaniac, he’s going to prompt you to say how much you like him. Egomaniacs are dicks.
Stage 4: DEJECTION
Whether you are 13, or 30, being rejected sucks. And friendzone is the town of rejection. So it sucks. And you feel bad. Especially if you believed (or were led to believe, which happens in most of the cases) that what you had was special and had the potential to turn into something. In nanoseconds, you tumble into a spiral of self-doubt and under confidence. (Again, cue alcohol. Big help it is, ladies. Need I tell you that?) Now, it is not as bad as a breakup, not even close actually. Yet it is awful. Sigh.
Stage 5: ACCEPTANCE
No matter how much it blows, you will come to terms with it. As they say, if it’s meant to be, it is meant to be. You do think it was silly of you to go out there in the first place, but then again, your mind tells you you’re a strong woman. At least you went ahead and told them. Yes they don’t feel the same way, but you tried. Personally, I hate the “what ifs”. And here, if you don’t express your feelings, you’d be left wondering the rest of your life (Or months, or weeks, or days, or till another guy catches your fancy). By the time you reach this stage, 5 to 10 minutes have passed (Sometimes less.) And when you reach this stage, it is time to end the conversation. You know that, the bloke knows that. Say your goodbyes, and crack open another bottle. If your feelings are genuine, it might just be a long night.
Trust me, woman. Being friendzoned is the WORST. But after you get over it (The sooner, the better), you’ll just be glad this happened. And who knows, maybe he is meant to be your friend. Even if he isn’t, so what? Besides, you too must’ve friendzoned a guy at some point (irrespective of the fact you did it on purpose or not). So, let it go. Go ahead and check out some other guy’s butt. Go flirt with men. Be carefree. Don’t stop trying. The right guy is just around the corner.