The Importance of the Friend Zone

September 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment

The friend zone gets a really bad rep. It is generally assumed that if you are in the friend zone that there is no chance at anything more with the person who put you there. But I am here to advocate for the friend zone and what it can do to make relationships more meaningful.

When you become friends with someone, it is very similar to being interested in someone romantically. There is this connection you feel, this instant attraction and curiosity to learn something more about this person. What is he or she all about? What can I learn from this person? What can I teach him or her? Will he or she get my jokes? Are we into similar things? Can we have fun together? Can I trust him or her?

The qualities you look for in a friend are very similar to the qualities you look for in a romantic interest, because if you want that romantic interest to develop into something more than just a physical attraction, it helps to have a foundation of friendship, because romance changes, chemistry changes, love changes. There will be times where you hate each other, but if you have the foundation of friendship you won’t lose love.

My husband and I were friends and coworkers when we first met. I won’t lie that there was an immediate attraction, but I was in a long term committed relationship that I wasn’t ready to let go of, and we worked together and wanted to keep things professional, so we friend-zoned each other for 2 years. We developed a great relationship with long talks about people he dated and other relationship type stuff, as well as things about our families, our interests, our friends. We developed a great group of mutual friends and started meeting each other’s non-work friends.

Fast forward 8 years and here we are, married. It’s not perfect, I won’t lie. But I know him and he knows me, and when we hate each other, we still love each other, and no matter what, we will always be friends first.

So as the world becomes more and more disconnected from each other; as more interactions take place virtually, as more people meet on line, I say this.  Meet people. Make friends. Look at the friends you have and why they are your friends.  We are all adults now. Who’s to say a friendship can’t evolve?  Sometimes, it is worth the risk for the possibility of finding something even greater.

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