Ok, so story time. I have never experienced a point in time where this was as powerful and as obvious as my freshman opening week back in college. They group everyone off and make you talk, people introduce themselves right and left, everyone talks about hobbies, and to me there was just this really cool vibe of, “Yeah, it’s easy to make friends, everyone is cool, yay!”
This quickly went away when I began to notice a disturbing pattern. I’d spend a while talking to someone only to mention something about my boyfriend (who by the way is now my husband) who also was starting at the same university with me. Usually along the lines of, “Yeah, me and my boyfriend both do this medieval fighting reenactment thing, it’s super fun. We’re hoping to start a club here,” because that’s pretty much all I could talk about at that point in my life. Almost immediately the face of the guy I was talking to would go from smiling and friendly to openly hostile, and he’d be like, “You have a boyfriend?” And after I gave any sort of affirmation, the person would instantly walk away and never speak to me again.
I was on a campus where the guy to girl ratio was 5 to 1, so as you might imagine, this happened to me way too fucking much in the span of a week. I was so fucking upset over it I remember sitting in my dorm alone in the evenings trying not to cry, feeling like an idiot and wondering why I wasn’t good enough for people to want to be friends with. A majority of my friends in high school had been guys, so the fact that these guys were solely interested in getting laid rather than making friendships really hurt (not to mention made me question a lot of the friendships with guys I already had). I had never made friends with girls easily (still don’t), and I was originally pretty pumped with the guy to girl ratio just because I much prefer to hang around men, so realizing that none of them would want anything to do with me unless it was for sexual reasons made me incredibly pessimistic about what my friendships would look like for the next four years.
However, there was ONE GUY the whole week who stuck around and stayed my friend. He ended up being good friends with both me and my boyfriend. We hung out all the time, joined the same clubs, went to parties together, etc. At the end of sophomore year, he actually came to visit our hometown (my boyfriend and I grew up in the same town but had attended different schools) and even stayed at my family’s house in the guest room. I was super pumped, because I saw him as a really good friend to both me AND my boyfriend. We were going to have like five whole days to hang out and show him the town, right? Come to find out, the only reason he’d been friends with me the entire time was because he was waiting for me to break up with my boyfriend so he could date me, and when that hadn’t happened after two years he actually got mad at me while I was letting him stay in my fucking house. He spent the rest of his stay telling me what a horrible person I was, how terrible my boyfriend was for me, and making me feel physically uncomfortable in my own home— literally telling me I owed him something for the two years he “put up with me.” To make a long story short, we haven’t spoken now in five years, and I don’t regret that at all.
Like I get it, the friendzone sucks, no one likes rejection. But holy fuck, I would much rather be rejected sexually than be rejected as an entire human being.