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The Myth Of “The Friend Zone”
Stop right now. Just stop it.
I know what you’re going to say…
“I read the title and I’m going to pre-judge!! There is a friend zone! Ryan Reynolds was brilliant in a movie about it!!!”
See? I read your mind. And I know… there was a movie called Just Friends and Ryan Reynolds was brilliant. But let me dig into this topic a little bit first:
The Myth of “The Friend Zone”
You know the friend zone.
For some reason, men and women have constructed this social fabrication of how the opposite sex will quickly and swiftly make a rash decision about whether you’re dating material. It’s as if, within the first ten minutes of meeting someone, we are expected to fully form our opinions on somebody, and then that person is stuck in friendship purgatory forever.
It’s not true.
I “friend zone” just about every woman I meet. It’s not because I am a ________ (use your imagination), but rather, it’s because I want to get to know all women. Can I be frank? I don’t trust myself. I can’t possibly trust myself enough to make a quick judgment about a woman, and use that quick judgment to form the basis of who I will pursue or not pursue.
For awhile, I didn’t get to know everyone. I constantly made immediate judgments about women and wrote them off… and rightly so, I probably missed out on some great friendships/relationships because of that.
There’s A Better Model
Instead of thinking in terms of “the friend zone,” get to know them regardless!
You never know. I surely don’t. I always talk about how I am waiting to meet my future wife… but honestly, there’s a good chance she’s right in front of my nose. You can rarely tell.
Interpersonal relationships are dynamic. What is one feeling at one moment is another the next. We’re human; we change. You might think a friend is just a friend, but then something changes. You see her interacting with kids, or around her friends, or in a bikini. (whoa baby!)
Remember: At some point your lady friend has considered whether you could be a potential partner or not. She did probably make a decision on whether you’re the bomb, but guess what. She will reevaluate… and evaluate again… and again until she’s blue in the face. When you’re at the gym and she sees your arms? She’ll reevaluate again.
You’re the same way.
Like I said before, I don’t trust myself. If only God knows me better than me, then I better give control of everything (and that includes my dating life) to him. If I can’t tell whether she’s right under my nose or ten years away, my best avenue is to pray, leave it to God, and get to know people.
One time, I had a completely platonic friend (who stayed a completely platonic friend, because [sidenote:] if the Lord calls you to singleness, you… should… be… single.) who I hadn’t thought of as a dating option. For awhile, she actually got on my nerves; I couldn’t stand her. But slowly, the Lord removed those things that grew to annoy me and instead let me see the great things in her: her compassion, her strength, her smile. I was slightly crushin’ after that… but I say all of that to say this: trust God and get to know people. New friend, old friend; best friend, just met. You are God’s child and he knows how and with whom you can best glorify him… so realize that “the friend zone” is a myth and let him.
Instead of treating relationships as black and white, remember that it’s never truly that simple. If you’re patient, love can come from the most beautiful shade of gray.
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)