Everyone's heard of friendzoning – even if they don't know the word, they sure as hell know the concept. It's what happens time and again to unfortunate Nice Guys who, despite being nothing but sugar and spice to the girls they love, are nonetheless denied the sexual relationships they so obviously deserve and are instead treated like platonic equals – a terrible, unfair fate spawned by the dark side of feminism.

And if you thought even part of that statement was correct, Imma stop you right there.

To borrow the succinct, nail-head-hitting phraseology of one Aeryn Walker:

Friendzoning is bullshit because girls are not machines that you put Kindness Coins into until sex falls out.

Dear Hypothetical Interlocutor whose hackles just bristled with the unfairness of that statement; who thinks that girls can be in the Friend Zone, too, and that therefore this point is both invalid and reverse-sexist into the bargain. For your edification, I would like to submit the following definitions of the term Friend Zone as supplied by Urban Dictionary:

1. "The 'friend zone' is like the penalty box of dating, only you can never get out. Once a girl decides you're her 'friend', it's game over. You've become a complete non-sexual entity in her eyes, like her brother, or a lamp." – Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends.

'I've been locked in the friend zone with her since high school!'

2. A state of being where a male inadvertently becomes a 'platonic friend' of an attractive female who he was trying to intiate a romantic relationship. Females have been rumored to arrive in the Friend Zone, but reports are unsubstantiated.

Girl: "I love you (Insert the poor bastard's name here,) but I dont want to ruin a great friendship by dating you." 

Guy: "Well why the fuck did I waste two months on you?"

and Wikipedia:

There are differing explanations about what causes the friend zone. One report suggests that some women don't see their male friends as potential love interests because they fear that deepening their relationship might cause a loss of the romance and mystery or lead to rejection later…

Dating adviser Ali Binazir described the friend zone as Justfriendistan, and wrote that it's a "territory only to be rivaled in inhospitability by the western Sahara, the Atacama desert, and Dante's Ninth Circle of Hell."

I therefore submit to you, Hypothetical Interlocutor, that the Friend Zone is not an equal opportunities habitat. It is where men go – or more accurately, where men perceive themselves to go – when women fail to reward their friendship with sex. Or, to quote the immortal wisdom of the internet:

Slut is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say yes.

Friendzone is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say no.

Here's the thing, Hypothetical Interlocutor: if you truly are a self-professed Nice Guy (and I strongly suspect that you are), then you probably espouse the belief that women and men are equal. More than espouse – you believe! You know! Except that, somewhere along the line, you've got it into your head that if you're romantically interested in a girl who sees you only as a friend, her failure to reciprocate your feelings is just that: a failing. That because you're nice and treat her well, she therefore owes you at least one opportunity to present yourself as a viable sexual candidate, even if she's already made it clear that this isn't what she wants. That because she legitimately enjoys a friendship that you find painful (and which you're under no obligation to continue), she is using you. That if a man wants more than friendship with a woman, then the friendship itself doesn't even attain the status of a consolation prize, but is instead viewed as hell: a punishment to be endured because, so long as he thinks she owes him that golden opportunity, he is bound to persist in an association that hurts him – not because he cares about the friendship, but because he feels he's invested too much kindness not to stick around for the (surely inevitable, albeit delayed) payoff.

And if she never sleeps with him? Then she's a bitch.

I cannot state this clearly enough: if you really believe in equality, then you have to acknowledge the fact that women have a right to say no. That no matter how pure and true your feelings, your ladylove is under no obligation whatever to reciprocate them, because friendship is not a business transaction, and women are allowed to want male friends. Yes, it is difficult and sad and heartbreaking to love someone who doesn't love you back, and doubly so when that person is a friend. Believe me; I speak from experience. This is not a fun thing to endure! But discounting the woman as a bitch, a user, a timewaster, a whore with no taste who only wants to sleep with arseholes instead of Nice Guys like you is not on. It is pure, unadulterated sexism: the attitude that friendship with a woman is only ever a stepping-stone to getting into her pants, such that if the pants-getting is off the table, then so too is the friendship.

Which, frankly, is bullshit. If you don't care enough about someone to enjoy their company and respect their decisions when sex is off the table, then that person is right not to sleep with you, because enjoying someone's company and respecting their decisions is pretty much how sex gets on the table to start with.

To quote the single best point in an otherwise deeply problematic Cracked piece:

What we learned as kids is that we males are each owed, and will eventually be awarded, a beautiful woman. We were told this by every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game and song we encountered…

In each case, the woman has no say in this — compatibility doesn't matter, prior relationships don't matter, nothing else factors in. If the hero accomplishes his goals, he is awarded his favorite female. Yes, there will be dialogue that maybe makes it sound like the woman is having doubts, and she will make noises like she is making the decision on her own. But we, as the audience, know that in the end the hero will "get the girl," just as we know that at the end of the month we're going to "get our paycheck." Failure to award either is breaking a societal contract. The girl can say what she wants, but we all know that at the end, she will wind up with the hero, whether she knows it or not.

And now you see the problem. From birth we're taught that we're owed a beautiful girl. We all think of ourselves as the hero of our own story, and we all (whether we admit it or not) think we're heroes for just getting through our day.

So it's very frustrating, and I mean frustrating to the point of violence, when we don't get what we're owed. A contract has been broken. These women, by exercising their own choices, are denying it to us. It's why every Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won't win him sex. It's why we go to "slut" and "whore" as our default insults — we're not mad that women enjoy sex. We're mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us.

In pop culture, girls who crush hopelessly on guys they can't have are painted as just that – hopeless. Over and over again, we're taught that girls who openly express sexual or romantic interest in guys who don't want them are pitiable, stalkerish, desperate, crazy bitches. More often than not, they're also portrayed as ugly –  whether physically, emotionally or both –  in order to further establish their undesirability as an objective fact. Both narratively and, as a consequence, in real life, men are given free reign to snub, abuse, mislead and talk down to such women: we're raised to believe that female desire is unseemly, so that any consequent shaming is therefore deserved. There is no female-equivalent Friend Zone terminology because, in the language of our culture, a man's romantic choices are considered sacrosanct and inviolable. If a girl has been told no, then she has only herself to blame for anything that happens next – but if a woman says no, then she must not really mean it. Or, if she does, she shouldn't: the rejected man is a universally sympathetic figure, and everyone from moviegoers to platonic onlookers will scream at her to just give him a chance, as though her rejection must always be unfounded rather than based on the fact that he had a chance, and blew it. And even then, give him another one! The pathos of Single Nice Guys can only be eased by pity-sex with unwilling women that blossoms into romance!

