TO: Men all over the planet
RE: Stuck in the middle with you
DATE: January 23, 2012
Do you remember when I shared my non-date-I-thought-was-a-date with Cute Guy Friend, boys? Well, I’ve realized something else: Being stuck in that grey, murky middle with you — being thisclose to you but still being at a metaphorical distance — is just plain frustrating.
Girlfriend vs. girl friend.
It looks like a minute difference, but eventually, that gap between girl and friend becomes wider and wider, and it gets harder to see straight. It’s an unspoken yearning more powerful in its silence. The girlfriend get roses. The
girl friend helps pick out roses. The girlfriend gets surprise texts at midnight. The girl friend gets texts at midnight asking for girlfriend advice. The girlfriend blushes because she’s in love and doesn’t have to hide it. The girl friend blushes because she’s in love and is trying desperately to hide it.
See, being friends with a guy is sort of like having the perfect boyfriend. He listens, gives you the inside scoop on the male mind, is both charming and flirtatious and is always there for you. The only problem: He’s, well, not technically your boyfriend. He’s your boy friend. And when your boy friend has a girlfriend (note: not a girl friend; that’s your role, remember?) and you become the girl friend in the bizarre love-but-it’s-not-really-love triangle? It’s hard not to feel just a little pang of heartbreak.
But you’re his girl friend. You. Must. Remember. That. You must always remember your place and never even think of stepping your toes outside those friend zone boundary lines. If you do, everything will come crashing down in one big mess — and it won’t be of the romantic-comedy variety.
Do you see the frustration here, boys? I’ve been the girl friend a few times in my life. It’s not fun. It’s not pretty. What’s also not pretty? These two little myths we girl friends have faced…
We love meeting your girlfriend, and of course she’s welcome to join us at the movies (substitute dinner, lunch, etc., or whatever fits your situation)
We can take the “How We Met” story once, maybe twice, but that’s the limit. We feign a smile and a nod over salad and champagne as we watch you two hold hands, but inside we’re mentally writing our grocery list, thinking about that work proposal or counting the number of freckles on her forehead. Has she had Botox or work done? You’re so in love. We get it.
We never compare ourselves to your lady love. Why would we be so insecure and shallow?
The minute I heard about Cute Guy Friend’s girlfriend, I did the only logical thing. I furiously Googled her and looked for her on Facebook. I just had to see this vision of perfection. What color was her hair? Was her skin creamier than mine? I ultimately came up empty-handed. But here’s the thing: We do it all in secret — this whole covert spying operation. If you ever ask us, we remark, “Of course not. What am I? Jealous? Pfft. Someone sure thinks highly of himself, doesn’t he?”
The real truth: Boys, we know you’re in love with your lady love. We get it. We know you’re so perfect for each other. It’s more romantic and sugary sweet than a Disney movie. I’m sure we’ll eventually realize that being the girl friend is better than not having you in our lives at all. Until then, though, let’s hope we don’t end up in a sugar coma from all those perfect love stories. xoxo
[Top photo via Opposable Sums, other photos via Le Love]
Elle Sees says
Ugh, right? There's that short amount of time where if something doesn't happen it immediately hits the Friend Zone.
gotta disagree on this one. i mean if you have feelings for the guy, sure that's the situation. but for me my guy friends, my current ones that i don't have feelings for, are just that. worse to me is the girls who don't just talk about their boyfriend but forget about all their friends until they're broken up with said guy. not cute, wish girls would learn to balance the two.
Hmmmm, you never say much about "Cute Guy Friend"……is this an actual friend or just a mere aquaintance? Do you exchange emails? Phone conversations? Do you meet for lunch, a glass of wine, does he stop over and help with home repairs, have you gone shopping together, does he seek out your advice on gifts for his lady love? You never mention doing anything social with any guy friend (or any friends whatsoever, for that matter) so I was surprised to hear that you even had one!!!! If so, that's awesome and guy friends can definitely add such a valuable dimension to your life…..I look forward to hearing much more!!!!
Oh man, being the girl friend to someone in a relationship is the worst thing ever. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
In other words, drop being the 'girl friend' and just be a FRIEND (or a girlfriend, if you and he agree to take things in that direction).
I think being a girl friend to this friend is causing your heart to hurt. What are you getting out of the relationship with him besides hurt?
I agree it's hard to figure out what's going on when you hang out with a guy you like. Especially out of an environment like college where you can claim "studying" as the point of getting together!
My advice (having been there a gazillion times) is to back away if a guy has a girlfriend. This sounds entirely old-fashioned but if a guy is interested he will pursue you. 🙂
It may be that the guy is equally confused – he does want to spend time with you, but is loyal to his girlfriend.
When you are the girlfriend one day (and you will be!!) you will appreciate that Cute Guy and others kept their distance.
Don't torture yourself over it. I have many boy (SPACE) friends who are wonderful, charming, handsome guys that for no particular reason I am not interested in romantically. It's easy to say "You should like me because I have a, b, and c…" it doesn't always happen.
Melissa Blake says
Hi, first Anon — this isn't a new friend. i haven't seen him in awhile, but just got to thinking about the situation a few days ago. 🙂
Just don’t invest emotions too much in relationships – platonic or not. Just be enough to be a good friend, don’t be overly attached.
Melissa Blake says
Last Anon — good advice. I'm pretty old-fashioned! xoxo
Olivia : I am still learning says
I don't know if you're a Taylor Swift fan, but this sooo reminds me of "tear drops on my guitar"… I have belted out that song more times than I can count.
Here's the music video:
Not all girl friend is in love with her boy friend. Sometimes it’s the boy friend that loves the girl friend romantically or they both love each other as siblings. There are girls that are only meant to be girl friends, they didn’t yearn for their boy friends to love them. I am one of those so yeah, gonna disagree with this one.