“but what if i lose the friendship?”

i get this question a lot.  “what if i tell my friend that my feelings are deeper?”  “what if i ask her out and she says no?”  “what if i lose the friendship?”

my answer:

so what if you do?

sharideth, you are an insensitive and terrible person.  i hope you burn to death.


but seriously, so what if you do?  if a friendship can’t survive that kind of honesty, it’s not much of a friendship. and since we’re on the subject of honesty (by we, i mean me), let’s talk about why the two of you are friends in the first place.  sometimes it’s an organic circumstance that makes you friends.  and sometimes it’s because one of you thought the other one was hot and started the process of getting to know each other.  then the friend zone happens.

whether you are a boy or a girl, you stay in friendships where your feelings are not reciprocated out of fear.  you continue to stay attached to someone who isn’t going to ever be more than your friend and you pine from anear because to do otherwise scares the crap out of you.

knock it off.

sometimes it works out and the friendship becomes something else, something more.

and sometimes it doesn’t.

the point is, you can’t stay that close to someone, who is a friend of the opposite sex, when you do end up finding someone else.  and it’s a whole lot harder to find someone else when you have welded yourself to a friend. 

it’s really pretty simple.  fish or cut it the frick out.  also, i’m not any good at sayings.

i’m not going to rehash the whole can men and women be just friends.  the answer is, there is no answer.  or all the answers.  whatever.

but here is some truth i am going to cram down your necks.  so hold on to your butts, because i’m going to get brutal.

guys, if you are stuck in the friend zone with a girl you really like, grow a pair.  ask her out or move on.  stop staying safe in your comfortable yet soul crushing friendship.  man up.  be someone your “friend” can respect by walking away.

girls, tell him how you feel or stop hanging out.  while you are pining away in the friend zone, you are keeping yourself oblivious to all others that might actually want to date you.  stop being pathetic.

oh sharideth, you’ve gone too far.  now you’re just insulting people and getting hostile.

yep.  indeed i am.  why?  because people who live in fear of losing a friendship also lived paralyzed emotionally.  and i’m going to kick them where it hurts until they start to see some reality.

safe is lonely.

friendship is to dating, what dating is to marriage.  the trial period.

stop limiting yourself.

guys, for more on picking the lock on the friend box you’re in, read an open letter to nice guys.

girls, find your pride, it’s probably in the same place as your spine, and move on.  he’ll realize he missed out and run you down or he won’t.  either way, you’ll be free.

anybody going through this right now?

how much of a jerk am i?


36 comments on ““but what if i lose the friendship?”

  1. visitingmissouri says:

    Not going through this.
    ‘So he doesn’t get to talk’.
    You’re a jerk, but a rare one. I wonder how many friends you have left, but I know friends like you are worth having. People tend to be insulted by your attitude, but will not likely tell you you’re wrong. Because you’re not. You’re honest in a way that they cannot frame in a way that suits themself, which is a kind of honest that takes balls.

  2. Brian says:

    I remember I asked you this question last year. The truth all came out between her and I about five months ago. She wasn’t romantically interested in me. Guess what, we’re still friends. It’s more comfortable for us to hang out now than it was before everything was revealed.

    • Abby says:

      As someone who has been on the other side (the friend without romantic feelings), I agree that most healthy friendships will improve and be “more comfortable” with an honest conversation when a situation like this comes up. (Even when it eventually means spending less time together as you both move on.)

      Granted, ours was the possibly most awkward and embarassing (for me) discussion I have ever had with a friend, but it was worth the temporary discomfort because we resolved the romantic issue and retained an eleven-year friendship. One lesson I learned is that, no matter which role you have, it is still better to take the responsibility to initiate that conversation instead of not having it… or letting it come up accidentally.

      If you couldn’t tell, I am the friend Brian mentioned.

    • i remember. so glad it worked out for both of you.

