The Friend Zone: It’s Not Just for Men

young blonde woman in crowd

The Friend Zone exists, and it’s not just something women do to men, Neil Sheppard reports. “I know, because I’ve done it.”

It was my last year at school and I was looking forward to being freed from the oppressive regime of classes and homework and pressure to conform. I’d worked hard to stop being the weird fat kid no-one ever saw outside of school and become someone whose name and reputation was known to complete strangers on the local music scene. I’d lost weight through borderline anorexia, started listening to the right bands, dressing all in black with metal chains and poorly applied black nail polish. I’d made friends with musicians who’d opened gigs for bands you might have actually heard of. They asked what I thought of their shows and genuinely considered my thoughts. Still, I spent almost every day with this bubbly, friendly, curvy girl, with blonde ringlets and mainstream dress sense, despite her being nearly two years younger than me.

When confident, social people get stuck in this situation, they cut their losses and move on. When lonely, isolated, awkward people get stuck in the Friend Zone, however, it can hit them hard.

She wasn’t cool. She wasn’t into music. She didn’t go to gigs. She didn’t obsessively follow local bands around. She loved “Pretty Woman” and didn’t know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. She didn’t dye her hair black or red. She didn’t keep a book of song lyrics or own an SLR camera. She didn’t have a MySpace page. Worst of all, she wasn’t anorexically thin and intent on surviving with cigarettes and coffee as her only source of nutrition.

She’d had three boyfriends in the time I knew her as a friend, while I continued to humiliate myself with women my friends would approve of. She consoled me and listened to all the stories of my latest failed attempt at seduction with patience and sympathy. Each time she would hint that she was an alternative and each time I would play dumb.

I’d fought long and hard to be accepted by the cool kids and she just wasn’t the kind of woman who fit into the facade I was trying to maintain. I’d rather continue to idolise goth girls who looked at me the way they would something they’d stepped in.

I was an idiot.

♦◊♦

The chances of ever connecting with another human being and growing that into a meaningful relationship are really quite small. The only reason that anyone ever manages to meet their soul mate is the sheer number of people on the planet. It’s unavoidable that you’re going to develop connections with people who don’t want that intimacy to grow into a relationship for one reason or another.

When confident, social people get stuck in this situation, they cut their losses and move on. When lonely, isolated, awkward people get stuck in the Friend Zone, however, it can hit them hard. TV, movies and culture tell them that every man will end up with a gorgeous model in the end, they just have to get the rich a-holes out of the way first. So they hang on, making every deficient attempt at wooing the Prom Queen or the Super Groupie or the Artistic Loner they can, passing over girls who don’t meet Hollywood standards, but things just don’t turn out the way they do in the movies.

Of course, if this was only a male phenomenon, then you wouldn’t see films like “He’s Just Not That Into You” being made. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is a series of vignettes, all of which have the same message—if a guy isn’t putting the effort into a relationship, it’s because he doesn’t care about it as much as you do.

There was a (rather brilliant, in my opinion) British TV series called “Sugar Rush,” which starred both a young Andrew Garfield from the new Spider-man movie and Lenora Crichlow, who was the ghost in the original version of “Being Human.” It tells the story of teenage girl Kim, who develops an obsessive crush on an out-of-control, homophobic straight girl nicknamed Sugar. The show’s two series chronicle Kim’s progress from straight girl with a single, anomalous crush, to promiscuous lesbian, to lesbian in a committed relationship. Every gay woman I’ve ever met says “Sugar Rush” is the story of their adolescence. So it seems the Friend Zone, quite logically, isn’t even just a specifically heterosexual problem.

There’s been a lot of angry words passed back and forth between men who think the Friend Zone is some sort of female conspiracy and women who think it’s patriarchal propaganda. Personally, I think it has very little to do with the battle of the sexes. It’s just a mistake people make—on one side for being a bad loser in love and, sometimes, on the other for not giving someone who cares about you a chance.

♦◊♦

Following one awkward kiss and several weeks of avoiding each other, she and I had resumed our platonic relationship. In the depths of my loneliness, it occurred to me that I really had very few prospects other than this girl, who I trusted completely, found very attractive (though I wouldn’t admit it) and loved spending time with. My conclusion? Text her and ask if she wanted to be fuck buddies on the condition that we kept it a secret.

Reticently, she agreed to meet up and see how things went. So, I jumped on the bus into town and we met at one of our regular hang outs. She had never looked so awe-inspiringly beautiful as she did that day—in fact, I maintain that no woman has ever looked as beautiful. We walked, we talked, we did all the things we normally did… then we kissed… then we kissed some more.

I had something of an epiphany. Here I was, kissing a beautiful girl who I really cared about and had a fantastic time with. Why precisely was I embarrassed for anyone to know? In fact, why did I want to restrict our relationship to just sex?

That was twelve years ago. Last year we were married. This year, she gave birth to my son.

If you’re looking for the love of your life, the person I’d choose is the person who refused to give up on being with you even when you rejected them. I think you’ll often find the right person is the “wrong” person stuck in your Friend Zone.

 

Read more stories of Platonic Friendship on The Good Life.

Image credit: Moyan_Brenn/Flickr

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About Neil Sheppard

Neil is a former journalist, current copywriter and eternal master of the ancient art of word ninjitsu. He has a degree in philosophy that has left him hugely opinionated on any subject you care to mention. He is also a genuine geek with a passion for comics, science fiction and terrible movies. As such, he runs the cult-movie blog The Day Hollywood Stood Still and contributes to New Empress magazine. He lives in England with his wife and baby son, and spends most of his free time eating Mexican food and grooming his famous ginger beard.

Comments

  1. Well of course that this phenomenon happens to women. It’s just that when it does its usually called, “He just not that into you.” or “He’s using you for _____ (usually sex).”.

