The Friendzone: Do I Leave, Stay or Go?

Here’s the thing: sometimes, we will fall for our friends. We will spends months, even years growing with this person, and will be able to see ourselves building upon the friendship. You’ve spent time with them for no other real reason other than the fact that you enjoy it, and now you want to see if that can grow into even more. It’s common. It’s life. And at best, it can be a beautiful thing.

But, speaking from experience, at it’s absolute worst, it is the absolute worst. And in all honesty, when trying to move from being a friend to being more than a friend, it’s really either hit or miss. It can become complex, messy, painful, and sometimes the exact opposite of everything you were working for.

I once was like you. I had a male friend who I connected with quickly. The connection was so perfect and unforced that you would’ve thought that we had known each other for years. We would talk about anything and everything, and could be in each other’s presence for hours without getting bored or having an awkward silence. Something was there; I knew it. He knew it. Everyone around us knew it. And after playing it safe for a while, I decided that I wanted more.

The thing about “more”, however, is that both sides have to agree to “more”. If you want “more”, he has to agree to want “more” as well. You can desire something all that you want to, but if the only source able to give it to you decides to decline your request, there is nothing you can do about it. This ended up being my case. There were reasons, of course. Not wanting to lose the relationship, worry about things changing, not being able to get back to what we used to be, etc. I heard him. But that didn’t necessarily remove whatever “it” was that we now had both acknowledged was there. In a sense, we just decided to ignore it and continue as if nothing could be done about it. And because of this, “it” built up into resentment, regret, confusion, anger and so many other negative adjectives because of a line that had been drawn, and that we often stood in the middle of, but never crossed. And while I still had my friend, I had him in a different way than before. We never even made the move to “more”, and yet I still lost major parts of the friendship.

Musiq Soulchild’s “HalfCrazy” was not just a song; it was honesty. You will go half-crazy if this relationship move does not go as smoothly as you wish it could. You’ll go crazy trying to break down the friendship wall, crazy trying to put a relationship together, and crazy trying to put the pieces together if everything falls apart. I got to a place where I just wanted my friend back, but because of the layers of emotions and situations that covered that, I no longer knew where this person was. 

The only way I can describe trying to leave a friendzone is like eating a piece of forbidden fruit. Before you have a taste, you are content where you are, and what you already have is satisfying enough for you. But after you take a bite of something that wasn’t yours to have originally, you realize what you were missing out on and everything that comes with it, for better or for worse. Making a move from the friendzone to any level beyond that is like forbidden fruit: you weren’t supposed to have it, but you took it anyway. And whatever comes from that after, good or bad, can’t be undone or forgotten. You may upgrade the situation and realize that you should’ve been with the person all along. Or you could upgrade and see that who they are as a friend is much more easier to deal with than who they are as a significant other. But the crazy and most heartbreaking thing about this is that you will not be able to go back to day one, regardless of how the results are. No matter how much you say you won’t let it affect the two of you, it will. You may be able to go back to being friends, but going back to your true friendship is a different story. This is why it is scary. This is why people run away from it. This very reason is exactly why it hurts.

I say all of that just to say this: if you are going to do this, you need to be absolutely sure. You need to be sure that your feelings are worth risking what the both of you have, and understanding that you may never get it back in the exact same way you left it. Wait on it. Pray on it. See if he truly like you back. Honestly, if he REALLY does like you, he will speak. You won’t have to guess or wonder; he will make it known. This decision is hard, and just thinking about it makes me concerned. I do hope that it works out in your favor, and that regardless of how the outcome is, YOU still continue to be happy, which is what you deserve.

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