subject line: the friend zone is overrated

 

Boston, Massachusetts

I remember when I first met him. He was the shy boy with cute, curly hair. And I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even give him a second glance. I friend zoned him harder than I should have.

Six years later, I now know why I put him in that “friend zone” - and I’m sad to say it’s because he was a nice guy. He didn’t make a move. He didn’t try to. He wasn’t forward or pushy. And I used the friend zone as my defense mechanism.

How messed up was I? To think that I didn’t deserve someone genuine so I categorized them to make a definitive line between friend and potential partner.

How distorted is this concept of a friend zone? To label people “off limits” is to close a door. A door that could surprise you. If you allow yourself to love someone, shouldn’t you also consider them a friend? How can you value a relationship if you wouldn’t even value a friendship with them? Maybe I’m crazy, but I think there is something beautiful about falling in love with your best friend.

I must say, I am more than grateful for that friend zone. He was my 3 AM phone call when my ex cheated on me at a party, weekend after weekend. He was my go-to text message, even just to talk about school work. He was a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on after the funeral. He was the first receiver of my ugly snapchat selfies. He was my best friend. And over and over again, I reassured myself that we would forever in each other’s friend zones.

I cherish the fact that he stuck by me through everything, not because he wanted me, but because he cared.

I learned the blatant line between caring about someone and wanting someone. The guys I settled for wanted me, but they did not care for me. It is a twisted concept to mistake one for the other. I spent my years settling, while he spent his years telling me not to.

And here we are today, walking the lines like tightropes together, hand in hand. He is my best friend, but far from the friend zone. He shows me what it is like to be wanted, but also genuinely cared for. He is my partner, but he was my go-to human first. He knew my weaknesses, my regrets, my history, my mistakes, my dreams, my walls, my giggles, my yawns, and my tears all too well.

He knew my heart before it was his.