How I Survive The Gay Friend Zone

Again I’m using my old college buddy as a point of reference since some of the stuff he says and does makes me continually laugh because it’s so asinine but he doesn’t mind. Plus if he keeps this up, I’ll be able to one day write a great biopic or sketch comedy. It’s money either way so I’m game. Anyway, he tells me about an old friend of his that he secretly has been pining for since they first met and since his latest snafu in the love department he finally summoned up enough courage to tell her how he felt. Unfortunately, while she appreciated the gesture, she did not return the feelings and wanted to keep the relationship as is. He was distraught, and after he had gotten used to it (and after asking all of our friends about it every 5 minutes) we talked about the friend zone.

He has this mindset that the dreaded “friend zone” is the equivalent of being called an ugly troll that needs to take up residency at the most dank mossy bridge nearby. He asked why it stung like this and was their differences with gay men compared to his experiences with women and honestly through our comparisons we couldn’t find any major differences. He prefers to drink until he forgets her name while of course I have a different approach to when it happens with the guys I like and gently rejected by. So this is my survival guide to the gay friend zone and keep in mind this isn’t advice for you to live by just my own observations that I’ve learned that you might find hilarious.

Love yourself. 
I can’t stress that enough. Usually when people write the observations about their life the put their strongest argument last to drive their point home but I like being unique. This to me will always be the most important thing I tell myself daily. The good, bad, sometimes ugly aspects of who I am I have to love completely. It seems like the first thing we do is degrade ourselves to the lowest living form on Earth when placed in the friend zone. And I feel as gay men we do this so much more often because a lot of times we judge what we see. Try as much as you like to deny this but to an extent everyone is vain. Admitting that I believe is the first step in ensuring that it’s not the ONLY thing that attracts you to someone is their looks. I’ve second guessed myself to the point that I didnt like myself at times because despite my tall, fit, yet slender frame, I critique my body to what everyone else looks like too. I learned that loving my flaws first and foremost is one of the best things I could ever do for myself.

Laugh at the ridiculous situation. 
Really what can you do other laugh about it? The long winded awkward pauses whenever he says your name. The small “just because” surprises that you time out perfectly to make sure you don’t seem desperate or stalking his every move (having been stalked several times before, it’s not fun). How you eagerly will agree with every single thing he says even though you don’t agree at all and then show a passionate albeit very recent love for anything and everything he likes. Even algae farming becomes sexy to you (how embarrassing and possibly unhygienic) just to be near him. How you seethe at his mention of another guy he’s possibly interested in so much you potentially chipped a tooth then curse at yourself because that’s money going to a damn dentist instead of wooing the friend with silly poems in which you’re making absolutely no sense. All of this so that he’ll make this great connection that’ll lead to some great romance. It’s funny and kind of cute so laugh at yourself. It was one of the fastest ways I was able to move on.

Learn from these situations 
Another great thing I learned about these encounters other than how painfully awkward I am when I like someone is to be honest with myself when I start feeling this way. No point in hiding how I feel as it’s bound to surface eventually. Of course I’m not talking about some small crush. I’m talking about real feelings of not being able to stop thinking about them. Wanting to spend time with them, wondering if my ass looks perfect the next time we see each other. And if these feeling surface at the beginning of our friendship to let him know. Learn that it’s okay to feel that way and it’s okay that he doesn’t feel the same way.

Don’t get mad at the friend for putting you in the friend zone unless… 
Look it’s not their fault that they don’t have more amorous feelings of fires by log cabins, long walks on the beach or exchanging small trinkets of affection. Don’t take the actualy frustration of the situation out on the person. Being rejected is not fun. But if they’re your friend, appreciate that friend and don’t turn a potential life long relationship into a badly made angsty after school program because of the situation. I learned there are exceptions however. If you feel like it would be too hard for you to let go of your attraction then let them go. No need to repeatedly show up at their bedroom window blasting some cliched 80s montage (they’ll probably call the cops too). The other reason brings me to the next self tip…

Don’t let them use your feelings to their advantage 
Unfortunately it happens. The so called”friend” sees that they can get material stuff (food, clothes,car payments, real estate property) out of you since you’re in a vulnerable place and at that point, you’re willing to do just about anything to get them to see you in a more amorous light. It sucks but at the same time it’s the best way to weed out the shallow superficial douchebag who really wasn’t a friend to begin with.

Don’t Dwell 
It’s hard enough when you have to deal with unrequited love and it’s even worse when you see the person frequently. Listen to all the emo music to release the pain. Hell screech out some Bjork if the rhythm moves you but you’ve got to stop staying in this mode of black walls with spray painted poetry. Leave that for the Laugh Factory or guilt trips the next time you need money from the parentals not an all day every day situation.

Have Fun 
Rent a movie, hang out with friends, do some Jager while doing karaoke, ponder why Dane Cook even has a career in comedy. Whatever it was that you enjoyed outside of these affections for this friend. The point is simple. Do the things you love and that love will return. Make the effort, fake it until you make it applies so much in this situation.

Rinse and Repeat
It’s not going to dissipate overnight (God I wish it did) and I learned that it wasn’t just one thing and everything was back to normal. Again, of course things most likely won’t be the same after you’ve said how much you like the guy. So I kept doing all of the things I listed over and over until it wasn’t routine, it was how I really felt. Content. Hopeful. Status Quo (my quirky way of saying normal). The greatest victories are the long fought ones and I wholeheartedly believe this.

Take note that this is my fun guide and what’s helped me navigate this awkward thing called the friend zone in the gay world. All of these come from my own experience so when dealing with your own gay friend zone then make your own rules and boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable. Just wanted to share my unique and funny (well it is to me) perspective.

