I’ve already been friend-zoned twice in December and the month’s not even half over yet.
And you know what?
I’m not even mad about it.
I’m getting really good at memorizing all the different reasons something won’t work: whether it’s another girl, the distance between us, or his job as a touring musician (SOMETHING THAT HAS HAPPENED FAR TOO MANY TIMES THIS YEAR, LET ME ADD.)
I’ve almost gotten mathematical in my response. Like alegbra, y = mx+b.
Angela’s Friendzone Formula
he friendzones me = his reasons x our incompatibility + a considerable amount of awkward text conversations
And it’s ok.
I’m not cynical. I’m not bitter. (Anymore.)
This isn’t a “please feel bad for Angela, because no one loves her and she is in desperate need of someone to affirm her worth, otherwise she will become a mere shell of herself in her utter dependability” kind of post.
Yes, getting friendzoned (repeatedly) hurts. Sure, the disappointment that comes with knowing someone is a-OK with not dating you stings…but for me, rejection doesn’t ache anymore.
Most of us are looking for love but rarely does it end in a series of stunning engagement photos. Instagram looks nothing like real life. We celebrate love when it lasts, but we never talk about what happens when it doesn’t. Breakups get swept under the rug. Past relationships and marriages linger like ghosts we don’t talk about.
This kind of culture is a breeding ground for cowardice in dating.
I think it’s the reason ghosting and breakups over text are commonalities today. We don’t want to feel rejection, we just want to skip to the end.
Lasting love is rare and is worth fighting for. But what happens when it doesn’t last?
We get friendzoned. We put our hearts out there and we get hurt. We get rejected.
We get to choose how to respond.
Rejection used to destroy me.
I wrote this post called “What It Took To Get Over Him” about the first guy who ever ghosted me. He took me out on a date in his city, I took him out in my city, and things were going really well (so my innocent, romantic heart thought.) Then one chilly October day, he stopped responding to my texts. He started avoiding me. He wrote a song with my name but he never actually talked to me. That may be because once I finally stopped being sad I blocked him from every social network imaginable. I was tired of hurting.
At age 19, that boy destroyed my fragile ego.
He rejected me. So therefore, I concluded, I wasn’t worthy of being loved. The guys I like would never like me back, I believed.
That conclusion was proven wrong. A couple months later I fell in love for the first time. It was beautiful. It was real and raw and perfect in every way imaginable. I really loved him, instantly. It was like knowing all my fears were imaginary. There wasn’t anything wrong with me, because he loved me and I loved him and when he told me I was beautiful I believed it.
But as is so often the case, time worked against us. The voices got too loud, the pressures of two lives headed in opposing directions weighed too heavily. I would have taken it all back just to have him, but instead I watched everything I had built over eight months collapse around me. I kept waking up in the middle of the night for weeks after that, unable to sleep, feeling as though I was living in a nightmare, inside a dream gone bad.
I still have nightmares, even to this day.
He has a new girlfriend, someone I always imagined he’d find his way to. I’m happy for him.
But I am overwhelmingly glad my story doesn’t end there.
Five months later I followed a call that told me to go where I never wanted to go: Texas. The land of pickup trucks and the rodeo and everything that wasn’t me.
But it has been an altogether wonderful year.
A year of learning, growing, stretching, becoming, traveling, loving. I have put my feet in the ground and grown upward in a place only God could have planted me.
Something about me changed on a fundamental level this year.
I learned that if someone rejects me, if the answer is “not right now”, it doesn’t mean I’m undesirable.
Revolutionary, right?! It was for me.
My worth, my beauty, my likability and my significance are no longer contracted out to others I deem worthy enough to weigh in. I am completely self-employed in the worth department. Because of who God tells me I am, the person I see in the mirror is not blown back and forth by the winds of other peoples’ opinions, whether they love me or not and why (or why not.)
This year, my worth became less of a buoy adrift in the ocean and more of an anchor resting comfortably on the ocean floor.
If you love me, okay! Great. Let’s be friends.
If you don’t love me, I’m sorry. I take responsibility for anything I said or did to make you dislike me. But I am not rendered unable to function if I lose your approval. I used to be that way. But not anymore.
And you know what? Sure. I’d love to be in love again. But maybe I’ll live in the friendzone for a while. Maybe it’s where God has me right now. I don’t think anything is accidental. Look how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t be here now if I got what I wanted then.
So keep telling me no, Lord & let it bring you praise. My worth is secure.