“Guys who complain about being friendzoned only see women as sexual objects, and they are not interested in actual friendship.”

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About the Editors

We're all in this together.

Comments

  1. wellokaythen says:

    “Guys who complain about being friendzoned only see women as sexual objects, and they are not interested in actual friendship.”

    Probably true in a lot of cases, maybe even most, but to say every man who complains about this is like this? Vast overstatement. Just because a man wants one thing doesn’t mean he only wants that one thing. Perhaps there’s an assumption here that a man can’t want sex and something else at the same time?

    For some of the guys, it’s not just disappointing because they want sex from the particular woman, it’s disappointing because they feel unattractive as a result. There is something depressing about someone you’re attracted who only wants you as a friend. It’s natural to feel that way. Sometimes the guy feels that way because he feels entitled, sometimes it’s just a common human reaction.

    How about some recognition that men have feelings and not just egos? Even the ones you might assume are total jerks might even have real, valid human feelings, not just privilege.

    • Michael Philp says:

      This is something I’ve been trying to get across to numerous people over the past few months. I used the term in high school and do you know what every single person who heard it thought? They didn’t think “he totally wants to bang her but can’t”, they thought “he would really like a relationship with this girl, but he is forced to accept that that will never happen, this is not a happy fact for him.”
      It doesn’t stem from male sexual privilege, it’s just been corrupted by it. I never believed that I was entitled to anything more than friendship, but I did want something more than it, and to be told I would never have that was painful. There is no other motivation behind my use of the friend-zone.
      I’m sorry that douchebags have used the term and as such it’s now seen as a part of their (for lack of a better word) movement, but that doesn’t mean I should stop using it, and it doesn’t mean that every single guy who uses it is not interested in actual friendship. As such, Nice Guys of OK Cupid will occasionally shoot innocent bystanders, good men with good intentions who have had their feelings hurt, and I am not ok with that.

      • wellokaythen says:

        And, frankly, if we’re talking about the online world, guys get made fun of for complaining about ANYTHING. Virtually any complaint or expression of frustration will be ridiculed for weakness, sexism, entitlement, you name it. When it comes to dating and relationships, apparently a man is just not supposed to complain about anything, ever.

      • @ Michael Philp

        There’s nothing wrong with a guy simply wanting a romantic relationship with a woman
        and it’s ridiculous that men are being pressure to accept friendships they don’t want.

        rejecting an offer of friendship isn’t the end of the world.

  2. Yeah, no…

    I was not looking for sex, I was looking for a relationship. Someone I could cook for and who would be waiting for me at the end of our workday. I think that goes beyond friendship into something else.

  3. Wait? Why is the comment that said bullying and mocking others is “Justified” heralded as a “Comment of the Day?”

    The idea of the friend zone does NOT stem from sexual privilege; it does not mean that someone feels entitled to sex. Being in the “friend zone” means that Person B does not see Person A as attractive/a viable romantic or sexual partner.

    Yes it’s usually referenced when Person A wants to have a romantic or sexual relationship with Person B, but It doesn’t assume that Person B is owed love/sex with Person A. It doesn’t assume that woman are just a keyboard where you type the secret code and out pops sex. Maybe the term has been abused and the definition has changed, but “getting friend zoned” originally meant that a Person A was interested in a romantic relationship with Person B, maybe at one time Person B was interested in Person A and because Person A didn’t initiate or said something that bother Person B, Person B’s was no longer interested or maybe Person B was never interested in Person A, either way Person B eventually gets the “Let’s just be friends” speech.

    If Person A just wants to be friends with Person B, then being in the friend zone is a good thing. It means that Person B doesn’t see Person A as a romantic partner and there’s no unrequited feelings to get in the way and no one feels hurt; they can just be really good friends.

    If you say you’ve “been friend zoned” when you either haven’t gotten the “LJBF” speech, or you don’t even know the girl yet, that’s not being “friend zoned” that’s called being rejected.

  4. Jonathan G says:

    Au contraire: Guys use the word “friendzone” because the woman–who delights and enthrals them as a unique person they’d like to have a romantic relationship with–does not reciprocate their romantic/sexual interest.

    The guy who sees women as objects doesn’t bother with the term “friendzone” because he’s already off to the nearest bar to find a warm, wet hole to stick it in, and he’s usually a lot more suave, smooth-talking and attractive (i.e. successful) because he’s had a lot of practice at it. And after he’s pumped-and-dumped some woman he picked up at the bar, she can go back to her “friendzone” guy to cry on his shoulder that all men are jerks who just want one thing…

    • The fact that you think the only men to objectify women are “suave, smooth-talking and attractive” just shows that you don’t understand what’s going on. There are plenty of awkward, poorly adjusted, ugly guys who get so wrapped up in the idea of a woman or romance or sex that they ignore the reality of the person who’s right in front of them. Putting a woman on a pedestal is just as objectifying as treating her like she’s disposable.

