Does the Friend Zone Exist?


Ellie Downs

Asa Thomas, Noah Sprout, and Emma Taylor posing as a popular meme.

Contrary to pop culture and every teen coming of age movie ever, the friend zone isn’t real. There is no relationship limbo other than the talking stage, but that is for another article. The friend zone is an expression mostly used by boys to describe their friendships with girls that they want to date, while at the same time being dissatisfied with their current relationship. Recently, the friend zone has been criticized for coddling male egos and reducing women and girls to just people to date, not whole people as they are.

If you meet someone and your intention is to date them, make that clear. Don’t pretend to be a friend and complain about how you have an unrequited crush on other people. Honesty is the best policy, and the person you’re interested in will more often than not appreciate your openness, and that gives you a better chance to eventually become partners.

Also, the dissatisfaction with the friend zone implies that friendship isn’t enough, and there is always something better, just slightly out of reach. This leads to disappointment on the side of the crush because they often feel that they developed a real friendship, only to be told that what they have isn’t enough, and the friendship they thought was created was simply a ploy to see if the crush was one sided. Friendships are something to be highly valued, not seen as a waiting zone. You can be friends with almost anyone, regardless of gender, even after a rejection. You should pursue a friendship with someone if it is sincere, and those are more precious than any romantic relationship.

Crushes are complicated and messy, and it’s long past time to change that. Be honest from the beginning, and you will go infinitely further than you would as a “friend.”