I have to disagree with Oscar Wilde: The very essence of romance is not uncertainty. The essence of romance (of courtship, not love) is competition.
I know this because without the legions of screaming, adoring, blindingly besotted fans, I would never have asked Daniel Radcliffe to be my boyfriend.
And of course, I should have guessed, that at the world premiere of a movie about the "friend zone" (The F Word), I would have been put in it.
The conversation is captured on video, but Radcliffe's answer is so ambiguous, at first I didn't know whether to call it a yes or a no.
I'd asked about long-distance relationships, and, in the abstract, if the relationship between a young British actor and a young Canadian journalist would ever work out.
"I don't know, man, I've done long distance, and it's perfectly achievable," Radcliffe said.
After listening to this again, I've decided to call it a classic friend-zoning.
It's the colloquialism that does it. He called me "man," and now I finally understand why guys hate it when a girl they're interested in calls them "dude" or "buddy:" It's immediately de-sexing.
In the film, Radcliffe meets a girl at a party and falls for her, before discovering she has a boyfriend. What ensues is a timelessly relevant relationship puzzle, but framed using contemporary language (the widest-reaching conversations about friend-zoning run daily on blogs and websites visited mostly by millennials).
But consider that in order to put someone in the friend zone, one must be in a position of power – power borne of competition.