Disclaimer: All names have been changed so these people can save face. If they sound familiar, oh well I tried.
Artemis (he chose this name lol), a very close friend of mine, was recently caught up in an elusive situation. He rediscovered a beautiful young lady named Marleena and was smitten. He spoke to her as often as he could. Sent her good night/morning texts. Went out of his way to find her the perfect birthday gift. And even confessed his infatuation for her. Yes, Artemis did it all. There was just one problem: Marleena never confirmed nor denied feelings for him. Instead she continued to lead Artemis on (probably for the attention) and even planned a romantic date only to become MIA at the last minute. Yeah, she stood him up.
Now to me there is no such thing as the infamous 'friend zone'. Women shouldn't feel bad just because they'd rather be friends. It's completely fine to let a guy know that your relationship with him is strictly platonic. He should be the one that feels like a douche bag because he was only friends with you for one reason. I know it sucks because some of the guys are actually cool and you don't want to lose them altogether. I had a similar problem with this guy Clint. I thought he was super cool and we had a lot of common interests. I just didn't want to be in a relationship and he stopped talking to me. I still miss him sometimes but it's cool though. He had to do what he had to do.
So what's the point in leading guys on and letting things escalate? If you're unsure about him. Tell him. Maybe you need some space right now. Tell him. Or maybe you're interested in someone else. Tell him. Do you just want to be friends? Tell him. You don't like him? Tell him. Men can handle rejection (most of the time) so stop treating them like they are these little, delicate creatures. And if they want to cry about being in the friend zone, let them. They're just trying to save their egos. If they can't deal with rejection, that's not your problem. Oh and please, please don't say something stupid like, “I just didn't want to hurt his feelings.” Are you kidding? Don't you think leading him on and letting him develop stronger feelings would hurt so much more?
I'm not going to lie or act like I'm perfect, I've done it before too. And I'm not going say how many times I've done it because that's not the point. But I did begin to notice how crappy it made me feel. Leading others on not only hurt them but me me as well. I was just trying to keep people around but they only wanted relations or relationships. I now realize that honesty will always be the best policy. Don't fear rejection for someone else. That is something they have to deal with on their own. I'm not saying go out here and be a douche bag. Just say no politely and move on. Marleena hurt a great guy because she couldn't say no. Although Artemis may not admit it, it damaged his ego. And that man is all about his ego. Had she just said, “Hey, let's be friends,” this super awkward mess would have been avoided.
I'm not going to say all of us, but most of us have been here before. Yeah you broke a couple of hearts; apologize and move on. Just don't do it again in the future because is karma the realest. Like, really real. Hopefully Marleena learned something from all of this. And hopefully we all learned something from Marleena.
“Kwenda ti kwendithio.” Translation: “Love cannot be forced.” ~Gikuyu proverb