Or that thing sometimes known as the friendzone...
So if there is something that I hate; something that I am completely vehemently against- it is this. The entire concept of the 'Friend zone'. I think it is absolute stupidity, and is used as an excuse to handle rejection better. Yes, we all have our moments of wanting to 'pull an Eponine' as I will now refer to it (soz for those of you who for some reason haven't watched Les Miserables), and just mope, but really I just think that's counterproductive.
For those of you who are confused by the title of this blog; basically in Les Mis, there is a character called Eponine who has something of a casual thing for her bestie Marius. However, he is completely oblivious, and even gets her to wingman for him with his new bae, Cosette. Marius eventually finds out about Eponine's love when she not so casually dives in front of a bullet to save his life. That's one way to tell someone you like them I guess... #subtle. Anyway, I'll come back to dear old 'Ponine later.
So according to our favourite and most reliable internet source: Wikipedia, friendzoning is described as such:
THE FRIEND ZONE, IN POPULAR CULTURE, REFERS TO A PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP WHEREIN ONE PERSON, MOST COMMONLY A MAN, WISHES TO ENTER INTO A ROMANTIC OR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP, WHILE THE OTHER DOES NOT. IT IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO BE AN UNDESIRABLE OR DREADED SITUATION BY THE LOVELORN PERSON.IF A DESIRED PARTY DOES NOT RETURN OR RESPOND AFFIRMATIVELY TO THE ADVANCES OR AFFECTION OF THE DESIRING PARTY, BUT CONTINUES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FRIENDSHIP IN A PLATONIC WAY, IT IS SOMETIMES DESCRIBED AS FRIEND-ZONING.
Point 1: Sometimes People Don't Like You Back, And They're Allowed To.
Sometimes in this world, this thing happens in which you fall for someone, and the feelings aren't requited. That's to be expected. Can you imagine if everyone you were ever attracted to had a mutual attraction? The world would be just a little, or a lot, more complicated. The thing is though, there is nothing wrong with it if you like someone who doesn't like you back. It feels pretty crap, of course, but it does not make the person who doesn't like you back a bad person. When it comes to friendzoning; it so clearly establishes a villain- the friend zoner, and a victim- the friendzoned. Just because someone doesn't want to date you; it doesn't make you a victim!
Point 2: You Have No Right To Them.
If you consider yourself in the friend zone, and make out that the person who friendzoned you is unfair, why is that? It perpetuates the idea that you if you are friends with someone, you deserve for them to like you romantically. That should never be the case. It's not fair on their part, because people can't help if they don't like you back; but it also makes you look bad, because it suggests that you only wanted to be friends with them in the first place to try and get with them! Sorry if some of this repeats point 1, but I think it needs to be written as a separate category.
Point 3: It Suggests That Friendship Isn't As Important.
Of course, a romantic relationship comes with some aspects that a platonic relationship doesn't, but society has come to read this as romantic relationships are more significant, and I don't think that's necessarily true. You can have some intense and incredible relationships with friends; relationships that define you as a person and encourage you to grow. You can have amazing laughs with friends, and you can have so many good times. Just because it's not romantic, I don't think that a platonic relationship should be valued any less. Sure, it's a different type of love, but different doesn't necessarily mean better/worse.
Those are the 3 main things which my brain can coherently structure into solid points, but I think you get it that I hate the friend zone.
Now back to Eponine... I would be a hypocrite if I said that I had never related to Eponine. I have spent countless lonely nights belting On My Own and meaning every single word; also the Eponine parts from A Heart Full Of Love, and In My Life... and basically all of her songs in the play. Side note: even worse than that is listening to 'I'm Not That Girl' from Wicked. That song hurts like a tonne of bricks right now, not gonna lie. The problem with Eponine though, is the fact that she chooses not to do anything about her situation. She chooses to wander the streets and cry about it instead of telling Marius, or trying to move on. In fact, she didn't talk to anyone about her feelings, and I think maybe if she had, she wouldn't have struggled so much with it. You know, a trouble shared is a trouble halved and all that. Eponine's death really is tragic: I mean she sacrifices herself for the love of her life, and then dies in his arms, only clueing him into her feelings at the very end as her last words uttered are "I think I was a little bit in love with you." *cue crying* I just feel like for a long time, I have portrayed myself as the Eponine, and though I do still love her as a character; now that I'm in a romantic situation close to her own, I can't help but feel frustrated by her. She has this amazing friend in Marius, and although I don't necessarily see the appeal of Marius anyway, I still think that she's pretty damn lucky. This guy trusts her with everything, well at least in the musical version he does, and I would want nothing more than to have that close relationship with someone I deeply care about. It's not what she wants, and yes, I get that- but I can't help feeling that she was a bit moany and definitely could have dealt with her situation better.
I think because of characters like Eponine, and countless others in our media, we have all bought into the myth of the friend zone, and have come to view it as a dire, tragic thing, when in reality, it's only as tragic as we make it. Carrying on a platonic relationship after confessing feelings, as I have learned recently, is perfectly possible, and it's only as awkward as you make it. If you like someone who is a great friend of yours and you don't want to ruin it by saying something- that is absolutely fine. But I urge you, please, please, please don't do an Eponine. As much as it may seem like impossible not to; please don't let yourself get consumed by all the things that don't seem likely to happen. Sure, you're allowed to feel sad about it, but I think the world needs less tragedies like Eponine, so hold your head up high, and feel blessed to have a great friend in the guy/ girl you just happen to have feelings for.
I hope this made sense, and I hope I didn't upset anyone, I know this can be a touchy subject, and remember that my opinions are just that- my opinions.
Luckily I'm not dead on the barricade, so i'll be seeing you guys soon.