    The difference now that men are recognizing it (and especially now that it has the somewhat formal title, Friend Zone) suddenly we are told that it doesn’t happen and the Friend Zone does not exist.

    • ^ This.

      I’d be curious to see if there is nearly as much venom dished out to women who complain about the friendzone by all but name (i.e. what it really is, unrequited love, as opposed to the strawman version doing the rounds today).

      I suspect there isn’t, because there are no snarky blogposts out there about “Nice Girl ™ Syndrome” and how their testimonies about it just being simple hurt are discarded because OBVIOUSLY they really just hate men.

    • But it does happen. See, Danny?

      • Yes it certainly does. Im just wondering why there is such a difference in responses. There are posts written for the purpose of trying to disprove the Friend Zone but now we are supposed believe it happens to women?

        I know that some of the back and forth on this is people trying to claim victim status and the term does get overblown and taken out of context. But sometimes it really does go down that way.

        Just an observation (that ive made before in comment sections around here).

    • John Anderson says:

      @ OirishM

      “I suspect there isn’t, because there are no snarky blogposts out there about “Nice Girl ™ Syndrome” and how their testimonies about it just being simple hurt are discarded because OBVIOUSLY they really just hate men.”

      Part of it might come from the traditional gender roles of the man asking and the woman accepting. If women can’t ask, they’re cut a little more slack in the trying to convince department. Still at some point the guy is not interested so where does it enter the stalker / rapist territory? They still get slack there because women aren’t perceived in society as sexual predators. There is also the perception that men always want sex so people assume that if he’s withholding it, it’s because he’s using her for something else so she may get sympathy there too.

      None of those reasons are valid. Each reason is based on traditional gender roles / stereotypes, but yeah, progressives won’t attack the patriarchy when they can attack men and when the patriarchy provides women license to act boorish.

      • [quote]Part of it might come from the traditional gender roles of the man asking and the woman accepting. If women can’t ask, they’re cut a little more slack in the trying to convince department. [/quote]

        They’re surely still behaving in the same “entitled” way that Nice Guys allegedly are, though? They don’t have to be the ones doing the asking to be capable of that.

      • Madeira says:

        Personally I think any human who’s pushy about romance is a bad person, man, woman or otherwise. Taylor Swift is a nicegirlTM or a “goodgirlTM” they slut shame like crazy

  2. but, but, the friendzone doesn’t exist!
    and why did she think she was “entitled” to have sex with you?
    She should have valued your friendship and realized that was good enough!
    —–

    patiently waiting for these responses from the women.

    • It’s always different when it happens to women. Men are just pigs who only think with their penises, so when a man is upset that a woman isn’t interested, he’s really just upset that he isn’t getting the sex he thinks he deserves. When a woman is upset that a man isn’t interested, its because she wants Twoo Wuv and he’s just too shallow and stupid to realize that she deserves to be worshiped.

    • Wild Texas Rose says:

      I’m a female, I guess I don’t understand what the big deal is, though I listen and try to wrap my head around it..

      If I was “friend zoned” by someone I was in love with or desired.. I would stop desiring or loving that person romantically, because I don’t want someone who doesn’t want me. I’m not going to torture myself with unrequited love (been there, done that in my teens.) to me, it seems like a lot of men who bitch about the friend zone are just mad because they want to get laid and the girl is not interested, though I am sure there are other circumstances. Then they sit around trying to think of ways to manipulate the other person into liking them that way.. don’t you want someone to like you for you and not because you just pushed some buttons? It all seems very one sided to me, like men are just thinking about their own desires and couldn’t care what the women who is the focus of their desire wants or not. To me, it seems like when you really love someone you do think about how the other person feels, but when you’re just desiring them its an obsession and you don’t really care about the other person much at all and it’s a bunch of projected unmet needs going on.

      I end up putting ALL men into the friend zone at first as a strategy to see if we are compatible or not, (because I fall in love when I have sex and apparently men DON’T from what I’ve read) to get to know each other and to wait out the “romantic desire” to see what the real deal is between us. It’s not always a bad thing, but it sounds like a lot of immature men are trying to bag immature women when they talk about the friend zone to me, or just want to get laid, and get pissed off when they get shot down..

      Of course, on the other hand – I HAVE seen women use male friends and string them along to boost their egos for money or attention, and that has to hurt a lot to be used by that. I try to warn men about women like that, but they get so hung up on the obsession of their desire and don’t listen.

      I think repairing your self esteem and being the kind of man you are personally proud of being would bring completely new kinds of women into your life who would appreciate and “see” your value. You simply wouldn’t be attracted to women who do not feel the same way about you anymore, and they wouldn’t be around you. I’m a big believer that the kinds of people we are attracted to and the unhealthy dynamics that go on say more about what is inside of us than the other person really.

      • John Anderson says:

        “f I was “friend zoned” by someone I was in love with or desired.. I would stop desiring or loving that person romantically, because I don’t want someone who doesn’t want me. I’m not going to torture myself with unrequited love”

        I agree. If someone is using somebody that’s wrong and that sucks, but if your not getting what you want out of a relationship, speak up and if you can’t get what you want or compromise to something acceptable, then move on.

      • Well I consider friendzone to be more that if YOU as a woman knew he liked you and started using him for his extra attention, whilst giving hints that you’d date him stringing him along enjoying the benefits. To simply just be friends with someone before dating them is fine, not friendzone, you are still open to potentially dating him and even if you don’t wanna date you don’t use them.

  3. Lucy McLeod says:

    Personally, if I found someone attractive and we were friends that would keep them resolutely out of my friendzone. I appreciate my friend’s attractiveness but I don’t find them attractive. If I did and we had a great time as mates and what-not I would definitely consider a relationship and not friendzone them. If there’s no physical attraction, there’s no hope for a relationship regardless of everything else that may be perfect. Just human nature.

