This is something I've been kicking around for a while.

You know how sometimes one person platonically likes another person, thinks they're attractive, but aren't actually attracted to them? I've got a few friends like that right now. They're smart and funny, they're reasonably attractive, I like hanging out with them. There's no particular reason I wouldn't be attracted to them, even on an aesthetic or personality level. But even though they look like an ideal romantic partner on paper, I don't actually want to date them, at all. And the best way I can explain this is that they're like a black turtleneck.

Black turtlenecks have many positive things going for them. They are warm and comfortable, they look classy and put-together. They never really go out of style. A person with a black turtleneck looks casually chic in a Gap-ad sort of way. A person with a black turtleneck has class. And while I have nothing against black turtlenecks, and I agree that they are an all-around excellent piece of clothing, they just aren't for me. The collar makes me claustrophobic and itchy, the cut makes my figure look weird. I admire black turtlenecks on other people, I would recommend them to several friends, but they will never be something I want to wear myself.

That's how I feel about these people. They are wonderful friends who I love hanging out with, and any girl (or guy) would be lucky to have them in a non-platonic context, but that guy or girl just isn't me.

And for all that people like to say that a pair of romantically compatible people can't be "just friends," I think that's a pretty normal feeling. It's When Harry Met Sally before the sexual tension sets in (which is what Nora Ephron originally wanted for the end, as well). A black turtleneck is a friend who you ought to be attracted to but just aren't. There doesn't have to be any one-sided attraction on either side; a lot of these friendships are mutual (including mine). "Friend-zoning" is not a part of this equation. Unrequited attraction isn't anybody's fault (unless, of course, you're just an asshole), but a black turtleneck-er should make an excellent wingman.


What do you think?