The Friendship Zone: Part 2….Get outta the zone.

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Wassup, Whagwaan, Shalom and Assalamu alaikum to y’all. (No, I have not converted to Judaism or Islam, I just like the way Hebrew and Arabic sounds). In my last post on the friendship zone I gave a rather short list of why certain people get zoned. I am by no means an authority on this, but as a certified secondary school debater, I have perfected the art of making myself sound knowledgeable about things I have a somewhat limited knowledge of. This is also a necessary skill in order to become a doctor. “Well, as you can see from your blood results bla  bla bla… you might have bla bla bla…but your X-ray also shows some slight opacities bla bla bla…and there is ongoing research into bla bla bla. Unfortunately, we don’t have a definite diagnosis, but we are able to offer bla bla bla”. Basically, they don’t have a pigs snout of an idea what’s going on, but they sound smart right?  Having said that, I have been friend zoned more times than I’ve been in a relationship, so I guess I can consider myself somewhat of a zone connoisseur.

I actually forgot one reason people get zoned, namely that men know they are outnumbered i.e. there are more eligible women (especially in the black community) than men, so they play games until it is no longer convenient for them to do so. Obviously, some women do this as well, but I think more women like being in a relationship or feel they ‘need’ one than men. Whether this is socialised or by design is up for debate. But that’s a rant for another day.

Anyway, this post will be focused on getting out of the friend zone. Now, some of you might be thinking that this post is going to be a list of tricks that you can perform to manipulate the object of your crush into falling madly in love with you. Unfortunately, it is not. You my friend, are suffering from Hollywood-itis. It’s a common condition, presenting mainly amongst the 18-29 year old age group, and peaking again in 40 year old women. Symptoms include: expecting members of the opposite sex to look like Beyonce without make up, actually believing that you will one day bump into a millionaire on Oxford street who will be struck with your beauty and whisk you away to his private island, and seriously believing that your proposal will be a flashmob of singers from Glee. The cure is a television and movie detox of 10 days, but many patients find that relapse is inevitable unless there is permanent abstention. This is not Clueless. Most of you aren’t busted looking, so doing a makeover probably isn’t going to make that guy who saw you as a friend, start seeing you as the hottie wifey of his dreams. Guys, girls aren’t as looks orientated, so banging gym isn’t going to turn you into the man of her dreams. If the person doesn’t like you for YOU, there is little you can do about it. There may be hope though, and that hope doesn’t necessarily begin and end with the person falling in love with you.

Here are some ways you can get out of the friend zone:

*Disclaimer. This is serious, but mingled with some silliness. If you can take the serious without the silly, you’re a better man than I.

1) Stop being their friend.

Yup. I said it. Harsh but true. Stop kidding yourself that you can talk to this person for hours on end without those old feelings cropping up. Be honest with yourself and be kind to your own poor rejected heart. You do not want to be their friend do you? No. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in the friend zone. The friend zone isn’t for genuine friends. It’s for people who want to be more than friends but have been marooned on the island of non-romantic and sexual attraction. Do yourself a favour and row your boat out into the ocean of …distance. This doesn’t have to be permanent – once you’ve moved on, you may well be able to be genuine friends with the person, but until then, stop being their emotional booty call. It’s not doing you any favours. In all likelihood, you’ll move onto someone else and start wondering why you were romantically attracted to your ex-crush in the first place. Then you guys can rekindle the friendship and be homies for life. I speak from personal experience guys.

2) Be friends with other people.

Often the friend zone drama is our own doing. We invest way too much time and energy into ONE person instead of getting to know lots of people on a safe level. When you spread yourself a bit more thinly, you’re able to see that there are a myriad of wonderful people in the world, and the sun doesn’t rise and set at the beckoning of the person you’ve been fixated on for the past few months. Why be THAT emotionally intimate with someone who has given you no indication that they want to anything more than your friendship? Your heart is like butter – if you spread it a bit more thinly it’s better for you than slathering it thickly on one piece of wholemeal bread that might not even want to be buttered. Save your heavy buttering for someone who asks you for it. Preferably accompanied with a wedding plan. Ok that’s a rubbish analogy, but you get the point. When you’re friends with other people, not only will you be removing yourself from the friend zone by being able to see other people who are attractive, but having lots of friends actually makes you more attractive to other people, perhaps even your crush. It shows that you’re an attractive person! Win win!

3) Get a hobby.

Knit a scarf. No, not to give to your crush. Your woollen creation is unlikely to turn the tide. Take up an instrument. Read your bible. Take long, long runs. Start a blog for pete’s sake. Just do something other than sitting at home moping about how Jimbob is now dating Shaniqua and not you. Maybe your hobby will turn into a muti-millionaire business venture, and your gold digging crush will come running into your arms, allowing you to cruelly reject them as you parade your equally rich new significant other before their very eyes. No, seriously, don’t do that, Jesus tells us to be nice to people. Truthfully, my first blog was started in the face of heartbreak (looking back it was actually hilarious, and not that deep), and look at me now! No money, but at least 10 of you will read this…Point is, investing time in yourself actually makes YOU a better person. Investing time in thinking about your rejection just drives your already floundering self esteem further down the well of despair.

Everything happens for a reason. That’s not to say you can’t screw up your love life, because you can, but to the Christians out there – God has bigger plans and can see better than you can – if that person is meant to be for you, they will be for you, even its later rather than sooner. No now doesn’t mean no forever. To everyone else, based on sheer statistics and averages, you’re bound to find someone eventually, so chin up, there are plenty more dogs in the kennel!

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