Tag Archives: life

My thoughts on the Myth of the FriendZone

So, say you’re a guy and you like some girl and you express your like for her and she responds with, “I’d rather just be friends.”

Uh-oh.  You just got FriendZoned!

Or, maybe not.  I’ve been thinking about this the last couple of days because I hear/read complaints about it fairly often.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the FriendZone doesn’t actually exist.

It seems that being FriendZoned equates to one of two things.

Take Scenario A:

You’re a guy and you like your friend Julie.  You and Julie aren’t super close, but you know her well enough to know that you’d like to go out with her.  You ask her out and she turns you down, adding, “I really like you as a friend.” You have been:

a. FriendZoned.
b. rejected.
c. none of the above. If I keep trying really hard, Julie will finally realize she’s interested in me romantically.

If you answered b. rejected, you’re correct! I know it’s hard to admit and sometimes difficult to handle, but Julie has not, in fact, put you in some sort of undefined social Zone that exists to torture you and you alone.  She has been honest with you; she isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with you and that’s that.

Now, I can’t speak for all women, but I can say that when I’ve said this to guys it’s been because they expressed romantic interest in me and I wasn’t interested for whatever reason and wanted to break the news in a nice way.  It wasn’t because I wanted the guy to act like one of my female friends or because I’m just cold-hearted and didn’t appreciate how nice he’d been to me or whatever.  (Sidenote: if you’re nice to someone with the expectation that being nice will eventually earn you the right to demand their romantic affection, you’re doing it wrong.) I think this may be where the disconnect lies in these scenarios: the woman doesn’t want the guy to think she’s rejecting him as a person or that she thinks he’s a loser or something, and she can’t give him what he wants, so she offers the best thing she can give him, which is friendship.  She’s being honest, but tries to spin it toward something positive.

At this point, the best thing for you to do is to put that hope for romance with her to rest.  If you can remain friends with Julie without a huge amount of discomfort to yourself, please do.  If you find that you need some distance from her, you should communicate that.  It’s really terrible and confusing to the other person if you just slowly creep away from the friendship when they didn’t do anything other than express their feelings honestly.

Scenario B:

You’re a guy and you’re really close with Lauren.  She texts you all the time, tells you about all of her problems, has you drive her places, etc.  You wouldn’t normally do all of those things with such consistency for someone, but you like Lauren and you want to do things for her.

It takes a few months…years…decades, but you finally mention to Lauren that you’d like to date her.  She responds with, “Oh, but I just like being friends with you!” What does your relationship consist of?

a. all I can see around me is…The FriendZone.
b. absolutely no understanding of boundaries, terrible communication, and a woman who (probably unwittingly) thinks she can have all the benefits of a boyfriend without the commitment and affection.
c. none of the above. If I keep on doing everything she wants, she’ll eventually fall in love with me. She has to.

Once again, b is the answer. (Though I did touch on c briefly above, let me say it again: you should be nice to people in general. You should not be nice to someone in order to try to earn the right to their affection. That’s less being nice and more heinously manipulative.  This goes for both genders.)

Okay, first of all, communication is key always and forever.  If you thought Lauren was interested in you because of something she did or said, it’d be good to bring that up.  You can even use fancy phrases like “mixed signals” to drive the point home.  This gives Lauren a chance to explain her point of view concerning the situation.

Second of all, if you’re doing a bunch of stuff you generally reserve for a girlfriend…even if that “stuff” is something as simple as seeing Lauren multiple times a week, it’s probably time to explain that, too so that boundaries can be set up.  You don’t have to say, “I only do this for someone I’m dating,” but be honest about what boundaries you need to set up for yourself so that your relationship is clearly defined.

And, to the Laurens out there: if you’re using a guy as a fill-in for a boyfriend, stop it.  It’s confusing for both parties and is an abuse of the friendship in general.  Guy friends aren’t the same as your best female friends and they certainly aren’t just like a boyfriend without the commitment.

To sum up: using the term “FriendZone” to describe any guy who has unrequited affection toward a girl who wants to remain friends is skirting the issues at hand. In my experience, said guy needs to accept the rejection that he’s been handed or both parties need to strive toward clearer communication and healthy boundaries within their friendship. I’d really love for the term to go away completely, but as it won’t, I think I may just start calling people out for using it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this issue.  I’d love to hear yours as well.  Do you have a different definition of FriendZone? Is there an area that I’ve gotten totally wrong or that I need a different perspective on? If you think so, comment away!


