Go, bidden, unto The Friend Zone,
Dashed down, heart broken,
Unnerved; unlike The End Zone
Where you may score a goal.
I: A foolish turn of phrase indeed.
Me: Aye, but methinks you merely dislike it for the same reason that you dislike other such modern phrases and therefore your criticism means little. Just because Shakespeare didn't invent it that doesn't make any less worthy a phrase.
I: Nonsense. When I choose to express my dislike for something it delves deeper than mere feeling against modernity.
Me: Then explain away.
Myself: One of us must score a goal there.
I: Let us first begin with defining our terms lest there should be some misapprehension of our meaning. I take "The Friend Zone" to be used to exclude members of the opposite sex from the possibility of romantic relationship.
Me: In other words, should a girl not have any romantic attraction towards a guy she may "friend zone" him.
Myself: Ah, yes, "verbing weirds language."
I: Now let's not bring Calvin and Hobbes into this discussion.
Myself: But they might have some important things to say.
I: As do I.
Me: Very well. Unmuzzle your wisdom.
Myself: It seems clear enough that such a simplification of human relationships demands criticism.
I: Indeed, and for that reason I disdain this term. Also, for its inherent flaws, which may not appear obvious upon immediate view.
Me: It seems to me that the term is a legitimately lighthearted means of grappling with a reality that can be to at least one of the parties quite painful and—if you will forgive the cliche—quite heartbreaking.
Myself: And, as with all such coping mechanisms, that lessens not its flaws.
I: Precisely, for listen but a moment: by the very nature of excluding that person from a romantic relationship by putting him or her into "The Friend Zone" it seems to exclude friends from becoming romantic partners. If that isn't a most dangerous circumstance, I don't know what is.
Me: That's rather an alarming thought. I suppose that leaves enemies and acquaintances for potential spouses then.
I: It's all the same in the end. It is the fruit of this ridiculous dating culture and the oversexualization of our society.
Me: You could blame that for anything.
Myself: Nearly true. In this case, however, it holds more weight. Think of it this way: the purpose of a date is to get the other person to bed.
Me: That seems a bit hasty to make such a statement.
Myself: In the secular world, the goal is that very night and in the religious world it is to the marriage bed. Granted, the latter is longer-lasting, involves commitment (mostly) and therefore is of slightly greater worth, but is the difference all that important?
I: There is the crux of it—or the lack thereof. For, you see, in this circumstance it remains a matter of what the person intends to gain.
Myself: Not what he can give.
I: If he goes about it in that way—
Me: I see at once: there's no gift of self.
Myself: A gift for self maybe.
I: Aye, for someone—let us say a man for this example—decides that he is suddenly ready for marriage and therefore he must find a spouse. Perhaps he may even have waited for years or tried unsuccessfully for years to find a spouse. Now he may be desperate. He wants at all cost to be married. Does he stop to consider friendship?
Me: Not likely.
Myself: He stops to consider little but himself. Society has taught him so successfully that he is an individual that it never occurs to him that he is more than that: he is a person and that implies relationship with others.
I: Those relationships must extend beyond one romantic relationship. If they do not, he will grow just as lonely later once the glow of passionate emotion has faded.
Me: Our culture stands against us there.
Myself: Indeed, with its bevy of social media platforms and so on: a wealth of knowledge and self-effrontery that dare not allow the true person to develop. Keep him in his sphere of control at all costs.
I: Let him once step beyond that sphere and begin to grow as a person and he must be lured back.
Me: That is a horribly cynical view.
I: That I do not deny, but do you deny its truth?
Me: Well, perhaps not in general....
Myself: Precisely, for you cannot discount generalities spoken as such. We do not rig up a particular person and point out his flaws, but merely the state in general. Therefore, you can find no fault with our arguments and perhaps might take to heart some truth that may better your condition.
Me: Then you shall paint us into a dark hole of truth.
Me: And where is the light to be found?
I: In friendship cultivated widely and deeply when possible and in the growth of virtue for dying to self that one might possess oneself in order to be able to give oneself to the other.
Me: Lofty goals indeed.
I: None shall serve better.
Myself: No pun intended there I expect?
I: None in the least.
Myself: Now you need only find those who will listen to such wisdom.
I: That is no trouble. They are those who already know the truth of what I speak.
Me: Then what good are your words?
Myself: None at all.
I: Now that is a cynical view indeed.
Me: And true?
Myself: We may never know.