The Friendzone

Author Shelby Otto has launched a new column, Life by Shelby, for West Orlando News readers! Feel free to send in topics or situations you would like Shelby to cover and she’ll offer honest personal advice!

Happy Friday everyone! This week I want to talk to you about a particularly touchy subject that most of us experience in our lives: the friendzone.

Now whether you’ve banished someone into the dark abyss that is the cage of the friendzone, or you’ve been kicked there yourself, you know that it is a special kind of heartache to endure. When I was in high school, I actually found myself caught in a friendzone triangle. My best friend and I had a male friend that we would hang out with almost every weekend. We had some of the best times together, until the teenage hormones kicked in and the platonic nature of our friendship became unbalanced. Our friend had a major crush on my best friend, and I had a major crush on him. I watched her friendzone him, and in turn he friendzoned me. We all survived and moved on, but I learned a lot about how to keep a friendship alive even if feelings develop. I’m going to share those tips with you today.

Be respectful of your friend’s feelings.

This tip goes for both sides of a friendzoned relationship. If you are the one catching the feelings and your friend isn’t receptive to the idea, you need to respect that decision. On the other side of things, if your friend has feelings for you and you don’t feel the same way, don’t shove it in their face. A good friendship is a sacred thing. You know their quirks and their habits and you still choose to hang out with them. It’s like looking at a terrifying and dangerous mountain and thinking, “well, it doesn’t look safe, but I still want to try to climb it.” Being friendzoned is like starting that climb and losing your foothold. Your friend can help you up the mountain and regain trust, or you fall to the death of that friendship. By respecting the feelings of both parties involved, you can continue with the beautiful relationship you’ve already built. Don’t push someone into feeling something that they clearly do not.

Do not sabotage their relationships.

So you’ve gotten past the fact that you’ve been friendzoned, and you’re starting to recover from the heartbreak. The next curveball comes when that friend starts to date other people who aren’t you. In your head, you’ve already decided that this person is not right for your friend. You may think that they have nothing in common like the two of you do, or they don’t treat your friend like you think they deserve to be treated. You are more than welcome to express this to your friend, but don’t you dare even think about sabotaging their relationship for your own personal gain. Being a good friend involves support and trust, which you will lose if Billy finds out that you started a rumor that his girlfriend is cheating on him. If their relationship is not meant to be, just be patient and let the chips fall where they may.

Life isn’t like the movies. Don’t sacrifice your own happiness by waiting around forever.

We see it all the time in the movies, the best friend that’s madly in love but the other friend doesn’t see it until the end right before the credits roll and an upbeat song tells you that it’s a happy and realistic ending. Real life doesn’t always work this way. Sure there are some special cases where the other friend really does make this realization and they live happily ever after, but don’t wait around forever for that to happen. You can’t sacrifice your own happiness by sitting around watching your friend be happy with a multitude of other people. Get out there and go on some dates, test the waters and just maybe you’ll find someone who is even better for you than the friend you thought was your soulmate.

Please email me at if you’d like some sincere advice on the current dilemma in your life! Or you can send an anonymous submission directly through our WON contact form and reference the Life by Shelby column.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.