This story is about love.
My friend was in love with me but I didn’t know. He didn’t always love me. He wasn’t used to kindness you see, and that was his undoing.
One day, he mentioned that he was feeling blue and so I decided to cheer him up. I invited him to a concert. It would be my treat. I even picked him up cause I wanted him to feel like royalty. When friends are tired, it is my job to lift them up. I was simply doing my job. He thought it meant more.
We would go for dinner and sometimes I would insist on paying. I told him money didn’t grow on trees so he needn’t pick up the tab all the time. Sometimes, we would touch base at the end of the day and just talk about our struggles. I thought that was what friends did.
Then he told me he loved me and I responded by saying, I didn’t feel the same. He asked about the time I spent with him; the shoulder I offered him to lean on. He didn’t realise that friends are supposed to spend time with one another. He didn’t see that kindness is a Christian virtue and not the sole preserve of a lover. He didn’t know that giving is a habit and does not require a love pledge in return.
Sometimes, what we call the friendzone is simply an inability to see that friendship is not uncommon. It is not so rare that when people demonstrate it, it must mean they want something in return or are in love with you.
Sometimes we wait till we are in a relationship to show love. For some, it’s an investment; they only demonstrate acts of kindness because of what they will get. Some people are mean to colleagues and family yet kind to the person they’re courting. A mentor once said that it is the habits you pick up when you are single that you will manifest in a relationship. If you fail to practice love and kindness now – with strangers, friends etc., one day, the real you that is devoid of love will show up in your relationship.