3.29.2014

The Girlfriend Zone

(This post is directed towards the guys but girlies, feel free to chime in!)

Perhaps you’re slightly stumped by the title.  What in the world is a ‘girlfriend zone’?  You’re probably as confused by it as I was when I first heard the term ‘the friend zone’.  And it was slightly awkward that I had to learn about what that meant under circumstances pertaining to a guy thinking I had ‘friend zoned’ him.  Honestly, when I first heard that, I was like ‘Hmm...I wonder what that means.  Probably that the people in that zone are your friends’.  I was, in a way, more or less correct in that assumption.  But apparently, there’s a deeper meaning.

The friend zone is for any guy a girl doesn’t like.  

That’s basically the bottom line of it.  (To those of you who didn’t know what that meant until now, you’re welcome.  Oh and yes, if you DID know what it meant, you can laugh at my previous confusion.)  And now that I understand it’s meaning, it has surely but quickly become a pet peeve of mine.

First of all, it has been said that a guy and a girl can’t always be ‘just friends’.  At one point or another, one will fall for the other.  And usually, it’s the girl falling for the guy.  But at other times, it’s the opposite.  Yet when the girl doesn’t return his feelings, he feels that he has been pushed aside.  Into the dreaded ‘friend zone’.

Well now that’s where I’d like to focus on.  Exactly what is so wrong about being IN the friend zone?  Guys view it as an ‘oh man, she only thinks of me as a friend’ corner.  Is that so bad?  Isn’t that what you are to her in the first place?  Any relationship starts out as ‘just being friends’.  And no, I don’t say that to give you hope.  I’m saying that because it’s the truth.  And have you even considered that possibly, just maybe, you’ve ‘girlfriend zoned’ her?  She has obviously not rejected you.  She’s still your friend.  She still talks to you and wants to hang out.  Just not in an ‘I like you too’ sort of way.  And if you’re the one ignoring her and pushing her away because she thinks that you two aren’t meant to be ‘together’, then this is what will happen.

Guy: I like you.
Girl: I only think of you as a friend.
Guy feels defeated and shuts down, blocks her out, doesn’t talk to her anymore.
Girl:  Has this dude only been nice to me for the last few months just because he wanted to be my boyfriend?  Was our whole friendship a lie?  How do we go back to normal?

And the more this happens, the less girls will trust boys.

As a guy, you have the unwritten, unstated law of being a good example of a man to any girl you are in contact with.  Whether that be your sister, your friend, a girl you accidentally bump into at the store, or a random Instagram follower.  Your responsibility is to be responsible.  And by shutting out a girl from your life just because she ‘friend zoned’ you is as immature and stupid as it gets.  

Just because a girl turned you down, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.  It doesn’t mean that you’ll never have a chance with her again.  Be thankful that she didn’t tell you to get out of her life and leave her alone forever.  What YOU need to do is remove her from the girlfriend zone.  That place where you put all your girl [space] friend as potential girlfriends.  Yes, romantic rejection is hard to accept.  Dealing with any sort of rejection is a challenge.  But that’s on her.  And there’s nothing you can do about it.  Challenges are meant to make us stronger.

What you can do is start on a little ‘what can I change about myself?’ campaign.  

1.  Stop using the term ‘friend zone’ as a bad thing.  
When a girl hears you say that, it just reads as ‘immature’, ‘selfish’, and ‘desperate’ on her radars.  And that’s definitely not attractive.

2.  Realize that IF there really is a ‘friend zone’ it is actually a good place to be.  
I’m sure you’re a wonderful, gentle, extremely kind guy, but just like all of us girls have to realize, we can’t always have what we want, and, not everyone is going to fall in love with us.  If a girl puts you in the friend zone, it’s because she respects and appreciates you - and sees you as a friend.  Just because someone turns you down doesn’t mean you are unlovable or that there’s no hope for you.  It’s just God’s way of speaking through them to you and saying ‘This isn’t the one’.