  4. John Anderson says:

    Oh Hell, I’m doing it now. I’ve got this friend, who would be the ideal girlfriend except she’s not conventionally attractive. She’s 17 years younger so I tell myself that I’m doing her a favor by ignoring her advances although to be honest it really hurt when she was telling me that she was resigning herself to never being with a man. I think I would have slept with her just so she could have the experience, but that would probably have messed her up. I remember confusing sex with love and it’s not like I wanted a romantic relationship or even friends with benefits.

    The difference between this and the traditional friend zone is that we were friends before she developed this crush. She actually liked one of my friends who is only about 8 years older than her. Her attentions turned to me when he got married. It’s not like I’m leading her on. Problem is we’re good friends and I don’t think either of us would want to end the friendship.

    I saw two women voice the same complaint as my friend on Jezebel. Women not getting any action and worse fearing that they will never experience intimacy is probably much more common than I had thought.

  5. Just saw a “Friend-Zone” video on youtube by the1janitor…his point is that some “nice guys” aren’t very nice at all (if they have unspoken ulterior motives)….

    Many “platonic” relationships are fluid and may have some sexual undercurrents….I’m married and married guys flirt with me all the time even though they know my status….I guess when it comes down to sexual attraction, people are just really selfish and scheming and thinking only of what their own secret goals are, rather than what the other person may really need….which may be just a friend for the moment….

    • John Anderson says:

      “Just saw a “Friend-Zone” video on youtube by the1janitor…his point is that some “nice guys” aren’t very nice at all (if they have unspoken ulterior motives)….”

      I’m pretty sure that happens with women too. I friend admitted that she spent 30 minutes or so shopping for shoes she didn’t intend to buy because the salesman was cute. My uncle’s family took in a woman from the Philippines. Whenever I would come over she’d always bring the food to the table She always seemed to be around or close by. My mom and uncle told me that she was interested in me. My instincts told me immigrant, non-citizen, low wage (she had a job, but couldn’t afford to live on her own), significantly younger, and fairly attractive; she was interested in something very long term and her motivations something other than romantic.

      I’ve gone with my mom to some of the ethnic grocery stores and it’s weird that a month or so later my mom will tell me that she was talking to one of the workers and the woman was interested in me. They’d give my mom their number. It might be because I’m white and so memorable, but it’s weird that they’d see me once and remember me after a month. I couldn’t pick them out of a one person line up.

      I’m pretty sure I’m not attracting women 15 or 20 years younger than me with my good looks.

      • Ahh, the smell of desperation and the target- like focus on that elusive green card… I agree, not attractive at all…

        I would add that “The Nice Guy” may also have that ugly smell of desperation and fake friendly chumminess that a girl can detect from a mile away ( hint: if he tries to get close to smell the scent of your hair… Big tip-off!)

        • Megalodon says:

          I would add that “The Nice Guy” may also have that ugly smell of desperation and fake friendly chumminess that a girl can detect from a mile away

          Well, presumably, such contemptible and repulsive male persons should have no chance of ending up in any girl’s “friend zone.”

  6. Bay Area Guy says:

    Sorry, but the Friend Zone for women just isn’t the same as it is for men.

    The main reason for this is that women have way more options than men within the dating market. Therefore, even if they do end up in the Friend Zone of a guy they might like, they still have other opportunities and chances.

    If a guy, particularly a shy guy, ends up in the Friend Zone, his already limited set of options just dwindles further.

    Besides, that girl you mentioned who was Friend Zoned had 3 boyfriends in the time you knew her as a friend, while a growing number of guys are having a hard enough time finding just one girlfriend.

    In conclusion, the Friend Zone doesn’t have the same devastating, demoralizing impact on girls that it does on guys.

    • You’re probably right, but I’d still rather the principle be extended to both males and females, not least because of the crap guys and guys only seem to get over this, particularly from feminists.

      Though I’m probably being rather optimistic expecting consistency there.

      • No “feminist bashing” allowed, Oirish. There’s no reason to attack a group based on ideology, and it’s also against our commenting guidelines.

        • Yeah, sure thing, Justin.

          Please be sure to point out which other groups systematically demonise “Nice Guys ™”.

          • Bay Area Guy says:

            Please be sure to point out which other groups systematically demonise “Nice Guys ™”.

            Yes, Justin, I too am curious.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          it seems like a lot of men who bitch about the friend zone are just mad because they want to get laid and the girl is not interested, though I am sure there are other circumstances. Then they sit around trying to think of ways to manipulate the other person into liking them that way

          So “feminist bashing” on a men’s site isn’t allowed, but this comment generalizing about frustrated men in the Friend Zone is all fine and dandy according to you and other editors here at GMP.

          Would anyone care to clarify this discrepancy?

          • It’s a free country.

            Btw, I think male bashing is a permissible act everywhere these days. Especially if you are a white guy. I am a black guy. But, the crap I see dished out to white guys is just down right silly. Often in the media, white guys are portrayed as dumb, nerdy, and weak.

            Have you ever seen the State Farm commercial with the white woman chatting with the good looking black guy and found her “French” date on the Internet? The white guy looks like a slob!

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              Yeah, I know what you mean, Jules.

              The left’s justification for this is that white men are omnipotent and are therefore incapable of having their feelings hurt.

              It’s a paradox. On the one hand, I’m told that white men are dominant and have all the power, and yet it’s open season on white guys when it comes to critiquing, haranguing, and otherwise criticizing them.

              I can’t think of too many countries in the world where the “dominant group” is so regularly insulted in the mainstream.

