Stuck In The Friend Zone

29 Apr

“The Friend Zone”, contrary to popular belief, it’s not only men who get stuck in that dreaded place.  I’m currently in the zone with a guy who I think would actually make great boyfriend material, and it sucks – big time.

I’ve known this guy, lets call him ‘Dutch Dude’ (gimme a break, he’s Dutch and I’m running out of pseudonyms), for approximately seven years now. We first started talking back in the days when social networking site was the big thing. It was so long ago that I can’t even remember how or why we started talking but I do remember that our messages moved from Blackplanet to Myspace to email. Lots of general chit chat, a bit of harmless e-flirting, exchanging photos, sharing stories. Years passed and we stayed in touch.

We met in person for the first time in 2004 when he came over from Amsterdam for London’s annual Notting Hill Carnival. Our first meeting consisted of nothing more than a hug and a ‘Hi, nice to meet you at last’. The following year when he was back for carnival, we went for lunch and while I thought he was sweet, I didn’t think anything of it. He went in to kiss me on the lips when we said goodbye. I was surprised and a bit freaked out. He was nice to speak to on the internet, but I just wasn’t thinking of him in ‘that way’.

Anyway, fast forward six years and in 2011 we’re still great buddies.  We may be in different countries but we’re closer now than we’ve ever been. Problem is, more recently, I started seeing him in a different way.

I treated myself to a weekend in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. I figured flights to Amsterdam are cheap, it’s only a one hour flight, it’s a lovely change of scenery and I know someone there so doesn’t matter if I go alone. Although I stayed in a hotel, Dutch Dude and I hung out in the evenings. We got along reeeaaaaally well. After years of having a purely online relationship it was a pleasant surprise to learn just how easy it was to be with him in person.  The fact that I enjoyed his company so much (and the fact he’d been working out and was looking extremely scrumptious) made me look at him in a different way. After that trip our emails and BBM conversations definitely had more of a flirty tone to them.

Last month I enjoyed another weekend in Amsterdam, but this time I  stayed at Dutch Dude’s place. He suggested it to save cash and feeling that I knew him better now, I thought it was a good idea.  Although I wasn’t sure what to expect so I over-analysed and built it up to epic proportions in my mind. Where would I sleep? What sort of nightclothes should I take? Am I going as just a friend? Will anything happen between us? Do I want anything to happen between us?

We did a romantic nighttime canal cruise, minus the romance.

Turns out I needn’t have worried about a thing. NOTHING happened. As always he was was an absolute sweetheart, a great host and ever the gentleman. When he left me alone in his apartment one morning (he had previous plans), I woke up went in the kitchen and found he had left out everything I could possibly need for breakfast. It was so adorable – a mug, a plate, a bowl, cutlery, teabags, coffee, bread, eggs, ham and cheese. All arranged on the counter for me to use. I swooned. Isn’t that the behaviour of someone who’d make a kind and caring boyfriend?? Also, he took me out for dinner at my favourite Surinamese restaurant and also on a romantic nighttime canal cruise, except there was no romance. None at all, goddamit!

Am I to blame? Is it my own fault for not being attracted to him at the very beginning? Did I miss the bus?

Now reading: How To Turn A Guy Friend Into A Boyfriend’

27 Responses to “Stuck In The Friend Zone”

  1. Workshy Joe April 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM #

    Chronologically, it sounds as if you friendzoned him.

    He made a move to you and you were “surprised and freaked out”. He probably picked up on that.

    Its years later now, you’re still friends, he probably has no clue that you would like to be anything more than friends.

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 2:44 AM #

      You’re right. I wasn’t attracted to him in the very beginning, so it was me who originally ‘friendzoned’ him.

      Totally my bad!

  2. Man-shopper April 30, 2011 at 1:41 PM #

    Hmm, I agree with Workshy Joe, it seems that you did friendzone him early on. At this point, it’s probably up to you to make a move, since you were the one to initially do the friendzoning? Good luck! A man who puts out the breakfast spread for you… that sounds lovely!

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 2:45 AM #

      ME? Make a move? Ha!

      But yes, the breakfast thing was totally unexpected and so very sweet.