Well, screw that. The Friend Zone is a fundamentally sexist construction based solely on the idea that women should be penalised for putting their own romantic happiness above that of an interested man. If a lady doesn't want you, then either respect her decision and keep away to salve your heart, or respect her decision and stay because you still think she's cool enough to be worth the effort of friendship. But if you don't respect her decision, then you don't respect her – and if you don't respect her, then stay the fuck out of her life.

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Published on April 09, 2012 16:53 • 38,811 views
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message 1: by 8472 (new)

8472 Yes- definitely yes- and no. There is an absolute mentality that certain behaviors, actions, and relations should end up in a person's romantic involvement. That's pretty shoddy, and when a "nice guy" focuses their energy on a specific female and then "gets friend zoned", they're enacting exactly the behavior that your article outlines.

There's a couple of things that I think have not been addressed in this new 'friend zone is going against feminism' movement. First, that there are other things that a "nice guy" laments rather than a woman's right to choose. If you painted a picture of one of these "nice guys", they're typically a person that is spurned, not from a single relationship, but is typically passed over for romantic relationships by someone that is a "bad boy", or somesuch.
There's two things that I think the "nice guy" laments here. The first is the social and sexual preferences of females in the given culture. Why is the leather jacket, motorcycle-riding, verbally abusive guy the one that is preferred over to the brah brah brah whatever the "nice guy" is? Is it a matter of physical appearance? Is being socially sure of oneself better than intellectualism? It is a complaint about personal insecurity and the culture that allows that to affect relational closeness. Yes, I know that women have this issue in the tenfold, and that society places the worth of a women sometimes solely on their physical/social capacity. That doesn't make the measure of this complain invalid, and more importantly to the argument, it doesn't make the complaint on the direct choice of a female.
The second complaint that I've heard is that it's a confusion over the distance between what the cultural preference says it is- a guy who brings flowers, treats a lady with respectful words, considers her thoughts, wants to start a family, etc... Things that the culture supposedly preferences, based on everything from verbalization, to the characters built as positive role models in the media... is not the actual preference. Somehow, despite what a "nice guy" might be led to believe about what they are supposed to be, the cultural preference are actually something else. Again, I'm not saying that this means that these "nice guys" have a right to expect certain relational choices out of specific females, but as an aggrievement toward a society which confuses them, due to perhaps an incapacity to read social actions and gestures... it makes sense.

The second issue I have with this subject, is that due to an implicit force of sexuality being viewed and valued as the measure of the height of interpersonal intimacy. How do two people show their love for one another? Sex. How do two people show that they are the most important person in each others' lives. Sex. It's not a measure of the emotional concern of one person for another, or a connection to shared experiences.
Why this is an issue may not immediately present itself. Again, this becomes an issue of how the culture present relationships. When two guy friends are best friends, they present their relationship in certain ways. When two girl friends are best friends, they present their relationship in certain ways. Our culture does not provide for a consistent vision of what a proper girl/guy relationship looks like, excepting as a measure of romantic intimacy. You can't be a guy or a girl's 'best friend' if you are a member of the opposite gender, and you're not achieving that "reward" of shared sexuality. Because sexuality is on the same linear relational path of success as being trusted, and cared for, anyone who does not get to that point will not be the "number 1 best friend", but always "number 2" to the person who engages with the person sexually. This is a complaint that guys give guy friends that begin a new romantic relationship (not that the guy friend is not engaging in sexual relations with them, but that the sexual relation takes priority, presumably because the male is not considered as a sexual prospect). This is a complaint that girls give girl friends that begin a new romantic relationship. This issue is compounded when the relationship is a guy/girl relationship where the other member of the relationship is not chosen despite their closeness.

(Again, because I feel like this will be misinterpreted, this is not suggesting that the female SHOULD have a responsibility toward choosing the male friend, nor that the female should be required to have different sexual preferences. It also does not excuse a male's dismissive attitude toward a relationship which does not end up romantically. It is simply a complaint over an issue of the constructs of relationships in our culture.
As a side note, I'd also like to mention that disappointment and expectation of this reward of a romantic relationship is absolutely something that happens to both genders, though certainly not to the frequency which allows things like "friend zone" to be a culturally accepted term for males approaching females and having their intentions spurned)

In short, I agree with most of the argument you've made, but for the matter that the thing is *SOLELY* on the idea that a woman should be penalized for putting their own romantic happiness above that of an interested man.

Loversandthinkers.com Actually, friendzoning has a sociopolitical origin in my opinion. In the time before males learned that sex created babies, it was a big mystery to them. Primitive prehistoric cultural references indicate males thought food made babies (the Venus cults) and the wedding cake is a survival of this very ancient line of thinking.

The male brings the woman food, and she probably ends up sleeping with him. The children are hers, and raised by the clan/village.

Once males learned that sex made babies, patriarchy arose, with women demoted to "fertile soil in which the male seed was planeted". Since the males began to stake property rights over the reproductive process, women had only one option, to deny sex.

Some say this has driven society to the point that there are literally billions of males who will never be able to have any sexual relations with women on a mutual basis (blue ball syndrome?).

So now you come to the situation where for whatever reason, a "nice guy" comes along, and professing affection and offering resources (gifts, help with homework, companionship, food, etc), the female will USE his honest mating attentions for her benefit, and on the whole DENY him AFFECTION and proofs of devotion in return.

Not all affection leads to sex, nor is all sex affectionate (but the best is). But she has no "love" to give, so depending upon his "commitment" to providing resources of time and materials to a potential mate, it then becomes a "sticking point" in the relationship that eventually dooms it from further, and in my opinion, natural, relational development.

I only write this, as I find myself now for the 5th time in life in such a situation. She tells me i'm more than a friend, and all she has in her life, but wants me wait until she finishes her degree (i've been "courting" her for 10 months).

If this was the first time, i'd be going crazy, but previous times have taught me that love is a magic energy, which once languished by neglect or denial, is hard to get back.

Why do i know this?

