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Ask Elle Reads Harvard FML: The Friendzone

That’s right, collegiettes, Elle stalks Harvard FML with the best of them, and even adds her two cents.

“I have so many things going wrong in life but all I really care about is unrequited love. Why won’t he love me? Blockzoned. FML.”

Oof. Friendzoning is the worst. As far as I know, the term was first used to describe a circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno. (Is it the one where everything’s covered in ice or is that just winter in Cambridge?) The good news is that you can get through it! The bad news is that it will probably suck at first. Here are a few things to remember that might help you out:

1. It isn’t anyone’s fault.

Unless this “friend” is manipulating you (or you’re manipulating him!) then there’s no one to blame here. Unreciprocated feelings can be really painful, but they happen, especially when two people are close. You know, like, blocking-together close. It might be easier to be really angry at him for not loving you back, but it will help you two get along in the long run if you can keep in mind that he would probably wish this away if he could, too.

2. You can’t change another person’s feelings, but you can change how you react to them.

You need to do you. Are your feelings too strong to keep being friends? I know it seems drastic and impossible and messy, but friend-dumping—even if you’re still going to be around each other—is always an option. Do you want to keep the friendship and just give yourself some space whenever you feel like it’s too much emotionally? Think though a few different scenarios and make a decision about what you need.

This is important: resist the temptation to lie to yourself here. It’s so tempting to take the “easy” route and keep the status quo, but would that really do you any favors? Sometimes a hard choice now can make life easier down the road, so be kind to yourself. Whatever you do, it’s probably best that you try to move on. That little part of your mind that’s holding onto hope is only weighing you down, babe, and you’ve got a whole wide world to see (read: date).

3. You’re awesome.

You just are. Trust me, I know these things. Think about all the fabulous things you could be caring about instead of investing this much emotional energy into someone who can’t appreciate said awesomeness. I guarantee that you can find other focuses that will make you a lot happier. I also bet that there’s someone out there who’d kill to be that focus, but you don’t need a “someone” if you don’t want one and you certainly don’t need one to be happy.

Chin up, and good luck! Things will only get better from here.



If you’ve got a question you would like to see answered, Ask Elle here! 


Elle is an undergrad at Harvard who would love to tackle any #harvardproblems you throw at her. Ask her anything!
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