We’ve all been there: You’ve finally mustered up the courage to ask your crush on a date, only to be met with that heartbreaking response: “Let’s just be friends.” So what do you do now? Get depressed? Try to win him over? No and no. It’s time to springboard this minor setback into achieving your dreams of becoming the cult icon you always knew you could be. His loss is your aggressive fan base’s gain. Here’s how to spin his romantic rejection into rabid, underground obsession.
Take this time to think about what you really want, brand-wise.
When a guy puts you in the friend zone, he has control over your relationship status. But you know what he can’t control? Your skyrocketing ascendency into the pop culture stratosphere. So pick your lane, hunny. Do you want the decade-spanning musical career of Cher? Niche comedy success à la Mitch Hedberg? To become a Rocky Horror-level film legend? It doesn’t matter. This is not about talent so much as it is about committing to your “thing.” Once you know your “thing,” double down on it until your craft becomes synonymous with your first name.
Cut off all communication with him and basically everyone else.
Now’s the time to put your foot down and give him an ultimatum: If you can’t be his girlfriend, he can’t be your friend. In fact, no one can be your friend. Part of what makes someone an icon is their air of reserved untouchability. So cut him off, and then remove yourself from your social circles and the life you once knew. Go entirely underground until you reemerge, cloaked in a newfound aura of aspirational intrigue.
Make friends with his friends and work their media connections.
What does an icon need? Acclaim. Madonna without media attention would be just a singer, probably friend-zoned by one of her backup dancers. Madonna’s love-hate relationship with the press has made her an icon—and yes, even she was friend-zoned once or twice. So, as an ascendant icon, it’s essential that you work your connections to boost your cred with the press. And his friend group is a great place to start. If he wants to be “just friends,” he can be “just friends” with a cult icon.
Subtly invite him to become president of your fan club.
He may say no. In which case, subtly sign him up for your mailing list. Once your fan base is big enough, you can turn them on him, or have them “ship” the two of you, depending on how bitter you still are. That’ll show him!
Make him know that other guys want you (as a celebrity guest).
Sure, he may have taken you for granted romantically, but make sure he knows that you’re a coveted celebrity guest and men are lining up around the block to get you to headline their parties, TV series, and charity functions. Suddenly, after years of hard work defining yourself as a cult icon, he’ll want you, but you’ll be too busy. A beautiful end to an undeniable story.
When all is said and done and you’re a full-fledged cult icon, he may come crawling back. And yes, the temptation to date him may still be there. In fact, you may need a date to the Oscars, Kennedy Center Honors or Nobel Prize ceremony, depending on your path to icon-hood. So feel free to go with him. Just remember to tell him: You want to go as “just friends”. ICON BURN.