Because each of the previous four women I was deeply in love with and waited for, later professed that they were also in love with me and didn't realise how nice it was at the time, and lament with the wisdom of experience that the magic of love, reflected in sex or a growing friendship is indeed rare and they miss it. I'm not saying this to thump my ego, it's just sad that women have been forced to "protect" their sexuality to the point that they cannot communicate sexually with someone deemed "unsuitable" who otherwise makes them happy.

My advice to guys "in the friendzone" is to not close your heart to other people because of your unrequited love, and if she says she "just wants to be friends" then be just that... and keep your heart open to someone who would rather have magic in their lives and hearts of your commitment of resources and affections.


message 3: by Peter (new)

Peter Parker This article seems to only describe guys complaining about being friend zoned because they want to have sex with said person. Some guys just want an opportunity to try a relationship and they don't get a chance to prove themselves.

message 4: by Paul (last edited Apr 20, 2012 08:47PM) (new)

Paul Freindzoning is real, and involves real manipulation.

The object of the infatuation knows of the pain of their admirer full well, and yet chooses not to do the kind thing, which is to cease and reject all contact.

Instead they bask in the undivided support and attention, if not worship they receive, which clearly exceeds anything they could expect from a mere friend. They hold the whip hand, and they know it. And they like it.

Yes of course the admirer harbours hopes for some kind of sexual 'reward' for grimly holding on, Hoping by their persistence and generosity that their strength of feeling will somehow be recognized and eventually reciprocated. Naive, yes, but if it were only about sex, there are far easier ways...

So yes, women (or men) who chose to gratify their own egos, abusing the strength of feeling of a love sick friend ahead of putting that friend out of his/her misery deserves whatever label that friend finally needs to apply to his or her tormentor to escape that horrible and unhealthy situation

Loversandthinkers.com wow, well said Paul!

message 6: by Jack (new)

Jack If you, the female, are involved in a committed, monogamous, relationship with a person, would you continue a friendship with a man you suspect might accuse you of friendzoning him?

Face it, you know the guy, the type, you know the signs, the semi sexual flirtations, his gaze when you're around him, that sense of power you get from denying his advances, gently. By the time a female is 20, she's been socialized to recognize this type a mile away.

So, if you can't maintain this type of friendship when you are in a committed monogamous relationship with a person, why bother maintaining it when you aren't?

Loversandthinkers.com Yea, good question...

After the 9th month of being in the friendzone with Ms X., I decided to respect her wishes of no romance, turned off all romantic expressions, and have been hanging out with some other women, while ALWAYS being available to her and deciding to just treat it like a friendship...

Just yesterday I get a call from her (after 24 hours spent with another woman, an ex) asking me why for the past month I've been so cool to her? She then wanted to meet up, but at last minute when drinking with her girlfriend, sending me smses that she was drunk, the last one saying she's going home.

I met her at her house, and it was quite an interesting conversation... she loves me.

message 8: by Sam (new)

Sam Sgroi lol I should have suspected this was written by a female , I could wax eloquent on this subject but I'm not going to. I am simply going to laugh and pretend it doesn't exist.

message 9: by Sam (new)

Sam Sgroi actually no, I will say one thing. If you are a girl and you want a guy who treats you right (and I mean actually is what you want). Don't be afraid to let him try and win your heart, Love is not love without risk (both women and men in a relationship must do this). But at the same point, as a female don't complain about there being "no nice guys" if you tell him to leave you alone and he does. You cannot have it both ways, either you want a "Bad Boy" or you want a "Nice Guy". And I agree with others, Nice Guys aren't always looking for sex.

message 11: by Shelby (last edited May 04, 2012 09:12PM) (new)

Shelby Commenters, I can tell you one very easy to see thing- you are sexist. Congratulations!

Paul, that is not what this article is addressing in the slightest. The kind of woman who would see that and use it to her advantage might just not know what to do or what to tell him to not hurt his feelings. That being said, she could be manipulative, but that is definitely not the majority.

Sam, an actual "nice guy" would back off immediately after being told that the girl was not interested in exploring a relationship with him, and they would continue to be friends because he would not view friendship as a chore or anything of the like. If you find that you are interested in a girl and you think that starting a friendship with her is the best way to see if she's interested, that's fine, but if you are not going to continue that friendship if she turns you down, then you are sexist and you should not even bother. Let me sum it up for you, anyone who thinks that friendzoning is a real thing is not a "nice guy". He believes that he has a right to pursue his friend in a way that she does not wish to be pursued. You just said "don't be afraid to let him try and win your heart," which is exactly the problem. She does not owe him that chance. She does not owe him anything. If she is not interested in him, she does not have to give him that chance.

Also, Sam, the fact that you said "I should have suspected this was written by a female" and "I am simply going to laugh and pretend it doesn't exist" proves that you are sexist. You want to discount everything that she wrote because she is a woman, because she cannot possibly have a valid opinion, can she? I mean, she has ovaries, for crying out loud! How dare she point out something that is both valid and a real issue?! Doesn't she know that she's getting in the way of patriarchy?! I hope you step on a lego every day for the rest of your life, you sexist fuck.

It's pretty telling that all of the people who object to this idea that friendzoning is bullshit are men. You are so sexist and basking in your male privilege that you can't even see it. Women are saying it is sexist, therefore it is sexist. Just like when a person of color tells you that you have said something racist, you did. You do not get to dispute it. It is not up for discussion. You are wrong. Maybe someday, when your daughters are being pursued like this, you'll realize how wrong you are. But maybe you won't. Maybe you'll teach her that she should hope into bed with them immediately, because clearly they deserve to achieve sexual gratification with her. She owes them that much, right? I'm done here.

Loversandthinkers.com "Women are saying it is sexist, therefore it is sexist. Just like when a person of color tells you that you have said something racist, you did."

WTF kind of logic is that?

When I lived in New Orleans, there were 4 roommates, a Caucasian and African American from the Quarter, and me and another dude from the West Coast. The African American guy, the youngest, worked in a bar, and had a habit of giving his house keys to travelers and telling them they could crash at our house, so we always came home to missing items or strangers in our living room, or even eating our food.

We had a roomie meeting and explained that he couldn't keep doing it, and he said "Oh, I get it... it's because I'm Black. You guys are racists."

Please explain the racism in that or STFU with your faulty logic... Just because he "said so"?

