So somehow, my jet lag has taken a turn for the worst again. It’s been fine for the last couple of days, but today I was up at 5.30. Not cool. Unable to sleep, I went downstairs and put on the TV. Not fancying cartoons today, I flicked over to MTV where I then went on to watch half an hour of the worst television I have had the misfortune of seeing in a while – and I watched a few episodes of celebrity Big Brother.

It was called Friendzone. And it was terrible.

From what I picked up, it was about desperate guys who had been stuck in the ‘friendzone’ for a number of years with a girl. For clarity, I’ll define the friendzone – when a girl or guy gets stuck ‘being friends’ with a member of the opposite (or same, depending on your sexual preference) sex that they really like. The ‘friendzoned’ party wants to be more than just friends, whereas 9 times out of 10, the other person does not.

Which is why I think that this as an abominable concept for a programme. Has anybody that you’d consider just a friend (and REALLY wanted to keep that way) declared their undying love to you? If yes, you know how awkward that can be. If no… well, it’s pretty awkward. Add a few cameras, witnesses and oh, you know, MTV’s entire viewing audience and BAM, you’ve created a living hell for your poor crush.

I personally sympathised with the crush. I know you’re supposed to be rooting for the guy confessing his love, but I found it too hard. There’s just something intensely irritating about these guys. Maybe it’s the knowledge that in all their desperation, they’ve taken to the TV to discuss what probably should be kept as a fairly private issue. Maybe it’s their unwillingness to accept that they might actually be the problem. Or maybe it’s just the annoyingly smitten look in their eyes and the constant fawning over these women who would probably just like to be left the hell alone.

I have no idea what they hoped to achieve by putting themselves out there like that in front of millions. My guess is that they either think their crush will see it as some huge romantic gesture and fall hopelessly in love with them for their efforts and they will ride off into the sunset on horseback to live happily ever after, or to shame them into saying “yes, I’ll go on this date with you” since they’re literally in front of a huge chunk of the population and the ask-ee will look bad for turning the asker down.

Now, I do believe it could be the former of the two cause these guys genuinely seemed to live in a weird fantasy land. And I hope for the poor girls’ sakes it was that. Cause the alternative is pretty bloody horrible. Pressuring someone to go out with you is not OK. Don’t do it. Ever. One of the poor women that I saw looked like she was trying hard to mask her horror at being put on the spot like that. She agreed to go, but she seemed genuinely reluctant and a bit pissed off. She did a piece to camera at the end, and while she was saying all the right things, she had dead eyes. You know, the kind of eyes that say “I am not here and saying these things by choice”.

As the guy, I don’t understand why, if you cared that much, you need the entire world to see. A relationship is between two people. Not two people, a producer, a cameraman, and the entire western world. They could have done the exact same thing without the rest of the people I just listed in the equation.

Generally speaking, I think the friendzone exists for a reason. And no, that reason is not “for a challenge”. If you’re in the friendzone, chances are you were probably put there on purpose on god damn it! I think most people have probably been on both sides of the fence. OK, being on somebody’s hook is never fun. But trying to be friends with someone who you know wants more than that isn’t fun either. And if they keep persisting and trying to wear you down, it actually makes it a damn sight harder to keep being friends with them in the knowledge that they might suddenly explode into a quivering heap of confessions and love songs and flowers and other mushy crap.

The more I watched on in horror, the more I was shaking my head and thinking “come on man, pull yourself together! Have some freakin’ pride!”
It got pretty hard to watch. Especially when the girl subtly hinted that she wasn’t looking for anything at that point in time when asked by the boy what her view on relationships was, making the excuse of “I have to focus on my career”. That’s fair, I thought. Cut to a clip of him saying “maybe she’s just saying that she’s not interested in relationships cause she doesn’t know it’s me…”
JUST NO. She was probably saying that BECAUSE she knew it was you! Why can’t you get the hint?! Stop ignoring the hint! You’re making it so much more awkward! You need the hint, need it I tell you!
Why can’t you just accept what she’s saying? She doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Not with you, not with anyone. Ok, yes it might just be an excuse. But if that’s what she’s telling you, can you not just go with it? Please?! Maybe you just aren’t what she’s looking for. And this could be for a number of reasons. (Possibly not least because you are kind of needy and annoying and overly persistent).