          • Saying “some people” in a group do something is different from saying that all people in the group do. That’s the difference.

            • Megalodon says:

              The fact that only some people in a group do something does not shield all people in that group from answering for it. Only “some men” do things like commit rape or hate crimes. Nevertheless, we are told that all men must in some way answer for the actions of those “some men” and are in some way culpable or responsible for the actions of those “some men.”

    • Your math doesn’t add up. Shouldn’t guys and girls have about as much of a chance of dating? When you say that women have “way more options,” don’t they have the same size pool to date from as men, even allowing for the fact that some percentage of them are not looking for a heterosexual partnership?

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        Ah, if only it were a simply matter of math.

        The reason why women have way more options and an easier time in the dating market, in spite of similar numbers/pools, is that men are way less picky than women.

        As long as a woman is reasonably attractive/not ugly and available, most guys will at least consider her.

        However, for women to be attracted to a man, he has to be outgoing, confident, witty, charming, well dressed, etc, etc.

        So no, they don’t have an equal chance of dating. Having a large pool to explore (for men) doesn’t mean anything when most of those in the pool won’t even give you the time of day. Women only find a very small minority of men attractive, whereas men tend to be more egalitarian in terms of finding a wider range of women attractive.

      • “Shouldn’t guys and girls have about as much of a chance of dating?”
        In the alpha male theory it is alpha males whom get access to multiple women, whilst more of the men go without. This allows more women to get a partner and chance at dating. Also there is downtime between dating for people, if the alpha males have less downtime then the average woman then you can have 2 women who’ve dated the same guy whilst the other guy has had zero partners, so one of those women is single. Could be that more guys cheat or casually date multiple women.

        But considering this woman in the friendzone had 3 partners during the time he knew her and many of those who complain of the friendzone have a hard time getting 1 partner let alone 3 I really don’t think it’s a comparable situation. Everything I’ve seen, heard, know of suggests friendzone affects more guys, that more guys are willing to have at least sex with most women than most women are in wanting to have at least sex. The flipside is the whole used for sex or a relationship that doesn’t go past casual for women, maybe men have more opportunity to get a relationship that progresses past that? Quite frankly though as I age I am starting to believe women are more picky than men, more men I’ve known would be interested in at least casual sex with someone whereas women I’ve known tend to be more the relationship or nothing kind.

        But that might just be this town, I live in a rural town which has more men than women. I know quite a few single guys but pretty much zero single women, and the single women I have known seem to quickly find a partner soon after whereas guys tend to remain single for quite some time.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          What Archy very insightfully said.

        • John Anderson says:

          “But that might just be this town,”

          That’s the one thing about dating pools, it really depends on how you restrict yourself. We’ve all heard about the war on black men in the U.S. The incarceration rates are high. Some black women have complained (I think in Washington D.C. the disparity between the number of black men and women is extremely high) that they can’t find black men or at least suitable men. I remember hearing discussions about man sharing.

          A black female professor actually mentioned the shortage in class in relation to men not going to college, but certainly the prison industrial complex has an impact on that. . She mentioned personally knowing seven professional women who have virtually given up hope of marriage. I know two professional black women who have opted to date outside their race.

          • In Sydney I hear there is a “man drought”, more women than men and the ladies are finding it tough to find love. But go out to the mining towns and you get 5 men for every female….I guess to find love one has to move if the odds are that bad!

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Justin Cascio

        One factor that lowers the dating pool for men is single motherhood. I’ve known guys who’ve dated way out of their league because they’ve agreed to date a single mom. Many if these women insist that the man become a surrogate father type and to at least some degree provide for the child. Many men feel this is too high an added price.

        The single father I know does not put his parenting responsibilities on his dates. His children were teenagers / tweens so maybe that makes a difference. He also makes close to 6 figures a year so doesn’t need the financial help. I know one childless woman who has married a single father. She accepted the role of mother to the child during their engagement. He didn’t push her into the mother role early, but waited until they decided to make a life together. He’s an engineer so I’m sure he’s banking also and didn’t need any financial help either.

        • Reduce the cost of living and this wouldn’t be as much a problem. At the moment being quite poor myself I am reluctant to date a single parent because if it does go good, the time-frame to increase my earning ability needs to be faster probably unless they are fully self-sufficient. It’s just a fear of mine, probably silly, but I fear being a provider because I’ve barely been able to provide for myself. I don’t want kids for another 5-10 years, I’d like to be earning a decent income and have a nice house and not put them through that nauseating feeling of can I pay the bills? Money and the cost of living concern me greatly, I absolutely hate the fact we have such awesome technology yet the cost of living is so damn high, a house costs 200k minimum here to build when we should have been able to get a basic house built for 50k. I dream of a future when stuff gets a lot cheaper but the price of everything here is rising rapidly, electricity for instance is set to jump 20% this year and already rose quite a lot in the last 5 years, price of food rose considerably, insurance went stupid high since cyclone larry + yasi which I was in both + the Brisbane floods and then the recent Queensland floods + the bushfires + the gulf oil spill + any major disaster overseas all absolutely smashed insurance costs.

          I know a single young woman atm who has a heart of gold, would make a great partner, she has a kid though which scares me both for the cost and also I’d have to be a father of some sort. I know another woman with 3 kids, 2 I think who have special needs, she is single and I know she will have a hard time dating. It’s hard enough with 3 able-bodied (unsure of the PC term) kids let alone special needs children, I know I would not have the emotional strength to handle looking after that many kids in the near future and especially not those with special needs. These are both decent women who would make a good wife but for some guys it’s too much, too soon, and some of us are just not ready or able to have kids yet. If I were earning a good middle class income it would not bother me as much.

      • Oh Justin Justin, why u so innocent.

