Livia Ungurean Student Writer justfriends “You’re such a great friend.” Those are the words that make your stomach drop when the person you’re interested in declares your relationship as a friendship. It’s that struggle where one person hopes to be more than just friends, while the other has no intention for anything other than friendship. Sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it, it’s the friend zone.

Twitter account, Ring By Spring, simply stated, “the friend zone is like quicksand, the more you struggle to get out, the worse it gets.”” I think we can all relate to this situation. When an outsider starts to comment about your relationship with someone, and his/her response is “we’re just friends.” Maybe you don’t know if you’re actually being put in the friend zone or giving someone the signs that friendship is your only intention.

This article is meant to help you keep an open mind about the friend zone as well as clarify the viewpoint from a male and a female’s perspective. Although I have not conducted any official research, I have read my fair share of articles and asked several different students on their aspect of the friend zone.

As a super friendly female, I have a biased perspective, so I asked a few of my guy friends and other friends to tell me how they go about handling the friend zone. I sat down with a few of the brave and outspoken individuals: senior Ashley Locke, junior Audra Larson, senior Brian Loesser, junior and Matthew Kyne. We discussed the hidden, concrete truths of the friend zone.

Guys vs. Girls Friend Zone

Taking a look from a guy’s standpoint, two of the clearest truths are shown through the mental and physical hints that a guy is friend zoning. By this, I mean the guy will try to make up a reason to not converse, or not to hangout, he may even say that he is talking to someone else and seem to only ever talk about vague subjects. The guy may keep himself physically distant, and make less eye contact, even give the dreaded, awkward “side hug.”

Although there are similarities, from a girl’s standpoint, the ways of the friend zone can be different. Messiah College has a wonderful group of ladies with great character and hearts of gold. Unfortunately, guys read their niceness the wrong way, by thinking that the girl may be interested in them.  Loesser explained, “People are not honest with each other. No one wants to verbally say it, so they try to read into the signs instead.”

Guys do not want to be friend zoned forever, so they will try to read into the nonverbals. If a girl has made up her mind and truly wants to keep the guy in the friend zone, she will decrease her amount of text messages, become less talkative, maybe even act a bit more distant. Not all girls will go about it in the same way. Girls may do things that would clearly lead guys to think she is interested, when in fact she is just “being nice.” She might not act differently at all; she might appreciate friendship and not want to lose a friend because she is aware of the other individual’s feelings.

Post-Friend Zone

So far this may seem like a discouragement to you, but I can tell you that great things have happened to me by being in the friend zone. What could possibly be great about it if I am still single? Once you have recognized where you stand with a person, it is all up to you to decide if you want to pursue the friendship.

My friend Andres Guiterrez could not have said it better: “When being friend zoned, one should embrace it because you should understand that there are two people who need to commit to a relationship. Also, one should be able to be a great friend before going further. If you feel upset about being friend zoned, then maybe you should reconsider being in a relationship at this time.”

These words ring truest. My relationships did not automatically jump to this stage, there were definitely stages of awkwardness after being friend zoned, but as time passes, so do feelings. Feelings are temporary, but the way you react to a situation can leave an impact forever.

My greatest relationships have come out of the friend zone, they have helped me communicate better with guys, while becoming more comfortable and confident in who I am.

Proverbs 17:17 states, “a friend loves at all times.”  I have been able to practice commitment and that kind of love, which helped me grow to understand the male species in a brighter light. Best of all it is the perfect possibility to practice the love of Christ, regardless of feelings. The friend zone should not be a loss, but rather a gain.As Alfred Lord Tennyson famously quoted, “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

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