Re: Trayvon Martin and the American judicial system

Okay, so here’s the deal: I often write notes before my current-event-related posts to the effect of, “I don’t like writing about politics, but the one thing burned my biscuits so badly that I need to write a blog post about it.” or whatever.  I have realized this isn’t exactly true, and thus there will be no more caveats of that nature.

So, having said that…let’s talk about this Martin/Zimmerman fiasco.

I’m not going to tell you my opinion on this issue as it truly, truly doesn’t matter.  What I do want to comment on is the apparent misunderstanding about how the American system of trial by jury works.

Juries exist to decide if, based on presented evidence, a person is guilty of the crime(s) with which they are being charged.  They do not exist to exact vengeance upon someone, nor to force their own moral standards on the rest of the court.  Their one job is to make a decision concerning the evidence given and criminal charges.

In the United States, in case you were unaware or conveniently forgot, those being charged are innocent until proven guilty.  This means that the burden of proof falls on the prosecution.  In this case, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter (source).  That means that, unless the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had approached Martin with the intent to harm or kill him, he would be considered innocent of the crimes with which he was charged.

No one has questioned that Zimmerman killed Martin.  In fact, Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin.  He claimed self-defense, the prosecution claimed otherwise.  The prosecution was then responsible to prove that he killed Martin maliciously rather than in defense.

The jury had to decide whether Zimmerman was guilt of the charges the prosecution laid against him.  They were not deciding if Zimmerman had killed Martin, if Zimmerman was racist, or if Zimmerman deserved the punishment that would be given presuming he was found guilty.  They were deciding if, considering the evidence provided to them, there was reasonable doubt concerning the allegation of second-degree murder and manslaughter.  Apparently, there was.

So, please stop picking on the jury.  Stop picking on the court.  I don’t know what happened to Trayvon Martin that night and I have no idea if Zimmerman had malicious intent.  But, what I do know is that, using the system that our government has provided for us, the jury made a decision based on the evidence was given.  And that’s all that can be asked of them.


Reflections on the difficulties of making friends of the opposite sex

Over the years I have, quite frankly, had very few healthy friendships with men. I’ve realized that this is a problem recently and have been attempting to fix that as best as I can.  I know it’s important to have friends of both genders, and I quite enjoy the company of my Christian brothers, so it is something I’m actively working on.

I’ve run into some road bumps though, and I think I can explain why.

In some groups at my age, there seems to be this unspoken awkwardness surrounding guy/girl friendships.  People like to question whether they’re a couple, which is reasonable, I suppose, but it tends to make everyone involved mildly self-conscious about the entire friendship.  The main problems I see, however, aren’t with outsiders questioning the motives of the friends, but with the attitudes about duel-gender friendships themselves.

First off, a lot of women seem to have trouble with thinking that an afternoon coffee with a guy means he’s interested in some sort of romantic relationship.  This, quite frankly, is stupid.  I feel I can say it because I’ve been that woman in the past.  It’s also a tad insulting to both the woman and the man involved because the assumption is then, “He could not possibly be interested in a friendship with me; he must only be interested in what I can give him.” I think it’s best to assume friendship unless intentions are stated as something other than friendship.

Now, on that note, guys: one of the reasons women have issues with this mindset is because of a horrid practice I like to call Sneak-Attack Dating.  For the love of your integrity, if you want to take a woman out on a date, take her out on a date. If you are interested in a friendship, communicate that.  But do not under any circumstances try to trick a woman into dating you using the guise of friendship. It’s completely dishonest and puts us in an incredibly awkward position.  Just don’t do it.  I understand it’s hard and scary and the possibility of rejection is a tough thing to handle.  But, I feel pretty safe in saying that, even if the Lady of Your Dreams returns the sentiment, starting off the relationship with deception is never, ever the way to go.

I really think that these two factors cause awkwardness when it comes to making friends with the opposite sex…at least at my age.  In my speculation, the guys who would rather stay friends are somewhat skittish when it comes to interacting with women because they’re afraid the women will think they’re interested in them romantically, which is probably somewhat true, but partially because of some other guy who Sneak Attacked them…it’s kind of a muddled mess, and I don’t really have much of a solution.

My conclusion may be totally wrong, but this is what I’ve observed thus far.  If you have any other input, I’d like to hear it and discuss it. I’m trying to integrate friendships with people of both genders into my daily life because I do enjoy the company of and want the input of my brothers in Christ.  I’m not totally sure of the least-awkward way of doing this, but I am trying.