Flip the coin here - a woman falls in love with a guy, who just wants to "be friends" but let's her buy him things, asks her to do favours for him, take "care" of him etc, hell, he even accepts massages and other comforting things that a typical "friend" does not do ... I think you'd agree that most women would see this as "him using her".

Yet in your mind, because you have a vagina, then there is no way in the world that a man in love, can resent his intentions for emotional/physical intimacy being taken of advantage of, and if he does, it's "sexism"?

Grow up.

message 13: by Abbyforth (new)

Abbyforth Loversandthinkers--no. It's not the gender of the person that causes the problem. The problem in your hypothetical situation is that the "friendzoned" woman is crossing boundaries. If she really respected the choice of the man who did not want to pursue a relationship, then she would not perform those actions that she thinks will allow her to "win" him. If this woman is doing the man favors, buying him things, and giving him a massage because she thinks it will get her the man in the end, then that is wrong. A person is not a prize. The man is not using her in that case, because the woman is knowingly not behaving as a friend even though the man made it clear that that's all he wanted.

It's the same thing in the more common situation that the OP discusses, when the man is the "friendzoned" one. The woman has made it clear that she does not want to be romantically involved with him, but she will be friends. If the man REALLY could not handle being just friends with her, then he should bail out of the friendship. When he agrees to be only friends, but then acts in a way contrary to what he said, still hoping to be romantically involved, it is not the woman's fault for not giving him what he wants. He lied to her and is behaving in a way that demeans her choice.

Loversandthinkers.com So what you're saying is, it's upon the woman to make clear her intentions are purely plutonic?

message 15: by Abbyforth (new)

Abbyforth I'm going to take out genders here because I'm having a hard time keeping track of which examples we're discussing.

Friend1 is romantically interested in Friend2. Friend1 tells Friend2. Friend2 does not want to pursue a romantic relationship, but is interested in staying friends platonically. Friend1 should either act like an actual friend and not expect any sort of romantic or sexual reward in return for their kindness OR if they cannot be just friends, tell Friend2 and end the friendship there.

If Friend1 continues to act like Friend2's friend but is actually just doing things (buying gifts, giving massages, etc) they wouldn't otherwise do with a friend BECAUSE they think it will get them romantic or sexual rewards, that's wrong. Friend2 is not using Friend1 in this case just because Friend1 expects some sort of prize that Friend2 never said they would give.

The "friendzoned" person is in the wrong for thinking they can somehow "win" their friend. If the person who doesn't want a relationship makes that clear, it's really not their fault when the "friendzoned" person starts acting inappropriately.

Loversandthinkers.com So I guess "friends with benefits" must be sexist too then...

message 17: by Abbyforth (new)

Abbyforth Not necessarily. How did you deduce that from my argument? If both partners are interested and consenting, a friends with benefits situation is absolutely fine. What wouldn't be fine is if one has been pressured into doing something s/he does not want to do because the other "treated them nicely" and guilted them into giving them sexual favors.

message 18: by Loversandthinkers.com (last edited May 06, 2012 03:16PM) (new)

Loversandthinkers.com Your sentiments are nice and all, but humans are not androgynous organisms. Millions of years of evolution has lead to the situation we're in. Cuckoldy, wittoldry and "friendzoning" are facts of life for billions of humans, and calling it "sexism" adds nothing to the conversation, nor changes the facts that there are females out there who accept a male's "breeding intentions" under the guise of friendship for one sided advantage, even while protesting "I only see you as a friend".

I've rejected female friend's intentions, by having empathy for their intentions and putting a stop to that "friendship" BEFORE it leads to heartbreak.

I'm sorry that millions of years of social and biological evolution has made that more difficult for women to do.

message 19: by Abbyforth (new)

Abbyforth I'm sorry but the "biological differences" argument is complete horseshit. A. that argument is cissexist and completely ignores the trans* community. B. The biological difference between cismen and ciswomen has absolutely nothing to do with with the fact that vilifying women for making their own choice independently IS sexist.

As far as "social evolution" goes, the point of progress is to break out of those oppressive roles. "Social evolution" tries to make all women fit into a demeaning and impossible role, and the only way to move forward is dismantle it. Women don't HAVE to like pink. They don't HAVE to be outwardly emotional. They don't HAVE to want to be mothers. (They certainly are welcome to do those things, but we shouldn't allow "social evolution" to force us into them.)

A woman who is friends with a man if he is obviously trying to use her for sex is NOT taking a one sided advantage. The man is using her. If she made it clear that she wanted to be friends, and he's acting like he can somehow be kind to her until she changes her mind, she is not taking advantage of him. In this case, it shouldn't be the woman's responsibility to destroy a friendship just because the man is too immature to act like a decent human being.

In your example, you decided to cut the interested friend out of your life entirely. That's one way to handle it, but it's not necessarily the morally correct way. If you were to make your intentions clear (that you weren't going to be romantically involved with them) it is not your fault if they get upset when they ignore what you said and keep acting like they can become romantically involved. In that situation, if that person were to be heartbroken, it's not YOUR fault.

message 20: by Loversandthinkers.com (last edited May 06, 2012 05:42PM) (new)

Loversandthinkers.com Forgive me for excluding the at least 18,666,000 transgendered persons worldwide from the discussion, I'm sure they have their own "friendzoning" issues separate from the rest of us. Or not.

I think we can both agree that the problem IS patriarchy.

I'm no patriarch myself, and would prefer to live in a world where women are sexually liberated and free from oppression (ie; my OP) and all forms of sexual violence.

But for some reason (patriarchy ALL by itself?), females, on the whole (ie; NOT every single one) have been culturally programmed to view their sexual organs as "objects of desire", due to the fact that so many males desire to have intercourse, on the whole, more frequently than females desire to initiate sexual relations.

If you don't see the power differential in that relationship, and you're female, then you really haven't discovered that women are the "gatekeepers" of sexual activity.

And to say that there are women out there, knowing that "men want sex with them", and never "play games with another's affections" to personal advantage, even via deceitful means, is purely delusional.

It is a real fact of life, friend zoning. This is because the mammalian breeding process has evolved us to "choose the best mate" after they've displayed fitness to producing viable offspring and ensuring the survival of the reproductive unit. It doesn't lead to instant sex, but is a courtship process that evolves over time.

And while you might think it BS, that IS biological.