        You look at the dating, sexual and relationship world from a woman’s perspective. You have ‘extra’ empathy for women and very less for men. You take women’s word for granted instead of having have a healthy skepticism of women.

        Here is how it is possible.
        Imagine 10 men and 10 women. Put them together in a proximity.
        Every woman is interested in 1-2 guys while every guy is interested in 5-6 women.

        Now do you geddit? Do you see how its possible for men to have few options while women having more options in dating/sex ? Tell me if you dont. Do reply.

        • Do you get the math, Justin?

        • Wild Texas Rose says:

          Well, it sounds like to me, from what you guys say, that your dating strategy is failing. Maybe you can learn from the women in this case and be smart to your heart?

          I don’t feel as a woman, that I have many options at all – unless I just want to get laid.

          Quality men take time to find, and so would quality women I imagine.

          • Yeah, it sounds like they are just talking about pick-up…it’s an art, guys…you can try watching “Art of Charm” with Jordan Harbinger or RSD/RealSocialDynamics (Tyler/Jeffy/Julien) youtube videos and figure out “The Game”….Can’t be afraid to get “blown out”…that’s part of the game (according to Tyler)…it’s a numbers game….keep asking a million girls….at least one of them may say “yes” eventually, depending on how drunk or naive or horny she may be that night….

          • Atleast you accept that you’d have many options if you ‘just’ wanted to get laid. You have no idea how big of an ego problem some women have with acknowledging this reality.

            Anyways, perhaps what you call a ‘dating strategy’ is just a result of the fact that men tend to be attracted to a larger number of women, while women find fewer men attractive.

            Most average men find most average women good enough for dating, sex and relationships. While you women folk hold out for the ‘quality men’. Most women have no idea how mediocre they are themselves and they routinely overlook men who are their EQUALS in looks, status and circumstances…but guess what? mediocre is good enough for most men. Perhaps most of us humans, men and women, were just meant to be mediocre.

            And yeah, its not that “quality” men are hard to find. They’re just hard to hold on to, for most women.

          • I don’t feel as a woman, that I have many options at all

            You probably have a lot of options, but most of them don’t measure up to your requirements.

          • Agree with Leia. I am an attractive single woman and I get friendzoned constantly. The only difference is that in a guy’s friendzone, sex is often still enthusiastically available to me. The problem is, it’s not the kind of sex I truly enjoy any more, although it was alright in my 20s. Sex is too much of an emotional/spiritual communion for me to not feel hurt when my open heart meets a closed heart, even when I know what I’m getting into. So if you consider the phrase “women have more options” to mean more options to get sex, then yes, that’s clearly so. But if you are talking about the woman’s view of “options”, then it probably means something different, and is something that I am finding very, very hard to find.

  7. Bay Area Guy says:

    This diagram (though exaggerated for effect) pretty much sums it up.

    http://glpiggy.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/slide12.jpg

  8. Acelessthan3 says:

    I disagree. The Friend Zone should not exist (though, as I’m about to explain, not for the reasons usually cited).

    “The Friend Zone” creates an ontological state (way of being) that completely ignores the wants and needs of other person. “I am have been Friend-zoned” vs. (as one of the top comments puts it) “He’s just not into” or “He’s only using you for ______ (usually sex)” for the woman’s counterpart. I want to point out the difference in agency implied by this linguistic variation. In both instances, it’s about the man and his feelings, and I think this is a dangerous double standard for the socialization of youth (especially young men).

    I also don’t like this article because it doesn’t propose any kind of solution beyond an overly simplistic “give the friends a chance.” Why not teach young men how and why they should overcome their fear of rejection in talking to women? Why not teach young women to recognize when their friends are interested in them and make themselves abundantly clear that they aren’t interested and have no interest in being pursued? Why not set an example by moving ourselves and our discourse to more productive line of thought?

  9. Revo Luzione says:

    A buddy of mine is quite adept at putting girls in the friend zone.

    It’s his go-to strategy when he meets a girl who is attractive, checks all his boxes, but just doesn’t have that DNA level attraction to. I think it’s the honorable choice, rather than stringing her along, using her for sex, etc.

    Plus, he makes more friends, (he is extrovert, as opposed to myself, as an introvert have trouble juggling a lot of casual friendships), and then she says good things about him to her friends. That, my friends, is excellent dating strategy in addition to being a good man.

    Cheers, Gents.

  10. I was just thinking about this the other day. I have a male friend who is in his mid/late 40’s now. He has a strong preference for dating 20 year old girls. He seems to enjoy (to some degree) drama. I’ve known him for years. On and off for years we have done the friends with benefits thing (through my 20’s and into my 30’s). I have nothing in common with his girlfriends anymore. I’m not super skinny like I was in my early 20’s anymore. I live a drama free life. I have a bunch of tattoos and piercings. I have a career instead of a part time job.

    He says to me the other night when we were hanging out that I am everything that he wants in a girlfriend personality wise.That sexually I’m what he measures all the others against. That he likes that I don’t have that drama in my life and that I have a steady career going for me. But he wouldn’t date me because, afterall, he has a certain appearance to maintain with his friends and I don’t fit into that. I’m not girl. Now, he’s never been known for his smooth talking. And I’ve always accepted that when his thoughts come out they come out like that because he doesn’t think before hand so i’m long past the point of our friendship of being hurt by it. And at this point I know I’m well into the friends with benefit zone. So this wasn’t a revelation and because I knew that I wasn’t seeking a relationship with him.

    But it did bother me the other night to hear about girl after girl that didn’t measure up to who I was in anyway and then get told that basically I’d be an embarrassment to him with his male friends because they’re used to a certain standard of girl with him. It’s really making me looking at the friendship in general. I can’t fault him for honesty. I can’t fault him for his lack of tact (because it’s the norm for him) but I just don’t know how comfortable I am being his best friend anymore (because that’s what I am to him… I’m his only friend that has stuck it out for more than a year or so).

