“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”(Psalms 27:14)
Tell me, how many times have you heard a story like this:
There is a guy… let’s call him “George.” George is a really nice guy. He is kind, he is sweet, compassionate, and caring. Then there is a young lady… Let’s call her “Jen.” Jen is a good girl, but she has a rap for dating so-called “bad boys.” These guys use Jen and break her heart over and over, but it seems that Jen never learns her lesson. They use her, they abuse her emotionally, and they hurt her continuously. Many of them won’t even commit to her. George likes Jen and wants to pursue a relationship with her, however the two have known each other for a while and Jen only sees George as a friend. So Jen comes to George with all her relationship problems (whenever she’s in one), and hangs out with George a lot, and they do fun things together. She tells him that she loves how he treats her and then she tells George things like “I want to find a guy like you,” but whenever George tries to convince her to date him because he is in fact “a guy like him” and will treat her good and love her, she shuts him down. Then after shutting him down, Jen tells him things like “I only see you as a friend,” and “Someday you’ll find a lucky girl who’ll love you,” etc. Sometimes, it seems that Jen uses George to feel comfort and affection whenever others won’t give her this affection, however there is something holding her back from developing mutual feelings for George. This breaks George’s heart, however, because of his optimism and their mutual closeness to each other, George receives small glimmers of hope. So he continues to pursue Jen in a vicious, never-ending cycle of hope, heartbreak, and despair until he finally either gives up on Jen and moves on, finds someone else, or hones his heartbreak and pain, becoming the same kind of “jerk” or “bad boy” that Jen would date and then goes on to break other girl’s hearts or maybe even Jen’s if he’s lucky enough.
[End Story Time]
Now, how many of you have been in the shoes of George? I know that I have. Today, I am going to teach you guys how to escape the friendzone, so that you don’t end up like poor George. You ready? Alright, here it goes… To escape the friendzone, don’t enter it in the first place. That’s right, don’t enter into it. If someone does not like you and will hold you at arm’s length and break your heart, over and over, then don’t give that person the satisfaction of hurting you. If you’re in a relationship like that, then get out. Don’t let anyone hold your heart hostage, and do not submit to this weird, shallow, form of (often self-induced) Stockholm syndrome. Why is it that when people reject us, we become more attracted?
If someone does not like you, then let that be it. Don’t work hard to get someone who doesn’t deserve the work or the effort. If they don’t acknowledge you or your feelings, then stop. I understand that this is harder than it seems because you are going against feelings that you have built up for a while, but are saving your feelings worth get hurt over and over again? No, it’s not. Forget the “friendzone,” and move on. You’re worth more than that, so don’t settle for less. Does this mean that you should cut people off who friendzone you? I’d say yes and no. If it’s hurting you to stay in a close relationship with someone who hurts you like this and uses you, then I’d say cut them off. If they want to come after you when you do this, then keep walking. Sometimes they do this because rejection has (for some reason) given them interest, with some kind of weird uninterested jealousy….
Think… Do you really want to date someone who only pays you attention after you drop them? What kind of backwards relationship would that be? Do you really want to be with someone so used to brokenness, and who has such a twisted view of love? Do you really want to keep getting hurt for no reason? I hope not! Some people would have believe that this is what love looks like and honestly… love looks nothing like that. If someone really loves you, then they will care about your feelings, apologize when they hurt you and work to put a smile on your face. Sure love has it’a fair amount of pain (due to our imperfections, it’s own) but love is not rooted in pain.
Speaking of that, sometimes the person who rejected you wants you so they can put you in the same cycle of mixed-signals and heartbreak again. The reason why is because your attention satisfies their own neediness. Do you really want to enter into that same vicious cycle again? I pray and hope not! This person is not your friend. When you subject yourself to this, you are like an individual standing with his or her arms open, waiting for a loving hug, but you direct your longing towards people who only want to give you pats on the shoulder, and some of them even repay your love with something tantamount kick you in the stomach and push you over. Don’t put yourself through that. Gain wisdom and learn when to be optimistic and when to be pessimistic. Understanding the place of both is necessary in life.
On the other hand, if this is legitimately just a friend that you like who just doesn’t have feelings for you, then don’t cut them off. Maybe you should take a break from them until your affections go away, and this is fine. If you keep liking them and they keep rejecting you, then you are the cause of your own heartbreak. If this friend rejects you, move on and find someone else. They can’t help it if they don’t like you. You say that they should like you because of your personality, when there are people who you don’t like romantically who treat you well and have nice personalities too. So why don’t you like them? Do you not find them attractive? Are they not good enough to meet your standards? Have you ever thought that maybe the friend that you’re chasing after who keeps rejecting you thinks the same? Practice what you preach. Not everyone is going to like you.
