Friday, August 08, 2014

Even More On The Dread. Awful Friend Zone.

The mature, sensible, and sensitive woman's way of setting a proper boundary in a platonic relationship:

"Your're a fun guy, good company, and I like hanging out with you. But you want more than I am willing to give. So we need to end this right now. Best of luck finding what you want in life."

And the immature, not sensible and insensitive way:

"Aww let's just be friends."

I am throwing this up here as yesterday I read one writer's argument that friend zoning was merely setting a boundary. 

I am a big fan of boundaries, I think boundary setting is one of the most important elements of maintaining healthy relationships. And I can see why, in theory, someone might think and or argue that friend zoning is merely setting a boundary. But in practice it still results in an ongoing state of partial rejection, that is likely to end badly if not go full on toxic. 

So ladies, and men too (but it usually works ladies to men). Please set healthy boundaries. And when I say that I mean do not set unhealthy boundaries, like trying to find the middle ground in an unrequited love situation. Realize that once the desire part is out there, then that is the most important part of the now doomed relationship. Not whether or not you want to continue to enjoy the good company of the person who desires you who you do not think of in near enough the same way. That is where shit gets fucked up. Trying to get someone to betray and deny their feelings, so you can enjoy their company without having to feel uncomfortable because your feelings do not match their feelings? That shit is at minimum manipulative. 

Don't do it. Set that boundary where is should be. Farther out there. Like at the Just Acquaintances Ring. Not any where near the Just Friends Ring.

More On The Dread, Awful Friend Zone.

I thought I was done writing about the dreaded toxic wasteland popularly known as The Friend Zone. But I confess. I am still reading up on it. It’s fascinating how some people completely miss the point that this is not something you believe in or not, like you would in heaven or in reincarnation. It is not an either/or choice. 

It is not a matter of all people who complain about the friend zone being just fake “nice guys” who really just want sex, only. Sure, some guys are just looking to get laid. But investing months or years in “faking” friendship to maybe get a mercy fuck is not too many times done, I would have to guess. (Going to the bar week after week and trying the same lame pick up line till it works has a higher degree of likelihood of success, I would have to guess.)

Or that all (particularly women) who want to be just friends are either delaying (as opposed to avoiding) conflict/hurt feelings, or are deliberately trying to get the emotional milk without having to buy the vulnerable, loving relationship cow (I know. I have just spun that line about milk and cows into new territory. Yea me!) I am sure some (mostly women) actually act under the misguided delusion that once unrequited love is on the table, it can be easily removed, and replaced with some other item, like being buddies. And I hate to quote Harry from “When Harry Met Sally,” as that movie perpetrates the lie that it is all about the sex. But Harry was onto something when he said, once it is out there it is out there.

So what am I driving at? This nonsense; the idea that one or the other doesn’t want to risk ruining the friendship. Guess what? Once it is out there, it is out there.

 I am not saying people cannot change their feelings. But expecting both people to “Get on the same page,” by the one who is more committed to the other changing their feelings? That is magical thinking. And it is manipulative. And there is this rather baseless assumption out there that it is more incumbent on the doomed one to change their feelings than for the rejector to change theirs. 

Not that I am saying in any way, shape, or form, the rejector has a greater duty to change their feelings. 

What I am saying is this. Neither person should have to change their feelings.

Let me say again. Neither person should have to change their feelings. But at this point, the relationship is quite fucked. There is no saving it. Have a Relationship Doctor pronounce it dead, and properly dispose of the remains of it.

Here is the sad truth, and why the friend zone is toxic, and produces doomed, dysfunctional relationships. If you do not do what I just said there, and recognize the relationship is dead. If you proceed as is usually the case, with the rejected one having to suck it up, and deny their true feelings, you are setting up for friendship failure. One person is either going to get their heart broken. And that is no fun, I can attest to that. Or it could lead to bad feelings on one, or the other, or both sides. Or one, or the other, or both stop investing in the friendship, and it withers and dies like a neglected houseplant. Or one, or the other, or both, around the same time, down the road, decide this shit is not worth the bother, and make a clean break of it.

A happy ending is not mathematically likely. So like I say in the de motivational poster: 

Stop Friend Zoning. Friend Zoning is toxic, manipulative, controlling, and in the end, abusive. Don’t do it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Stop Friend Zoning!

Opps,  I forgot selfish.

 And yes, I was going for a specific visual metaphor there. The "hobbling" scene from Misery is a great visual representation of the exertion of manipulative control of one human over another. That is why friend zoning is so toxic.

Sure. Every woman or man has the right to decide who they want to get romantic with. But no one has the right to hobble.

You can't build or maintain a healthy relationship where relative power in the relationship is that far out of balance, and one person exerts that much power over the other.
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