It’s considered one of the biggest perils of modern heterosexual dating: You, a man, ending up in the “friendzone.” As most of us know, the friendzone is a place that romantic intentions go to die: It’s an elephant graveyard where men who aren’t quite good enough to make the cut as boyfriends are politely relegated to rot in the terrain of friendship, while the object of your affection is off cavorting with other, better candidates.
At least, that’s the depressing way of looking at it. In reality, though, it’s a blessing in disguise. Here are six reasons why:
1. Friendship Is Precious And Nothing To Be Scoffed At
This isn’t the most exciting truth, but it is deeply important. Being told by any human being that they would like to be your friend should set your heart aglow rather than trigger complaints about a wounded ego and sense of rejection. Simply put, friendship is precious: It’s one of life’s great joys from the moment we are born until we die. Friendship is arguably even more precious than romantic love, because it is lasting, non-exclusive and rarely risks becoming overly intense, yet it’s intimate enough to soothe your deepest existential angst.
The problem with conceptualising the friendzone as a second-rate place to end up is that it reframes friendship as a consolation prize rather than an inherent good. By complaining about being in the friendzone, you are selling yourself and the object of your affection short: You are suggesting that having no relationship at all with her is better than existing within the “purgatory” of friendship, and that is, quite simply, ungrateful nonsense.
Let’s be clear: If you were seriously hung up on this girl and the idea of being friends is too much to handle while you are grieving, that’s okay. You are, of course, not obliged to take up anyone’s offer of friendship. But to act as though friendship itself is a lesser category of relationship than that of boyfriend-girlfriend is misguided and short-sighted.