This is going to come as a revelation to the entire planet, but it's an absolutely true fact: ladies are also victims of The Friendzone. Actual true story! As a teenager, I was a serial Friendzone resident. I had sadfeels and books of poetry and really emotional music and a journal and everything.
Forever tired of guys thinking they're the only ones who get rejected by the people they think are super hot, honestly.
— S.E. Sinkhorn (@sesinkhorn) April 4, 2014
Of course, I didn't think of it as The Friendzone. I thought of it as "getting shot down by my crush, which really bummed me out, so I usually found a new crush." I was also a serial crusher. I didn't even have a set type. My fragile little teen dreamer heart would flit from skater boy to WAY too-tall jock to drama geek to the kid from summer camp to goofball musician to gamer nerd to you get the picture.
I had Big Plans for each of these crushes. They were always The One. The movie played in my head, influenced by a million romantic comedies where some sort of obstacle keeps the couple apart but you know they'll be kissing all up on each others' faces before the credits roll. It never played out that way. I tried every trick in the 80s-90s teen movie playbook. Notes intricately folded into hearts as only a 14-year-old girl can fold. Mix tapes. Terrible drawings. Scavenger hunts. Gifts. Public displays. Private displays (not that kind). I was goddamned ADORABLE.
Alas, the loves of my adolescent life would all give the same answer: no. Sometimes accompanied by laughter, most often accompanied by "but we, like, have such a good friendship, though."
(I eventually stopped crushing on little assweasels and moved on to crushes who actually kind of cared about my feelings a little bit.)
Allow me to share my pain, so you might understand that your whiny ass is not alone in your tortured youthful lack of love.
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I am 11 and in lust with this dork who really wasn't that impressive in retrospect, but by sixth grade standards, he was a stone fox. I spend hours carefully selecting songs that are rife with meaning, like Spiral Staircase's "More Today Than Yesterday," and record them onto a mix tape. Carefully, with the help of my friend, I plan it so I can sit next to his desk during an educational film and slip the tape inside. I wait. Absolutely nothing happens. Completely ignored. I will never love again.
I am 12 and this bleach-blond skater kid is the love of my life. He's actually a terrible person, but his HAIR and his LONG SHORTS and his SQUEAKY PRETEEN LAUGH, you guys. I think I'm going to be real cute and smart this time. I write nine riddles, one for each letter of my name, and sneak them into his backpack. He figures it out on like the third riddle, at lunch, and proceeds to show his entire crew of little junior high gargoyles, who all point and laugh. My heart is a cavern filled with tears and regret.
I am 16 and this guy on the swim team with me is really IT for REAL. This crush is long and agonizing, overwhelming 2.5 years of high school memories. We're in the same classes, we're on the team together, we're both smart and kind of dorky. He's really good-looking, I am... a teenage girl with dyed strawberry blonde hair, but we have THINGS IN COMMON. It's going to happen this time. I'm going to write a heartfelt note saying all this really deep stuff. He's going to understand. We're going to make out and it will be awesome. I hand him the note and back away to a safe distance. He reads it. His friends all read it. They say "you should say yes, dude." I hear them. VICTORY IS NEAR. He comes to me later as I'm holding my breath and vibrating in my flip-flops, and he says, "I think we make really good friends." I AM NEVER GOING TO GET LAID, EVER.
I am 18, it's two weeks until my university's summer break, and one of my new college friends is the hottest guy in the universe. Like, STUPID hot. He is the skater boy, the funny guy, the musician, and the gamer all rolled into one. He is The Supreme Guy. And we're friends! It's all falling into place. I'm pretty sure he knows I'm bonkers in love with him, but I'll try to play it cool anyway. We're hanging out at a friend's. I've had half a wine cooler and I am THE BRAVEST. We walk back to our dorm in the beautiful movie-set night. I ask to come up. His roommates are out. I'm wearing my leather pants and I'm on a wine cooler high and I know this is it. So I tell him. He's SO HOT and perfect and hilarious and I just want to know if I can please, please kiss him? Just one time?
And he has this LOOK, this sad look, and he says he can't. It would RUIN OUR FRIENDSHIP. But look, he'll give me a hug! It's okay! We're still friends! Cheer up, buddy! My heartblood is dripping down his walls as he rubs my back. Everything is destroyed.
|Photo Credit: i.am.rebecca via Compfight cc|
Don't worry, everyone. I'm not going to leave you with blue tubes from all these missed opportunities. The girl in this story does eventually Get It. She Gets It Good. Just not with these guys.
Here is the moral of the story: just about everyone gets shut down by (someone they think is) The One. I'm making light of this stuff because it still causes me actual gut-wrenching embarrassment and pain, and it's easier to pretend it was all silly teen crush stuff even though it felt like it was breaking me at the time.
The takeaway is that you move the fuck on. Yes, this shit made me one hell of a sad panda. I felt angry, frustrated, drawn and quartered. But it's life. You're not the only person to experience this phenomenon. Your pain is not unique. Instead of lashing out and lamenting about how your affection should AT LEAST result in some quality dry humping, buck up. If they said no the first time, they're DEFINITELY going to say no after you keep whining about it for a year. Find the person who actually gives a shit.
Speaking of which, let me play you out on the good stuff.
My husband and I had a long, sexually tense, flirtatious courtship in which neither of us made a solid move for like, TWO WHOLE MONTHS. It was torture. He finally asked me out, but still wouldn't make a move because he -- guess what -- wasn't sure if I just wanted a friend.
So I invited him over for a movie night and we stayed up until 4AM talking and sharing music and when I thought I might actually explode from the tension, I kissed him.
He kissed back. He kissed back hard.