How is it that some people wake up one day and suddenly realize that they are in love with a person they have known on a friend level for eons and others use the friend zone as a way to politely turn someone away as a romantic possibility? Is it really that these people have come to the realization that they are actually interested in their long-time pal and they suddenly see them in a brand new, romantic light? Was one party in love all along and just eventually wore the object of their affection down. Maybe an ultimatum was finally given: love me or lose me as a friend. Or is it more an act of desperation; nothing better came alone while I kept you at arm’s length so let’s do this.
I’m sure it completely depends on the situation, but it’s difficult for me to understand how a person could completely fall for someone they’ve known for years, unless there were unspoken romantic feelings on some level all along. For me, once a person gets to that exclusively friend zone, there is no turning back.
Now I do have friends who I’ve always had a little bit of a thing for, but I never attempted to pursue anything because circumstances were never right. I’ve also been friends with people I’ve dated before I dated them, but there was always some level of attraction. I think that these circumstances are different than not thinking of someone as anything more than a buddy and then coming to the unexpected conclusion that they were the person for you all along.
Apparently it happens for some people though. I have a coworker who knew her husband since before she was born and then one weekend trip to the cabin led to a marriage, two kids in the suburbs and a white picket fence. She said up until this weekend, she never thought of him as relationship material. She admits that even now they don’t have a lot in common, but it seems to work beautifully.
So what is that magical factor that makes someone datable after years of strictly platonic feelings? The cynic in me says there is no new revelation, just simply succumbing to Mr. Good Enough. But the doe-eyed optimist thinks maybe strings of nightmarish dating experiences can strip away unrealistic expectations and reveal something real in someone who was there from the very beginning.