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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

“Missed attraction” without entitlement doesn’t look like “FFFUUUUU” in your mind.

Seriously, think about who of your “friendzoned” friends who seem completely cool about that, so you write about him/her as an good counterexample of rage guy could possibly hide one’s frustration deep inside and maybe let it out as an anonymous post somewhere online… who knows?

Assholes are always so convinced that everyone else is secretly an asshole too.

I’ve gotten turned down by friends, and my response was a lot more “aw, that’s too bad” and a lot less “I’m going to go rant on the Internet now about how I never would have been your friend if I knew I weren’t getting laid for my troubles.”

yzek
yzek
10 years ago

And showing clearly your interest in someone, is not the same as revealing true feelings: “wanna go to the cinema?”, “wanna go out with me?”

Hey, we’re talking about friends (or “friends”) here who already hang out…

“But your chances of being seen as a potential partner doesn’t increase over time, if any that’s the odds of hearing “you’re a brother to me” that increase.”

Oh, so it’s a matter of “good timing” again and not just who possibly wants to date?

Y.

indifferentsky
10 years ago

I get very emotional, teary, everything when I think that my fiancee and I only got together because of a misunderstanding. He thought he was getting something from me, some signals, or some things I had done pertained to him and they didn’t. Didn’t even cross my mind. He was a friend. I’ll never forget his first line, “this is either going to be a really good idea or a really bad idea” was the message he wrote. I gave it a shot and my entire life is different now, and had I not my entire life course would be so different I shudder. Had he not sent me that message, then what if a few days later he realized he was wrong? We were so close to missing that train. I have a feeling I’ll be bawling about this for years, and if I ever get over it, it’ll come up on anniversaries. Best mistake ever. Go for it people.

yzek
yzek
10 years ago

@Cliff Pervocracy:

I’m happy for you. Please continue to call me names.
Y.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

And showing clearly your interest in someone, is not the same as revealing true feelings: “wanna go to the cinema?”, “wanna go out with me?”

Hey, we’re talking about friends (or “friends”) here who already hang out…

Oh, ffs, if it’s not clear enough you make it clearer. English is not my first language so I’m probably not the right person to find way to express yourself, but I’m sure you’re smart enough to find words to say “Hi, person, I would like to spend some time with you alone in the prospect of a romantic relationship. How about it?”.

And, passed the obvious exceptions (the person is already in a monogamous relationship, the person has made clear they have no time/desire for dating at this particular time,…) the good moment to ask out is when you realize the attraction, not months or years later, especially if you are the kind of guy who get resentful while being in the “friendzone”.

indifferentsky
10 years ago

yzek no no no wait… how do you get that? People here have plenty of compassion for broken dreams, etc. but not compassion for people that get MAD at the person for not feeling the same way! That I don’t get at all, it’s like the person didn’t really like THE PERSON, and yes that word entitlement again. People are ridiculing people for treating others like vending machines, not for getting their hearts broken and dreams smashed, they’re rightfully bashing the objectification and ego rage.

Cliff Pervocracy
10 years ago

I like how “asshole” is hurtful meanie namecalling but “all your friends secretly hate you for not fucking them” is just telling it like it is.

Dracula
Dracula
10 years ago

It’s amazing to me that you seem to believe that burying your attraction to someone deep inside until it ferments into a reeking quagmire of resentment is less likely to perceived as creepy than being open and honest about your intentions from the start, yzek.

Your thinking on this matter is completely backward.

yzek
yzek
10 years ago

@”People are ridiculing people for treating others like vending machines, not for getting their hearts broken and dreams smashed”

It’s the other way around: people who have broken hearts get accused of all bad motives for their pain.

“all your friends secretly hate you for not fucking them”

No, it was “some of your friends could be really angry about rejection and don’t show that because… let’s guess A) they hide their inner passive-aggresive asshole B) they are decent to you and not burder with their frustration?

“being open and honest about your intentions from the start”

Assumptions, assumptions, wrong assumptions again, now about me. Let’s check: I never had a years or event months long “friendzone”, does third “not a date” count as “from the start” or damn too late?

Y.

yzek
yzek
10 years ago

corretion “and don’t want to burden you with their frustration”

Dracula
Dracula
10 years ago

You got me there, I did make an assumption, in that I assumed you were actually having the same conversation as the rest of us.

You’re talking about hanging out three times? That’s not “friend zone” territory, that’s barely even a damn acquaintanceship.

If you can get that frustrated over someone you barely even know, you’ve got much bigger problems than bad timing.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

It’s the other way around: people who have broken hearts get accused of all bad motives for their pain.

You still don’t get it, we’re not mocking pain, sadness or broken hearts. We’re mocking anger and entitlement.

indifferentsky
10 years ago

“It’s the other way around: people who have broken hearts get accused of all bad motives for their pain.” -yzek

Please point to where motives are being discussed and not individuals own words and actions. What’s being criticized here are statements that “I did XYZ and the bitch didn’t put out, I’m sick of this.” That has nothing to do with someone with a broken heart saying “gee I’m sad I wish that could have gone somewhere.” And you know it.

