Is it Possible to Escape The Friend Zone?

Whenever I’m chatting with one of my best friends and tell her about some new guy I’m dealing with, she chuckles and says, “Girl, I swear you’ve got a lot of men in your atmosphere.” That’s a good way to describe my current situation. There are several guys in the mix, but they’re just floating about with no particular purpose or destination. Sure, it’s entertaining but also quite frustrating.

I recently read an article that was a summary of a book called “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others” that depressed me. It was a summary of a book that was written about “the kind of women men marry”. In it, the author makes some interesting arguments. One of the most depressing takeaways of the article is that women who are overweight are less likely to get wifed. So are women who are over 35. And women are both over 35 and over weight are just destined to be spinsters. Well, I’m about to be 35 (this fact shocks even me, and I’ve known this birthday was coming for 35 years), and I could stand to lose a few pounds (okay, more like 50+), so this conclusion doesn’t bode well for me. But believe it or not, that sad tidbit of info isn’t the point of this post, and I digress, so…

The article also said that women who make an effort to seek out the company of single men are more likely to marry. If that’s truly the case, then the odd are in my favor because I spend almost ALL my free time with single men. Most of those interactions are platonic and I know so many women, most of them married, who are baffled by the fact that I have so many male friends. I’ve got a solid group of males that would do just about anything for me… except date me.

It’s confusing for me because our interactions look like dates and feel like dates, but… They’re not dates. I go to nice dinners, all-expenses paid, movies, shows, and let’s not forget the Netflix and pizza nights. But these are not my boyfriends. And we’re not sleeping together. They’re JUST friends. I know it sounds like I’m working overtime to prove that point, but it’s true, and I’m just not sure why that’s so hard to believe, lol.

Anyway, my point is that I’m never wanting for male companionship. Theoretically, according to the article, this should make me more likely to get married, but as the years go by, in spite of the many hours spent in the company of boyFRIENDS, I am perpetually single. I’ve been puzzled by this, but my mom thinks the answer is simple. Many of my boyFRIENDS are guys I wouldn’t be opposed to dating. But I’ve placed myself squarely in the center of that hellish place called The  Friend Zone. Usually, men are the ones that spend the most time in The Zone, but there I sit. So while I’m never without a man I can call for dinner or a movie, I’m without a man. MY man.

Most people that hear these stories always say that no man would spend time or money on a woman he isn’t attracted to.  I don’t doubt that these men are attracted to me.  And I certainly don’t think any of these men would turn down sex if I offered it.  But I want more than sex, and that’s what they’re not willing to give.

My boyFRIENDS are never short on compliments either.  They’re always telling me about what a “great catch” I am.  And how I’m so cool and fun and they wish they could find a woman like me.  And I’m all like… but you don’t need to find a woman like me, you’ve already found ME!   Helloooo!  It’s a little crazy to watch these boyFRIENDS of mine pair off with other women while I remain the eternal bachelorette.  This whole pattern is for the birds, and frankly I’m sick of it.

The (dreaded) Friend Zone

The (dreaded) Friend Zone

 

Look, I have a very rich life outside of the dating game. Finding a (good) man and then maintaining that relationship isn’t my sole purpose for living, but I have to be real — amidst all the other fun I’m having in life, finding a partner is a legitimate priority. As such, I’ve invested a great deal of money (dating site subscriptions, date outfits, hair appointments, etc.) and time (searching profiles, making small talk, dating) into this process. And, in spite of that investment, AND in spite of all the time I spend in the company of single men, I have had little to no luck. Clearly I’m doing something wrong and I would love it if someone… anyone… could point me in the direction of a solution.

So here’s a real-life example of my situation.  I told a female friend about one male friend who requests the pleasure of my company quite often. Recently, he bought groceries and came to my apartment to make dinner. He cooked a feast, we ate the food on my couch, and watched a few episodes some of our (my) favorite shows on Bravo.  After I recap this night for my friend, she had some questions:

“Soooo, nothing exciting happened?” my friend asked me, stunned.

“Nope, it was a low-key evening,” I said.

“How does it feel when he’s there?” she asked, puzzled.

“Um, it feels very… platonic,” I said.

“I bet it wouldn’t feel platonic it you took off all your clothes and sat on his lap.”

Um… right. I’m SURE that literally throwing my ass at him would change things, but I’m seeking a subtler way to turn the tides. You know… one that doesn’t involve me being naked, lol.

So just how does one meet men of quality and substance if other single men aren’t the key? And how do we break the stronghold of The Friend Zone? Once we’re in there, how to we get escape? Or can we? I’m on the hunt for some answers…

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