Congratulations. Courageous move!
Of course, despite the title, I don’t know you, so I honestly don’t know whether you deserve to be friend-zoned or not, but if you’re guilty of the approach to relationships I am about to describe, you most certainly do.
Sadly, it is an all too common approach to dating, and it is this: pursuing a relationship with someone not just for the relationship’s sake, but for yourself and what you hope to get out of the relationship.
Now right off the bat you might think, “Nope. Not me. I am like the Mother Teresa of dating. I only date to serve.”
But motives often lie far below the surface, so as long as you had the guts to start reading this post, you owe it to yourself to finish.
Now to be certain, any healthy relationship should offer all parties involved meaningful benefits, such as love, respect, encouragement, affection, and wise counsel. But all of those benefits (and innumerable others) should be the natural byproduct of the healthy relationship. And practically speaking, the only way to truly enjoy the benefits of a relationship, is in a spirit where they come to you as you simply enjoy the company of one another.
So let’s look at this relationship – or non-relationship – and see what kind of benefit you’re offering this person who’s friend-zoned you.
You might reason, “Well, everyone wants to be wanted.” So, this would seem to work in your favor with your object of affection.
You want them, right? They should like that!
The problem is they don’t want you back.
And, of course that’s why you’re reading this post.
What do You Really Want?
The most important question you can answer about anything is why.
In this case, why do you want your object of your affection?
More pointedly, is that all they are to you? An object of affection to be sure, but still an object.
- Something to be desired instead of someone to be honored.
- Something to be caught instead of someone to be cherished.
- Something to be owned instead of someone to be known.
- Something to give you value instead of someone to value.
It’s very common to mistake desire for love. Yet, they are not the same thing.
Love says, “I want to give to you.”
Desire says, “I want to take from you.”
Love says, “I want to care for you.”
Desire says, “I want to consume you.”
So, while everyone wants to be wanted, healthy people want to be wanted in the sense of having someone interested in their heart, in their hopes and dreams, in where they’ve been and where they long to be, and in who they are and who they want to become. That said…
If you’re really just into someone’s body, you are treating them like an ice cream cone you wish to devour instead of a friend to whom you wish to be devoted.
Not to put too fine a point on it, if you only want sexual access from this person who friend-zoned you, the friend-zone is too good for you. You should be grateful they didn’t put you in the sexual-predator-zone.
However, maybe you’re one of those upstanding, purity-pledging types. You wouldn’t even think of kissing your beloved until your wedding day. And you won’t have sex until your 10th anniversary.
I’ve seen this a lot.
- Gray pursues a serious relationship with Jordan right away, before they even know each other as friends.
- Jordan suggests starting off with a friendship first.
- Gray cries, “friend zone,” and declines the offer of friendship to pursue a serious relationship with someone else they don’t really know.
So we see Gray really isn’t interested in a relationship with Jordan unless it comes with a certain level of emotional access, or social status. Right away, I might add.
I’ve seen status-seeking individuals move through entire church groups like this, pursuing romance with one member of the opposite sex after another until they discover the one who will reciprocate their affection.
It may be less egregious to want someone for the relationship status instead of the sexual favors, but it’s still selfish.
Either way, you want a serious relationship, because of what you hope to get out of it, not just for the relationship itself.
However, this is not how healthy, meaningful relationships begin. This is how relational train wrecks begin. And ain’t nobody got time for dat.
What do You Really Need?
So if you suspect this is why you’re in the friend zone, where do you go from here?
Give up your desire for romance, like a junkie his drug of choice? Avoid members of the opposite sex like the plague? Resign yourself to a life of social isolation like Major Tom floating off into space?
No. None of those things.
Instead, I have some hard suggestions for you, but by virtue of the fact that you had the guts not only to begin reading this post, but make it all the way to the end, I believe you’re ready for them.
First, you might do well to apologize and then thank the person who friend-zoned you. They did both of you a favor. Then I want you to consider that you’re likely not ready for a serious relationship right now, but that’s not the same thing as not being worthy of love.
You are made in the image of the God of love. Indeed, that’s the very reason we will never find our identity in sexual fulfillment nor relationship status.
True love simply isn’t about sex or status.
How can you tell if you’re ready for a serious relationship or not? Let this post be Your Pre-Dating Checklist. Or if you’d prefer to watch instead of read (After all, you have just read one article. Good job!), you can check out our LoveEd series, Relation^ology, on our FMU YouTube channel.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!