Friend Zone

So I guess you could say I friend zoned one of my guy friends and things have been super weird since it happened. We were never dating, aside from a little flirtation he never expressed any interest in me beyond friendship but lately, things have reached a really weird gray area which has made me really need to define our friendship to him, and to myself.

Since moving out here I have made like two friends, not for lack of trying but my last job (and my constant depression from working a job that made me miserable) made it really difficult to make friends. Since I left the hotel I have kept in touch with about two people one of which was this guy who I had kind of had a thing for when we worked together. It was always flirtatious but at the time he had a girlfriend and we worked together so even if he didn’t have a girlfriend sleeping with a coworker was a mistake I really only needed to make once.

When I was let go from the hotel he started texting me all the time but usually, it was to talk to me about issues with his ex or other girls he was interested in which kinda bummed me out initially but the more we talked the less romantically into him I was. Eventually, we decided to meet for breakfast. He has a son so his kid went with us. Normally I wouldn’t be ok with meeting someone’s kid so soon but since it was just a friendly thing I figured it wasn’t a huge deal.

When we met for breakfast I was pretty much still in my pajamas, but he was actually dressed up which I thought was kind of weird because this is a guy who normally wears old band ts and ripped jeans but he actually looked kinda nice. I was starting to wonder if maybe I had misjudged the friendship thing and I was once again on a date I didn’t intend to be on but I decided I was gonna try not to overthink anything and just enjoy my pancakes.

After we ate breakfast we decided to take his son somewhere so he could play. That was when things got kind of weird, it started to feel more like we were a happy family enjoying a day off together and not like just a couple friends watching their friends kid play in a park. He ended up kissing me that day but we never talked about it after that, it kinda was almost like it never happened and I didn’t want to be the one to bring it up so I just let it go.

Honestly, I was relieved we didn’t talk about it. The more time we spent together the more I realized that he is the embodiment of all the things I don’t want in a partner. If I had ended up dating him he would have been another partner that I was gonna have to parent and that’s the last thing I need. Plus at that point, I had started to more seriously consider making a move so getting involved in a new relationship especially with someone who had a child wasn’t the right choice for me.

Even though we never talked about that weird day in the park it seemed like the dynamic of our friendship changed. Suddenly It felt like he was always judging me for things I would do or getting jealous when I would talk about going out with other people. He always started having a lot of expectations of me that went beyond the realm of friendship. For a while, I tried to be supportive because I know he has a lot of things going on right now but the more I was giving to the friendship the more demanding he was getting. Before I left for Florida we had a giant fight. Honestly, I had planned to just never talk to him again but he claimed that he was sorry and wasn’t going to talk to me the way he did during the argument again so I decided to just let it go. I was leaving anyway so in a few months an argument isn’t going to matter.

I tried to just let it go but more and more our friendship has been feeling less like a friendship and more like we are a couple who desperately needs to break up. Most recently we had an argument that lasted three days because he was mad that I went to meet up with a guy late night but whenever he asks me to meet up with him I tell him no, or that I’m too tired. Which is true, I do tell him no but the reason for that is because of his current living situation. Currently, he is staying with his ex’s mother and even though our friendship (as far as I’m concerned) is strictly friendly it would be inappropriate for me to go over there especially late at night, and I have told him this many times, not that I really should have to give someone an explanation for why I don’t want to hang out with them after midnight.

I have tried to talk to him about how weird and jealous he’s been acting lately but he always avoids the conversation. At this point, I wouldn’t even give a relationship with him consideration but it would be nice to know if I needed to change the way I approach our friendship. I don’t want to lose him as my friend but it’s getting to a point where it’s frustrating because I don’t feel like I can talk to him about anything anymore and there is no point in being friends with someone when you can’t talk to them about anything.

Guys have been complaining about being friend zoned since the beginning of time but, to be honest, most of the time at least in my experience they’ve friend zoned themselves. I can’t even tell you the number of messages I get from men who want to “start as friends and see where things go” then act surprised that things never went beyond a friendship. Like if you tell me you want to be my friend you can expect that you are gonna be my friend and only my friend. I am not a mind reader and I am not going to beg anyone to talk to me about their feelings so if you aren’t clear about your intentions how can you expect someone to know what your feeling?

I have had plenty of guy friends who I have developed feelings beyond friendship for but I have always made it a point to be honest with them about those feelings so that if they aren’t reciprocated I can remove myself from the situation rather than sit there and have to watch them be in another relationship. It is perfectly ok to decide you can’t be in someone’s life if they don’t have the same feelings for you that you do for them. You are never obligated to continue a friendship with someone, but if you have had that discussion and decide to continue to be friends with this person in the hopes that they are eventually going to change their mind than the fact that you’ve been fried zoned is on you.  Making friends as an adult is hard enough I don’t know why we’re all making it harder on ourselves by not being upfront about our feelings.

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