Dating Over 30, Friend Zone

We’re Just Friends

I felt some kind of way about one of the guys who has been in the friend zone now for about 3 years and it was a cross between empathy and not giving a shit, with the scales tipping closer to the latter.

Should women like me feel guilty because we have one, two or ten men in the friend zone? I say no, unless we’re giving them some false hope that they can actually be something more.

The guy I’m talking about?  He’s nice, thoughtful and considerate but this is exactly where he will be as far as the eyes can see but sometimes I feel sorry for him.

As I realized how much fun we had together during our latest adventure and any of our other outings (from movies to camping to water parks and even concerts), a part of me really hopes he would meet the woman of his dreams and he would leave his fantasy of anything between us in the dust.

Then I started thinking that maybe I’m blowing smoke up my butt and realized it’s possible he’s been over the thought of us being anything more.

I tell myself I’m nothing more than the filler in times of boredom and a need for a good times or willing participant if he’s scored an extra ticket to something, so he’s already accepted his position with no expectations.

That is until he sends this text message a few hours after our latest roller skating adventure:

“Make sure you stay dry in this rain – I know how you women stress about your hair getting all wet and tangled.  Oh, and I’m still hoping for the day I get to run my fingers through it and maybe even pull it. Kidding, but not really.”

He tried it.

Not the first time either because about a year or so again (we had been drinking, so a pass is given for impairment of faculties), he tried to slip me a kiss on the lips as he was leaving my place.

When I didn’t respond to this not so subtle way of saying he wanted to talk about more than rain, he sends a recovery message saying how much he values me “as a friend” and really enjoys my company when we’re together.

These are just a few scenarios of how a guy tries to handle being stuck in this twilight zone of emotions because it’s what he asked for.

“When confident, social people get stuck in this situation, they cut their losses and move on.”

If you’re wondering how someone (man or woman) even finds themselves in this type of situation, there are three different possibilities of how it happened: (1) they were shot down from the gate because someone simply wasn’t interested, (2) started seeing someone and within a few dates (or sex), didn’t make the cut or (3) were in a relationship and being friends was offered as some kind of consolation.

I don’t like sharing, won’t accept second best and don’t go for the friends line.  If a man knows my intent and isn’t interested in playing,  I’m out.  Bye, see ya!

In this guy’s case, I wasn’t physically attracted to him because his online photos (shorter, fluffier) and persona (not confident, lack of drive, unsure of what he wants and drinks way too much) didn’t match with who I actually met in person.   After the first date I told him he was really fun and cool to hang with, but that we weren’t a good fit.

I DID NOT SUGGEST THAT WE JUST BE FRIENDS.

Honestly, I’ve never muttered the dreaded “I think we should just be friends” because of my thoughts on these types of fifth deals:  If you were interested in dating someone or worse, getting in a relationship why in the world do you think offering or being asked to just be a friend will work?

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Does your attraction or interest in a person suddenly switch from on to off?

It doesn’t work and guys (or women) are only settling and selling themselves short because their needs aren’t going to be met.

Since he is truly a nice person and I’m guaranteed a good time whenever we’re together, a part of me feels bad for him.  I find myself sizing him up and thinking if he did a, b or c and changed x, y and z then he may have a chance at something.  If one of my well meaning friends asks “You sure you can’t just overlook some of those things”, I’ll do the same assessment.

But then the other side of my brain understands this is what HE asked for and is old enough to know the risks of being stuck in the friend zone.

I no longer have to wonder if he’s accepted our situation for what it is, because his actions and comments tell me he has been hoping for a back door entrance into my life as something more than just a friend.

Too bad buddy.

Until there’s a cure…

Carmen Jones

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