I knew our friendship was doomed when I began smiling as his name flashed across my iPhone screen.
In college, we became fast friends and I appreciated his kind-hearted, ambitious nature. Back then, I flirted with the idea of telling him how I felt.
Months ago, those lingering feelings resurfaced with a vengeance as I began adoring the man he was becoming. Soon, our casual check-ins every so often became daily flirtatious exchanges. I had a good enough gauge on his feelings for me enough to allow myself to like him.
Or, so I thought. Then, he tried to friend zone me. In case you've been ignoring pop culture since about 2013, the friend zone is a personal hell where you pine for a friend who doesn't reciprocate your interest.
During a drunken conversation, he friend zoned me.
To this day, I'm not sure if he offered up the information to squelch our mutual interest or to give me a respectable heads up that I had some competition.
Either way, I bowed out from entering the friend zone by ending our friendship altogether. It's a strategy I recommend to everyone fighting the relationship fight. I was crushed, but would rather dismiss an old friend than waste energy caring for someone who's preoccupied with someone else.
Protecting your own heart means saying goodbye.
My BFF might argue I gave up my guy too easily by not choosing to believe the friend zone is a place where complacent feelings can evolve into mutual attraction. Look, we're not all Kanye and Kim K.
I just can't understand willfully pining for someone who's just not into you. It's a tragically self-imposed situation. For that reason, I don't feel any pangs of empathy for people living in the friend zone.
Why would I remain his friend, bend my ear to his dating issues or wait for his feelings to change? Loving someone who doesn't feel the same is a losing battle. Are you going to maintain the friendship and eat your way through a box of pizza every time he tells you about his bae, or are you going to get over it?
Respect the curve and keep it moving.
Look, we can't all dodge the friend zone. Most of us trip up and fall for a friend who just doesn't like us back. But don't hurt yourself further by staying chummy and patiently waiting for the day he finally notices you.
If you must, cut all ties, or give yourself a few months to move on. You have full control over the amount of time you spend in the friend zone, and it will only drive you crazy if you let it.
Just get over it.
In a perfect world, my friend and I would be together. The truth is, he's attracted to someone else. What can I say? Sh*t happens.
Say goodbye to the friend zone situation and allow yourself to feel warm and fuzzy about someone else. Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs as he gets his happily ever after.
Bottom line? Let him go and any thought of being his romantic partner. You can lick your wounds later.