Welcome to the friend zone.
I know, I know. So much virtual ink has already been shed on this topic that is a source of woe and misery for many such as myself, but it is a topic that never really goes away.
I always thought of you as a sister.
I like you, but as a friend.
Oh no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lead you on.
Yes, yes. I’ve heard all of the apologies, felt the sting that comes from misreading another person’s signals, nursed my hurt with dark beer and ice cream. And, in truth, I’ve said similar things myself.
I’m sorry, but I only want to be friends.
You always seemed like a brother to me.
Maybe we can stay as friends?
I’ve seen the hurt in their faces, but this pain is small potatoes compared to the real hurt of leading someone on because you feel sorry for them or that you owe them something. That, to me, is cruel. That is not the kind of person I want to be, much less date. I don’t quite understand the mind frame of men who like to suckle on articles confirming their entitlement to women’s bodies and…ah.
If you’re the kind of guy that does cling to articles decrying that men and women can’t be friends because “sex gets in the way,” then enjoy living your self-fulfilled prophecy, bro.
Men and women can have friendships that are beneficial to both parties as long as they, you know, treat each other like complex human beings instead of dating Sims with limited romance options. Word on the street is that friendship can actually be quite magical. Trust me, my stay at the friend zone has been quite pleasant, with plenty of engaging conversation and delicious food. Good friendships require work and effort on both parties, and can be quite rewarding as a result.
But maybe this is because I view my friends as autonomous people with wants and needs of their own, and not automatons created for the sole purpose of my pleasure. They don’t owe me shit, and no one owes you shit either. Over the years I’ve kept good friends after awkward romantic attempts, and either lost friends or cut out bad people after romantic attempts. I’ve done what I’ve could to minimize the hurt on my side and for the other person, I’ve made mistakes I’ve regretted, but I’ve also made right choices.
It’s sad how these “men can’t be friends with women” guys don’t see having good, healthy friendships with women as a positive thing to have, and would rather lock themselves in their own pity party prisons and blame women for not giving them the sex they felt entitled to get, for not making relationships flawless when by nature they are messy, and for not wanting to get dragged into playing out personal fantasies.
You’re the kind of guy who wants to escape the friend zone? Dig the key out of your ass, unlock your prison, take a step outside, and accept the fact that women don’t exist for your needs.