Imagine the following scenario: You finally meet someone you like. Then, after a few dates, just when you think everything is going amazingly, he or she says, “Let’s just be friends.”
You feel slightly disappointed, but since you’re so enamored with the other person, you channel your inner Lloyd Christmas from "Dumb and Dumber," and say to yourself, “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Then, you strap yourself in for the ride and think of ways you can show off your awesomeness to the other person to win him or her over.
Honestly, however, if you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to just move on. Here are five reasons why:
1. You're doing everyone a favor.
Let’s face it: Rejecting someone is hard for anybody who has a conscience. When someone tells you he or she just wants to be friends, it’s really a polite rejection.
When you move on, you’re doing the other person a favor because he or she won’t feel obliged to reply back to your texts or plans to “hang out sometime.” It also frees up your time to pursue other dates and interests.
2. It's hard enough to keep up with the friends you already have.
If you’ve been in the working world for a few years, chances are strong that you've lost touch with some of your friends.
It’s difficult enough to keep up with the friends you already have, so why make your social life more difficult based on a one-in-a million chance?
3. Nothing you do will ever make the person like you.
Once, I was in a guitar shop browsing some of the high-end instruments. A woman came in and we started chatting.
She didn’t know anything about guitars, but was ready to shell out a couple thousand bucks for one for a gift to a “guy friend” she'd known for about a year. Oh, boy! I knew the entire story before she even said another word.
I’ve been in a similar situation before — but not quite on the same level as the woman I met that day. I’d try to win over “a friend” with gifts and other random acts of kindness, but it never worked.
If there’s no chemistry after a certain point, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change it. Just remember the rule of thirds: A third of people won’t like you, another third of will be indifferent toward you and the remaining third will like you.
Focus your efforts toward finding people who exist in the third that likes you.
4. You're subjecting yourself to torture.
If you had romantic intentions from the start and the other person didn’t, you’re just strapping yourself in for an unhealthy, emotional roller coast ride.
A lot of love songs are about whining and begging lost loves to come back. When you really want someone, it’s easy to relate to those songs and listen to them on repeat as a form of therapy. But, too much of this can be unhealthy.
This also creates a status problem wherein one person is placed on a pedestal and the person doing the pursuing is desperate and disposable. So, even if you do end up with the person who wants to be "just friends," if there is no mutual respect from the start, it probably won’t be a great relationship.
Plus, the lower-status person will always have thoughts that about the other person leaving for someone “better” who might come along. Not good. It’ll be torture, no matter what happens.
It’s best to move on as soon as possible if you find yourself in the friend zone. Of course, this is easier said than done. But, if you followed the advice in number one, then you’ll have plenty of time to meet other people and pursue hobbies and interests. This is usually enough to keep you busy and get your mind off things.
I know this might sound bad because it commoditizes people, to a degree. But, the more you increase the quantity of people you meet, the less each rejection will impact your psyche.
5. Someone better will come along.
Dating is a lot of work. You will push through layers of awkwardness and will finally meet someone you like, only to have him or her reject you softly by friend-zoning you.
It may feel like that there was something special about that person, but there are seven billion people in the world and hundreds of millions of them will likely meet your preferences.
There’s someone else out there with whom you belong. And, when you find that person, you’ll wonder why you wasted so much energy on that distant "friend."
Photo Courtesy: Tumblr