    My theory is is friend zone exists with both men and women and it probably isn’t the same experience but it doesn’t mean one experience is less or more hurtful than the other. Just painful in different ways. Anyhow this whole friendzone thing has been on my mind a lot the last few days. And I’m still formulating my thoughts about it all.

    • If he is hurting you with his words, then you may need to create more distance from him….

      I had 2 boys in the “friend zone” in 8th grade …. I made it clear that I had a steady BF in a suburb an hour away… As soon as they asked me out and I said “no”, they just disappeared from my side and never spoke to me again during HS….

      Don’t set yourself up for more grief…. Be clear on your intent… And prepare to say “goodbye”….he is not your friend if he is hurting you like that….

      • I’m not particularly hurt by it (the last part of my post came in a rush before work). I’m just bothered and I think what bothers of me is that he feels this need to share with me that while I’m not relationship material because I won’t live up to the expectations of hsi friends he is still measure all these chicks by me. I’m not done processing this in my mind because it was just out of the blue that this conversation happened over the weekend.

        I get that some people date people solely because they are more aesthetically pleasing to themselves and their friends. Goth guys dating goth girls for example.

        But I could see how this would be an incredibly painful experience for anyone (man or woman) to be in a position where you have someone saying “You’re everything I want but you’re just not good enough.” And then even worse if it’s for a reason like “My friends would judge me for being with you.”

        If I’m friend zoned I’m fine with it. I have platonic friends of both genders. I have sexual friends of both genders. But none of my other friends and I have ever had the “friend zone” talk. And I don’t want a relationship with this guy either beyond what it is now. But I do think what if I was a girl who did have this love of him like that? It would hurt a lot. I know his very few other male friends and he’s honestly deluded in thinking they think he’s “the man” because of the type of drama filled girls he’s dating. They don’t respect for it or think he’s cool. Some choice words have been thrown around about him and his likes.

        • Kat

          So you notice that even when ‘friend zoned’ most women can still have a sexual relationship with their male friend who friend zoned them?

          It technically isn’t the friend zone for you. Its Friends-with-Benefits zone.

          Btw, your male friend must be very attractive and well maintained. Im sure you’d agree that you cant think of many guys past the age of 45 you’d want to have sex with. For most guys that age, its just prostitutes.

          • @Tim…

            Well, I am 50 and get to have sex with women who are NOT prostitutes. I would do a 70 yr old before dealing with a nasty sex worker.

            Yes, you are correct about women and the FWB zone. Sexually, most women today can get sex pretty much on their terms. So, a guy can be “just a friend” and still get sex from said woman.

            Unless he has been relegated to the platonic friend zone, most women will have sex with the guy. But, often he is in the friend zone because she does not find him attractive.

            The logic is flawed and twisted I know. So, forget about trying to make sense of it. It is what it is.

            • I’ll agree it’s a FWB zone. And that women do have other benefits in the FWB zone than men would have when friend zoned.

              But holy wow. 45 is not ancient nor are men of that age only going to get hookers.

          • It technically isn’t the friend zone for you. Its Friends-with-Benefits zone.

            In my experience, most men won’t jump anything that moves.

            Im sure you’d agree that you cant think of many guys past the age of 45 you’d want to have sex with. For most guys that age, its just prostitutes.

            I’m going on 50, and I can assure you this is simply nonsense. Men and women my age are plenty sexually active, and mostly they go for people their own age.

            • Lars,

              What I am observing is men who are 50 are going for young women, at least 10-15 years younger. There is a large body of statistical/empirical evidence to support this. Why just look at the number of women that are 50+ who lament about how hard it is to find a man their age. Many have remarked how on the dating sites that many older men are seeking younger women.

              Thus, I must respectfully disagree with your comment, “Men and women my age are plenty sexually active, and mostly they go for people their own age.”

            • Well, since my argument is that men at 45+ have plenty of chances finding women their own age, what you’re saying only support that.

            • Oops – site went ahead and posted a little early there.

              Anyway – in light of the discussion here, I find you observation interesting. And argument being made by several people here is that women are far more picky than men, and hence men have few changes of meeting someone, while women can pick and chose. What you’re observing is the exact opposite – men looking for young women, probably women who aren’t that interested in them, leaving women their own age with few options. It certainly does not support the argument that men will go for any woman available.

              Anyway – if I look at friends my age who split and repartner, or who are single but dating, most (men and women) are partnering roughly in their own age group. And, no, I don’t have statistics or sociology studies to back it up; it’s just an impression from what I see around me.

            • John Anderson says:

              That doesn’t take into account the cougar effect. Jules said

              “Why just look at the number of women that are 50+ who lament about how hard it is to find a man their age.”

              That doesn’t mean that they can’t find younger men, but I think one of the criterion women use is financial stability. Younger men are less financially stable so older women reject them. They don’t want to support a man. I’m not sure that contradicts what others are saying in this discussion.

            • Lars

              Older men looking for much younger women, don’t intend to attract those younger women using their manly charms and sex appeal. The appeal of older men to younger women comes from their perceived ‘maturity’, stability and providing ability.

              Older women don’t want any of that shit. They still want to be desired by their partners. They cringe at the thought of being wanted for their ‘providing ability’ and stability. I guess they have more self respect than men.

              The age old grievance of women that age doesn’t affect a man’s desirability as much is not valid.

              Older women are fixated at expecting their EQUALS, while men are not and then they wonder why those men are happy having relationships with women who don’t measure up to them intellectually, educationally, and financially.