3.  Men are the pursuers.  
Guys are the ones who get to pick and choose who they want to pursue and, ultimately, marry.  If girls are keeping to their side of the street and not pursuing the men, we do not have the option of picking and choosing and therefore, will be the ones who are going to be put in situations where we will have to reject more than guys will.  (Disclaimer:  This does not mean that we don’t get rejected sometimes too.)  Whoever this girl is who friend zoned you, could be a very mean person and laugh in your face when you pour out your heart of feelings for her, but if you’re safe in the friend zone of quiet rejection, then she probably didn’t do this.  If she did, then move on.  You deserve a better friend.

4.  It’s your choice.
Being in the friend zone can emit one of either of these mindsets.
a) You can retreat into a corner and stroke your bruised ego and live your life forever holding a grudge against the girl who turned rejected you, telling everyone how you’ve been wronged.
b) You can appreciate how she values your friendship enough to still want you in your life, trust God that she’s not ‘the one’, and move on.

5.  Stop focusing on the girl who friend zoned you.
Guys say that all the girls who have turned them down are missing out on great guys because they are sticking all of them in the dreaded friend zone.  But I think a question you boys need to ask yourselves is: ‘Which great girl am I missing out on because I’m still distracted by the one who denied my affections?’


Lastly, I want to encourage all of the guys who are feeling hopeless about never succeeding in attracting the girl they like.  Rejection happens to everybody.  But I will tell you one thing.  Your beautiful, Proverbs 31 woman is not going to come to your rescue in the self-indulgent, depressing friend zone.  She will be attracted to a man of God, though, who trusts His plan no matter how ‘wrong’ life seems to be going.  Because a true man knows that whatever He’s doing, even though it feels like chaos, there is still peace in trusting His will.  

Guys, you are amazing,  you are loveable, you are enough.  Stand strong.  Be brave.  Be the man that a woman would be proud to call her husband.  Don’t give up on us.  I promise you that there are godly girls waiting for men to come find them and be their hero.

6 comments:

  1. The conclusion was strong and encouraging, very nice touch! If you wouldn't mind the addendum:

    A guy with no foresight to the end of any female relationship he's involved in lacks discernment. It's a popular recipe in our society to approach marriage via friendship ONLY then graduate to "boyfriend & girlfriend" then engagement and finally, BOOM-we did it! However I suggest this potentially chaotic concoction needs more "salt".

    Yes, you can grow in affection and desire for a friend; but the smarter man would have considered that possibility beforehand and made all POTENTIALS plainly known. This way such a development would never surprise his female comrade, nor undermine the friendship if she should reject him as her preferred man.

    My last plug then I'll stop hi-jacking your blog, Aqu...

    Guys stop telling these women you wanna be just friends and see where it can go from there. Be more purposed and intentional with your words. Kindness, caring, comforting, gentleness, and being subservient are virtues you should be extending to all your female and male friends without partiality. [Christians,] she is still your sister--sisters need a brothers' love too!

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  2. If only all guys could see this . . . . :)

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  3. This is so true. The guy I'm in a courtship with waited for almost a year for me to pay attention to him....I put him in the "friend zone" for a looooooong time but his patience, prayer, and pursuing paid off. Sometimes it just takes time. In my case I was completely NOT interested. At all. But I asked the Lord to change my heart about the relationship if it was something He wanted for me. (I really didn't want my heart changed by the way....) But here we are almost a year later, in a courtship. :-) And I'm so so grateful God did change my heart!! And I'm grateful my boyfriend didn't give up!

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  4. This is an excellent post! I've never understood how the "friend zone" was a bad thing myself. Sure I'll admit I've never told a girl I liked her and she turned me down. But I've always at least in my mind thought that I'd not have a problem with just being a friend if such a situation did happen. I think it's all in the mind set you have before going into telling a girl you like her. To me if you really like a girl enough to tell her you liker her, I'd hope you've been friends for while and would be happy to stay that way rather than loose the friendship if it she ends up telling you she doesn't feel the same way.

    Rejection at the point of telling a girl you like them (in my mind at least) shouldn't hurt that much. Now if you have been courting/dating her for a while and she rejects a proposal that I could understand being hurt by (not that I've been in that situation). Of course during the earlier eras those two things were one and the same.

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  5. Thank you! This is wonderful and needed to be said, both to women and girls who are dealing with this and need encouragement that the guys ignoring/pressuring them aren't doing what God wants, and to the guys doing the ignoring/pressuring.

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