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Comment: Confessions from the 'friend zone'

Comment: Confessions from the 'friend zone'

Sunday 27 October 2019

Comment: Confessions from the 'friend zone'

Living the high life and giving as good as she gets is Fenella Bond’s whole aesthetic, but even this woman/myth/legend gets tangled in the 'friend zone'.

Despite always dreaming of her very own rom-com moment, an unexpectedly romantic gesture from an old flame left Fenella feeling a bit lukewarm.

This month, she discovered that tequila and the friend zone just don't mix...

“I’ve been waiting my whole life for a moment like this. You know the boombox-at-your-window-kissing-in-the-rain-stopping-your-one-true-love-at-the-airport kind of moments? Of course you know the kind… 

And here I was, an accomplished and very handsome paediatrician was quite literally throwing himself at me and I was totally lost for words.


Pictured: Fenella's been dreaming of romance, but not like this...

Slightly annoyed that he had hijacked my mission to become more charming (rude), a little discombobulated (obviously) and really quite touched at his brazen romantic gesture, we stood there for what felt like ages.

There he was, gorgeous, bedecked in a full suit that was clearly very expensive (hot) and asking me to give him just one more chance. Could I find it in my heart to see him as my Dr. Dreamboat once again?

And as I was stammering, stumbling to come up with something to say – anything – I realised the thought of going on another date with him just made my stomach tie itself in knots. All of a sudden, my mouth was doing that thing where it started moving and making noises without any express permission from the old noggin and I just couldn’t stop it.

“I’m flattered, and you - you’re gorgeous.” 

(I wonder if Channel 4 News will give me a job with this astonishing, analytical mind. Step aside, Cathy Newman.)

“I can’t believe all this – really it’s, it’s lovely…”

(Lovely?! He can’t s**g ‘lovely’!??) 

“But it’s not right, we don’t click and that’s probably my fault, but this- you should save this and you for someone who actually… fancies you?”


Pictured: Fenella's diary this month includes confessions from the friend zone.

(Oh god. Oh god. If it weren’t for the fact I’d just had a fresh blowout I’d be wanting the earth to swallow me whole right now.) 

From that perfect, suited and booted man came one of the biggest sighs I’ve ever heard. 

Meanwhile all I can think is: “I’ve broken him. This is a broken man before me. He’s going to need therapy. Of course he can’t handle rejection or he would never have become a doctor. Oh my god I’m going to be the ‘b***h from hell’ that he cries over and then eventually laughs at with his mates over pints of craft lager. What have I done?” 

And then something extraordinary happens. He mutters: “Oh, thank God.”

I’m sorry, what was that, now?

“No - I mean- don’t take it the wrong way, Fenella.” 

(This very much sounds like I’m going to take it the wrong way. Why is he saying my name like that?) 

“I mean you’re obviously beautiful and really- er- funny and everything.”

(Erm, excuse me please – I’m the one who rejected you!)

“But I was asking you this for all the wrong reasons. Honestly, I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell—”



Pictured: "What have I done?"

“I was really lonely and I just thought going out with someone, I mean anyone, would be better than feeling like this…”

(Rude. Very, nay extremely rude. How has he turned this around so quickly?)

Turns out I wasn’t all that great as masking my outrage and before I knew it I was making what can only be described as an indignant growl/grunt of equal surprise and rage.

“No, no please don’t be mad. This isn’t about you – I should never have done this I’m just going through a weird time personally, romantically and I’m just a bit- a bit crazy.”

Hold on a second, men feel like that too? He wasn’t being horrible or trying to hurt me, he was acting exactly like I do when I’m feeling a bit low, a bit strung out and a bit weird.

Call me naïve, but I definitely think I’m the first person to stumble upon this discovery. Maybe I should write a book… Men are from Earth and Women are also from Earth. Absolute gold.

I realised I’d been distracted by thoughts of my imminent publishing deal and had remained very silent whilst this man was pouring his heart out to me. Figuring I should say something, I blurted out: “No! No! I get it. I really get it, actually. Thanks for being so real with me. It means so much. Although I am incredibly insulted that you don’t want to sleep with me.”

He laughed, finally breaking the tension, and once again I silently thanked my parents’ emotional unavailability for arming me with a sense-of-humour-defence-mechanism at all times (it was worth the therapy bill).

Instead of going out for another dinner date leading inevitably to another frankly horrifying tonguing, I accompanied my new friend for a super casual hang out. He changed out of the suit (thank god) and I murdered a double-decker cheese burger without worrying about being messy.


Pictured: "There is nothing more liberating than eating disgusting food in front of someone you don’t fancy."

Let me tell you, diary, there is nothing more liberating than eating disgusting food in front of someone you don’t fancy. Would highly recommend to every and all inhabitants of the friend zone.

I know it gets a bad press, but if this evening was anything to go by, the friend zone is pretty damn cool. We got a bit drunk and talked about all our worst dates.

Sexy bartender won big anecdote points with him, and he told me about the woman who cried over photos of all her dead cats - of which there were many, I’m told (coincidence???)

After a year of pining, overthinking and embarrassing myself in public – I’ve got to say that it was really nice just to feel like we were talking to each other like real people for once in our lives. I felt really relaxed – like I’d been a proper grown up and made it very clear where I stood for once – and everything was going great…

…until one too many Tequila shots (not so grown up) led to a really rather confusing development. He leaned in, I leaned in and the kiss was distinctly not snaily, not unpleasant and really rather lovely actually. 

“Hello? Yes, this is Fenella Bond, I’m reporting a very unexpected spanner in the works which requires urgent technical attention. Yes, it’s firmly lodged in there and it’s very much compromising the mechanical integrity of the friend zone.”

What the hell am I supposed to do now??!

Yours as always,

Fenella xxx”

This comment piece originally appeared in the October edition of Connect magazine. Click here to read it in full.

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