Loversandthinkers.com I'd also like to say, to both the friendzoned and the friendzoner: Let go of expectations. When you have expectations of something — a person, an experience — you put it in a predetermined box that has little to do with reality.

You set up an idealized version of the thing (or person) and then try to fit the reality into this ideal, and are often disappointed. Instead, try to experience reality as it is, appreciate it for what it is, and be happy that it is.

message 22: by Abbyforth (new)

Abbyforth You keep saying that friendzoning is a fact of life as if that somehow excuses this phenomenon, which leads me to believe that we may be arguing about different things. Obviously, in life people get turned down by their ideal romantic partner all the time. That fact in itself is not sexist. What IS sexist is when a turned down man goes off and complains: "That bitch friendzoned me--it's not fair! I'm such a nice guy. I do everything for her--I bought her gifts and did her favors and she STILL doesn't want to get with me." That (or similar/less exaggerated examples) is what is sexist. It is vilifying the woman for making a choice the man doesn't like: it is acting as though if the man gives her enough or does enough for her, she will "owe" him something.

I'm not saying that there are not some women who use a man's sexuality to get what they want, but that fact does not excuse
this problem of Nice Guy Syndrome. In your previous posts, you made it sound like every woman who has a man who interested in her is purposefully playing games with him. That is completely untrue. I've had male friends who I know are interested in me, and while I didn't want to be with them romantically, I also didn't want to end my friendship with them because I genuinely like them. There is no way I was "using" my friends because I chose not to get involved with them.

message 23: by Nanasha (new)

Nanasha Ok, so here's my thoughts on the subject.

Let's imagine that you're a guy. You meet this really cool guy (yes I didn't make a typo there, he's a fellow man), who expresses that he'd love to be friends. You guys hang out together- have a lot in common, enjoy each other's company, etc.

Then it comes out that not only is he gay, but he's interested in YOU.

How would you feel if you're not actually gay yourself, or, say you are gay but you're not interested in him?

Would you just dump him or keep him as a friend and kind of at an arm's length and find yourself really bothered and somewhat squicked out every time he touches you or wants an exuberant hug, or if he insists on picking up the tab and gives you stuff for no real reason?

And yes, I've been "friendzoned" of sorts before as a woman. This was back when I was a teenager and still wondering why no one just automatically loved me when I finally started wearing sexy clothes and dieted myself down to a smaller size. Turns out that NO ONE is owed love or affection just for looking and acting a certain way. And yes, this stings when you have done a lot of work to look or act that certain way, but guess what?

I finally came to the conclusion that I was REALLY FUCKING MISERABLE by going so far out of my way and deceiving people from my true interests and personality just so I could have someone say "you're worthy of being cared about."

So this is what I suggest to all the "nice" guys out there- be YOURSELF. Not everyone will like YOURSELF, but the people who do are KEEPERS. Why? Because being yourself is the easiest and best way to weed out all the shitheads and fairweather friends and users/abusers who are just looking for some free stuff and someone who will come over and move heavy furniture in the hopes that it will lead to sexytimes.

And yes, expecting to put in kindness coins for eventual sex or intimacy is sexist- it's also really dehumanizing to the person you're supposedly interested in- it makes them into some interchangeable orifice that you're trying to gain access to and that's just gross.

So bottom line- the best way to be happy is to find someone who returns interest in you as you are without any special or ludicrous displays of "winning" them over, and to move on quickly when it appears that the person is not reciprocating.

message 24: by Lyndie (new)

Lyndie Paul wrote: "The object of the infatuation knows of the pain of their admirer full well, and yet chooses not to do the kind thing, which is to cease and reject all contact."

If the friendship is unhealthy for the admirer, then the admirer is the one who should break it off.

Sam wrote: "actually no, I will say one thing. If you are a girl and you want a guy who treats you right (and I mean actually is what you want). Don't be afraid to let him try and win your heart, Love is not l..."

Patronizing, much? Sure, you may not like him that way, but try to let him win your heart because CLEARLY you couldn't have come to the correct decision the first time...

message 25: by Mshayley (new)

Mshayley The friends zone argument always makes me think of this.


message 26: by Zanana (new)

Zanana agree with Lyndie. I've been friendzoned and it was my responsibility as the uncomfortable one in the situation to get myself out of it when it got too costly.

that said, "friendzoning" is different from leading someone on. if I am interested in someone sexually/romantically, and I make it clear, and they are not interested in me that way, their only responsibility to me is to be honest. to lie about their own intentions towards me would indeed be bad behavior. but once all the cards are on the table, the person I'm attracted to doesn't owe me anything.

message 27: by Zanana (last edited May 08, 2012 04:14PM) (new)

Zanana I used to find the question of "nice guys" vs. "not-nice guys" vexing, too. I recommend looking into Wayne Elise's writings on this subject. When I was being "nice" to people I was attracted to, I was often also being disingenuous (trying to be nonchalant, trying to hide my attraction, etc.). People can FEEL that disingenuous vibe, but all they know is that you're hiding something. They'll assume it's something worse than it is. Fratty / cocky / PUA / whatever guys are less threatening simply because they don't appear to be hiding anything. What you see is what you get, which is generally less scary than whatever you imagine might be true about somebody who seems uncomfortable with their own desires.

message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard Oh joy! Another reason why I should consider myself to be a disgusting male chauvinistic pig.

Friendzoning isn't about saying "no" because the woman in question doesn't even acknowledge the man's intentions because he never makes it clear.

message 29: by Richard (new)

Richard Uh... in most cases a woman won't reject the man because the latter has never made his intentions clear. Most men fall into the "friend zone" category for that reason.

The ones who get the "lets just be friends" rejection aren't usually interested in being "friends" with someone they are attracted to and will usually look elsewhere. Of course the ones without any confidence or self-worth will stick around out of desperation (which is assuming they had enough backbone to ask in the first place).

No heterosexual man with desires for a woman wants to be her "gay best friend".

message 30: by Christina K (new)

Christina K Loversandthinkers.com wrote: "It is a real fact of life, friend zoning. This is because the mammalian breeding process has evolved us to "choose the best mate" after they've displayed fitness to producing viable offspring and ensuring the survival of the reproductive unit. It doesn't lead to instant sex, but is a courtship process that evolves over time.

And while you might think it BS, that IS biological.

