The Real F Word

Writer –  Daniel Sheffield

Love is a strange and beautiful thing. The idea of being in love, spending time with someone, caring about them, and having them care about you are all things that might cause an individual to look for love. At around 16, I learned about love. Since then, there has been one phenomena that has caused me frustration and anxiety that I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around. I’m speaking, of course, about the “friend-zone.”

Yes, the dreaded friend-zone. This is the purgatory between being rejected by your crush and finally getting a chance to go out with the person of your dreams. Why does it exist? Do the friend-zone dwellers only consist of males? Are you in it? How do you avoid it? These are some of the questions that I think need to be answered.

In my personal life, I have found that most females will make an immediate decision about whether or not you’re worthy of a date, or are to be cast into the friend-zone void. Most people have been there before, girls included. And if you’ve been lucky enough to survive the friend-zone draft, then you are one of the lucky ones. I asked several students around campus about their experiences and thoughts on the friend-zone, and their answers provided some much-needed insight from the school community.

Each student that I interviewed gave their own description of what the friend-zone meant for them. Kayla, a sophomore on campus, gave me an interesting perspective. “It’s a miserable place to be,” she said. “Because you really want to like them even more, but they’re not letting you.” The general consensus throughout the sample of students that I interviewed paralleled this idea. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Many people have been stuck in this place, but it’s important to maintain the friendship that you’ve already established, just in case your crush decides to give you a chance.

From the answers and thoughts that I gathered around campus this past week, I’ve come to two solid conclusions. First, that men are less likely to quickly friend-zone girls than visa versa. And second, that the friend-zone is not exclusive to just males, but rather, it is comprised of both males and females. Alex, a sophomore, told me “I think it’s something that guys probably talk about more than girls, something that I think girls probably get through easier than guys.” I would have to agree with him, but that doesn’t mean that girls don’t get friend-zoned also. There just seem to be far more memes on the internet about guys being in the friend-zone, giving us the idea that it’s just males that take the hits.

This dilemma is shared equally with members of the LGBT community. Aysia, a freshman, explained that she is no stranger to the friend-zone, but she also added an amendment to the problem. While determining whether or not she’s attracted to women, Aysia also mentioned that she has to determine whether or not her crush is also a lesbian.

Bearing in mind that this issue is not exclusive to the heterosexual community, and how it affects the majority of us, I feel as though the advice she had for people who are stuck in the friend-zone can be heeded by all of us. “Don’t give up, because who knows, maybe a miracle could happen.”

Have patience, my friends. There is a chance that your special someone could come around, but remember that there’s an equal chance that they might not. The words “let’s just be friends” have a soul-crushing weight behind them when they’re said by the right person. However, losing your crush’s friendship altogether could be worse than being in the friend-zone, depending upon how far your feelings for them go.

If you have questions or comments referring to your love life or relationships, I’d be interested in starting up a “Dear Abby” of sorts, wherein I may answer your questions to the best of my abilities publicly in the form of a separate article. Feel free to email me at sheffieldda14@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

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