Oh, the infamous friend zone. You know when you’re in it, and you know when you’re putting someone in it. A lot of the time, someone would rather walk away from the relationship altogether than be put in the friend zone. Usually this happens when one person isn’t as interested in pursuing a relationship as the other. But the question I poise today is, can one come out of the friend zone?
Chad and I have been friends for about 7 years now. We were introduced shortly after I had called my engagement of. Chad is a tall, good looking man with a lot going for him. We met at a summer party of mutual friends. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure he was just coming out of his long term relationship/marriage. We started hanging out and were very slowly entering the dating realm. I don’t think we had even kissed before I found some reason to exile him to “just friends.” Surprisingly, we remained friends. I ended up dating a friend of his, and he dated a friend of mine. We would all spend long days out on the boat followed by late evenings at the local dive bar having a blast playing pool and dancing the night away. After I moved to North Idaho, Chad and I continued to be friends. We would all go out when I came home to visit and he would come up to visit me. Chad decided that he wanted to have one last hoorah before joining the Navy so we met in Portland and went to a Coldplay concert…sitting VIP. It was incredible! Not just the music and feeling the prestige of sitting close enough to see Chris Martin’s sweat drip from his face, but I had a blast with my friend!
I once told Chad, “If we aren’t married in the next four years, we should get married.” His response, “Why wait!? I’m getting old; let’s do this!” (He’s got me beat by 3 years.) So even though we joke about it, there is a hint of serious tone beneath the surface. Recently, Chad decided to fly me out to the east coast to see him. It’s been about two years since I have last spent time with him and I am incredibly excited. Excited to see new land, to have new adventures, and mostly, to see Chad!
I am writing this column about half way through my trip. There are mixed emotions and thoughts racing through my mind. ‘Is this trip more than continuing a friendship? Could I see myself with this guy? Does this guy even want a relationship with me?’ Chad is one of the best guys that I know. He is loyal, strong, compassionate, loving, smart, and successful. He has seen me in my worst and best of times, my skinniest and my thickest, and without hesitancy he continues to stand by me. We appreciate each other for who we really are. There is a sweet peace that lies in being able to be one’s self; a security that you don’t have with just anybody.
So part of me feels excitement, the other feels slightly vulnerable and fearful. If we have the discussion of ‘relationship’, how will that alter our friendship? How would we come out of the friend zone? Would we be equally compatible as partners as we are friends? I think one of the biggest questions that I am facing is what is love supposed to feel like? For the longest time I have believed that it would be fireworks and butterflies from the beginning. But, what if that’s not the story-line for me? What if love blossoms from a deep and honest friendship? Have I been looking too intently for the wrong things? My world would be slightly rocked (which I’m always down for).
At what point do you question the friend zone? For me, the moment is now. Maybe it’s the reality of maturity and expectations, wants and desires setting it. Regardless, I will continue this adventure, and know that it will turn out great no matter what. I am happy, I am enjoying life to its fullest, and I am alive in my soul! Come back next week to see how my friend zone voyage turns out! Until then, love life and live it fully!