Are you sentient? Do you have the ability to choose who you have sex with based on something other than your breeding cycle and pheromones? Do you think women are capable of choosing based on something other than hind-brain-driven imperatives to reproduce and produce Niestchzean Supermen?

Then this argument is BS.

Dear people who are not evolutionary biologists or psychologists: stop using 'evolution' as an excuse for your own highly individual, extremely personal preferences, issues, hang-ups, and approaches to finding a 'mate.' The second we acquired the ability to choose our sex partners based on something other than blind unconsidered instinct, biology took a backseat to the planning of finances, inheritance, future preferred planned characteristics of children, emotional compatibility, and cultural values.

You complain of mixed signals: that the previous generation of women claimed they wanted Nice Guys who would treat them well, while the generation you're currently interested in seems to be All About the Sexy Mean Man-Beasts.

Possibly? You're hanging out with women who have Issues.

Possibly they are individuals first, and if you looked at them like that, you'd realize that perhaps they are doing you a favor by not having sex with you, if this is what they're really into.

The issue, in case you lost track of it is:


Women who want men who don't want them = Crazy Psycho Stalker Glenn Close Types Who Should KNOW They Don't Deserve Sex, The Pathetic Ugly Stupid Freaks

Men who want women who don't want them = Darling Woobies Who Have Hearts of Gold and Clearly Deserve Their Gorgeous Co-Stars, Even If There Is No Chemistry

AKA: The Friendzone, Sexist Edition.

message 31: by Zanana (new)

Zanana Way to bring it back on track. I totally agree. Plus evolutionary psych is bunk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Dar...

Loversandthinkers.com Well, for those of you sexist male pigs who are "imagining" that you're being friend zoned, and that biology and human sexual nature has no part in it... this guy has it nailed, advice wise...


message 33: by Christina K (new)

Christina K Loversandthinkers.com wrote: "Well, for those of you sexist male pigs who are "imagining" that you're being friend zoned, and that biology and human sexual nature has no part in it... this guy has it nailed, advice wise..."

I hate to break it to you, but this is not 'battle of the links.'

Also? You are still missing the point of both this blog article and what we're discussing. Which is:

Sometimes she's just not that into you. But modern media is trying to think you that she is.

And she's allowed to *stay* not into you. The same way you (or any guy) are allowed to not be that into a woman for whatever reason. We're acknowledging that society - and way too many men - act as if women are doing something wrong when they don't change their minds, no matter how 'nice' they act. (For 'nice' read: manipulative, with unstated objectives. No, we *don't* assume every guy we meet wants to do us. We can't read your minds.)

Did you even read that article? I suspect you didn't. Because the last, very decent point was:

Don’t get angry. Date someone else (sound familiar?).

Plus, if you keep the first woman as a friend, you’re no longer in the friend zone, right?

You’re just a friend, not a guy waiting around for something to happen and later becoming frustrated when nothing ever does.

Problem solved.

Or does that carry more weight with you, because the writer was a guy?

Loversandthinkers.com if i did, i'm sure it's the media's fault.

message 35: by Devin (new)

Devin Ream I think that one huge thing that is missing in all of this is that women fall into the friendzone as well. I have put some there, and they didn't like the feeling either, and I have been friendzoned before too.

The main thing I didn't like about the friendzone was that after all of the attention and care/affection I showed for this woman, she ends up doing the very thing that she ran to me in the first place for. The thing I wanted was her attention towards me, and yes, as selfish as that is, she was wanting attention as well, hence why they call you or come to you after something bad happens or after something good happens. They want attention, and so do I.

I want to be the thing that she is excited about, sex would be the peak of bliss, but a night out and then watching a movie while cuddling would at least tide me over for a couple of days.

The other thing is that the person being friendzoned is their because they have not effectively told the other person how they feel, period. They are attracted enough to them that they would love sex, but just a date and a try would do, if it didn't work out then, then most people as long as they are not psychopaths would then move on to someone who is interested in them.

Portraying this as men being sex monsters who only want the next vagina to hide their penis into is not exactly why they are being friendzoned now is it? It is because many times women do the same thing, and expect male attention, and we think mostly that it is them just wanting to date us, but it would seem that women, not all, but most, think that for men it is instantly about sex.

To look at it in a mature way, the man and the woman in your scenario are at fault, one for the man because he isn't expressing himself the way he really feels, and one for the woman not seeing or feeling that the man is trying a little bit above and beyond the call of "friendship" duty. Both should say something, if not the man, than the woman, and if the woman doesn't notice it then the man should finally come out with it already. Simple communication fixes so many problems and usually extinguishes many preconceived notions of sexism or racism, or feminism for that matter.

I think male and female have a side on this debate and I think overall both sides agree that it is hurtful and emotions after something like this is usually really bad. So take it as a lesson learned and try not to make that mistake again.

Loversandthinkers.com Glad to see this tread is alive. I had a strange "friend zone" experience concluded last fall. Ms. X, who I had been stuck in the friendzone with had finished her college courses, and we were on the patio celebrating. By this stage I had been dating other women and just being her "friend". After just a couple drinks, where she tells me she's actually been sleeping with her ex who cheated on her for the past year, she gets chilly. I take off my sweater and hand it to her. Then, for the first time ever after 18 months, SHE STARTS KISSING ME. I mean, that beautiful 2 minute long soul shattering kiss. I was unprepared, but being in love with her, I didn't want it to end.

A couple minutes after kissing me, she said, "its too cold, lets go inside" and as I was bringing the stuff in, she picked up her purse and left without a goodbye. I know for sure I didn't offend her by starting the kiss, I was surprised and startled that it even happened. Well, the next day I call, we had planned to go to a mutual friend's wedding, and she tells me she needs some time, and then basically stops communicating all together.

I've met another woman since then and we've been dating seriously as a couple, not friends, and once Ms. X found out via fb, she's been calling me all the time to go out for drinks and meals. The thing with her ex didn't go anywhere, (but she stills sees him occasionally - he's "rich" btw, which makes me doubt the female's here claiming that women don't prefer sex with men lavishing resources on them).