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4 thoughts on “How I Survive The Gay Friend Zone

  1. Cool entry, im 21 and just coming out of the closet (just 2 alive people know :P) and one person who is very open about being gay makes my hearth beat, unfortunately he has been around with a good number of men and he sees me like a kid (no real experience in a relationship either gay or straight) he soars with all his confidence and humor (damn i love his personality) so i took him to the movies and shared a good laugh, and some awsome cuddling, then i concentrated all my strenght and managed to whisper “i really like you”, he just kinda laughed, snuggled close to me and came very close for a kiss, but he stayed there, and i was utterly frozen (when i declared my feelings i could literally hear my own mouth talking by itself guided only by my subconcious) so just cuddled some more (should have gone for the kiss, i know) Then it was all cuddling and whispers in our ears, so i tought, everything is cool.

    After the movie i took him to a balcony in the mall where there was no one, and we spoke for a while i explained my feelings and my case of seriously boring closet life, he talked about his life as a wonderfull explorer of the world, and he hinted that he has shot down many guys that are after just sex, that he is tired of the one night stands but at the same time he told me he wants nothing for the moment (as in a relationship) So we talked and it was super cool to share my experiences as an homosexual with someone like me, we shared a cab (back in the closet because in my country and city being homosexual es very tabu, south mexico, go figure) we said goodbye and we both walked to our close by houses.

    Back in my house i went online and found him in fb, so we chatted some more and i told him something like “about what i told you, i dont know, think about it” and he responded ” jajaja you are crazy, you know that.
    But i really like you.i alredy told you i like you very much, but thats it n.n”

    Soo i feel like crap, today i saw him in school, we are in the same clasroom, both med students, we shared some laughs, i was really hyper just seeing him but tried to act as cool as posible, even tough i wanted to lift him up his gorgeus ass and sit him in my lap trough pediatric class lol.

    I could feel some tension (i am kind atractive but overweight, not really obese, and since i have been seeing him out of school i have put my mind into becoming better for me and him, i have lost 3 kilograms in 3 weeks (1 per week wich is like 6.61 pounds , wich is awsome taking into acount i have a high stress life, lots of activities and eat a hell lot, luckily i have a dog and run a lot with him) he makes me want to be better and thats one of the things i like the most.

    Soo when school was over we said our goodbyes and he huged me, thats not that special since he hugs everyone (cute mother fucker xD) but he lingered against my chest and breathed in my scent (i could hear and feel him wiff) so i gave him a one arm hug and leaned my head slightly in his hair (he is shorter than me and that is sexy too)

    Soo i dont know, i feel jealose because he has all this cool atention from a lot of guys, but in closet and out, and i feel like im fighting a lost battle, at the same time i have some hopes since we share lots of things in common, yet im afraid of all goin to hell with him, i could have him as a friend i guess, but then i would always try to grab his ass or dick in the movies or something.

    Pd, he is 20
    Any ideas? THX

    • Hi Festino I know how hard it can be when expressing emotions and feelings for someone else for the first time and I hope it all works out. The most important thing you can do for this situation and any other time you come across moment like this is be true to yourself. That means that no matter what his actions are and how evasive he may be to not let that alter who you are as a person, including your physical and emotional self. And I can’t say what the motivations are of your friend but don’t let whatever his feelings are stop you from growing as a person. Being honest takes strength and courage at any age. Always remember that. I write for back2stonewall.com and you may find more food for thought about what would be best for your current situation in the Opinion and Rants section of that website. Regardless of his feelings or lack thereof always know that you are worthy of someone who loves and appreciates you for who you are and even with the discretion you have to do because of your home you deserve someone who can express that to you at all times. So while you’re figuring all this out give yourself the time and space to make sure of your feelings. Best of luck to you and take care!

      • Thxs a lot for the reply, things are going so so, ill se him untill monday but im going to start coming out with my friends, later my family. I have one question, should i search for more love from him, or take my leave, find other guys and forget about that, its so hard, im not usually dramatic but for the first time in my life i think im in love : P.

  2. Ugh, I just got friend-zoned yesterday. I’ve had a crush on this guy at the grocery store for 6 months. We finally crossed paths in a worker-customer way, and I asked to give him my number. We start texting and get to know one another, find out he’s 10 years younger than me. But there’s a lot of sexual tension. Unfortunately, neither of us have a car and live on opposite sides of the city and both sleep on couches (I know my life sucks). I saw him at work a couple more times, he set out days to hang out, then the day comes around and he cancels on me or doesn’t hit me up. I’ve told him I want to be his boyfriend several times, even though I assumed he would be unready for commitment since he’s 20. The last time I saw him, I asked him to be my Valentine, he said yes and wanted to hang out before, a week goes by and I don’t hear from him. I was beginning to feel bad about him cancelling on me, when I would follow up, so I left it in his court. Yesterday, I hit him up to make plans for Valentines, he tells me he’s working that day, and then drops a bomb that he thinks of me as a brother and he’s trying to get back with his boyfriend. When I would see him at work, there was so much sexual tension between us a passerby could’ve gotten pregnant. He said he adores the friendship we’re building and that we should hang out and that I need to come around more. I don’t know what to do. I’m not ready to shuffle into the friendzone, I’m still depressed over this, but I don’t want to scare him away. The only reason I would move into a friendship would be in case things go sour between him and his rekindled boyfriend, and ‘ta-dah, here I am’. Otherwise, I don’t think hanging out with him when I clearly want to have sex and date him, would be respectful to his boyfriend. However, I think he’s trying to be polite so I don’t cause a scene at his work, and will drift quietly into the oblivion and be forgotten. Basically, if I don’t stay in contact with him, I’ll never hear from him. He’s very forgetful as it is. He’s stopped texting me on his own after the first couple weeks, and now only replies to my messages here and there. #NotReadyToLetGo

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