I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I very much doubt I will be meeting my Prince Charming on Tinder or OKCupid. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic who wants an epic love story that I can tell my grandchildren (not that one which starts ’Once upon a time I was walking down Long Street…’ is much better than a technologically savvy alternative). However, I continue to use internet dating sites and apps because I believe they serve a purpose. Namely, to widen your social circle (and possibly connect you with potential new wing person) which in turn could assist in creating the chance encounter whereby you meet The One.
However, in a single girl’s quest for love there is always bound to be some collateral damage. While there are guys that you’ll never want to see again (have I mentioned the serial killer?), from my experience there are many many more that you want to keep around, not for romantic reasons, but for various other tasks such as fixing cars (reoccurring theme I know), advice on DIY or some light entertainment. And it is for this reason we have that weird area which exists somewhere between LOVE and a restraining order, the place known as the FRIEND ZONE.
Although it may sound like serendipitous place, in reality, life in the Friend Zone isn’t all that peachy. In some cases Friend Zoning a bloke is fairly straightforward. For instance, when you meet a guy the night before the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, who biked all the way from Blighty to Cape Town and it’s totally obvious to both of you that the only part of him that you are interested in is his bike. Furthermore, the fact that he is only in town for a short while and you are just not that despo for a round of bedroom yoga (after all there’s that 47km cycle race the next day) seals the deal. He is locked in the Friends Zone and you are free to throw away the key.
Then there are those cases that are not so clear cut. The good Church guy (comes with a kid= baggage. Eww) who you meet every couple of months for a coffee and believes there is hope for a relationship because he can give you a sandwich toaster (he promised a washing machine) and spend ‘quality time’ with (read waiting for) you to arrive at Cape International Airport. Or the dude who ignores a blatant double parking stunt, continues to listen to all your relationship woes, tells you how he has worked his way through all the ethnicities in the rainbow nation and then still has the audacity to question when, where, how and why you Friend Zoned him.
Being on the receiving end of a Friend Zoning is not much fun either, I have to admit. Especially when, like me, you are into those silver foxes, old enough to be you father, thereby technically putting you in the Daughter Zone. I mean it’s pretty hard to figure out the answer to the million dollar question of ‘What are we?’, when one minute the guy is giving you butterflies and foot-popping kisses and the next he is stroking your head, telling you that he is a glad you are a good girl not like your slutty friends, offering advice on where to buy furniture and insisting on driving (with no epic declarations of love) to the airport, as one would expect from any good Dad.
Now rinsers/readers over to you. Please share you advice/experiences on Friend-Zoning.