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Friend-zoning Out

One of approximately ten gazillion zillion “friend zone” rage comics.

I’m too lazy to write a real post today, so I thought I’d point you all to a pretty decent analysis of the dreaded “friend zone” by Foz Meadows on goodreads.

Here she is addressing the “Nice Guys” of the world:

[S]omewhere 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.

Seriously, Nice Guys, if you think of your friendship with a woman as a means to an end, or some kind of purgatory, then it’s not really a friendship, and you’re doing both yourself and your crush a disservice by persisting in it.  (I learned this lesson myself the hard way, a long time before there were helpful internet posts explaining to me why Nice Guying was a recipe for crappiness all around.)

Speaking of learning: I also learned from Foz Meadows’ post that there is a Wikipedia entry for “friend zone,” complete with advice on how dudes can avoid getting  “friendzoned” in the first place.

Several advisers urged men, during the initial dates, to touch women physically in appropriate places such as elbows or shoulders as a means of increasing the sexual tension. … Adviser Ali Binazir agrees, and suggested for the man to be a “little bit dangerous”, not in a violent sense, but “with a bit of an edge to them”, and be unpredictable and feel “comfortable in their skin as sexual beings.”

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia … for Your Penis*.

Also: Here is the official Friend Zone anthem, “Consolation Prize” by Orange Juice. Lyrics here.

* Hetero cis penis only.

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Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

Dudes. Real talk. You know how you hang out with your guy friends, and you talk about mostly light silly stuff but sometimes serious shit, and you watch sports or TV or maybe movies together, and you eat together, and you invite each other to your parties and you help each other out when a friend needs to move a sofa or something? And it’s not like an insult that your guy friends don’t fuck you, it’s just they don’t happen to be attracted to you?

When a girl says she wants to be your friend, she means exactly the same thing.

This is not complicated.

darksidecat
10 years ago

People who complain about “friendzoned” generally aren’t people who have crushes on an actual friend (which happens), they are just sleazeballs pretending to be friends to try and manipulate someone. That’s not nice, it’s not friendly, it’s an asshole move. It’s not always fun to have a crush on a friend, but if that’s what’s happening, you don’t regret the friendship or feel like they owe you sex because you don’t treat them like shit.

Christine Noble
10 years ago

Yeah, you know, even in the middle of my heavily over correcting, getting into fights for fun, overly macho days, I never got this mentality. Maybe it’s because even as deep in the closet as I was with my trans status even with myself, I knew deep down, but more than once I came dangerously close to thumping one of my straight cis-male friends for this garbage for their own good.

Maybe I just look at it differently, maybe b/c of my trans status some will think my views on this will lack legitimacy, but I’ve been “friend zoned” (only using that b/c that’s what they call it.) In fact only recently. I fell head over heels for this wonderful, smart, attractive, tough and ambitious young woman. She does not feel the same. You know what? That’s all good. I still have this wonderful, smart, attractive, tough and ambitious friend. Will there always be a part of me that hopes she sees in me what I see in her? Probably, I’m the type when I fall in love, unless that person is needlessly cruel part of me always loves them, but if she never does, and that is very likely, then I’m OK.

If you are friends with someone b/c you think you are going to be more, than you are not really friends. You need to check yourself, and your male privilege.

That said, I am sure for some guys (and I won’t speculate on percentages) it’s not outrage or feeling like they are owed, but rather embarrassment and simple heartbreak. Just as she cannot control whether or not she falls in love with you, you cannot control whether or not you fall in love with her, and when your heart hurts you like that, you can sometimes behave like an asshole.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

Oh, one more thing, dudes?

If a woman says “help me with XYZ” but does not say “help me with XYZ and I’ll fuck you,” then she probably will not fuck you after you XYZ.

Expect this. It is not a betrayal. She was quite clear with you. If you will resent doing XYZ unless you get sex, then don’t do it, because you were not promised sex.

Argenti Aertheri
10 years ago

Oh, one more thing, dudes?

If a woman says “help me with XYZ” but does not say “help me with XYZ and I’ll fuck you,” then she probably will not fuck you after you XYZ.

Expect this. It is not a betrayal. She was quite clear with you. If you will resent doing XYZ unless you get sex, then don’t do it, because you were not promised sex.

Seriously, try asking if she’ll cover a pizza or something if you need your good deed reciprocated right now…otherwise assume that when you need your sofa moved, she’ll probably return the favor >.< (Do they manage to have functional real life friendships with other men even if they can't handle this?)

And now I want pizza, damnit

Allison (@neverdidlikeyou)

I used to have a lot if unrequited crushes when I was younger and (more) awkward. And sometimes I’d even try to do stuff for the dudes I crushed on in the hopes they’d realize they should like me back. (Look at me! Look at how nice I’m being to you!) But I never once saw it as a failing on their part if they never returned the attraction (and eventually stopped seeing it as a failure on my part as well) and still enjoyed the friendships even if at times they were painful for me.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

Yeah, most reasonable people (and that includes women, ZOMG) asking for favors will readily answer “what’s in it for me?” with an offer of snacks and beer/soda at a minimum. Not only is this delicious, it lets you know just where you stand sex-wise.

If someone does respond to “what’s in it for me?” with “gosh, don’t you want to do a favor for such a pretty girl?” or some such (one of those scenarios that happens constantly in MRA-land, not so much in reality, but let’s say it happens), you are allowed to say no. In fact you probably should.

