All Zoned Out: The Sister Zone Experience

{This post previously appeared at Sex and the Sisters.}

Men believe the friend zone is solely for them. Nah, bruh. Get yourself together, pull out a chair, and pour some brown liquor as we commiserate. 

We all get stuck in the twilight zone known as the friend zone at one point in time or another. If this hasn’t happened to you, stop reading this blog and go fly a kite in an electrical storm.

Guys bellyache about being trapped in the friend zone, a pseudoscientific idea that the lovelorn pin to their flawed, shot-down relationships. We rarely talk about the other zones out there. I am familiar with one zone in particular.  

The Sister Zone

I think of you as a sister. I like you the way I like my sister. I treat you like my sister. You’re my little sister.

I’ve heard multiple versions of The Sister Zone speech.

I have been emotionally involved with people and moving closer to something I thought might have romantic overtones–only to hear this. I have been in love and lust with guys who I adored and wanted more from, and once I approached with serious intent, I get these words that are like a million papercuts to my soul.

Overly dramatic, yes. But every time I received a variation of one of these lines, I realized that I could never see these men as brothers or have any sort of brotherly love for them. I don’t need another brother. I want someone to fuck and cuddle with. I have a brother, and I don’t want to see his manparts and do lascivious things with Nutella on his body. I want to do that with you.

But that ain’t going to happen. You shut me down and put me in the sister zone.

Nothing will get you out of the friend zone or the sister zone. No amount of rigor, personal development, or pole dancing classes will transition you out of this location. You are stuck. Once you have cut those cords and admitted your intent and desire to a port that isn’t interested, that ship is never going to dock in that port. You will deal with that.

But Is It Real?
After some time thinking about this over the summer, I realized that the friend zone/sister zone is utter bullshit. The zone we believe we are assigned to is all about perception.

  • My perception: Just because I’m nice and like the object of my affections, he or she should like me back. Under this thinking, the theorem of love is: I love you. You know I exist. Therefore, you should love me back.
  • His perception: She’s cool. She’s a good person. I like her as a platonic friend. There is no theorem of passionate, romantic love here, just the basis for agape love and friendship.


There’s nothing wrong with that. You can learn so much from being in this space and not getting what you want. It sucks, but not all is fair in love, war, and like.

Published by tianajohnson90

I am an oil-and-water combination of humor, ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, procrastination, and drive. I am an aspiring romance novelist who writes by the seat of her pants. Waging and sometimes winning a daily battle with procrastination, plots, characters, and the day job.

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