The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The friend-zone can be escaped, but not in the way you might want
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We've all heard the story of the "friend-zone." Boy is in love with his best friend, she dates all the wrong guys and fails to notice how perfect he is, then eventually realizes how wrong she was and they live happily ever after.

I used to think that the friend-zone was a myth that lonely men created to feel better about themselves. But then I got friend-zoned myself.

Yes, it sucked, but the second I realized I had feelings for a friend (that I knew had no such feelings for me), I decided to suppress the feelings. When that wasn't enough, I cut them off for a bit, then, slowly, I felt OK. I could communicate with them without having unwanted romantic feelings pop up. I had escaped the friend-zone.

Having gone through that, I had more sympathy for someone I had to friend-zone a little while later. I had been friends with this guy for a few months. I didn't have many college friends yet and I was really lonely, so having his company really meant a lot at the time.

This caused me to not be able to see what should have been clear: he had a crush on me. When I finally made the realization, I immediately let him know that I didn't feel that way about him. He said it was OK, but I could tell it wasn't.

We didn't talk at all over the summer and when we came back for the fall semester, he would barely look at me. I had started dating his friend, which caused an even bigger rift between us.

Though I understand where he's coming from, I was also really mad at him for a long time.

It was as if he was only nice to me because he wanted romance in return. But people are not vending machines. You can't put in your "nice guy" coins and expect love, sex, or whatever the hell it is you want in return.

It hurt me to know that he only wanted romance and once that was off the table, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

But then I thought back to the friend that had friend-zoned me. Unrequited affections really suck, especially when they're for someone that you spend a lot of time with. But the key is to work to escape it.

Yes, liking someone you're friends with and them not liking you back is a real thing, but people tend to treat the friend-zone like this mythic hell dimension that can never be escaped. But you can escape. Just maybe not in the way you'd like to.

Now there are three ways you can escape the friend-zone:

The first option is to confess your feelings and try to win them over. Now, this isn't completely unheard of. I've had friends that have dated people who had previously friend-zoned them, but it's extremely rare and risky. You have to risk your entire friendship in order to do this. If it doesn't work out, it could strain the friendship or sometimes break it beyond repair.

You can also do what my ex-friend did and completely cut the person off. If you're being a love-zombie and only doing nice things for the friend because you expect romance in return, leaving the situation might be the most healthy decision for you. I understand now that my friend might have stopped talking to me out of self-preservation. But it still hurts the people involved.

The third and final option is to just get over it. It's harsh, but it's real. Why try something you know is going to fail and cause pain to both sides? Yes, getting over crushes can be really difficult, but getting a normal friendship back rather than being stuck a love-zombie for them is worth the pain.

Whichever one you choose, just remember this: Your friends do not owe you any romantic affection. The work you put into making them happy should just come out of the goodness of your own heart. If you expect romance in return, you're not being a good friend to them. If you really care about them, don't put that kind of pressure on them. They don't want a mindless love-zombie that does their bidding for the hope that they'll get a tiny love kernel out of it. They just want a friend.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.

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In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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Dedicate Your Summer To Bettering Yourself For Yourself, Not Your Ex

Why waste energy on an ex who doesn't care about you anymore?

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I'm single for the summer (yet again, no shock there) but this summer there's something in the air that just feels different. It's the feeling of true acceptance of my single status.

Last summer I was single when I really didn't want to be. My heart with still holding out for a guy who wasn't interested in anything more than my friendship. It took me from late March all the way until Halloween to get over those feelings. However, while working through those tough feelings that summer, I came to enjoy my time on my own and not talking to anyone except my best friends. I didn't have to worry about when I'd get a text back, or if I'd be left on read, or who he'd be out with since I wasn't around. The only thing I needed to worry about was my paychecks and tan lines.

Sometimes after breaking things off with someone who you put so much effort into, whether it was a boyfriend, an almost relationship, or even a friend with benefits, it's easy to want to show off on social media and make them regret ever hurting you or ending things. Why? It's a nice little ego boost, sure, but after those few seconds of glee from the fact that you know they've seen and maybe even liked your picture or your tweet, or saw your story on Snapchat, do you still feel happy? No, you go right back to feeling like crap, whether you want to admit it or not. Stop making yourself all about them when that ship has sailed and start being all about you.

Your ex is off doing their own thing, maybe thinking about you, but obviously not enough to want you back in their life the way you used to be. They are probably out there finding a new person to take your spot because they don't have you at their beck and call anymore. If they're also showing off to show you how much better they are without you or to make you jealous...why are you still following them or still participating in this sick little game for attention? Grow up and block them so you don't have to keep seeing their posts, or be adult enough to stop if you're doing the same as well. If it's only you posting, chances are you just look stupid, so stop before you really embarrass yourself. I was that person, and I know first hand how embarrassed I am for acting the way I did.

Summer is synonymous for doing whatever the hell you want. Wear what you want, say what you want, and be the best version of yourself that only a high dose of Vitamin D can bring out. Your ex is an ex for many reasons. You have to set aside the summer for you and what benefits you only. Don't concern yourself with an ex who doesn't care in the least about you anymore. Coming from someone who posted thirst traps aimed at a specific person along with countless shady AF stories on Snap and Insta in the hopes that this one person and their friends would see it, just stop and save yourself the energy as well as regret.

We're all adults, it's time to stop the petty posts and photos. Post your thirst trap for yourself because you're a sexy queen who doesn't need anyone but herself. Once you start focusing on yourself this summer, instead of your ex, you'll realize just have great it feels to truly be free.

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