  3. Jacquelyn says:

    You’re such a badass Sharideth. Love this post. I was that pathetic girl who was friend-zoned for years. Finally got tired of it and he didn’t chase me down. Hurray for reality checks! Love your advice, I can now say that I am much better at knowing what a real friendship looks like with a guy and how to stay away from what me and my friends call “romships” or “friendmances.”

  4. ThatGuyKC says:

    Sharideth you make me laugh and shout “hell yeah!”

    I was that “nice guy” in high school and college who always got stuck in the friend zone and rarely dated. It sucked.

    Senior year I finally said “screw it!” and started asking out girls for movie/coffee/dinner/ice cream. Guess what? I got to go out on a lot of fun dates with some cool girls. AND I met my hot wife and have been happily married nearly 6 years.

    Bring on the candid shots of brutal honesty. You should write a book or have a magazine/newspaper column.

    • Bethany says:

      I wish I could post this all over my old college campus. All these guys who whine during their senior year about how they never got a girlfriend!

      But, um… did you ever ask anyone out? No? What’s that? You just awkwardly hung around while the girl waited for you to be a man and make your move? Well, then, let’s take an hour or two to figure out why you never had a date! (Not that I’m bitter or anything….)

  5. Casey says:

    I did that: told the guy I liked him, that he was sending signals to others that we were dating when we weren’t (and thereby driving off guys who were possibly interested in me and girls interested in him) and he had to either ask me out or back the hell off. By putting his arm around me, paying attention to only me when I was in the room, ordering for me when the church group went out to dinner…basically, my heart was all over the place, and it sucked.

    He was honest, said he had no idea how often people assumed we were dating, and while he wasn’t interested in more, he would make an effort to ensure that we had boundary lines firmly established. We talked, and our friendship is just fine. We still are both heavily involved in church, we hang out in groups, we still have coffee… It was awkward, but our friendship is so much healthier now that 6 months ago.

    I thinks it’s better to risk rejection than live in confusion. Great post, I enjoyed it (even if I might have wanted to burn you at the stake for suggesting it 9 months ago.)

  6. Andrea says:

    Sharideth you are not mean. You have hit the nail on the head as far as I am concerned. I really have come to think “the friend zone” is a make-believe place, like Santa’s workshop. It may just have been created by the person who won’t except that the person they are interested in has not reciprocated… I had a wonderful co-worker help me with this, she said “Andrea, sh*t or get off the pot. If he is interested than great, but if he isn’t he’ll be a gracious friend about it. If he isn’t gracious about letting you down than you need to re-evaluate y’all’s friendship…” When this finally sunk in and he was gracious about it, our friendship stayed in place.

    Now when I say friendship it was just that. We hung out with a group, talked or would text every now and then but that was all. We were not trying to be each others’ best-friend… That’s where the difference was. When that stopped and the friendship evolved, things became easier and more relaxed, and I realized how great of a relationship we really had.

    The term “friend zone” didn’t even occur to me until years later and not about the before mentioned relationship, but one(that belonged to my friend) that was a source of aggravation because he wouldn’t move on.

  7. Tyler Smith says:

    “hold on to your butts”


  8. Lizzie92 says:

    Sharideth, you’re awesome! I’m going through this right now, and your completely right. Lonely is miserable!!!! I’ve been pining away over a guy and it sucks… big time! Thanks for the wake up call!!

  9. Steph says:

    truth hurts, but the alternative is so much worse.

    Not there currently, but I’ve been there. It took me some time to suck it up and just be honest, but I don’t ever regret it.

  10. JennyBean says:

    Is it OK that I kind of LOVE YOU for your brutal honesty? 🙂

    I would love to have more friends like you in my life! Leave the sugarcoating at the door, please!

  11. JBen says:

    You are not a jerk. you are totally right on this one.

    You will lose the friendship eventually. You might as well do it asking her or him out rather than kicking yourself when they start dating someone else.

