A smug smile was plastered on his face, eyes trained on his best friend struggling to form coherent sentences. The girl his friend was hopelessly crushing on cut him off rather abruptly, and he saw his friend’s shoulders slumped right after. Turning around, he looked straight towards him, and that was when he knew she had just put his friend in the dreaded friend zone.
High School is home to many clichéd budding romances–the ‘varsity quarterback’ and the ‘cheer captain’, the ‘band geek’ and the ‘book nerd’, even to the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘good girl’. However, for many teens, instead of finding themselves in these seemingly fated relationships, they find themselves stuck in the friend zone.
Friendzoning amongst students is a common phenomenon, yet not all have the same definition for it.
“In my opinion the friend zone is both a physical and psychological state that you put yourself in if you want someone for friendship,” junior Trenton Lowry said.
In relative agreement with Lowry is sophomore Amanda Stalder who described it as: “When one person has romantic feelings for another person…the other person only sometimes reciprocates the feelings. When the other person doesn’t want these feelings to cause a rift in their relationship, they feel like friendzoning will fix the problem.”
In addition to behavioral and psychological differences when someone is friend zoned, it can also be seen as a melancholy experience.
“It’s a very dark place that is inescapable, unless you convince her otherwise,” one senior said.
This senior’s darkened opinion of the friend zone comes with an equally dismal story.
“I was friends with this girl for a while, and I’d always give her advice for boys she should date, and if they broke up, I’d be her shoulder to cry on. I began to realize I had feelings for her. One day we were hanging out and I told her how I felt, and after that day I was sucked into a lonely dark hole,” the senior tells.
Another CHS student, this time a junior, has also experienced a permanent friend zone.
“One day I decided to ask this really cute girl out. I thought since we’ve been talking for a while, I’d ask her to hangout and go out for dinner. She said, ‘As a date?’ as in ‘No, I’d never go out with you’, so I said just as a friend. Then she replied, “I only really liked you as a friend.’ It was kind of awkward after that.”
However, once in the friend zone doesn’t necessarily mean always in the friend zone. There are special cases when the friend zone has been escaped.
“Last year there was a boy who ran track with me. I knew he had feelings for me, but I didn’t know him that well… I practically friend zoned him,” Amanda Stalder said. “This school year, he actually gained some confidence and got himself a win when asking me out.”
While sometimes the friend zone is permanent, or one person is the determiner of who’s friend zoned, junior Jodee Parsons’ story is one of double sided friendship turned more.
Parsons found herself headed for the friend zone in eighth grade, but curved the zone in the end.
“We would text every day and one day I decided I was gonna woman-up and tell him how I really felt. I sent him a text that said ‘I love you, and more than just friends’. I waited anxiously for a response but all I received was ‘oh’. I was devastated. About a week later we brought the subject up again. He told me he had come to his senses and realized he did like me too. We started dating then. I got out of the friendzone and January 23 is our three-year anniversary.”
The need of a perfect high school relationship comes with many challenges, one of them being the friend zone. Although it may seem daunting at first, being in the friend zone doesn’t mean the end of the world, or the end of a journey to find a relationship, but rather an obstacle ready to be conquered.