The friend zone is awful. But there is something far worse. The panty zone.
So what exactly is this awful relationship hell?
You've been panty-zoned when she asks you to pick her up somewhere because her driver didn't come to work. You've been panty-zoned when she drunk-calls you after a night at the club, and she's feeling sad and empty. Other than these instances, you won't feel her presence.
For lack of a better term, you're a panakip-butas, bro. It feels like being in the friend zone, but you're unsure if you're actually even friends.
How is she doing this to you? These telltale signs will expose her manipulative ways.
1) You are always her last choice.
She asks you to hang out just because no one else is free. When you ask her on a date, somehow, she is never available.
2) She only communicates when she wants to.
She doesn't pick up your calls or reply to your text messages. She's always ready with excuses:
A) "Hala! Hindi ko napansin nag-ring phone ko" or;
B) "Sorry, busy ako kanina."
3) It's always about her.
She expects you to listen to all her stories and problems, but never lends her ear whenever you open your mouth. The moment you do, she starts checking her Facebook or steers the topic to her favorite subject: herself.
4) You're invisible in her social media.
She takes a lot of your photos together but has never, ever posted one on her Facebook or Instagram. She did once, but also covered your face with an emoticon to keep her ex and the rest of the Internet folks from guessing who you are. You might say it doesn't matter, but trust us: a girl who loves you will not keep you hidden like some disfigured freak.
5) You're the instant "boyfriend."
She takes you along to her girls' night out because all of them have their dates. Then she starts ignoring you when she's already with her friends. She doesn't even make an effort to make you feel comfortable around them. Horrible.
Addendum: She's surprisingly extra sweet with you in front of her ex or ex's barkada. While it makes you feel good, realize that it might just be for show.
6) She never gets physical with you.
No holding hands, not even a tender caress to the back after a hard day at work. If physical touch is your preferred language of love, she'll seem like a complete Neanderthal.
7) She appears, disappears, reappears.
There's zero consistency when it comes to her presence in your life. One day, you'll just be informed by a mutual friend that she's now back with that guy she used to curse and promised never to reconcile with.
The final word: If you know that you're just some sort of rebound guy, and she's just using you out of convenience, save yourself the trouble. Move away and look for someone who's more ready to accept whatever love you're ready to give.