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The Importance of Friendzones

Our unlucky-in-love Karim Rahman has committed a cardinal dating sin...

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was irrelevant. In that same time that once was, there was a boy. He was also irrelevant. They were friends. The boy fell in love with the girl, and one fateful day, decided to make his feelings known. He told her I love you. She reciprocated. They lived happily ever after.

Wrong. What actually happened was the boy texted her "I love you" and after the girl ignored the message for the longest while possible, replied with an "Aww thanks," quietly asking him to return to the Friendzone from which he just tried to escape.

The Friendzone has been around longer than your average humans. When God decided to create the world, he started by creating this bottomless pit where many have entered and none have returned. For women, it has provided a fool-proof, steadfast way of avoiding unwanted romantic advances. For men, it has been (and still is) the stuff of nightmares; the monster under the proverbial bed. I've personally never been Friendzoned; some people attribute it to the fact that I'm a raging bitch with no friends, others to the fact that I'm a cheap whore, only viewed as a sex object, to be discarded after use. Neither is (that) true.

I thought I was smart enough not to have feelings for a friend, that I would never be stupid enough to actually fall for someone like that and risk the messy, sticky complications that would follow; until now, of course. Throughout this past week, two things I have become certain of: first, that 75% of all my "romantic liaisons" seem to live in Heliopolis and second, that I was definitely, surely, absolutely crushing on a friend of mine (who lives in Heliopolis). Not just any friend: an unattainable one as well.

My friend is someone I've only met a semester ago. A graduating engineering senior, Engineer is funny, charming, blunt, a bit of a drama queen and strictly camaraderie material. Yes, I obviously felt a little spark when we first met (but doesn't that happen with everyone I meet?), but I paid it absolutely no heed. It would never go anywhere with Engineer; we were too mismatched, from different worlds and I knew that perfectly well. I promised myself I would keep a level head, and not let this Taylor Swift crush get to me. But I immediately found myself laughing a bit too loudly at the jokes, racing to answer the texts, sharing morning coffees and bonding over cupcakes. However, this was all pushed and prodded by Engineer, who isn't guiltless of dropping hints and sending mixed signals. I mean, my birthday gift (which is literally in two weeks, FYI) is apparently a steak and wine dinner date, just the two of us; completely Engineer's idea. I'm not crazy, right?

On the one hand, I value Engineer as a friend. I would never want to risk losing that. Yet, on the other, "just friends" doesn't seem to be enough for me; I get jealous, I get pissed off when my texts get ignored. I can't help but think about it every time we see each other; yet I can't even be properly Friendzoned, because there's no fucking way I'll ever be able to let it out and take the plunge. I'm in limbo; neither Datezoned nor Friendzoned and there isn’t even a name for that.

Here's the thing: falling for someone is supposed to be easy. It's actually quite preferable that the person we date is someone we are comfortable with as a friend. Otherwise, it just feels like one long prelude to commitment and marriage. The fights will be twice as bad, yes, but making up will be twice as easy and twice as good. Yet, that's never the reality of things. Falling for a friend is messy; it's complicated and dramatic and if things were to not work out, you can never go back to your previous state. The minute you start viewing your friend as something else, it is practically impossible to revert back to your original state. Avoid it. It's like being parched in the middle of the sea (I'm being a tad dramatic).

To tell you the truth, I think we should all thank the Friendzone. Even though being automatically categorised as "just a friend" before the person we're interested in ever gives us a chance is mortifying, at least we know where we stand. The situation is clear: we're just friends, it won't ever be anything more. Get over it. Being in limbo sucks balls.         


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