One of my friends met a girl on Coffee meets Bagel, who he later went out on a date with. He saw her as a potential romantic partner and so asked her out on a follow up date. She being the classic 30 something living independently, waiting for her parents to find her a prince charming, didn’t blow him off immediately. Instead, she decided to hook him onto the back of her truck and drag him along slowly on a bumpy road, just in case she doesn’t find anyone else. And of course, our man hangs on in hope, even though he knows he’s been so badly ‘Kajol’ed.
Remember the 90’s movie Kuch Kuch hota hai in which Kajol is majorly friend zoned by Shahrukh Khan, who is busy romancing Rani Mukherjee? I know the movie makes us believe that the culprit was just Kajol’s hairstyle, but there’s more to it. Some of us are just prone to be more friend zoned than others and the reason is that we believe that friendship is the best route to a romantic relationship. Too many Bollywood movies have conditioned us to believe this, growing up. But the hard truth is, friendship and romantic relationships are usually diverging paths.
But why do we believe that friendship is the route to a romantic relationship? The most common reason is because we don’t listen despite being called a “great listener”. We don’t listen to the signs people give us when they aren’t romantically inclined. Just because they continue to talk to us or be remotely courteous to us, we sincerely believe they enjoy our company. Maybe it’s not just this, you probably even made out, occasionally sexted each other and continue to hang out IRL (in real life!), making you believe that this relationship is larger than what it is, but there’s a chance you are just a fuck buddy and you are not listening to the signs.
In fact, you could have confronted this person about the status of your relationship to which they gave you a vague answer and you’re hoping that by spending more time with them, this response would crystallise into something that you want, but hey, it ain’t gonna happen if it’s not meant to be. Even worse, they told you on your face that you are not a subject of their romantic interest but you live on in the hope that you can change their world, only because you just don’t listen. When we want people who don’t want us, we try to overcompensate by behaving in a manner that we’d want them to reciprocate.
We believe that this person is like us and would appreciate our availability (a little too much of it that too) but the more time we spend with them, the farther apart we grow. Its a vicious While they might genuinely appreciate us as a friend but once we’ve been ‘Kajoled’, there’s no way to escape it. There’s probably a tiny voice in our heads that’s constantly telling us the same thing but we are so busy not listening, that the thought just gets squished. So, if you ever find yourself in this situation, take a train like Kajol and run because that’s the only way to deal with it.
At the grassroot level, the way to deal with this issue is to listen – either to the signs the other person gives you or even just to that little voice in your head that says run. Whether someone gives you some sign is not in your hands and so you might want to work on amplifying that little voice in your head that’s always trying to protect your interest. How do you do that? By loving yourself enough for someone else to love you too. Just spend 5 minutes in front of the mirror everyday and watch yourself, listen to yourself and connect with that person you see in front of you. Soon, you’ll fall in love and before you know it, you’ll never do a thing to displease them. I know it sounds creepy but try it. Its worked wonders for too many people I know!
- What if?