The Friend Zone

A couple of years ago, I took my son and his friend’s out for pizza. The conversation became very interesting! These kids started talking about the “Friend Zone.” Now, I didn’t know about this zone, but I learned! Apparently, if someone of the opposite sex puts you into the friend zone, “You’re always in the friend zone.” My son looks at me and in all seriousness, tells me, “Mom, that’s the problem. You put too many guys into the friend zone. Stop putting them there!”

Needless to say, we got a laugh out of that! And, although he doesn’t remember the conversation, I sure do!

This is February. The month of cupid, chocolate, and love. People are going on dates, renewing their vows, or getting engaged. Ahhh, love.

But, for me, Valentine’s wasn’t always fun; in fact, I dreaded it. And no, this didn’t start after divorce. It started way before that, in the middle of a hard marriage.

Fast forward through a hard divorce. And the struggle becoming a single mom and going back to work. Then, something strange thing happened. I started liking the holiday again. My heart started to open up again. I was healing, and cupid helped with that.

As single moms, we sacrifice our personal lives in order to dedicate ourselves to our kids. But, in doing that, we lose something. We lose the ability to show true friendship to our kids. They are trained by schoolma.png

It’s been eight years. Eight years of raising kids, going to college, finding a career, discovering myself, fighting cancer, and clinging to my faith. Two of those years, I had dates on Valentine’s Day. And, you know what? That’s OK.

Right after my divorce, I needed to trust again. And, God answered. I met a guy, and we were totally and completely in the friend zone! It was exactly what I needed. There were no strings; just two people who hung out together. Although we still know each other, we aren’t as close as we once we were, but that year helped me heal and trust again.

I’ve formed a group of friends these last many years; both men and women. This group has seen people come and go. Some move away, some get married, some just move into another group. But, it’s been good for all of us. We have had interesting conversations, fun times, and eaten lots of meals. Sometimes we go to movies. Sometimes we watch football. At times, we play games. All of it centers around church, since we that’s how we’ve all met. This group is the ultimate friend zone!

As single moms, we sacrifice our personal lives in order to dedicate ourselves to our kids. But, in doing that, we lose something. We lose the ability to show true friendship to our kids. They are trained by schoolmates, by neighborhood kids, by TV. However, they should be learning about friendships from us. Find a group of friends you feel comfortable with. Friends that stretch you, that encourage you, that laugh with you! Model God-centered relationships and watch how their lives will change.

And, since it is the month of love, I’ll just let you know that I’ve seen marriages come out of that friend zone. And honestly, maybe that’s the best way to find love…with a friend that you’ve gotten to know and trust. Only God knows how and when love will come. Only you know if that’s what you want. Until then, enjoy life, laugh with friends, and have fun! Little eyes are watching and learning.

Gwendolyn Irene

www.gwendolynirene.com