Love Actually

Brandt Ranj, Staff Writer

“I love you … like a brother” and other tales from the friend-zone. 


Many think that “The Twilight Zone,” with its eerie theme music and black and white format is one scary place. Others believe that Wing Fortress Zone from “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is annoying and challenging. Well, unlike the topic for this iteration of “Love Actually,” those two “zones” don’t exist. They are the machinations of crafty individuals with creative passion, and likely a couple of screws loose.

No, friends, today I’m here to talk to you about the scariest, most annoying and most challenging “zone” of them all: the friend-zone.

In order to make this an even-keeled article, however, I have solicited the opinions of my friends and peers regarding this topic. It’s allowed me to more fully understand the female perspective as well as allowing me to compare my opinions to that of other guys, since my opinions seem to differ from the average male opinion on certain things.

The first question to address is “What is the friend-zone?” I’m hoping to define the term as best as possible through my own experience. Simply put, the friend-zone is a place reserved for you by those folks of the opposite gender to whom you feel attracted rather in a genuinely balanced platonic sense, who do not reciprocate these emotions.

I can say that being friend-zone’d can sometimes be the kiss of death, because feeling attracted to a woman usually leaves you thinking of her with more than just your brain. That being said, everyone who responded to my questionnaire — both male and female — admitted to having been friend-zone’d.

An old friend of mine defined it thusly: “The friend-zone is a social purgatory lined with some of the best guys I know who have good intentions and great hearts, but are seen as easy targets and soft by the women they come across, which subsequently leads to them being milked and left to rot in the miserable hellhole between ‘acquaintance’ and ‘boyfriend.’” I find that succinct and quite well-put. However, the female voice was necessary in truly trying to crack the code of the friend-zone

To do this, I asked a question I’ve long wondered since my first encounters with the opposite sex. If you like your friend, then you should tell them, right? Both genders find it very difficult to fess up regarding their feelings, but I wanted a clearer answer to the question of “is it worth it?” To this I can only say that the trend that developed in the female responses was “yes,” although one did admit that timing has a lot to do with it.

Therefore, if they’ve just  broken up with a significant other, it probably isn’t the right time to tell them you’ve been secretly infatuated with them since the beginning of time, and you only put up with their asinine ex because of how much you care. It’s likely never going to work in your favor and you in turn, will look asinine as well.

Finally, my one last piece of advice to share with you all is unfortunately one of the cruelest “good news/ bad news” dichotomies around. To all of you whom are currently on-the-fence about opening up the Pandora’s Box that is “I like you,” I must tell you that all of the people that I polled — of either gender — replied that the friend-zone is something that can be escaped and is variable to new developments within relationships.

However, since it’s entirely based on timing, there’s likely no such thing as the “perfect” time, there are, however, a metric truck-ton of bad times. Good luck, proceed at one’s own risk.