Why Not to Feel Bad When Friendzoning

Why Not to Feel Bad When Friendzoning

Have you been hurt by someone who you thought of as a friend, but later found out they were romantically interested in you, yet they never said anything the whole time? They might’ve even left you with an ultimatum: Date ’em or lose ’em. It is normal to be left confused by this kind of situation, but we hope to help you sort your feelings on the matter and explain to you how you have nothing to feel bad about.

Nice vs Selfish

The reality is, acting selflessly and expecting something in return is selfish. Someone who is selfless will enjoy putting smiles on people’s faces, simply desiring to spread joy and happiness. Someone who is selfish will expect a reward for a good deed, and get angry and/or depressed if they don’t get what they want. Just look at your own actions… if you help someone you love go through tough times, do you expect something in return from them, or is making them feel better the only reward you need?

You Don’t Have Any Obligations

There was no contract, verbal or not, stipulating that accepting nice gestures from them would result in an obligation to date them. Unrequited love happens all the time, and a romantic relationship only happens when two people who are in love agree to it. And it’s not like you could just force yourself to fall in love with them… yet this is exactly what some wish you would do. That or wish you would just date them because they ‘earned’ the relationship, or even your love. Others, thankfully, will respect your feelings.

You’ve probably heard of sugar daddies and sugar mommies; they’re older men and women who offer financial support in exchange for sex and/or romance. It’s essentially escorting or prostitution in the form of a relationship. If a friend gave you $100 per month to support you financially, what would your reaction be if they suddenly told you that you owed them a date?

But is exchanging nice gestures for romance or sex all that different? A romantic relationship is about sharing — not trading. Please don’t feel obligated to give anything back; if it doesn’t feel natural to do it, especially in a situation like this, you could very well come to regret it. If you do feel obligated, you might want to talk about it with our love coaches to help you sort your feelings:

You’re No Mind Reader

How are you supposed to know that someone doesn’t just care for you, but also loves you on a romantic level? And if they did throw hints at you, why did they just not tell you sooner seeing as those hints were ignored? Would you want to date someone that has such poor communication skills?

A romantic relationship is all about communication! Even empaths can’t read minds. They might be able to tell how you feel, but they can’t tell why you feel that way unless you tell them! There is simply no excuse for a lack of communication. But if communication is so difficult before a relationship, who says it will be any better after they become your SO?

Intimacy Is Different for Different People

For some, the simple act of cuddling can be considered intimate, while for others, it’s simply a thing they don’t mind doing with friends. Not everyone has the same barriers and restrictions, and you shouldn’t feel like you “tricked” someone into thinking you two did something romantic just because for some people, it is. If you were not asked about the significance behind a specific action and had their views forced onto yours, assuming that it must also be romantic for you, then they are entirely in the wrong.

You’re Just the Scapegoat

They’re looking for someone to blame other than that themselves, unable to accept that it is really their own behavior that led to this undesired outcome. But no matter what they might suggest, it is not your fault.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world that are this way: they refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and feelings. How dare you make them fall in love with you and not reciprocate the feeling no matter how hard they try! However, if people fall in love with you just because you are being you, it’s their responsibility to deal with that feeling; be it to try to connect with you on a romantic level, or to eliminate the feeling.

Don’t Be Mad at Them

They just really, really suck at dating and at expressing their emotions; they never had anyone teach them the ropes of this stuff. It doesn’t mean that they are necessarily terrible romantic partners, but it’s very possible that part of their personality makes them very hard to love on a romantic level. And the whole situation is likely a lot more frustrating for them than it is for you. But if they cannot accept responsibility for what they did to bring about the whole situation, rather than feel anger, you should feel pity for them — pity that they have such poor control over their own life and emotions.

They Should Not Rush Your Decision

Yes, they’re frustrated. They’ve been friends with you for a long time, always tried to be there for you when you needed it, and they’ve been very, very patient. But now, they’re at a breaking point, and need an answer: do you love them or not? Often in this situation, the answer isn’t obvious, as you are asked if it is possible for you to feel romantic love towards someone you might have never considered such feelings for before.

Yes, a friendship dear to you might be on the line. But to them, it might not have been a friendship at any point — only been a means to try to make you fall for them. Unfortunately, there is no going back, and no matter your choice, you will have to deal with the consequences, even if it was completely and totally unfair to put you in this situation. However, the last thing you should do is to rush yourself into a relationship with someone you don’t even love. I could never recommend a relationship where the love isn’t reciprocated. And remember: even if you lose a friend, it’s always possible to make new ones.

They Could Make a Terrible SO

This, of course, is not guaranteed to be the case. But you should use your own judgment to determine if they could still be dateable for you as they:

  • Are extremely poor at communicating their feelings
  • Might resort to manipulation when things get difficult
  • Might be narcissist (nothing is ever truly their fault)
  • Might never be patient with you again
Categories: Dating Advice, Recovery

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