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Monday, August 05, 2013

The Friend Zone

First off, I have been making an effort to disconnect more often. Sometimes I shut my phone off or leave it behind. Very rarely do I have the ringer on. And, just because we can do everything with our phones doesn’t mean we should. But, let me just tell you: It flips people out. If you don’t answer a text, email or facebook message in about 14 seconds, you will never hear the end of it. So close to stalking, folks are. I’m just hoping I’ve never been like that. Ninety-nine percent of life is not happening on the Internet. It really isn’t.

Now that I’m done with that rant, let’s concentrate on today’s slightly related topic in the adventures of online dating: The Friend Zone.

As someone who’s always been at least a little pudgy, I’m intimately acquainted with The Friend Zone. I have lived there with almost every male friend I’ve ever had. A few times it’s been blurred; sometimes with good consequences and sometimes not. But for the most part, that’s where I live while everyone else goes off and has babies and such. I’m 37 years old, so that ship has sailed. I’m OK with that, especially when I see my friends who have issues with their spouses and I’m over here doing my own thing. However, any conversation on The Friend Zone would be incomplete if I didn’t bemoan its existence just a little for that reason alone.

While I’ve lived in The Friend Zone for most of the last 25 years, I’ve recently had occasion to be on the other side of this place. Let me share these little scenarios with you.

The first trip to The Friend Zone was with a guy I’d gone a few dates with. I’m not positive he would’ve stayed there, but he decided it wasn’t worth chancing it and moved on to bigger and better things. I liked him spending time with him and I thought maybe things could develop with him, but he felt like he was in The Friend Zone and basically told me off and then I’m pretty sure he blocked me. Oh well, his loss. I heard a long time ago that the only way to see if a man is truly interested is to make him work for it, and honestly that’s probably the best advice I’ve ever received. My last real boyfriend had to go several dates without a goodnight kiss, mostly because if things get physical too early it usually spells disaster. And I wanted to see exactly what his motives were because I thought he might be around for a while. So, really I’m not fretting over that situation, although I think that folks would do better to have a conversation with the actual other person involved rather than with whoever lives inside their brain when deciding that things were hopeless in a relationship. However, if he’s that insecure then I will probably be OK without him.

The second trip to The Friend Zone has been a much longer journey. I think by now we all know that I love the show Catfish because it’s everything that’s wrong with the world, yet I believe Nev really does want to help the people on the show. Even though most of them are utterly helpless, but I don’t want to get off track here. The whole fact that Manti Teo could spend four years in an imaginary relationship (with a dude) completely and totally validates my decision to not ever pursue a long-distance relationship with a person from the Internet. This is mostly because I don’t have the time or the energy to chase someone around the country (and this completely and totally is the opposite of making a man work for it) and I am just not getting burned. Until I meet someone, they are just words on a computer or a phone, not even a real person at all. I will be friends with someone who lives a million miles away and just wants to text, but I truly and honestly believe it’s impossible to “fall in love” with someone with the help of AT&T and I just won’t let my brain go there.

So with all that intro, it’s easy to understand why this guy in question is in The Friend Zone. I think he lives in Virginia. The last time I was doing online dating, he contacted me and I told him: “I don’t do long-distance relationships. Not happening.” And he told me he just wanted to be friends.  So, I guess he actually put himself in The Friend Zone, although that’s the best he was ever going to get from me.

Completely related sidebar: Did anyone see the episode of Catfish where basically this guy met a girl and she tried to tell him that she was Catfishing him and he just heard what he wanted because he was so desperate to be in his imaginary relationship with some texts on a screen? (I’m a cynic; sue me.)

So, back to the guy who I think lives in Virginia and I’m not even 100% sure of his name because a) he’s from the Internet and could be lying and b) I don’t add anyone to my phone book until they are worth keeping. I only know who he is at all when he texts me because he is the only person with that area code. True story.

He’s decided he has feelings for me. I told him that was unfortunate because I don’t do long-distance (or people whose names I don’t know, but I left that part out). He calls me love, which annoys me because there’s no way he loves me and I hate pet names. He tells me what he wants to do to me, and I ignore him. It’s so healthy. I reiterated last night that I have always been completely and totally forthright with the fact that I have zero feelings for him (I’m not even sure he’s actually in The Friend Zone because at this point he is just fucking creepy, if we’re being honest) and nothing is ever going to happen with us. However, he keeps telling me he’s coming to visit me and blah blah blah. Seriously, it’s so pathetic that I don’t even know what to say anymore.

My roommate says that I’m too harsh about long-distance relationships with strangers from the Internet. Considering all the bullshit that I’ve put up with from strangers from the Internet who didn’t want to do me, and the fact that the only long-distance relationship I ever had was really just a relationship with the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office at the end of the day, it’s just not ever happening. If Mark Wahlberg sent me a Facebook message right now and asked me to sext with him and be his imaginary online girlfriend, I still wouldn’t do it. Mark Wahlberg. That’s how serious I am about this. And what happens if you like a person from the internet? Fake skype sex? It’s not like anyone’s just going to pack up his life and drop everything to come be with someone from the internet. Right?

What do you think? Is it possible to feel love for someone you’ve never met? Is it possible to have a relationship with words on a screen? Do you know anyone who’s actually packed up his or her entire life and moved who-knows-where for love with someone they met online? Or is it just that people are so starved for contact with another person that they’ll do whatever it takes to have that? And, mostly, why would anyone who’s relatively attractive (or is a huge college football star, for example) just not go out and find someone in real life?

I just don’t get it, so if you have the answers, please feel free to explain.

Song of the day: “Online” by Brad Paisley

1 comment(s):

I think it's possible to feel love for someone over the internet. I don't completely live in a cave but I have a good share of internet friends haha.
I know a couple people who have met their lovedoodles over the internet and I thought it was kind of cute.
Like they started dating over the internet, then met.
They've been together years and still are. Both couples live together now.
It sure takes a bit of patience and tons of trust. They really did pack up every thing and travel.
And it's not only words on a screen haha. That sounds like you're falling in love with a computer program (which has probably happened somewhere)
I think the saying "there's plenty of fish in the sea" really comes to play. You can catch fish tons of places.

By Blogger priscilla isolde, at 8/09/2013 1:29 AM  

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