  12. Lynne says:

    I came to a realization of this last fall about a friend that I had been in love with for something like four or five years. I had told him the truth early on, but I never got over him, and it was hard watching him date a lot of women who were wrong for him (three of the four decided they were lesbians). I even dated another guy for a couple months at one point, but still wanted to be with my friend. Funnily enough, it was a Greek myth that brought me to my senses: Echo and Narcissus (the Ted Hughes adaptation is wonderful). I realized that I needed to stop being afraid of letting go of the friendship, because I was only going to wither and fade away like Echo if I let his presence consume my heart.

    I’ve wanted to tell him that I needed to either hear a different answer from him or stop hanging out, but I haven’t seen him face-to-face in months and I hate doing that kind of stuff over the phone or the internet. And since last fall, he started dating his ex-girlfriend again. He hasn’t made much of an effort to contact me other than to say that he misses hanging out, but he doesn’t try to actually to anything together.

    To conclude, I’m grateful for the good things that his friendship brought me, but I’m better off without him.

  13. Amanda says:

    I really like you and your giant balls, Sharideth.
    Figuratively speaking, of course.

  14. Regan says:

    Yeah… i had a friend that I had a romantic interest in for years. And he would flirt with me just enough that I thought there might be a possibility. He even took me out a couple of times, but never on an official “date.” Finally I decided to let him go and stop letting him play me like that. I moved on to guys that actually want to date me and don’t have any trouble telling me they do. So help me, I do not want to be with a man who can’t man up and be a man. Plus, I don’t want to have to propose. 😛

  15. sarah says:

    you sound like my counselor 🙂 who is helping me greatly, by the by. i’m gonna have to start reading your blog more.

  16. Jenn says:

    You’re not a jerk Sharideth – you’re awesome. And I also want to say that if you’re really good friends, the friendship will survive a declaration of intent – sure it might look different and may take some time but seriously if it’s that awesome of a friendship it can still work. So you really have nothing to lose.

    I will also add to the men – if you chose to stay in the friend zone because you’re lazy and fall into some kind of pseudo dating relationship – that will do serious damage to your credibility and future dating potential. Because remember women talk and a woman strung along is almost as bad if not worse than a woman scorned.

  17. […] the wonderfully humorous and helpful A Woman’s Guide to Women: A Blog for Men posted on this issue in a much more clear and concise, frank and insistent manner. And reading it, I’m pretty sure […]

  18. asoulwalker says:

    You are not a jerk at all… well, if you are it has nothing to do with this post anyways. This is so true and unfortunately culturally relevant. I was a nice guy once… and while I do not enjoy being mean… I don’t really miss being a “nice guy.” I was in the friend zone before and had girls in my friend zone as well (I can be pretty clueless concerning things right in front of my face). I don’t really miss those times. I now firmly believe that if you have to have a “DTR” you (as a man, anyways) did not do something right. You can only have so many friends and people enter into your life for different lengths of time… it’s best to try and make peace with that.

  19. Jessica says:

    Right on! I wish someone would have been screaming this at me when I was younger! Who am I kidding? I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway! I’m all about being pro-active. If I like you and you don’t like me, don’t waste my time! Move on! I sure won’t waste yours.

  20. My husband totally broke through the Friend Zone and I was like OMG FINALLY.

    I really liked being his friend, and was a little bit in love with him, but there was also another boy who was a little bit in love with me, which was cool, but then HE was like, hey let’s be more than friends, and I was like, HECK YES, PEACE OUT, OTHER DUDE.

    And then I wrote ALL about it in my diary.

  21. […] you stuck on your best friend romantically?  then read this and handle it. tell your friends:TwitterFacebookEmailStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  22. […] for more on this, feel free to spend 3 minutes on “but what if i lose the friendship?” […]

  23. […] written about how to get out of the friend zone here and here, but realized i haven’t much considered the “why” of the whole […]

  24. nmal says:

    Thank you so much, good advice finally, i had recently made friends with a girl i liked because she flirted with me. After that event, i managed to get with her one night. The day after she friendzoned me (obv because im a nice guy) and she used the excuse that she’s not attracted to me and only sees me as a friend, which is bull. I can only update by saying that, that ‘friendship’ will end the next time she talks to me.. or flourish into a relationship.. who knows.

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