I was talking with The Brother Of My Heart the other day about The Infamous Friend Zone.
Everyone out there refers to this emotional space as if it’s some kind of relationship purgatory, when in fact, it’s just the opposite.
Let me tell what The Friend Zone is in My Life and what the relationships who live there mean to me.
I have many friendships with men. Some spanning decades — at some point in time I began to look upon these relationships with more trust and more currency than I placed in nearly every romantic coupling.
I can’t tell you at what point in time the men in The Friend Zone became Family — My Brothers — but that is what most of them have evolved into. A brotherhood of kind, good, dependable Humans who love me just as I am.
And that is fucking huge.
They are men who will bring me food when I’m sick. They take my bike for me and keep it in their basement in the winter. They come when I call — to help me unfasten rusted bolts on my toilet tank or change smoke detector batteries in the 9-foot ceiling in my bedroom when I can’t make my folding ladder work.
They take me on motorcycle rides. Oddly enough — nearly all of them ride. They take my phone calls at three am and assure me — This too shall pass — whatever This might be.
They show up when the worst that can happen has happened and they hold me until I feel like Real Ann again.
I know they would post my bail or stand by me through chemo. I can’t say that about most of my romantic endeavors.
They tell me they love me and they spend time with me with no expectations other than knowing we will have a good time in each other’s company.
We drink together. We eat together. We listen to music together. We talk and solve the world’s mysteries together.
They listen to me and I listen to them. We share thoughts and hugs and kisses and deep affection.
Like the best of siblings do — without the history of family drama or trauma to mar our relationships.
There is no blood bond between us. We have chosen each other and placed each other into The Friend Zone.
One of my very good friends and I met on a blind date. Shortly after the date — he asked me if I would mind if we were ‘just friends’? I replied, “Of course not! You are an awesome Human — why wouldn’t I want to be your friend?” Several romantic relationships later — for both of us — we are still in each other’s lives. Still supporting each other. Still there for each other. Still Friends.
I have my First Guy Friend. We found each other shortly after my mother’s death. He has been there through All. The. Things. in my teenage angst — my kids growing up, my divorce, to My Now. He and his wife live closer to me these days. I can drive to visit them instead of taking a plane. Once they get settled in — that’s exactly what I plan to do.
The Secret Magic in The Friend Zone — I have discovered — is this: when you spend time with your friends there are no expectations for ‘more’. You can be yourself and that is enough. You are not auditioning for a position in The Man’s Life as a girlfriend, lover, or wife. Time spent together is not an interview.
This is a Gift of enormous proportions.
You are together to enjoy each other’s company. You are there to enjoy the activity you are engaged in. You are there to enjoy just being your own true self.
Both of you.
Remember to appreciate The Gift of The Friend Zone should it ever be offered to you. It is a Safe Space with so much potential. The relationships there can enrich Your Life and bring you Joy.
I feel so very blessed and grateful for all My Brothers who honor me by sharing Their Friend Zone.