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Operating Deep In The Friend Zone - The Cover Story
October 2013
Wed, May. 26th, 2004 10:36 pm
Operating Deep In The Friend Zone

In the course of the last few months, I have managed to allow three major targets in a row swing me deep into the Friend Zone before I could acquire an acceptable shooting solution on them. One was a mission I decided to abort halfway through, one involved a coordination error with other contacts, and one... one I simply couldn't get a lock on.

Now, every time and operation succeeds or fails, I post-mortem to figure out what went wrong, what went right, what was specific to this engagement, and what I've learned in general. It is a very valuable time, in which I learn a great deal. I recently completed my post-mortem on all three of these cases, and collated with previous findings. Since I was rather proud of the result that came out of this one, I thought I'd share it with all my friends. I have private written down a list of who I suspect will laugh at me, who will mock me, who will agree with me, and who will ignore me, so be sure to leave comments so I can know how well I know you :-).

It seems to me that at the beginning of an operation, the chap (we'll designate him Friendly 1) has positively identified the target of the operation (we'll designate her Master 1). Now, first contact is somewhat tricky, but so long as he is in a strong social circle that encompasses Master 1, that can be overcome (if the social circle doesn't exist or isn't strong enough, alternate means of establishing first contact can be found). Once a level of familiarity has been set, Master 1 feels comfortable with Friendly 1. Once comfortability has been achieved, the clock starts. The clock runs down when Master 1 gets a shooting solution on Friendly 1 and blows him into the Friend Zone. The clock usally has three or four days on it, but it can sometimes be as little as hours or even minutes. Friendly 1 at this point has to do something dramatic. It doesn't really matter what, as long as its grossly positive; anything past a solid hug will at least extend the timer, but its not usually until soft-seal lip-to-lip contact that you can believe that the Friend Zone danger has past. Of course, now there's the new problem; you're off the ground. If you stop now, you crash to terra firma, and its going to hurt. More importantly, if you used a social circle, you might be compromising your position in it if your new relationship fails. Anyways, if Friendly 1 doesn't make a very obvious move on Master 1, something undeniably forward and clearly telegraphing intention, something that cannot be written off as friendly playing or joking around, then he's just waiting for the clock to run out. Of course, once Friendly 1's intention to fire has been signaled, rejection becomes the immediate danger. If the first shot goes wide, Friendly 1 is hosed. So, in order to proceed, Friendly 1 needs to know the exact range to Master 1, i.e., exactly what the limit of the forwardness Master 1 will tolerate is. Once Friendly 1 knows where this line is, he must immediately go right up to that line. Of course, there is always the possibility that that line was drawn before you get to obvious telegraphing, in which case Friendly 1 redesignates Master 1 Kobayashi Maru and leaves the area will all available haste. So, in summary, from first contact to the time the Friend Zone timer runs out, Friendly 1 must be trying to figure out exactly what the most dramatic display of affection he can deploy is without scaring off Master 1.

This round of analysis was very helpful in that it has framed a method and simplified the problem to intelligence gathering. Live test data with the new theory is pending...

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative


Wed, May. 26th, 2004 11:14 pm (UTC)

Your level of analysis is beautiful. I always wished there was some sort of way to disable Master 1's weaponry long enough to get a precise lock... too bad each time I tried something to that effect, I'd end up missing and getting destroyed by the counterattack.

Peter Cooper Jr.
Thu, May. 27th, 2004 03:15 am (UTC)

I truly have no idea what to say.

Adam Augusta
Thu, May. 27th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC)

If the goal isn't getting what you want, but rather living what you feel, might not analysis actually thwart your purpose?

Thu, May. 27th, 2004 07:06 pm (UTC)

Of course, there is always the possibility that that line was drawn before you get to obvious telegraphing, in which case Friendly 1 redesignates Master 1 Kobayashi Maru and leaves the area will all available haste.

And then I looked up what Kobayashi Maru is, and started laughing uncontrollably for a good 30 seconds. So painfully true...

Fri, May. 28th, 2004 09:03 am (UTC)

A response from the female perspective (though admittedly and odd female). Nope, sorry hun. Ok so some women don't date "friends" because it screws up friendships (I am not one of those women, obviously) but I think you either have to be pretty deep in the friendship (more than a week or so) or simply be part of the "friends group." Either can screw things up. A one week acquaintance is still fair game. Sometimes you make a decision about whether you want to date someone right from the beginning though, and then any move that is made will be replied to with "friends." Sometimes, someone you might have wanted from the beginning can drift to the point you'd no longer consider it, and sometimes someone you weren't interested in before can be seen in a new (and sexy) light, but these are long term things. Sometimes you don't rule someone out right from the beginning, you "feel him out, see if he's going to prove interested and interesting" that is the point where you have to strategically figure out the correct level of flirtation to employ. To much and you overpower, to little and you are forgotten. It isn't a matter of "time to the friend's zone" however, its a matter of us women being demanding as hell. Of course I could be all wrong, I could never figure out women anyway, but of the few who chose me, We had either been friends for a long time prior, or I hadn't paid her any attention before. Both decided they liked me and pursued it. Had they not liked me, I would have had much more chance of scaring them off then gaining a significant other if I had pursued it. I know, I've been there too. Good luck in your endeavors gentlemen. Feel free to ignore all that I say in light of my abysmal track record with women.
PS Did you have me pegged?

E. Z.
Fri, Jun. 4th, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC)

I agree--though I don't have any experience with women...

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