              Remove the factor of financial stability and I can assure you the average 45 yr old woman can get laid more easily than a 45 yr old man.

            • I’m going on 50, and I can assure you this is simply nonsense. Men and women my age are plenty sexually active, and mostly they go for people their own age.

              I guess you’re only looking at men in that age group who are at least relatively attractive and can still sexually attract women. For every 45 yr old man with an active dating / sex life there are probably 3 others who cant have any of that, who don’t happen to be in your circle.

              As I said most men in that age group have to leverage their providing ability / stability in order to attract women for mostly long term relationships. Maybe you’re also counting those men. They usually cant pick up women for purely sexual relationships.

      • soullite says:

        That’s not what the friend zone is…

        Two boys liked you. They pursued you. They asked you out. You said no. They moved on to other people.

        That’s how it’s supposed to work. If they asked you out, and you said, “Oh, that’s soooo sweeet! You can come help me set up my party this weekend!”. And then you either didn’t invite them, or blew them off to make out with some other dude, THEN it would be the friendzone. What you’re describing, at the worst, is just an awkward adolescent situation.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Kat

      If it helps I said a really shitty thing to the friend who has a crush on me. I did a side job and received a gift certificate to a restaurant. I told her we should try it. I was going to ask out this other lady, but bros before hoes. She happens to be particularly jealous of this other woman so it was really bad. I just said something I would have said to one of my guy friends or even a non-friend zoned female friend. I wish I had it back two seconds after I said it. The look on her face just cut deep. We’ve been friends for awhile and that’s how I see her. Sometimes I forget that she has other feelings. She even accepted.

      It might be the same way with your friend especially if you’re best friends. Does he even know you have a crush on him? I know you said that you’re not looking for a relationship, but maybe that’s because you don’t think you got a chance and what he said just confirmed it. It probably confirmed him as being insecure too. His friends seem fairly shallow too. When I was in my 20s, I had friends who wouldn’t drink. No one ever forced them. That’s not to say that we don’t embarrass the hell out of each other.

      A friend‘s fiancé told him she wouldn’t marry him if I had anything to do with his bachelor party. I’m surprised that we’re still welcome at one friend’s house. At his wedding all his male friends lined up by the grooms side for the dollar dance. Many of the women were confused as men filled both lines. We’d tell them this is the line for the groom. They’d be like I just wanted to make sure it was unisex. I think his wife she might have let that go, but it was even too much for me when they started grabbing his ass. The next guy who got married told us after he got married, no bachelor party and no wedding.
      Guys do some real stupid shit when dealing with close friends some times.

      • I don’t have a crush on him. We’ve been friends for years. It’s one of those I know him entirely too well to get into a relationship with that hot mess. And I know he’s terribly insecure. He talks endlessly about how people perceive him. Some years ago he talked about wanting to date me but worried excessively about what his friends would think. I wasn’t interested then because he’s one of those guys who flits from one relationship to another. One friendship to another. I’m the only stable one in his life. But dude doesn’t think before he opens his mouth. I’m just kind of over dealing with it and I half wonder if he was trying on purpose to be mean over the weekend.

        And I’m sure he looks at me and thinks he can talk to me like one of the guys. I just don’t see him having this sort of conversation with one of the guys. Or maybe he does and I don’t see it. It just lacked tact and makes things awkward.

    • @Kat..

      Well, I guess I am not sure why you seem offended by his comment. Seriously.

      If a woman wants to have sex with a guy, be it casual or otherwise (FWB) and not think much of the guy beyond such, how is it any different? You (not you personally) are essentially telling him he is not good enough. Right?

      So, what exactly is your problem? I ask this question with no disrespect intended.

      • I’m just processing the discussion we had. I’m not hurt by it. I’m bothered. I’m not crushing on him. And I’m not particularly offended. I’m evaluating the friendship at this point because I’m just not sure I really want to have these ongoing discussions with him along this line. We’ve been friends many many years. I’ve seen his many failed relationships. Seen his failed friendships. I’m just kind of burnt out on the lack of tact at this point. Not that he doesn’t like me. I’m not mad. I’m questioning the appropriateness of him comparing me (who is solidly in his friendzone) to any of the girls he’s dating. It’s an awkward position for me to be in (at some point when he’s serious with them I’ll eventually meet them and obviously compare them to me now) and I just htink it’s a little weird in general.

      • She is getting “neg-ed” by her friend…

        She’s good enough to fool around with, etc. etc., but she is not a shiny young “hot” thang (so she doesn’t boost his standing with his buddies)….

        So basically, he is being hurtful to her by his comments…and she is feeling lesser by his “neg”….

        PUAs do this all the time to “hot chicks” to get them involved in their drama and keep them “hooked”….oldest trick in the book….create unnecessary drama….

        Cut him loose…he is what he is….a PUA…

    • “My theory is is friend zone exists with both men and women and it probably isn’t the same experience but it doesn’t mean one experience is less or more hurtful than the other. Just painful in different ways. Anyhow this whole friendzone thing has been on my mind a lot the last few days. And I’m still formulating my thoughts about it all.”
      Sure it may hurt but please, it’s insulting to compare a relationship that YOU get benefits, intimacy and sex from to the friendzone the guys are talking about where they DO NOT GET sex, intimacy, or any benefits of the kind. SEX is greater than no sex and quite frankly hearing someone annoyed at not getting a relationship or being treated as worthy of one whilst trying to claim some sort of similarity between the male version of zero zero zero interest more than a friend is a bit insulting. If you are getting sex, you are NOT in the friendzone. Call it the bottomless pit of casual sex, but it’s not a friendzone.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Archy

        ” the friendzone the guys are talking about where they DO NOT GET sex, intimacy, or any benefits of the kind.”