You could argue “hey Zoe? Don’t these guys at least deserve an explanation?”. I can kind of understand that they might want that. But often the hard truth is that she simply doesn’t like you. But you can’t just tell somebody that, not when they’re at obsession level: crazy. And yes, going on TV to declare your love for someone is pretty crazy if you ask me. To make it less awkward for everyone, ignoring it and hoping that they pick up on what you’re doing just seems like the polite thing to do. If your crush is throwing around hints such as “oh, you’re such a good friend” or “you’re like a brother/sister to me”, it’s probably not that they haven’t noticed that you like them. It’s probably that they’re trying to warn you off without actually having the conversation because the conversation is unpleasant as hell. The person on the receiving end feels rejected and heartbroken, the one doing the rejecting and heartbreaking feels like a bastard. See, this is why confrontation on such issues is bad.

And that, guys, is what I deduced from today’s early morning viewing. Call me harsh, but…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no psychology expert or relationship adviser (obviously), these are just my personal opinions on the matter! Feel free to share your own views 🙂

Z. x


13 thoughts on “Friendzone

  1. I’ve not seen the programme, but it does sound bad, exploiting the emotions of someone with an unrequited love and combined it with the inevitable awkwardness of declaring it to the person who is not interested in them romantically. However, you have, unwittingly, made me want to watch it!

  2. Zoe, gonna sound harsh. Actually a big fan, loved you at the Olympics. But isn’t this a bit of pot kettle black. Didn’t you write a blog a few months ago (“putting themselves out there like that in front of millions”) about a boy who you had a crush on. And wasn’t that boy seeing someone and hadn’t he told you to back off. You must know he might see it, hell that is almost certainly what you wanted. Maybe a case of “think their crush will see it as some huge romantic gesture and fall hopelessly in love with them for their efforts and they will ride off into the sunset on horseback to live happily ever after”. But like I say, big fan and usually love your blog.

    • Not as such, my blog posts are more of a personal ranting outlet more than anything. I’m not too bothered whether he saw it or not since it was kind of a self-help method for me, rather than a gesture to try to “win him back” (god I hate that expression more than I thought was possible!) Kind of different situations since I’m happy to archive that as a chapter in my life that’s over and I’m not going to be revisiting and am therefore happy to talk about, whereas putting all these expectations out there on TV is a bit… Uncomfortable to say the least. In fact, I find it downright weird. Just saying! 🙂

  3. Beautiful rant!

    I’ve always found the people who stay in the FriendZone for extended periods of time to be kinda pathetic. When it’s turned into a TV show like what you’ve described, it goes from pathetic to creepy, stalker-y and the shaming people who’ve done nothing to be ashamed of to coerce them to go out with some inept dildobrain adds a rapey element to the creepy stalkerishness of it all.

    If you read the web comic xkcd, you may’ve already seen this. If not, it’s the absolutely perfect complement to your post.

    Hope you had a good time in Australia!

    • My feelings exactly. I absolutely loved that comic, I don’t think it could be any truer. This is why we shouldn’t feel too bad for these guys, they’re weirdly manipulative. Ok, maybe they aren’t ALL like that, but this perfectly describes quite a lot of them.

  4. Hey Zoe, agree with you 100%.

    To my mind, people who stay in the friendzone for so long are often looking for one thing.. attention.. and they feel that their “friend” may be the only place they can get it from and are actually fearful they can’t get in anywhere else. Like you say, we have all been involved in something like this in one way or another, and whilst many of us can perhaps put the situation down to us being young and naive (if we were indeed young and genuinely naive at the time if we were the attention seeker), it was that one time and one time only that we needed to realise how to avoid the whole thing next time because we realised how stupid it was and how bad it looked.

    Heres hoping you’re well and that the land of Oz treated you nicely, and that your jet lag buggers off soon 🙂

  5. I had a serious crush on my best friend’s ( a girl that is in my friend zone) younger sister and apparently they both had me in their respective friend zone.

    It was real awkward for years especially since she used to tell me everything.

    Out of nowhere I get a burst of courage and confessed my feelings in windows live messenger.

    We had an awkward phone call later but haven’t met face to face since. We still email each other but it’s not the same.

    Finding out a person’s true feelings about you isn’t easy, especially when you really really like them.

    There is no good way to drop this kind of bomb shell.

    It is really win or lose.

    Do or die

    It is either uncomfortable for one of you or both because it is never easy having the person you like more than anybody else in the world tell you about people that they like.

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  6. You’ve nailed it Zoe. There are just so many situations where people should just. take. the. fucking. hint! Going on TV isn’t going to get you the date you so desperately want, and it’s going to warn off just about every woman with half an ounce of brain. Creepy and desperate doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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