      Complaining about the “friend zone” also bastardizes the word “friend.” Friendship is no longer something to want and enjoy for its own sake. It’s not even a consolation prize. It’s a punishment, it’s the ultimate in humiliation. Or, like your hypothetical friendzone guy, it’s a means to an end. Anybody who does what you described is not a real friend.

      • Jonathan G says:

        Sorry, it’s not a fact because I don’t think that, which is incidentally why I didn’t say that.

        But, could you explain why a guy can’t want friendship with a woman for its own sake, also desire a romantic relationship with her, feel disappointed and hurt when she does not want a romantic relationship, yet still want to continue the friendship? Or if a man can’t do it, is it possible that a woman can? I’m confused, because I have this notion in my mind that both scenarios have played out in my life.

        • Dude, scroll up three inches and look at what you wrote. It’s right there in black and white. If you meant something other than what those exact words mean, I don’t know what it is, because I can’t read your mind. I only have what you said to go on.

          If you like someone and they don’t like you (or vice versa) that sucks. But there’s already a perfectly good word for when you ask somebody out and they say no: rejected. If you were friends first, your relationship hasn’t changed and you should try to appreciate it for what it is, even if it isn’t what you ended up wanting. You’re ostensibly an adult and part of growing up is learning how to deal with disappointment. If you weren’t already friends, she doesn’t actually want to be your friend either, she’s just trying to soften the blow because she’s been told her whole life that she’s supposed to be nice and not hurt guys’ feelings.

          • Jonathan G:

            …he’s usually a lot more suave, smooth-talking and attractive…

            You:

            …theonly men to objectify women are “suave, smooth-talking and attractive”

            These are not the same.

          • Jonathan G says:

            Fine. Nothing annoys me more than Internet arguments that devolve into a lousy, little linguistic skirmish about what so-and-so actually said. For the sake of discussion, I’ll concede that my remarks were made specifically in reference to the alleged motivations of a guy who proposes a sexual relationship with a female friend, but that that I did not make the context explicit. Consider those words mooted and superseded by the pedantic version that follows:

            The original comment by CyberQuaker strikes me as a representative example of “womansplaining,” which I define as (from UrbanDictionary): “When a woman attempts to tell a man how his brain works and what the motivations behind his various thoughts, words and actions are; [...]; whilst his explanation is based on the fact that he knows what he meant better than she does.” Not only that, it seems highly implausible, not matching up well with what I’ve actually observed about human behavior.

            It helps to define some terms before getting into it. Honestly, I have only the vaguest sense of what “objectification” actually means these days, when trying to divine a definition from its use in discussion, so broadly has it been applied. The best fit that I can come up with that fits almost all cases is: “Thinking about a woman sexually in a non-reciprocal manner.”++ (The inclusion of putting somebody on a pedestal as objectification blows this definition out of the water, though; I’d call that behavior “idealization”.) That bastardization of the term does a real disservice to the term of art in gender studies, which is defined more along the lines of ignoring/denying the agency, motivations and desires of the person to use that person for one’s own purposes. So, I take “sexual object” to mean a thing to be used for one’s own sexual gratification with little regard paid to the individuality, desires or feelings of the person so used. In short, a set of body parts.

            Since all (cis-)women have essentially the same set of body parts, to a first approximation, one woman will do as well as any other. If a guy’s sole objective is to get laid, his best strategy is to play the numbers game and hit on as many women as he can. After all, they’re basically interchangeable objects, right? And while playing the numbers game, he’ll get lots of practice is suave, smooth-talking (and PUA) approaches that work to get women in bed. Of course, not that humans always do the rational thing all the time, so yes, some guys out there will pretend to befriend a woman thinking that through friendship they can get her in the sack. If she declines, yes, they might complain about “being friend-zoned,” but more likely they’re just going to move on to the next as-good-as-any-other sexual object.

            Oh, and if she accepts, the guys might call it “getting laid.” Does that mean that all guys who say they got laid only see women as sexual objects? No, it’s just a description of a particular act. It doesn’t carry with it all that baggage of assumed meaning. The same with “friend-zone.” As I have taken it to mean from context (and UrbanDictionary, FWIW), friend-zoned means that somebody (any gender) sees you only as a friend, not as the potential sexual partner you asked to be. It can carry the additional meaning that a guy did not express his interest in a sexual relationship early enough in getting to know a woman, and the window of opportunity closed because she now doesn’t think of him in sexual terms. Nothing more. (I disagree with the guys here saying that “friend-zoned” means you got the “let’s just be friends” speech. The LJBF speech just means you got flat-out rejected; go away now.)

