The Window

There is a definite dating window of opportunity that exists before entering the well-known Friend Zone.   By definition, the Window of Opportunity is “a  brief opportunity to do something, especially something that will be beneficial or profitable in some way.”  Think about it.  When you meet someone, don’t you initially wonder what their motive is, be it friendship or more?  How can you not?  Unless you’re faced with someone who is out collecting friends because they don’ have many or obviously networking, more often than not there is a deeper interest.

Coincidentally, the acronym for said time period is W.O.O. and when you woo someone, you seek their affections, hence the window.  The idea is to date the person when you first meet them, before you get too comfortable or share things you’d share with a friend.  If you think getting really close is the idea, your ship will sail faster than you know.   You will become the rock, or the person to vent to, or the advice giver which often leads to advice that will be used on someone else.  Keep your eye on the prize and make a move.  If you don’t spell it out and ask the person out, your intentions can get lost in the shuffle, misinterpreted, and then you’re assumed a friend because you never, let’s say leaned in.

On the other hand, is it better to become friends first and organically move in the direction of dating?  People always say to date your best friend, which I find endearing but also extremely difficult to do for many reasons.  The first being history and its many details.  Depending on your length of friendship, there might be so much history there, desirable and undesirable, that you couldn’t possibly go down that road or want to gamble on whether or not you’d ruin the friendship.  Or, you’ve become almost like brother and sister and are the furthest thing from attracted to one another.  But then of course, there’s the duo that’s always had bad timing and taken turns being in relationships, or both in relationships at the same time never having the chance to give it a real shot with each other.  Even worse, the dreaded one-sided romance where Friend A has always loved Friend B from afar and feelings are not reciprocated.  Ouch.

If you miss the window and fall face first into Friend Zone, you run the risk of the window being closed forever.  Well…depending on the person.  Take me for example.  By forever, I mean cemented shut.  That thing isn’t budging.  It’s hard to cross over once you’ve been compartmentalized.   Once you’re deemed “legitimate friend,” that’s how I see you.  Even former boyfriends and guys I’ve dated that remain as friends are permanently in friendship world.  I can’t help it; it’s almost like my brain has been re-wired.  However there is a light at the end of the tunnel folks.  Lines between friends do blur from time to time, and opportunities may again present themselves.  There is that special closeness friends have and clearly things you like about each other.  If not, why would you even be friends in the first place?    It might take some time, and countless bad relationships with other people to get there, but eventually you both may be ready and realize what you need has been right in front of you all along.  Awww.

4 thoughts on “The Window

  1. I am definitely a fan of “friends first.” I mean don’t you want to know what you are getting? And if there are things you’d share with friends that you wouldn’t with your lover then that is dangerous territory for sure . . .

    I’m not saying that you can’t jump head first into dating someone and the friendship won’t grow – but by no means do I think “friends first” is a death sentence for a future romance – quite contrary – a “friend first” is full of potential.

    The only danger is that the friend-to-lover relationship might fizzle and where then does it leave you? I think that is why people are so scared of upping the ante with a friend. The perceived end of a friendship is often scarier than that of an intimate relationship.

    1. I definitely agree with you, however when I said skip the “friends first,” I strictly meant heed becoming close friends because that’s when it’s hard to become anything else. I know that as a female, I find comfort in knowing that a guy really is just my friend and if that were all of a sudden to change, I’d almost feel betrayed because I trusted the friendship and valued it as just that. There’s something relieving about knowing that a guy is not going to pounce on you at any given moment because they are just a friend. I am all for getting to know a person though, and taking things slowly by becoming friends to a certain degree and then dating, however the dating intention should be clear, otherwise you get categorized as disinterested and a friend. People always want to know someone’s relation to themselves, so better to put it out there in the beginning then have it come up later at the wrong time, when it’s too late, or confusing.

  2. Ah, the Arena Of Sexual Policitics. The fruitful and confusing ground for such creative endeavours as Shakespeare sonnets, Johnny Cash love songs (‘A Boy Named Sue’) and ‘Spartacus’. As a man (still feels strange saying that; not that I was ever a woman but that somewhere in my brain I’m still a boy) it is always difficult to tell how long that window remains open. I pride myself on being a gentleman, so should I adopt the Lounge Lizard approach – ‘Have another drink, it won’t hurt’; the Assumptive Close (otherwise known as The Meathead) – ‘Are we gonna do this or what?’; or just be forever like Gordon Levitt in ‘500 Days Of Summer’?

    I propose, to make matters simpler, men and women spend the first ten minutes before the date filling out a questionnaire. It wold at last give men a clue. Come on, help us out here. Look at us. We can barely dress ourselves without help.

    Many, many years ago (‘When all this was green fields’) I fell foul of the window closing. I don’t know when it happened, it just happened, and I heard the dreaded words ‘Let’s just be friends’.

    Cut to (you can tell I write for a living) a long shot of me walking home alone in the rain and Al Green on the soundtrack singing ‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?’

    Now I’m a little more confident, a little more flirtatious, I find myself having to explain I was just being friendly.

    So you see were the questionaire comes in handy? It can also be applied to end of the relatonship. True story, a former girlfriend once sent me a three page multipl choice questionaire she had mocked up herself. Example question: ‘You didn’t call because a) you were busy b) you have found someone else or c) you are an %$$&*@£.’

    I was mortified (I am a gentlemen), impressed (it took a lot of work) and worried (elements of fantacism).

    In the words of that great philiosopher Pat Bennetar, ‘Love Is A Battlefield’.

    I just wanted to say I saw you on IMDB’s fresh faces and enjoyed your blog. I am now writing for a living (after years of being a civilian) and am working on a couple of tv series for BBC (directing them too), a couple of film scripts for the US and a tv pilot (which again I’m writing-directing) for Fox. I spend half my time between England and the US and am hoping to make the full committment to the States, later this year.

    Good look with your career and ay you never have to meet Crispin Glover or Charlie Sheen.


    Mark x

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