Have you ever had issues with forming friendships with the opposite sex?


Regarding the issue surrounding the Wendy Davis debacle (AKA abortion and women’s rights)

I am very hesitant to post this as I’m not fond of entering into Internet debates about any topic, particularly political ones.  However, I think it’s time to discuss this issue frankly.  I’m quite certain most of the feedback I receive for this will be negative, but that’s okay.

Since 2010, I have been a part of a growing Internet subculture called the Nerdfighters. Nerdfighter groups are made up of loyal viewers of the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. (For those who don’t know, Nerdfighters don’t fight nerds; they fight for nerds and for awesome.)  I watch the vlogbrothers and several other YouTube channels run by Nerdfighters because I find most of them funny and insightful.

I will admit that Nerdfighters are, generally speaking, liberal in their political leanings.  There are a few of us who are conservative, but we are vastly outnumbered.  As a result of this slant toward the left, I have been exposed to far more positive commentary on this whole Wendy Davis filibuster thing than I would have been exposed to prior to joining this group.  I am glad to have been privy to the thoughts of those whose view is different than mine.  But, it’s time to address some things.

When it comes to women’s rights and abortion, particularly regarding the Wendy Davis debacle, the attitude that I have seen displayed by those who lean to the left is that there are Those For Women’s Rights (which includes, but is not limited to, being pro-abortion to some extent) and Scumbags Who Want to Oppress Women and that’s it; you fit into one of those groups.

As you can imagine, this makes life quite awkward for those of us Texan women (and non-Texan women) who are anti-abortion.  Personally, it feels as if I’m opposed to my own gender, even though I know there are millions of women who hold similar values across the nation.  When one divides the abortion issue into Women’s Rights and The Opposition, it makes it sound as if The Opposition hates women and just wants to oppress them for all eternity.

Let me first say this: while I’m sure a few hold that idea, by-and-large, this is not true.

When this topic is broken down into Pro-Women and Anti-Women camps, it is skirting the actual issue at hand and insulting a large portion of the population in the process.  There is no reason not to address what is actually going on rather than sweeping it all under the broad title of Women’s Rights and washing our hands of it.  This debate is far more complex than that.

It’s time to call a spade a spade.  The fact is, most anti-abortion advocates don’t want government regulation concerning what women do with their own bodies.  This is not, in fact, an issue of women’s rights but of semantics.  The main area in which we differ with those who want access to abortion is on the definition of where the woman’s body ends and a child’s begins.  We don’t differ on how women should be treated or what rights they should have…just on where their bodies stop and another person’s starts.

I’m for women being treated equally as men.  I’m for women’s rights.  But I am opposed to abortion, and I’m incredibly irritated by those who act as if those of us who are anti-abortion are also anti-women. It’s not true and it’s an uneducated, dangerous, and offensive misconception.

I look forward to reading insightful comments, but please know I personally will not be engaging in debates beyond the scope of this very limited post.  


Morning thought (short and sweet)

When I deviate from my natural tendency to complain about life’s circumstances to friends who no doubt sympathize and care and instead go first to the Lord with my troubles, I am faced with the disgusting reality than my usual behavior is that of passive aggression and that my complaints assault the very character of God.  When forced to lob the whines, the wonderings, and the questions of why things are the way they are at the very Lord who created and currently sustains all creation, has orchestrated my brothers’ and sisters’ and my own sanctification in a way that most glorifies Him, and has, most of all, saved me from my own wretched state of being, I realize just how absurd my petty concerns can be and how gracious God truly is.


Traffic musing

I’m not sure if those of you who tailgate drivers who you believe to be driving too slowly realize this, but those of us who are willing to remain stubbornly at the speed limit aren’t going to be intimidated by someone creeping up way too close to our cars. In fact, we are the type of people who will plot out ways to (safely) drive incrementally slower. Just to drive you mad.

Takeaway: just go around us. Seriously.


An all-too typical response to personal tragedy

I’ve noticed through my 25 long years on this earth that, when faced with the tragic happenings in my own or a loved one’s life, many people respond with some variant of “Well, someone out there has is worse off.”  I haven’t experienced this terribly recently, but I do know that this sort of remark is not helpful in the least.  I’d like to explain why for those who still tend to use this response.