If someone doesn’t like you back, respect their decision and move on. It’s the best thing and more right thing to do. Understand that this is usually tough for the other party as well, because they are in a spot where no matter what they say or do, they will hurt you. Not to mention if they say “yes,” then they aren’t really feeling “it,” but are giving you a chance out of pity. Then when they end the relationship, they will hurt you again because you find out that they were doing it out of pity and not genuine affection or a desire to build with you. People have certain tastes and yes, maybe their expectations are too high and unrealistic. Is the way that they approach relationships illogical? Does it show a lack of maturity and a false sense of reality and that they might be a bit delusional? Will they eventually end up getting hurt? Will they eventually end up hurting you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then that’s probably a sign that you need to stop chasing after this person. Just think to yourself, “Why would I date this person?” You deserve better.
Find someone who isn’t shallow and do not lower yourself by becoming some sort of slave or servant to someone who doesn’t deserve you. I also want to tell you something else. People don’t owe you anything. Sure you’re a nice guy, or sure you’re a nice girl… so what? What does that mean? Sure you have good qualities, but that doesn’t mean that people should just fall at your feet and date you. Romantic love isn’t something that is owed. Romantic love is something that is given of free will. Just as you chose to give your love to someone who doesn’t love you, they have the right to slap it away. Don’t get angry and frustrated and begin to harbor resentment against someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you that you do for them. Yeah it hurts, but it’s a part of life. I’m not saying you’ve perfect, because you can’t but try to be understanding and make room for others decisions and faults. Just as God forgave you, forgive them (Colossians 3:13)… and sometimes you will never understand why people make the decisions that they did, and that’s okay. Don’t worry about it. Remember, people aren’t vending machines that you put coins of compassion into until a relationship falls out.
Something else that helps is to make your intentions clear from the start. That way you don’t waste your time overworking your self to win someone who never liked you and will never like you (someone who doesn’t want to be won). Be straightforward, don’t be shy. Dating is similar to evangelism in the sense that it’s harder to give the truth to someone who you have an established relationship with already. You begin to fear that what you tell them might ruin the friendship, but believe that breaking the news is hard for the other person too. Instead of trying to date by cozying up to someone on the terms of being strictly friends, go in based on what you want. You want to date, then let them know that from the beginning. Be honest with them and don’t go in on false premises because are you really nice if you go into a fake friendship with someone based on a scheme to gain their affections? You’re being manipulative and your manipulation is failing.
Don’t be a George (or a Georgina). Instead realize your worth and pray for God to send someone who will love God and you. Pray for and ready yourself for someone who will love you. Don’t settle for less and make sure that you are ready to handle more. Pray with faith and a will to change. It may take time, but trust that it will be worth it. Do not act prematurely after the inclinations of lust and your heart, but wait patiently seeking the wisdom of God and endurance. In this time that your feelings are being tested and you are warring against yourself, wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14) and hope in God (Psalm 42:5).
Now back to the analogy. How many of you have been in the shoes of Jen (both men and women)? I want to tell you that your shoes look almost the same as George’s shoes. The same advice goes to you. If someone loves you, but you don’t love them back, you don’t owe them your affections and you don’t owe them a chance, however, do not lead them on. Do not use them to comfort yourself because of your own heartbreak. If they express their love, do not be shy and do not change the subject. Don’t put off the truth. Tell them the truth. Let them know, “I don’t like you like that… I just don’t have the same feelings. It’s best for you to just move on.” After telling them this, don’t continue to lead them on. Put some distance between them and yourself and do whatever you can to be firm but loving and caring to your brother or sister in Christ. If they continue to pursue you after you tell them this, then it’s not your fault. They are hurting themselves and do not cave into your feelings of pity just to appease them. The best and most loving thing that you can do in this situation is to stick by your truth and continue to be honest and kind (doesn’t mean you have to be “nice” and passive about it, you can be firm and make sure that you are coming off as serious and leave no room for doubt).
Remember, you don’t owe them affection because of persistence. If you begin to change your mind because of genuine affection, then so be it. That’s fine, but do so at your own risk and by your own will. Do not feel forced to date anybody and don’t “experiment” or play with other people’s feelings. Now in regards to dating people that hurt you, whether it be because you seek a “thrill,” or you like being treated like that, or maybe you’re also being neglected and used by someone, or maybe it’s because of some psychological issue… I say that you should do the same as those in George’s shoes and that maybe you should see a psychologist or get some counseling (George is also not exempt from this). If you’re just looking for a “thrill,” then I warn you that living on the edge just makes it easier for you to fall off.
In this post, I give you one charge. This charge is to “know your worth and know what you’re worth.” For, “you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) Try for someone who understands this and who will be honest with you. Be aware of your decisions on who you want (and who you get), who you give your love to, and what you do. Do not give into sexual temptations and dishonor God in order to appease someone who you will be unequally yoked to and don’t give place for that person to hurt you or manipulate you and your feelings.
God bless you dear Reader and thank you for taking out the time to read this, Sincerely,