It's a little bit sad, because after 18 months of courting Ms. X unsuccessfully, honestly in love with her, I'm now in a relationship with a wonderful woman, yet the feelings are not so dramatic as with Ms. X. I would never "go back" with Ms. X now, and have told her I can be "just friends" but that isn't sitting well with her. I guess when the shoes on the other foot... it hurts.

message 37: by Devin (new)

Devin Ream @ginmar - I understand your logic behind that but you're still not addressing the women that fall into the friendzone as well. Because women complain about it as well. Most women would say that they are not in it for sex, unless you think they are as well. As i stated before, sex is a notion but it is definitely not the full story. There are a lot of emotions and manipulation on both sides of these things and in your experience you expressed that he was a creep and he probably was, but others in this situation probably didnt think the male or female trying to get their attention or affextion was a creep , just a really good friend.

message 38: by Graham (new)

Graham Ginmar wrote: "I have only your word for that, Devin, while my whole life, the whole world, and this piece itself show that you're just trying to argue away the obvious sexism."

.......you have only Devin's word for that?
You've never heard of a woman not handling rejection well? You've never heard of a man telling a woman he's friends with that he doesn't want to date her? You've never heard of a gay guy or a lesbian doing that to someone of their same sex? Seriously?

The problem isn't Devin here -- the problem is, you need to get out more. And maybe recognize some of your own sexist belief -- which is that men cannot help but want to have sex with every women. *That* sexist belief is the reason why we teach women how to protect themselves from rapists instead of teaching men not to rape. Sometimes men don't want to sleep with a woman -- true fact, I promise you -- and if that woman wants to sleep with or date that man, she too may be rejected and, dare I say it? Friend zoned. The friend zone is a specific type of rejection, wherein the rejecter wants to stay friends with the rejected. That's ALL it is. And it can happen in a multitude of ways, and not all of them are sexist.

Now, the scenario described above IS sexist, yes. A man is romantically interested in a woman, so he is nice to her and then eventually (after becoming "friends") makes a move to try to sleep with (not to date, sleep with) that woman, she says no, and he becomes upset. (Note: being upset after being rejected is *natural* and is not sexist -- even if he calls her a bitch or says things like "after all I did for her!" If he never gets over it or he truly thought going into this that she was going to him, THAT's sexist).
The sexist part is the sympathy he'll get from society, whereas a woman in the same situation wouldn't. The sexism is society's double standard, not in the "friend zone" itself.

message 39: by Graham (new)

Graham My case doesn't really need "help", it's correct. And it isn't correct because I'm a man -- which negates your accusation of mansplaining. It's correct because the things I'm saying are true.

If I weren't, you probably would have had something more to say about it. But the fact is, irrefutably, women can be friend zoned. Gay men can be friend zoned by other men. And gay women can be friend zoned by other women. That's all Devin was saying -- a fact neither you nor the author of this article have addressed at all. You actually stated that Devin was trying to "argue away the obvious sexism" by pointing out that it happens to *everyone*.

The friend zone isn't sexist. What IS sexist is that there is a double standard, whereby a man rejected by a woman gets sympathy from society as a whole, and the woman is villified by society as a whole. In any other case of friend zoning, that's not how it goes. In any other case, the friend zoned party will get sympathy from their other friends and society as a whole will villify them for being upset at being rejected.

message 40: by Celia (last edited Jul 01, 2013 03:32AM) (new)

Celia Loversandthinkers.com wrote: "Actually, friendzoning has a sociopolitical origin in my opinion. In the time before males learned that sex created babies, it was a big mystery to them. Primitive prehistoric cultural references i..."

I'm sorry, but this... *laughing while shaking my head* is... haha, such bull. lol, still laughing...
Why, what do I mean? Well, women like sex ( GOOD sex. If men knew how to do it right, everyone would spend more time in then out of bed.)
And if we see a potential sex partner (aka good looking guy) - that is approachable - MOST FEMALES WOULD HAVE SEX WITH THEM RIGHT AWAY AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER. Just like guys. But for obvious reasons it's a bad idea (Obvious Reasons: exclusive, expensive and quality merchandise is what most people want. Unfortunately sleeping gets you stamped with "free/cheap" which - gasp - "couldn't" be quality or exclusive! It's like a guy getting Friend-Zoned - but you get called a slut.)

Truth is I'm/we're just not sexually interested in our guy friends. Why?! And what should all these men do?
There are three golden rules, that will make women want any man as a sexual partner.
#1. Nice Physic ... Come on, any one can do this, so get your ass of the couch; it only takes training correctly every day for an hour and eating right. (Now don't cry, every attractive female exercises, or do you think only females need to look attractive?)
#2. Get shit done. Women like men who can take action. In Danish we have a word "untranslatable" to English, but the direct translation would be: 'action-strong'. Do it. Be it.
#3. No whining or complaining - we hatez da sourz pus face! Actually, nobody likes this. It's just a good thumb rule for any relationship: You can share, but don't pout.
Just to be safe, do the opposite of being a downer;
#4. Make people happy. All you need to do is make them smile & laugh (genuinely). All you need to do while talking with others is focus on something good/happy (preferably relevant to the discussion), so it makes you smile and then look in the eyes - BAM you infected the other person with smile and subsequently a good mood. Mixing it up with funny anecdotes/stories, laughing will make people want to be with you, and in so again making you more "attractive".

My male friends are lacking one or more. What you need to do is to make yourself irresistible with these 3 (4) rules, because although there might be an attraction without some, it'll fade quickly. But some can be negated: e.g. looks could be made irrelevant by a truly ingenious and motivated man! An ogre looking man could transform into a fitness model.

What is my cruel point? If you had to "court" someone - no, somefour - for almost a year, she's not into you. SHE. IS. NOT. INTO. YOU!
I don't not care how you turn it and what you say they said, it was only to appease you. My relationship sensor has 20/20 eyesight. Let's just say every relationship I have ever analyzed has has gone the way I predicted years in advance. Why? Because it's plain to see: If you are hungry right now, you go and get some food and eat. You don't wait 10 months. "But that's not the same!" You might say. It is. It's physical need that many would like to feed at least once a day. And you see, most females could find sex as easily as a man could find food (lol). So if your "friends" wanted it to happen, it would've happened the metaphorical 'yesterday', not 'tomorrow'. Being in love with someone, is having an huge attraction to them. Doesn't mean she's not shy and is going to turn into an instant sex vixen, but 4 times for almost a year is a classic case of 'uninterested'.
Harsh truth ahead: They simply gave up, because they couldn't find someone to their standard and you were there (even if you are nice, but they were lonely &/or desperate and needed companionship, because sadly most females think/feel they need a male to validate themselves. BS - it's weak backbone sheep mentality syndrome. IMO.)

