Exiting the Friend Zone: Good, Bad or Really Bad?
I am that guy who falls for his friends. That’s our problem being boys who like boys while our friends are the boys who boys like. Still with me? Good. I’ve been known more than once to feel a spark of interest in a guy pal whose status was somewhere on the line between buddy and bestie. I say “spark of interest.” Others might call it obsession. Tomato, Toma---oh, that saying doesn’t work in print, does it?
I know – what am I thinking? The only exit from the friend zone is usually if the zone burns down, not because there’s a door to a romantic Paris escape. Then I think about that random Friday I was going through my Facebook feed (where all the important information comes from), and one of my 2500 closest friends posted a picture of his friend-for-years/boyfriend-for-a-month with the caption:
“A month ago today I realized that what I have been searching for all along has been right in front of me for years. I love you, Roy.”
After I got done throwing up, I thought, wow, that’s inspiring. Very Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind of Wonderful. What’s that? You’ve never seen it? God, I feel old. How about Shane West and Marla Sokoloff in Whatever It Takes? Whatever, they’re movies where the best friends realize at the end that they were meant to be with each other instead of whatever Mr. or Ms. All-That they thought they wanted.
Why shouldn’t that be the case? I’ve seen guy after guy struggle endlessly with handling his boyfriend or his relationship. When you are using the word “handling,” is that a good sign? Yet, when he’s done for the day with the careful calculations of maintaining partner satisfaction, he finds his bestie and is completely at ease. I know I shouldn’t read into that. That’s what friends are meant to do: put their friend at ease. That’s why we have friends. No matter what, Carrie will never be as comfortable with Big as she is Miranda. Ever. That doesn’t mean she should date Miranda because then the movie sequel would have been very different (though maybe a little more exciting).
For those of us who enjoy the company of the same sex as both bar and bedroom buddies, sometimes it’s not so easy to keep the line straight. It’s even harder if our dating lives yield as much success as Lindsay Lohan’s debut album. When our hope for love gets trampled on by attention whores who end up in bed with whoever tell them they’re beautiful, it’s easy to turn to someone who makes you feel good. Who allows you to be yourself. Yes, we’ve all had one or more attention whore in our dating repertoire.
Is knocking out a wall in the friend zone to allow room for a cuddling couch a bad thing, with too much risk of ruining an already good thing? Or is it worth taking the leap? To say this is one person who has seen me in all of my screw-up glory and is ok with it, so I’m going for it?