Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tales From The Friend Zone

    Advice from experienced writers to beginning writers: "Write what you know about". I know about the friend zone. At first, upon arriving here on several occasions I accepted that I wasn't being dismissed out of hand but held in some degree of reserve, perhaps. As time passed and seniority in The Zone grew, it became easier to see that it was in fact a kind of dismissal to a special purgatory. However, on closer examination I discovered I had misread the sign over the door. It wasn't purgatory at all. The sign over the door said Welcome to HELL.

    Alas, even in a state of grace, I wasn't given an opportunity to expiate my sins whatever they might have been. It became imperative for me to discover what wrongs I might have committed which put me in this despicable, forlorn place with no hope for expiation. The first one was easy. I had lived long enough to become too old for consideration as a viable alternative for any candidates out there. No expiation warranted or possible there. It was the natural flow of life.

    The next one was a bit more elusive since it seemed to contradict everything I thought I knew. Thanks to some postings on Facebook, I began seeing some of the misguided notions I was laboring under, such as "The Right Way to Kiss a Girl: Push her up against a wall, hold her arms above her head and kiss her like you mean it!"

    Well that kind of throws the old "sugar and spice and everything nice" out the window. Pushing her against the wall sounds mildly like assault. Hold her arms above her head sounds like borderline restraint. Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart could do that and it would have been romantic, I guess, but a woman who appreciates that kind of approach is definitely not going to consider a kiss meaningful if it's initiated with gentleness. Live and learn.

    As far as the age thing, that's probably the first, unchangeable item that gets me thrown into the friend zone dungeon. I'm not a violent person but the next time someone tells me that age is only a number or that you're only as old as you feel they'd better be prepared for a denunciation the likes of which they have never before experienced.

    Another volunteered gem coming my way from time to time is to look for someone my own age. Logical you think. Well the fact is for me I don't care about the numbers. I do care about appeal. If the appeal, the magic, that indefinable spark is there, the age doesn't matter. In reality though the only women I've met close to my age all seem much older than their numbers might say. I live, act and feel 20 years younger than I am which makes them too old for me. And the spark is not there.

    Still another gem is to "be happy". Duh. Flip a switch and choose 'happy' mode, eh? Or do what you like to do. Of course. What I'm happy doing is sharing and being half of a couple. Any other activity is a time-filling substitute, sometimes enjoyable, sometimes less so but it's kind of hard to be a couple when you're only one. It's like telling 6 eggs to go forth and be a dozen. Don't invite too many people to breakfast. I try to maintain a positive outlook but self-delusion is not in my repertoire.

    In a previous blog entry I spoke of seeing so-called Bad Boys making all the headway. I jokingly talked about taking a night course on how to become a 'Bad Boy'. Of course I was kidding. There's no bad boy in me. Some of the ones I've seen in operation are obnoxious jerks and it's easy for me to believe that the women who respond to that don't possess the depth of character that I hope to find in a significant other.

    So, what's the answer? The answer is, there is no answer. What to do? Keep on keeping on just like I've been doing. Tomorrow's another day. Maybe the sun will rise.
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  1. You raise some good points with this - there are a lot of bits of advice 'out there' that I term "nice in theory", but don't hold up all too well in practice - borderline assault as a 'romantic gesture' is one of them. It's a nice fantasy, but in reality it's ouchy!

    As for the 'bad boy' attraction - another "nice in theory" if you've never experienced that in your life - but in reality it also is pretty ouchy. As for women who seem to be drawn over and over again to the abusive type - it usually indicates they have unresolved issues with their more-than-likely abusive childhood, rather than lacking a "depth of character".

    They are more in need of a good therapist than a significant other, and only someone with the patience of a saint and a tolerance for long, protracted years of drama would have even a sliver of hope of surviving with sanity intact after taking such a fixer-upper on.

    Compatibility is more rare than people think, once you dig under the surface commonalities. Once the initial "chemistry" has faded, is there anything left to survive the rest of a life together? It really is important to find a relationship that allows both parties to change and grow.'ve brought to mind many things to ponder with this one. Thank you.

  2. Lara, thanks for your comments. I spent more than 30 years in a sexless friendship with a woman (she didn't want sex with anyone, I didn't want sex with her) in which the frequent companionship served as an acceptable (most of the time) substitute for an intimate relationship with a more significant other. That companionability became toxic a couple years ago - not inimical but much less rewarding. My re-entry to the dating scene has been less than joyous though I remain hopeful. I am flexible and capable of change but I will never be phony. I refuse to be untrue to myself.