1. It does not point to Christ.  First and foremost, this response encourages the comparison of one life to another.  It doesn’t look to God for comfort but rather explores how the wounded person’s life is somehow better than another person’s.  This is like some sort of convoluted, reverse envy and it doesn’t encourage one to look to Christ in the midst of pain.  It only encourages a glance around at others to compare and contrast woes.

2. It completely invalidates real emotions.  This removes the opportunity to point to Christ as well.  Emotions, from my understanding of them, aren’t inherently good or bad, but looking to the truth in spite of what they may say is imperative.  Just responding with, “________ has is way worse off because they lost __________.” makes it sound as if the wounded person’s emotions are invalid because there exists someone else with bad things happening to them.  The fact of the matter is that their emotions are real, they are in pain, and they need to look to the truth of Christ in the midst of that pain.

3. It’s passive.  This response removes the responsibility of the comforting party to actually address any sort of over reaction being expressed by the wounded person.  If someone is making a mountain out of a molehill, they should be confronted with this information.  But, having them think about everyone else’s problems doesn’t actually fix anything.  Rather than explaining that their problems, while real, may not be as large as they are perceiving them to be (and also then giving the wounded person a chance to explain why this particular situation seems so large to them), this response just says that their problems don’t exist because there are larger problems elsewhere; it is not confronting with loving truth.

4. It’s extremely insensitive.  Can you imagine being the person to whom everyone else’s life was being compared? Being the person whose suffering is so horrific that others compare their own issues to it in order to feel better sounds awful.  This response acts as if personal tragedies can just be tallied up, counted and compared without sympathy. It also completely ignores the fact that God is in control and has seen fit to have some people experience one brand of tragedy while others may experience a different kind.

5. It doesn’t actually encourage anyone to appreciate what God has given them.  This response is often given (at least in my experience) to put things in perspective and emphasize what God has blessed the wounded person with.  This is something that can and should be done without comparing to what other people do and do not have.  Everyone’s life is different and the Lord has blessed each of us differently.  It should be enough to simply recognize the blessings that we have been given in spite of our wicked selves.  Comparison isn’t necessary and it places focus on people rather than on Christ.

Those are just my thoughts on the issue.  Have you ever had someone say this to you? What do you think about this particular response to tragedy?


Paying a debt not owed

I feel a lot of pressure to do certain things in life.  Let me clarify by saying that these “things” have no moral leaning, but are simply choices that I have.  One of those choices happens to be whether or not I continue my college education to get a degree beyond my current Associate’s degree.  At the moment, I have no such plans to do so, although I am not opposed to getting a higher level degree if I happen to find something that interests me enough to spend several thousand dollars and a few years of stress accomplishing it.

I was once taught that, because I am intelligent, I have an obligation both to God and the world around me to finish college and even graduate school.  I believed this for some time and it put me under an immense amount of stress because, truth be told, I don’t enjoy school and I was completely unsure of what I wanted as far as a career was concerned.  This led to years of entering college and dropping out.  Over and over again, I would go for a few months before dropping everything, assuring my parents that I was just taking a semester break to get things in order.  It wasn’t until about eighteen months ago that I realized how miserable I was going to school for a degree I didn’t want.  I dropped my schooling indefinitely and have yet to return.

This decision was one that still haunts me, but not because I think I made the wrong move; more because there’s still a part of me that believes that I owe it to someone, somewhere to finish a degree and get a job as an executive somewhere or something.  Despite the fact that this career path sounds dreadful to me, I feel obligated to follow it for my own success (whatever that means) and because they (whoever they are) expect it.

I was thinking about this today, and I suddenly realized: I don’t owe anything to anyone here on earth.  The only one I owe anything to is God, and I can’t even pay what I owe there.  Christ’s sacrifice and God’s grace and providence have allowed payment to be made for my sinful, wretched self, but as far as paying what I owe…I can’t.

And, beyond that debt, I don’t owe anyone anything.  I want to make God-honoring decisions, and I will do my best to do so.  But, I don’t want to make decisions based on a feeling of obligation I have to the world.  That just seems backwards to me.

Do you ever feel like you have to do something that has no moral or ethical bearing simply because someone else wants you to? What are your thoughts on that sort of situation?


Oh, Delilah

I work in a room by myself, and therefore am the sole controller of the radio.  I like to listen to something while I work.  On the weekends, I look forward to listening to NPR all day, but during the week, I sometimes tire of the news stories.  My usual go-to for a music station is the local public music station, KXT.  However, for some reason around 6 or 7 at night, it’s really difficult and complicated to get KXT to come in on the radio I have access to, so I usually resort to some sort of top-40 station.