Pretty much the only time you should expect sex for moving a sofa and/or hearing a sob story is when someone actually promises you sex.

This is kind of Humans 101.

A. Franklin
A. Franklin
10 years ago

I think Meadows does a disservice to some men with the implication that disappointment at rejection is necessarily a reflection of their frustrated sexual expectations. The “payoff”, the “golden opportunity” of a romantic interest can be just that: romantic. Put simply, this comes down to the difference between wanting to be with someone and just wanting to sleep with someone. I imagine many men see the ‘friend zone’ as full of broken hearts, not unjustly teased cocks.

To those who see the latter… read the above.

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

I’ve never really experienced the friend zone thing although I hear about it all the time. I had several friends who were girls when I was growing up but I never pursued any of my female friends in a romantic way. I also never was offered the “consolation prize” of “let’s just be friends” with those who I did try with.

An on topic question though for anyone who wouldn’t mind answering. Let’s say me or any guy were to approach a woman and start talking what would be a good way to let her know that your attracted to her and not just talking to her to be friendly? Because while I wouldn’t mind making new friends I do hope to have a girlfriend and also have sex at some point in my lifetime.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

A. Franklin – It doesn’t really make a difference. Women owe their friends romantic love exactly as much as much as they owe them a good fuck.

…ZERO.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

Let’s say me or any guy were to approach a woman and start talking what would be a good way to let her know that your attracted to her and not just talking to her to be friendly?

Start out talking in a friendly way, but then (after developing some sort of connection, but before agreeing to any purely-friendly further meetings): “Would you like to go on a date some time?”

Or if you’re just looking for a lay “would you like to go back to my place?” (if she agrees, you also have to ask “would you like to have sex?” explicitly once you’re at your place), but this will have a lower success rate.

Neither one will guarantee you a positive response, of course, but nothing will do that. So at least this way you’ll guarantee that you aren’t leaving anything ambiguous.

A. Franklin
A. Franklin
10 years ago

Cliff Pervocracy, I agree, and I don’t mean to imply any debt or obligation on anyone’s part in that situation, apologies if I did. My intended point is that disappointment need neither be sexual nor imply expectation: I can be sad that you don’t love me without expecting that they ought to.

A. Franklin
A. Franklin
10 years ago

*that you ought to.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

I don’t think anybody’s angry at guys who are sad that someone they like doesn’t like them back.

If you look at things like the rage comic, there are men who are expressing anger and this weird sense of betrayal that a woman would talk to them and not date them, and that’s what we’re making fun of here.

cloudiah
10 years ago

This “friend zone” crap always gets me. I apparently “friend zoned” a guy in high school, who then ended up stalking me through my first year of college (we went to the same school), making sure to find out my class/work schedule each quarter, where I was living, who my friends were — and letting me know he knew. Finally he became fixated on someone else and moved on from me, or I probably would have transferred to another school. The woman he moved on to actually did end up transferring; both of us had tried reporting him, but were told he wasn’t doing anything wrong. (This was back in the dark ages of the early 1990s — maybe things are better now?) Now, I’m sure that NAFZVALT* but I still think of them all as creepy as all get out, and they make my skin crawl.

Oh, the best part? About 6 months ago, he tracked me down on Facebook and wanted to be friends. I contacted the woman he moved on to after me, and she got a message from him at around the same time.

*Not All Friend Zone Victims Are Like That.

A. Franklin
A. Franklin
10 years ago

Cliff: And rightly! I just thought, given the title of the piece, that it would be worth mentioning that a man might refer to his being in the “friend zone” without any accompanying feelings of betrayal. Thanks for talking this out with me!

Fembot
10 years ago

It pisses me off how guys complain of being friendzoned by some hot chick, all the while ignoring the less hot, but nice girl. I was ignored by men and boys for years while they chased the hot chicks who inevitably only made them miserable.

I can’t get a supermodel + women are all whores sour grapes = MGTOW

thebewilderness
10 years ago

I don’t think members of the he man woman haters club have friends as most people think of them. They seem to have people who are useful to them and people who refuse to be useful to them. People who refuse to be useful to them are, of course, mean and selfish.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

Fembot – I’m pretty sure those less hot, nice girls dodged a freakin’ bullet. If a guy’s complaining of friendzoning and chasing women who make him miserable, he’s got problems that mere redirection won’t solve.

Myoo
Myoo
10 years ago

Ugh, the comments on that post. Evo-psych galore.

Fembot
10 years ago

Btw a lot of people- at least the ones I know- do have sex with their friends sometimes.

Fembot
10 years ago

@Cliff

I definitely dodged a few bullets there! And I’m happily married now so obviously I never died from a broken heart : D

Fembot
10 years ago

“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.”

Pure genius.

drockthecasbah
10 years ago

@Fembot
Nailed it with the “I can’t get a supermodel” bit.
The whole “freind zone” thing is a unfortunate byproduct of male sexual entitlement in a sexist culture.
It’s like the thought process involves: “Everything suggests I deserve a hot woman and everything suggests that hot women live to fuck, therefore you must be a bitch and/or a manipulative whore.”

Akrasia
Akrasia
10 years ago

And this attitude totally forgets that one of the best ways to meet new women is to have women friends. Women know women! Maybe more mutually attracted women! Also, lots of women love playing matchmaker! If this lady is a friend and you should her you’re a decent human being, no doubt you’re gonna get to meet her (single) friends too.

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