Q&A: I've been "friend-zoned." Now what?
By Debra K Fileta
August 14, 2012
Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more!
It’s happened to the best of us at some point in our lives—that awkward moment when you pour out your heart and soul only to realize that the feelings are not reciprocated. In fact, sometimes you’d rather be enemies than “just friends” when it comes to someone you are interested in.
So, how is a person supposed to react once they’ve been ushered into the friend-zone? Here are some things to consider:
Keep your boundaries firm within friendship.
In other words, don’t give them what they haven’t asked for. I’m always amazed at how much people invest in relationships where commitment has not been expressed. This can mean physical, emotional, financial and even spiritual investment and intention that goes far beyond the level of friendship. These are things that must be earned in a relationship, and why would someone work to earn them when they receiving them without the necessary commitment? If you’re called a friend, then be sure to be just a friend. Save your time and energy for someone who is ready for the work and commitment a relationship entails.
Remember that there is only one person out there for you who will be the perfect match.
Though the initial shock of being friend-zoned can be painful, remember that at the end of the day it can actually be a blessing. Looking back on my life, getting “friend-zoned” by a guy I was digging in college was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It opened the doors for me to meet my future husband only a few months later. For me, it was God’s way of getting me to stop fixating on that person that I “thought” was right for me. Think of it this way—being just friends gives you one less person to consider when it comes to finding your soul mate. And remember, God’s plans are always much, much better than we could have thought up on our own.
Save your time and energy for someone who is ready for the work and commitment a relationship entails.
Be on the lookout for someone who is as crazy about you as you are about them.
The most important thing I have learned about being friend-zoned is that it’s better than the alternative of entering into a mediocre relationship. The best relationships are made of two people, each believing that they are the lucky ones. You don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who sees you as “just a friend,” but rather, someone who sees you as a friend and so much more. There is nothing more invigorating than being in a relationship in which you know you are loved just as much as you love in return. Wait for that kind of relationship, because it’s what you deserve.
There's no denying it—the "friend zone" hurts. It's OK to take time getting over it. And as you start to put yourself back together, remember it may be bringing you one step closer to finding the right person.