Why would there even be a post regarding someone’s broken heart? That happens to all of us. What’s being discussed here are openly stated motives and people lashing out at others for not getting the relationship they want. Nobody is owed a relationship. You ignored the other points I made, which already refute yours, so this is going in circles.

You’re not being honest about the topic here, or the subsequent discussion on the actual topic. Show me one example of someone with a broken heart, quote them, and then quote others here kicking that person when they are down.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

You’re talking about hanging out three times? That’s not “friend zone” territory, that’s barely even a damn acquaintanceship.

If you can get that frustrated over someone you barely even know, you’ve got much bigger problems than bad timing.

This. How can it be the “friendzone” when it has barely been long enough to start making a new friend?

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

No, it was “some of your friends could be really angry about rejection and don’t show that because… let’s guess A) they hide their inner passive-aggresive asshole B) they are decent to you and not burder with their frustration?

This question is made much easier to answer by the fact that A) and B) are the same thing. Convenient!

If I’m hanging out with someone I consider a friend, and I think we’re having a conversation we are both enjoying about the movie we just watched, but he’s really thinking to himself “Gah, why won’t she love me?? I keep watching these terrible movies that I don’t even like with her! I’m so frustrated right now! I don’t want to talk about the movie we just watched, I want to go at it in a stall in the bathroom! Oh well, I probably should just keep playing along and not burden her with my feelings,” then he’s hiding away his passive-aggressive asshole. He’s also being incredibly dishonest, and an awful friend.

indifferentsky
10 years ago

I thought yzek was going back in time and questioning when he should have said something, and THEN he got “zoned”. Whatever the case, she owes you nada, bro. If you care about her, then that does not turn to anger.

When my guy friend turned me into a love interest and he said that “this is either a really good idea or a really bad idea” he went on and on about what would happen next. He said no matter what I said, we could still be friends, OR if he creeped me out he would go away and never bother me again, or whatever I wanted, he made it very clear and he was apologetic for possibly making things awkward in the first place, because he didn’t want to put ME in a position. Because he cared about me. (oh gawd, teary again!)

indifferentsky
10 years ago

tsk come on yzek, just say it, you wanted to bang a chick that didn’t want to bang you, just say it. That’s not a broken heart.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Yeah men might fantasize about it, but more often than not men can’t handle a decent leer. Its not a compliment to be looked at that way, something you’d know if it ever happened to you.

Joanna
10 years ago

I always miss all the fun =(

yzek
yzek
10 years ago

@Viscaria:
Nah, he actually LIKES those movies. And you already KNOW he’s attracted to you, because he already told you so. Now analyse this.

Your willingness to make all cases of “friendzone” similar and simple like a hammer construction doesn’t supprise me. You cannot go burning witches without good recognition who’s a witch like: anyone mentioning dreaded “friendzone” word, letting out bad feelings about being rejected by a friend, or even worse: hiding it.

@indifferentsky: So, I guess I’m not a good FZ example, oh, what a supprise. Bu so is anyone commenting above.

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

@Viscaria:
Nah, he actually LIKES those movies. And you already KNOW he’s attracted to you, because he already told you so.

Is he still pissed at me for not being attracted to him as well? And hanging out with me anyway, pretending he isn’t? Then sorry, no dice. That’s still dishonest, and it’s still being a bad friend. Not to mention that he has no right to be angry at me in the first place. I haven’t done anything wrong. Unless you assume you are entitled to the affection and/or sex from a woman if you’re sufficiently decent to her, you should understand that a woman rejecting you is not doing a mean thing to you that she should feel bad about.

If he’s just a friend hanging out with me who happens to be attracted to me and has told me so but we’re all good and he doesn’t secretly resent me, well then that’s just peachy, isn’t it? It’s also not what we’re talking about.

Pecunium
10 years ago

yzek: Individuals getting “friendzoned” most usually don’t pretend friendship. They know (from their own experience or because someone told so) that revealing true feelings too early leads to rejection, so you need to get closer to each other and wait for right moment.

This is contrary to experience (mine, and as related here by the commenters you so glibly dismiss). Why isn’t our testimony as valid as the people who are, “friendzoned” and talking about it with rage.

I think, “waiting for the right moment” (in this context) is creepy. What is the right moment? To hear the “friendzoned” tell it, the moment seems to be when the target of one’s interest is vulnerable.

That sounds more like they are prey than beloved. In more than 25 years of being in relationships (and about 30 of having sex) I’ve had a few long term acquaintances become sexual (some even becoming relationships), and I’ve never had a brutal rejection for expressing interest. What I have noticed is that the times I didn’t say anything, just pined to be noticed… were the times a romance which might have been died aborning.

Your claim that “true friendship should survive romantic rejection” is basically wrong. No one never-ever should be encouraged to stay in that kind of sick relationship

I’m confused. True friendships without sex are “sick”? Or is it that the rejection of sex/romance perverts it into a sick relationship?