  3. Solo @ 30 April 30, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

    It’s not too late unless he’s moved on. Because you sort of rebuffed his advances previously, however, now it’s your move. If this is what you want – him – go for it. Take a chance, take a chance, take chance… Sorry too much ABBA 🙂

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 2:48 AM #

      He’s definitely still single. He’s been single the whole time I’ve known him. I know (from his Facebook) that he’s popular with the ladies, but I also know there hasn’t been anyone “official” for awhile.

      It’s a strange one, mostly because I find it hard enough to ‘come on’ to guys in the first place but also because he is a friend. If he doesn’t feel the same way, or if it doesn’t work out….??

  4. Natalie April 30, 2011 at 9:54 PM #

    Yeah I’d say he has no clue and has accepted his friendzone and even if he does have feelings, he’ll take into account the amount of time that’s passed between you and be afraid of rejection and ruining your friendship. He probably didn’t want to freak you out twice. Make a move.

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM #

      I’m afraid of the idea of rejection and of ruining the friendship too.

      Urgh! I guess this is why they say straight men and women can’t be friends eh? Usually becomes complicated in some sort of way.

  5. Toast May 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM #

    Go for it. If just so it will give hope to other men who are ‘just friends’ with girls they think are amazing, love spending time with and secretly adore.

    Go, Now. Yes. Right now.

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

      Hey! Thanks for reading 🙂

      How awesome would it be if I could find out in advance whether or not he thinks I’m amazing, loves spending time with me and secretly adores me?

      The idea of ‘putting myself out there’ and potentially ruining the friendship? *shudders*

      • Toast May 3, 2011 at 3:03 PM #

        I can’t really tell you to man up, because you are a lady. But just do it! You can’t wait for him to make the first move after previously rejecting him.

  6. Little Miss Random May 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM #

    I was in a similar situation last year. At some point, a guy friend and I did like each other but nothing ever happened between us. After some time had passed after our mutual admission of affection, I figured I’d been friendzone’d by then, but I hadn’t quite been able to move on, so I decided to just ask him outright. I have a bad habit of kind of liking the guys I can really talk to, and just needed him to reject me once and for all so I could move on.

    Crazy, right?

    But, and I have to emphasise this, I’d known him long enough and well enough at that point to trust that this wouldn’t ruin our friendship. And it hasn’t. He was incredibly gentlemanly about it. We’re still good friends today.

    Mind you, I did feel silly and embarrassed and all those things that come with being rejected. And I did have to drink a few drinks before going to meet him.

    But, at the end of the day, it takes guts to do something like that. And I totally understand the fear that comes with it. So, if you think he’s not going to freak and run, I’d say just do it. At the very least, it’ll stop the ‘what if…’ thoughts from running through your head.

    • TheSingleFilez May 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM #

      You’re right. It definitely takes a lot of guys to do something like that.

      Whatever were to happen, I think that Dutch Dude would be sweet and gentlemanly about it. I can’t imagine we’d no longer be friends… but would he still be the friend I can pop across the Channel and spend the weekend with? Maybe not so much.

      I’m going to read your blog posts on the subject. Thanks for sharing hun!

  7. Judy May 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM #

    This sounds like a perfect little love story! I agree with comments above – sounds like he got the hint early on so is staying in the friendzone but who’s to say he’s not thinking the same as you? I have a similar situation with a guy from back home who I always think about, always end up drunk-texting but can’t get him out of the friendzone in my head – and I gave him a (friendly) brush-off before so I don’t think anything could happen now even if I decide I want it to.

    Invite him to London for the weekend and up the flirting – he might just feel the same 🙂


  8. singlegirlie May 2, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

    Adorable! And my guess is he likes you. I mean, LIKES you likes you. And according to all the men who’ve advised me on my “friend” situation, men don’t do that kind of thing for women they are “just friends” with. Most of the men actually say they can’t just be friends with a woman. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but that’s what they’re telling me.

    So, methinks you should go for it! Raise the bar on the flirting. It’s not too late!

  9. Trace May 4, 2011 at 10:11 AM #

    I don’t check the blog for a few days and look what happens! You’ve got yourself in a more than friends situation!

    I don’t believe that guys and girls can truly just be friends. I always think that at some stage during that friendship, one of the two has stronger feelings than just being good old fashioned mates. I think if we’re all honest we’d agree that the minute we start spending quality one on one time with someone of the opposite sex, it becomes complicated for one of the party.