Although this is criticism, it's not for my sadistic pleasure. This is gold if used correctly. It's supposed to be CONSTRUCTIVE. Use it that way, do it with all criticism and you can only end up bettering yourself.

So what to do? Evaluate yourself and know if you are missing more than one of the 3 and you know WHY you are just a friend.
Change for the better. Be with people until you can smile and chat easily with strangers (I'm serious, most people - including me - have minor social phobias. Just take things as they come and never take anything personally/"heavily", it's all just fun and games.)

message 41: by Celia (last edited Jul 01, 2013 04:54AM) (new)

Celia Shelby wrote: "Commenters, I can tell you one very easy to see thing- you are sexist. Congratulations!

Paul, that is not what this article is addressing in the slightest. The kind of woman who would see that an..."

You go girl.
I have to tell (possibly interested) males, whom I am not interested in, a couple of facts from the get go because of "The Friend Zone". It's pretty much:
1. I have dozens of other platonic male friends (I am tomboy, but dress like a girl (in public) - very confusing for males! lol.)
2. I am not now, nor ever interested in sex with friends - see long list of male FRIENDS.
3. I hate when friends hit on me and I dump them asap.

I have one friend who has made it clear that he's interested, I've made clear that I'm not, but he said the reason he likes me is because I smile and am friendly to anyone, of any age, color, gender - not just male acquaintances.
BUT for a long time I was quite sad that men thought I was flirting, because I was smiling and genuinely interested in what they had to say. So I should have to become a nonchalant self observed individual, because women can't be interested in you without thinking she's coming on to you? Lift up people's mood and subsequently seeing them happy, makes me happy - that doesn't exclude strangers. It's awe-some to talk and help a person crying on the street.
... But I have learned to contain my smile, when I see interest in the eyes of males.

BTW to the guys: there are bitches who like to string men along, crossing the line of friendship and then saying no. That could be labeled "Friend Zoning", but now a days any schmuk who doesn't 'get the girl' feels scorned and cheated, and states "she Friend-Zoned me".
Honestly if she was really fun to be with, but ugly, you wouldn't say she friend zoned you. How crappy is that? So I have to wear ugly clothes, neglect the comb etc. when I'm hanging with "my guys". To men's defense I could say that my brother told me that if there is a pretty girl AND he likes her personality, he can't be friends, because (visibly) attractive body plus likable person translates into want to have intimate relationship aka hopefully 'my next girlfriend'.

message 42: by Loversandthinkers.com (last edited Jul 01, 2013 05:12AM) (new)

Loversandthinkers.com Good points there Celia, just wanted to reply and add a comment.

Quite a few months ago, I was having beers with friends at the park and on the other part of the table was a crowd of Brits. After a view beers, one of the women and I were talking and she causally informed me that back home, she's a professional relationship counselor, and even though we weren't talking about relationships at the time, she wanted to ask me something. "Do you find that women put you in the friend category often?". Curious as to why she asked, she told me, "you're a powerful looking guy (I get called Stone Cold Steve Austin a lot) but your personality indicates that you overcompensate by trying to be nice to put women at ease too much".

As I thought about what she just said, she explained that its common for big muscular guys to be "too nice" so as to be less threatening, and then explained that this was working against me because the "danger factor" was something that created sexual tension and attracts many women. Women would be interested in me physically, but when they see I'm just a big puppy, the two don't jive together and the tension deflates. She wasn't trying to pick me up, as her long time husband was there, but I've taken her advice and it has worked wonders... not negging on girls or anything, just challenging them a bit more and not going out of my way to not seem imposing has the women calling me now.

As for the one I waited a year for, turns out that she had some sugar daddy paying her bills, some travelling businessman guy and she couldn't go with her feelings because, well, "its complicated"... we're still friends and go out for dinners, but she's a bit pissy that I'm not there on call for her anymore and am happily dating her best friend's twin sister...

Keep up the good posts, and remember, you're special, just the way you are... so be who you are.

message 43: by Bunnymunro (last edited Jan 03, 2015 08:08AM) (new)

Bunnymunro In my frantic search to find something online to illustrate something to guy friend, I found your PERFECT post.
I understand the post is old, but I need your expert thoughts, desperately!
(Btw, the letter before B is stuck on computer unless spell check picks up on it, please know I'm not illiterate... well for the most part!)

I'm n adult wom_n, & very, very happily single.
Here's the situation:
I have _ big, wonderful rescue dog that my "guy friend" loves to wlk.
We have become friends over the period of 3 years & I do love him in _ platonic wy.

Just this Christmas, he shows up with wht I would consider "romantic gifts," which consisted of C_lvin Klein dress jacket, expensive leather pocket book & expensive "Columbia snow bunny" boots.
My mouth fell open...
Not only that but of course none of them were my style (he is unbelievably lacking in observation & common sense in general, & tries wy too hard, but is short guy who gets puffed up chest when told he does something good, ANNOYING!
On the other hand, he is really _ good person, we just have little in common other than being interested in dog rescue & my dog in particular.

So, not knowing wht to sy, I waited couple of days & then told him gently that; It's not that I didn't think the items were not lovely, & that I greatly
appreciated his efforts, but that I would have never chosen these things for myself & that I went him to return them.
& if he RE_LLY wanted to get something, that I would prefer something practical.
Wht I w_s really thinking is that these things felt like "romantic gifts,"
Would you agree?

I tried to tell him that these were items that only one of my queenie
guy friends or that husband would buy for wife.
He looked dejected @ that point, which bothered me.
I laughed & asked "why do you look annoyed? did you get these things for me or to feed your ego?! "come on, I KNOW your'e not that sort of guy, right?"
When what I really wanted to s_y was
"who the fuck do you think you re buying me such personal items?
Not only that but, "why would you think you have the taste to pull off buying me these sorts of things?!"
I felt there w_s _ cocky element to wht he he hd done.
But _m I being too harsh?

I would love, LOVE to know what you think of this silly situation.
Wht would you do & how would you take this?
Thank you SO much for your time in reading my crazy _ss post!
Oh, & something else I catch him doing every now & then is: calling me "babe"
It drives me absolutely nuts!

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