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Are you sitting in the aftermath of a relationship that never quite materialized wondering, “Was I led on?”

Is the friend zone making you bitter?

I hope to empower you to see the friend zone in a different light, so you can get better instead of bitter. So you can move on with your life, and eventually move into the “serious relationship zone” with the right person.

To be certain, the friend zone can be a dark place, where dreams of romance go to die. A slow, ruthless death. Of pain and agony.

A death which bequeaths no inheritance, but a legacy of loneliness. A death which leaves behind no will, but ill will toward the person who “just wanted to be friends.”

Is that how you feel when you’re friend zoned?

Is that how you feel now?

What if those feelings threaten to keep you in the friend zone, not only in your current situation of unrequited love, but in future relationships as well?

Of course, you can’t necessarily control your feelings, and certainly the perceived rejection of the friend zone can elicit powerful emotions like those referenced above, but…

While you can’t always choose how you feel, you can choose what you will believe.

And since that’s where you actually have some choice in the matter, let’s look at what you’re believing as you’re sitting in the friend zone.

Do you believe the person who has relegated you to “friends only” status really did you wrong? Do you believe they led you on? And just as importantly, do you believe they did it on purpose? That they wanted to hurt you?

Fact is, beliefs like that will only increase your feelings of hurt, anger, and bitterness.

But what if you choose to believe the best about your friend-zoner? What if you endeavor to reflect on the progress of your relationship (or lack of progress) from their point of view?

Perhaps you might see mistakes you made in pursuing this person as a potential mate instead of as a potential friend.

What if you aren’t even ready for a serious romantic relationship? With anyone? And they sensed that? What if they aren’t ready?

Perhaps there’s baggage from the other person’s past which inspired them to keep you at arm’s length. Perhaps there’s baggage from your own past which leads you to see the friend zone as rejection of who you want to be (a lover), instead of acceptance of who you could be (a friend).

I don’t pretend to know your particular situation, but I can tell you, I know what it feels like to be put in the friend zone. And to be bitter about it.

I may have even written a bitter song after being friend zoned by a girl. And these may happen to be the lyrics to that song:

I look at you. You look away.
What is on your mind? I couldn’t say.
I want to know what you are feeling.
The things you’ve said and done have my mind reeling.

At first you’re hot. Then you are cold.
These games that people play are getting old.
I do not want equivocation.
I want to hear the truth, not affirmation.

I’ll be content to be your friend
If it might mean more in the end,
But I’m asking you, “Please don’t lead me on.”
And if you do not feel the same, I’ll let my heart take all the blame,
But I’m begging you, “Please don’t lead me on.”

You look at me. I look away.
Do I want to hear what you will say?
Your nervous tone betrays the tension.
This confrontation was not your invention.

I’ll be content to be your friend
If it might mean more in the end.
But I’m telling you, “Do not lead me on.”
And if you do not feel the same, perhaps my heart can take the blame,
But tell the truth! Do not lead me on.

You show no fear. You speak your mind.
What truth I might have held is left behind.
You do not give equivocation.
You somehow feed me truth with affirmation.

I was content to be your friend.
Thought it might mean more in the end,
But I’m so confused! Did you lead me on?
You said you never felt the same,
But can my heart take all this blame?
I’m feeling used! I think you led me on!

Did you relate at all to those lines? Did you relate a lot?

If so, I’m sorry, but I’m so glad you’re reading this post, and I want you to hear the rest of the story! Because I didn’t stay in that place of bitter mourning.

In fact, I wrote a different song a month or so later about the same girl (even though we never did get together), and I’ll share that next week, along with the perspective that inspired it. The same perspective I pray will inspire you to let the friend zone make you better instead of bitter.

In the meantime, consider these questions – and even better – mull them over with a good friend or two who know and love you well:

  • How are feelings of bitterness going to change the mind of the person who’s put you in the friend zone?
  • How are feelings of bitterness going to attract other potential partners to you?
  • If you truly believe the person who friend zoned you did you wrong, why would you want to be in a relationship with such a person?
  • Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who doesn’t have to be convinced of your appeal?
  • Why is a romantic relationship with this person so important to you? Why isn’t friendship enough?

For more reasons you get friend zoned, check out past posts in this series at the link immediately below.

Date Night Advice (DNA) series: The Friend Zone Files
Part 3: Were You Led On? Don’t get Bitter in the Friend Zone!
Click here for the next post in the series.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

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.