    Saying that, I strongly believe that all good relationships start from a good friendship. They know how to make you laugh, they know what your favourite drink of choice is (always about the booze!) they often know your hopes and fears if they’ve been a sounding board. Basically what I am saying is, GO FOR IT. If it doesnt work out, hey, I am certain it wont ruin the friendship long term. But if it does work out… think of the possibilities, (frolicking in the tulip fields for one thing!)

    I’m watching this space young lady…..

  10. BWNG May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM #

    It’s definitely not too late to get out of the friend zone, the fact that you guys are STILL flirting after 7 years is indication that you both dig each other.

    One does wonder why he has been single for 7 years though…I’m not saying he’s pimpin’ (but he is) but it’s a long time for a good looking brother (I assume) to be on the market. I guess he was waiting for you (awww.

    Give him more clues of how much you dig him so he can take you out of the zone.

    • TheSingleFilez May 5, 2011 at 11:04 PM #

      There is definitely some kind of a long term flirting thing going on here. Maybe that means more than what I’ve previously thought.

      As far as him being single for 7 years, I’m not one to judge. I’ve been single that whole time (and longer) too. He’s had long term relationships in the past and he has a child too – more than I can say! So while it is a long time for a good looking brother (errr, yes he is) to be on the market, seeing as I’m pretty damn sweet looking myself… I know it’s possible 🙂

  11. LV May 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM #

    just caught up with your blog! loved reading the updates – so well written x

  12. convoeng July 24, 2011 at 5:33 PM #

    This post was so well written – and I can totally understand.
    I am in a somewhat similar situation with a Taiwanese guy that I am soooo interested in.
    We offer sweet comments and gestures to each other, etc.
    But… he will say something sweet or how he wants to kiss me, and then two sentences later he will call me his “best friend” or his “sister”
    I think we are both just too shy to come out and say anything… so frustrating!
    Hopefully everything works out well for you^^

    • TheSingleFilez July 25, 2011 at 10:58 AM #

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, I agree. SO frustrating!

  13. Ann January 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I think you should try telling him, although its easier said than done. I think i may be stuck in a similar situation. sigh.

    anyone who can decipher this phase: I think it’s more than platonic, a little less than good friend but getting there. I asked the guy what he categorize us, and he wrote this. sounds really bad.

  14. Ola February 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM #

    I just came across your blog and having really a great read! ( as your dating stories really reflect lots of my experiences)..
    and here I want jsut to tell about Dutch guys just in case you are still in connection with him.. I am a foreigner ( please forgive my english) who lives in Holland for many years and oh, boy.. These Dutch guys! it is no wonder you had no romantic thing as dutch guys are not initiators , they are scared to death to be first and everything is in the hand of a woman.. They can be sweet , but until you are clearly indicate that you are interested ( actually initiate something first) – they will not do anything.. In fact many dutch women do just this. They give phone numbers to guys in clubs and other things, invite guy on a date and pay for dinner.
    But if you do nothing in this country you will be friend for years, and then suddenly you find out this guy was in love with you for many years ..

    you can read on forums about Dutch men and most non- dutch women will say the same..

    • TheSingleFilez February 19, 2012 at 6:12 PM #

      Hi Ola, thanks for reading and thanks for your VERY interesting comment.

      Admittedly, I don’t know very much about Dutch men and Dutch culture. I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times but he is the only person I know there. Funnily enough, I received a really sweet and lovely Valentines Day message from him last week, maybe I should just call him out on it? Speak the unspoken?

      Maybe what I need to do is book another trip to Amsterdam sometime soon 😉

      • Sew Tired February 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM #

        Yes, yes, YES; his message on Valentine’s Day is the PERFECT way in to the conversation you NEED to have!

        Book that flight NOW .. the rewards that are possible far outweigh the risks, IMHO.

        You deserve to love and be loved. Seize this day; it will not be repeated.

        🙂 xxx

  15. Dazediva February 21, 2012 at 4:18 AM #

    OMG ! Please tell me you called Dutch Dude around V-Day … and then ????

    p.s. I’ve heard similar stories of guys from the Netherlands and also from Finland that unless they are aware and sure that a woman is into them – they don’t make a move (I dated a Finnish guy in high school)

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