Ron Stoppable may be been the reason why thousands of girls yearly face the awkward situation of having an attempted escapee of the friend zone. Then face the even worse situation of dealing with people’s opinion of you putting the escapee back in the friend zone. Media, society, books, even the cartoons we watched as a child all have painted a picture of the friend zone that is not only wrong, but isn’t fair to women. 

Media is full of romantic comedies and TV shows that tell young men in particular that if they are that nice, that supportive, that much better than the other men around them that then the girl of their dreams will certainly pluck them out of the friend zone they’ve been confined in because they deserve it. 

On one hand, the friend zone isn’t a myth. There is in fact a type of boy or girl that is specifically a friend and nothing more and who will stay in that platonic friendship zone, even if they want otherwise. But, it shouldn’t be used as something to guilt trip an individual into dating someone they did not want to date in the first place. 

While history and even our personal lives can tell us that there is a real possibility that dating a friend is one way to a happy relationship, it still doesn’t change the fact that no one deserves anything romantically from anyone else. The sweetest guy walking the face of the earth doesn’t deserve to be anyone’s boyfriend or husband just because they have managed to be kind or supportive. That should be called just human decency and manners.

Unfortunately, how society views and treats the friend zone has taught young women that our standards should be so low that kindness is enough to earn our heart’s and hand. Someone being there for us in times of need, complimenting us, or simply not being a jerk should be all we need to decide that a man is worth dating. Not only does this give men the expectation that being kind comes with a reward, it promotes an even more toxic idea. 

The idea that all of our lives aren’t worth being a part of unless we are in a romantic relationship with someone. That the only thing that makes listening to our lows or cheering us on in our highs worth it is if you get to put a ring on us at the end of it all. Society has taught men that the goal of the friend zone should always be to get out of it, to never be content with the relationship that they’ve been given as just a friend. If the only goal of the friend zone is to get out of it, if someone can’t be content to just be in our lives as a friend, then what does that say about us? What does that do for generations of female’s self-worth and confidence. 

Friendship is still a vital part of our day to day. Friends are with us every step of the way of our life. They get to see us thrive and go through struggles with us too. That should be enough for any person that wants to be in our life. Every woman is a dynamic, complex, and incredible individual and any man should consider themselves lucky to even be able to play close-up witness to the joys and tribulations of our lives as a friend. 

Life isn’t a romantic comedy or a cartoon. Ron Stoppable may have given every guy hope, but the real world shouldn’t have the expectation of a movie worthy ending attached to it. If you as an individual woman have decided that the friend by your side is the one that you want to be with then all the power to you. Be happy in your relationship and be happy that you had what you were looking for right beside you all along.

If you as an individual woman decide that your friend zone escapee is better placed back in the zone then all the power to you. You will find what you’re looking for eventually, and if this escapee is worth having in your life he will be content with watching you thrive and succeed as nothing but a friend. 

It is highly unlikely that movies and TV shows will ever drop the inevitable friend zone plot lines that fuel this unhealthy flame, but women as a whole can change the way that we see ourselves in this plot line. We aren’t a prize at the end of a nice guy’s journey, the reward he gets for not being a bad human being. No, we are not a plot device or a character in a fairy-tale.

We are all individuals with passions, wants, and needs in a relationship that we are entitled to have. Remember that the next time you face a member of this oh so dreaded friend zone.

Stormi R