I think that the idea someone can compel a romance (under threat of loss of friendship) is pretty sick. It’s twisted and manipulative. It’s downright creepy.

Seriously, think about who of your “friendzoned” friends who seem completely cool about that, so you write about him/her as an good counterexample of rage guy could possibly hide one’s frustration deep inside and maybe let it out as an anonymous post somewhere online… who knows?

Seriously, when we talk about ourselves being “freindzoned” and how it’s not that bad, you don’t accept that it’s a good counterexample. You tell us we don’t know what it’s like.

And we don’t. We don’t know what it’s like to feel an irrational anger that someone wasn’t that into us. But we are supposed to accept the testimony of the “friendzoned” that this is the way of the world.

Ok, maybe in their world. But that doesn’t make them not assholes. Everyone has the right to say no. If the rejected person wants to be a dick about it I have the right to not respect them; to think them less than decent human beings.*

Oh, so it’s a matter of “good timing” again and not just who possibly wants to date?

Way to be clueless; reread this: “But your chances of being seen as a potential partner doesn’t increase over time, the second part, the part you pretend means it’s all a matter of timing says, if any that’s the odds of hearing “you’re a brother to me” that increase.” If someone isn’t interested, and you wait a long time to tell them; especially if you are being the sort of person who is being ingratiating as a means of trying to encourage feelings not being expressed, you are more likely to be seen a creepy. It’s not timing, it’s behavior.

I realise you don’t believe it, but the best odds are to be upfront as soon as you have interest; because putting it off reduces the odds, since it makes the motives seem less honest.

If I’m interested in someone I want to let them know. If they’ve swept me off my feet, caused me to be restless in my bed, write poetry, daydream about them, it’s pretty hard to not tell them.

So if someone tells me they’ve been that way for months, or years, and never told me… I’m going to wonder about their motives.

*I realise you don’t believe me, but you will note I didn’t mention the gender of the person; anyone who gets that angry over being rejected is being a shit.

Pecunium
10 years ago

yzek: It’s the other way around: people who have broken hearts get accused of all bad motives for their pain.

Nope. All the sympathy in the world for their pain. None at all for their actions.

I’ve been rejected. Sucks. Hurts like a motherfucker. I’ve been dumped. That’s worse.

But that doesn’t give me the right to be an asshole. Even the ex who was a shit to me. The one I hated… didn’t deserve being abused for it. Yeah, she was cruel. Yeah, I was hurting. No, I shouldn’t have done anything more than walk away (and be glad hadn’t actuallu gotten to the wedding yet).

I’ve rejected people. Some who said they’d been crushing on me for years (a couple of whom were too young when they were crushing to have even hoped for a yes). Does that make me a gold-plated bastard?

Probably not, in your eyes, because I’m male.

Your willingness to make all cases of “friendzone” similar and simple like a hammer construction doesn’t supprise me

Well, in one regard you are correct; we think that people who think they are entitled to sexy-fun times/romantic relationship, are mistaken.

We think people who get angry when this mistake is made plain are jerks.

All the rest, the justifications and the excuses and the rationalisations about how they are entitled to be jerks because of “their pain” is pointless perseflage meant to distract people from seeing just how jerkish they are.

Pecunium
10 years ago

In my experience the “friendzone” complainers have it backwards. There seems to be a window when one’s sense of a person isn’t solidified; when they could be romantic prospects, or “just friends”. The longer there isn’t an expression of romantic interest, the more likely they are to be filed as, “just friends”.

So waiting for, “the right moment” is the longer odds (it’s not that I’ve never “discovered” an interest later; nor had someone I’d known for some time express an interest, that I did reciprocate, but it’s not been often).

The first dozen, or so, interactions; those seem the most likely to lead to romance.

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

I’m attracted to lots of my friends but the last time I developed an actual crush on one was… 4-ish years ago? We met because she was dating a good friend of mine. I hope this is obvious, but I’ll state it for the record: it would have been incredibly disrespectful to both her and her boyfriend/my friend if I’d made a move on her when they were involved. Not to mention, as far as I know she’s totally straight.

But we hung out anyway, because we liked one another. We had common interests, and similar personalities. You know what I felt when we spent time together? Grateful that I had made such a nice friend. Glad that she and my friend were really happy with one another.

You know what I never felt when I was with her? Angry that she wasn’t with me. Resentful that she wasn’t into women/this woman right here. Those are really fucked-up things to think about a friend. I definitely didn’t think that if I just did enough things for her, she’d have to fall for me, because omg that’s how girls work rite?? because I’m not a manipulative, misogynistic asshole.

If you would consider that “being in the friend-zone,” then congratulations: you’re talking about something entirely different from the rest of us. We’re talking about angry, entitled jerks who get mad when friends won’t sleep with them even though they’re such “nice guys”. If you’re mad because you’ve decided we’re talking about people who happen to develop romantic/sexual interest in their friends, then that is your misunderstanding which you need to correct.

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