Ethics for the Friend Zone

Getting a lot of “tales from the friend zone” lately. Sulat kaya ako ng bagong blog post (Maybe I should write another blog post): Date a Guy/Girl Who’s Been Friend Zoned. Baka pumatok ulit. (Might be another hit.) 😀 – Posted this on Facebook yesterday. (Yes, I’m now on Facebook. The horror!)

Instead of following up my classic hits Date a Guy Who Climbs Mountains and Don’t Date a Girl Who Climbs Mountains with another cheesy abomination, I decided it’s more fun to stand on a soapbox and moralize so I ended up writing this.

* * *

Parang sinkhole yan na kakainin ang iyong buong pagkatao (It’s like a sinkhole that will devour your whole being)” was how a friend described the tragedy of being relegated to the friend zone. A little melodramatic maybe but well, heartbreak tends to do that to us.

Here’s a simple definition of the friend zone: you like someone but that someone just wants to be friends with you. You want romantic, they want platonic. You’re screwed. It’s pretty much like getting a colonoscopy: it’s a crappy setup and pain is inevitable.

We may not be able to avert a romance disaster in this situation but I think we can still try to be less of a jerk in the process.

If you’re putting someone in the friend zone:

Don’t treat them like a doormat. Your friendzoned friend is head-over-heels, over-the-moon in love with you and you know it. He’ll eat shards of broken glass if it makes you happy. Having someone completely under your spell will understandably flatter you and bloat your ego. But he’s your friend, not your slave or your personal ego booster. If you want someone at your beck and call, hire a butler.

Don’t pretend that everything’s okay. Your friend spilled her guts about her feelings for you but you don’t feel the same way. Awkwardness ensues. You probably don’t know how to handle the situation but acting as if nothing happened is not a good way to go. She just got her heart blasted into a million little pieces. IT’S NOT OKAY.

Don’t offer false hope. If you don’t have feelings for him, say it straight, right away. Don’t string him along or make him think he still has a chance with you. That’s cruel. And don’t hide behind the I-don’t-want-to-hurt-him excuse. Rejection hurts no matter how you do it so just do it fast.

Give them space to be away from you. Part of the getting-over-someone process is to avoid seeing that someone. If she unfriends you on Facebook or chooses not to hang out with you, respect that. It may be uncomfortable for you but in all probability, it’s way more painful for her.

Accept the fact that you may no longer be friends, at least for the time being. It’s unfair to lose a friend because of a situation you didn’t choose and have no control of but it is what it is. It may be the only way for the friendzoned guy (or girl) to recover from a devastating heartbreak. Maybe you can be friends again in the future, when they can look you in the eye without being reduced to a puddle of melted lard.

If someone’s putting you in the friend zone:

Don’t portray them as the villain. Saying no to you doesn’t make her a bad person. It just so happened that she doesn’t have feelings for you. It’s not her fault, in the same way that falling for her was not your fault. Don’t vilify her just because you’re in pain.

Don’t portray yourself as the victim. So all these years you’ve been picking her up and bringing her home, carrying her heavy luggage, and delivering chicken soup when she gets sick. You finally tell her how you feel and she rejects you. Rein in the pity party. Here’s the deal. She’s not obliged to reciprocate your feelings just because you were nice to her. You’re supposed to be friends; being nice to each other comes with the territory. Yes, you got your heart broken and it sucks but don’t make it look like you were victimized or grossly taken advantage of.

Don’t blame God, the universe or the sheer unfairness of life for your heartbreak. Fun fact: shit happens. The world is under no obligation to serve you happiness and a perfect love story on a silver platter. We all stumble, get bruised and have our asses kicked at some point. Deal with it and don’t play the blame game.

It’s okay to be bitter but don’t overdo it. You’re hurting. You have every right to wallow in bleak despair. You see happy couples and you want to blast their sappiness with a laser beam. But acting like a jackass because you’re heartbroken has its limits. Don’t make other people miserable just because you are.

It’s okay to not be friends with them anymore but don’t be rude. It’s perfectly understandable if you want to end your friendship with the guy who broke your heart. But at least try to keep some semblance of courtesy and decency. Don’t badmouth him or turn your other friends against him. As pointed out earlier, saying no to you doesn’t make him a bad guy. So by all means, cut your ties and keep your distance but try to be fair.

The friend zone is a crappy place to be in (yeah, I’ve been there, unfortunately) and following a random list of behavioral rules probably won’t make it any better. But maybe we’d come out of it as better people if we act with a little more kindness towards each other.

As a writer said in another friend zone-related article: “We should do these things because we are all fragile human beings with needs and desires and irrational responses to being told I don’t feel the same’ by someone we love.”

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14 thoughts on “Ethics for the Friend Zone

      1. caloyolac

        Tama! Kung mayroong kelangan magkaroon ng upuan sa mababang kapulungan.. eto ang nararapat noh! kasi eto ang tunay na “marginalized sector”! hehehe pag nagtatag tayo ikaw ang first nominee 😛 kahit pangalawa nalang ako…

        Reply
      1. Andy

        Oh.. i didn’t pay much of attention on that scene 🙂 though they both like it. In the end na friend zone pa din sya.. Reality versus expectation.

        Reply

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