            Being friend-zoned may play out in myriad different ways. Sometimes the people involved stay friends; often later on the guy decides that the pain of seeing her desire others is too much and he bails out. Sometimes she freaks out at the disclosure of his desire and runs, maybe after he keeps at it too long. Occasionally, she changes her mind later, and they become a couple. Sometimes it’s a different combination of genders…

            I digress. Back on point, the sad-sacks who publicly complain about being friend-zoned are likely the ones who got hurt by it because they cared about the affections of one particular woman, they invested their emotions in her approval. (PUAs call it “one-itis” and advise you to FTOW to get over it.) Feeling such desire for one particular woman means seeing her as somehow different than all other women, which means seeing her as something more than a set of body parts (which again are pretty much all alike), which is absolutely antithetical to regarding her as a sexual object. These sad-sack guys on OKCupid may be socially-inept in their expressions of pain, they may vent anger and frustration out in toxic terms like “slut” and rants bad-mouthing women who have wronged them, and they may lash out in an attempt to inflict hurt in return for hurt inflicted on them. It’s maladaptive at best, and sociopathic at worst, but it’s not objectification. (And the NGOKC site mocking them is, at best, getting into the cesspool to wrestle with them at their own level, and kicking innocent people when they’re down, at worst.)

            So, yeah, to try to wrap this up with something like a point, I don’t see how CyberQuaker’s claims can be substantiated. The hurt behind the complaints of being friend-zoned often comes from wanting a special woman, not a sexual object, and the alleged sexual privilege seems to consist of being powerless to do anything about it except lash out in ways that self-harm. And I alluded to the way that women sometimes deliberately nurture–but not fulfil–a guy’s romantic feelings for her just enough to keep him around and use him as a sort of ‘chivalry object’, but that’s a topic for another time.

            ++ Oh lordy, that’s not it, is it?! I had most of the argument laid out in my head, but nearly tossed it all aside when this thought stopped me cold: The statement, “Guys who complain about being friendzoned only see women as sexual objects” makes perfect sense if you define objectification this way. He wants sex her, she doesn’t reciprocate the feeling, therefore he’s objectifying her! This possibility is unsettlingly plausible in some circles.

      • “There are plenty of awkward, poorly adjusted, ugly guys who get so wrapped up in the idea of a woman or romance or sex that they ignore the reality of the person who’s right in front of them.”

        There are plenty of well-adjusted, handsome guys and girls who do exactly the same thing. Sexual relationships are often based on ignoring the reality of the person’s who is in front of them. That is partially why they work so well.

        “Complaining about the “friend zone” also bastardizes the word “friend.” Friendship is no longer something to want and enjoy for its own sake. It’s not even a consolation prize. It’s a punishment,”

        Because it is. It is a rejection. Sexual relationships are far far far better than friendships.

        • “Sexual relationships are far far far better than friendships.”

          Actually that’s not really true. Maybe the statement I should have made is that a good romantic relationship is far better than most friendships, in my personal experience.

  5. Of course they’re not interested in friendship, otherwise they wouldn’t have expressed their feelings and then gotten friendzoned.
    It’s ridiculous that on one hand people have no problem with a woman trying to force a friendship, but have a problem with a man not accepting the friendship.

    • 1. If you ask a woman out and she says “No, but let’s be friends,” she’s just trying to soften the blow. You didn’t get friend zoned, you got rejected. No need to make up a new word when there’s already a perfectly good one that exists.

      2. If you try to use friendship as a jumping off point for starting a romance, you have nobody to blame but yourself when this blows up in your face.

      3. If you develop romantic feelings for an actual friend and she doesn’t feel the same way, that sucks for you but you have to respect her wishes. In any kind of relationship the person who wants less gets to dictate the terms. If you don’t like it you can end the friendship, but then you’ve lost a perfectly good friend.

      “Friend zone” might have at one point referred to situation 3 but it doesn’t any more. The kind of guys who whine in their OKC profiles about the “friend zone” aren’t talking about that. If they were they wouldn’t be whining about it on their OKC profiles.

  6. Complete garbage, or are only women allowed to be attracted to men now? you’re a man and feel attracted to a woman and would love to be more than just friends? SEXIST MISOGYNIST ASSHOLE

  7. “Guys who complain about being friendzoned only see women as sexual objects, and they are not interested in actual friendship.”

    Let’s assume this is in fact true. So what!!!!!? Isn’t the entire hookup culture about seeing people as sex objects? Then why is there no whining and birching about hookup culture?

    I think CyberQuaker is just full of crap. Many of these men are interested in relationship. The last time I checked, most relationships (unless Platonic) involve sex.

    CyberQuaker, people who are quakers spend half their time praying for you and the other half preying on you! Now, how does that feel? It is not accurate or even remotely true.

    So, no guys who complain about being friendzoned do not see women as sex objects any more than quakers see people as prey.

Speak Your Mind