Last night, I was listening to KVIL (Lite FM), which features the syndicated program Delilah at night. I love Delilah.  I really do. I know she can be a tad cheesy at times, but she seems really sweet.

Last night, she said something to the effect of, “If you can’t get through to request a song for the one you love, pick out a song that I play, call that person and tell them, ‘Go listen to the song Delilah’s playing right now. That’s the song that makes me think of you.’ I know it’s not the same, but it’s still a way to connect.”

I started to think: What if someone did this with really weird things? Like, “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats or the This American Life episode where they redacted “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”.  I kind of want to do this to someone…find a station that’s playing “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof or an episode of the old radio suspense show The Whistler and call up a friend and just say, “Please turn it to *insert station here*. This is what I think of you.” And then hang up.  And never speak of it again.


In which I actually side with Hillary Clinton

First, I would like to be very clear about where I stand on certain issues.

I do not like discussing politics.  This is not because I find political theory boring, but because I become incredibly frustrated with politicians and voters who seem to think their only job in life is to beat the Other Side, whoever that happens to be.  That being said, I am not prepared nor would I be willing even if I were prepared to engage in any sort of political debate.  There are places for such discussions.  This blog is not one of them.

I am, for all intents and purposes, a conservative in most areas.  I do not subscribe to or align myself with any one political group because I find it pointless.  I will vote for who I think will be the best leader in light of my personally held values no matter what ticket they are running on.  As a conservative, I am quite tired of fellow conservatives being unfair, rude and libelous to liberal candidates and political officials.

I am not completely familiar with the Benghazi case, though I do know the basic facts.  Recently, I noticed an increasing number of posts on various social media outlets referencing Hillary Clinton’s now-infamous statement of “What difference does it make…?” regarding the Benghazi assault. I am fairly used to hyper conservatives blowing things way out of proportion (to the point of sounding like paranoid schizophrenics at times…but that’s a discussion for another day), so I decided to research a bit for the context of this statement.

The results of my (approximately) thirty seconds of Internet research didn’t surprise me, but they did irritate me.

Okay, let’s get this straight: Clinton was questioned about why information regarding the nature of the attacks was withheld from and/or misrepresented to the public for a few days.  Her stance was that the entire situation was complicated, they had four people dead and others injured, her department could not interfere with the FBI investigation, and  the information being received about this attack was fluid because it was an ongoing investigation.  I have no idea if any of that is true, but it is my understanding of her stance on the matter at the time of this interview.  At one point in the interrogation (because, let’s face it, whoever that senator was who asked her questions needed to calm himself down) of Clinton, she slipped into present tense when explaining a past-tense situation.  She was explaining the complexities of the situations relating to the case that had to be dealt with immediately following the assault and at that point uttered the aforementioned phrase.

And she has been slammed for it repeatedly ever since with no context given to the statement whatsoever.

What this senator did was essentially like someone demanding to know why Americans weren’t informed of the Boston Marathon bombers’ exact motives in the middle of the manhunt.  People are dead and injured.  There are bombers on the loose. At that point, what difference does it make what their motives were or are or will be? Help the injured, catch the guilty, and deal with motives at the appropriate time.

Clinton’s response was understandable considering the situation.

Now, I have no idea if Clinton or her staff acted in the right during the attack and the aftermath.  But, the statement she made has been ripped out of context and manipulated by hyper conservatives to make it sound as if Clinton didn’t care about the people who died or about the situation overall.  That is not what she was expressing, and anyone who would actually take six minutes to watch the C-SPAN clip I linked to above can see that.

I’m just so sick of people on either side of the aisle blowing political statements out of proportion and taking things out of context.  If someone does something truly scandalous or heartless, fine, shine some light on it if it’s relevant to American politics; but taking statements like this one, which in context is perfectly legitimate, and using them to paint a horrible picture of a political candidate only makes the accusing party look as if they are unable to determine intention based on context.

I may be wrong about something, and if I am, I’ll take the corrections.  But, from what I can tell, the only mistake Clinton made in this exchange was using a present-tense sentence when she was referring to a past incident.  The backlash surrounding a grammatical error is absurd and, quite frankly, is the type of thing that embarrasses me as a conservative voter.