        Wait, so is my friend technically friend zoned? She doesn’t get sex (not that I wouldn’t if she just wanted the experience, but I think THAT would be leading her on and wouldn’t be helpful long term)., but she does get intimacy like when she confided in me that she was resigning herself to never being intimate with a guy. We could talk about personal stuff except it bothers her when I talk about other women so I limit it. I’ll treat for lunch or we’ll hang out and I’ll buy a round.

        She treats more often than I do. She’ll bring me food. Give me gifts. She gives me more material things than I give her I’ll admit. We help each other when one of us needs it. We’re basically friends, but she has this crush that I don’t share. I always thought I friend zoned her, but maybe there’s another term for it.

        Maybe women in the REAL friend zone is pretty damn rare.

        • Well her chances of getting laid outside of you are probably much much higher than a man in a similar position, that’d be the key difference I was getting at. By what you say unless you are using her gratitude and aren’t being crystal clear on your intentions, then no she isn’t friendzoned in my definition. My definition specifically is about being used n strung along.

  11. I think you make a good point in the original post, Neil – that a smart man (or woman) will from time to time stop and reflect, take some time out to ponder “am I spending my time, energy, life on what I really want”. If we do not, there’s a risk that we end up doing today and tomorrow what we were doing yesterday, out of sheer force of habit, and there’s a risk that we spend years chasing goals that are really our own. And sometimes, if we open our eyes, the *real* goals are in plain sight and within reach, we just have to stop chasing some abstract ideal that society, early childhood aspirations, parents, peers, or what have you have handed down to us.

    Getting what you want is easier if you have at least an idea what it is you want.

    I think this observation is far more important than the talk about The Friend Zone. Frankly, I don’t really get why being friends is supposed to be bad. Neither do I get why it’s evil to not be into someone who’s into you – even if you appreciate them as a person. And I don’t think Neil’s story is about how mean he was to the girl by not returning the feelings she had for him. It’s about it being kinda stupid that it took Neil so long to realize that he *did* have feelings for her.

    It doesn’t always end that way, even if you do stop and think. Sometimes the feelings just are not mutual, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • It isn’t being friends that’s bad — it’s being taken advantage of. What folks like to miss the point on here, is that the women aren’t ‘blameless’. Most of them know the guys like them. Some refuse to tell them to back off because they don’t want to be ‘mean’ (in reality, these are children who are incapable of dealing with uncomfortable, adult situations. They are trying to spare themselves the discomfort, they are not trying to spare the other person’s feelings). Others deliberately string men along for free food, gifts, or personal favors. There is no friendship at all. One person is pursuing. The other person is keeping them in an ambiguous limbo.

      I don’t want to be friends with someone I have a romantic interest in. I want to date them, or I want nothing from them. That is how most men feel. Women very often decide that if you want to date them, and they don’t want to date you, then you automatically owe them friendship, or you’re a scumbag who only ever wanted sex. Indeed, your statement seems to imply the same thing. But here’s the deal — people don’t owe you friendship at all, particularly if that’s not how they came at you in the first place.

      • To start with the last point, I perfectly agree – you do no owe anyone friendship. If you do not want to be someones friend, or if being in the friendship is bad for you because you want something else, by all means do not be in that friendship.

        There’s nothing wrong with desiring someone, sexually or romantically, or with making it known. And there’s nothing wrong with saying “thanks, but no thanks”. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with wanting someone for a friend, or with making that known – and there’s nothing wrong with “thanks, but no thanks”:

        Where things go wrong is when you blame someone else for wanting something you do not, or where you make them responsible for what you want. That won’t work. If you do not want the woman as your friend, it’s up to you to make it so, not her. You’re responsible for knowing what you want and acting on it. If you don’t want to be her friend, don’t be. If you do not want to be with her unless there can be a romantic relationship, make that clear, and act on it.

        If you’re not getting the sexual and / or romantic relationship you want, but stick around anyway hoping that if you’re persistent, she will eventually open her arms to you, that’s your choice. It’s something you are doing, not something she are doing to you. If in reality it’s bad for you (and I fully sympathize), it’s not her fault. You’re the one who can make it stop. Be assertive, act in you own best interest.

        Neil’s partner in the original post decided to stay around, for a long time. Eventually it worked for her. I wouldn’t have, but it’s up to her – and if she felt bad, it’s not some evil Neil did to her. It was her own choice. However, and be careful not to think it always works like in the story. I think that most of the time, it won’t change. You won’t get the girl if you stay around long enough – and she does not “owe it to you” because you did.

        You complain that the women you meet are children who can’t handle adult situations. That may be, but it’s nothing you can control. What you *can* control is being a man who take responsibility for what he wants and makes choices to get it. As a bonus, you may discover that women really like that.

        • Well the issue is that normally it’s ok to be friends with them, but after they DO string you along it can take a while to take off your crush eyes, those eyes that make you overlook certain shit, or when you really realize that she has no interest in dating you but was treating you like a sexless bf then her quality as a friend is fucking zilch because she’s a user. If she had been a thanks, but I only like you as a friend, made that clear then sure friendship is fine and I have a few of them myself. The pain isn’t being the friend, it’s being stuck in a limbo or strung along. The kind of woman that friendzones a guy does not make a good friend unless they are young, can grow out of it and make ammends for being such an asshole (we all make mistakes of course).

          Sure there are many jokes about just being a friend but the true pain lies more in being used n strung along. Disappointment sucks, rejection sucks, but a quick rejection is far less painful than months of pursuing someone who signals to you they want to be pursued but strings you along, so you end up with a lot of emotion invested and because no boundaries have been set properly it can hurt quite a lot. Sure it’s frustrating to always be the friend, not be lucky in love, but to be used n strung along? Ouch I say. Double ouch if that person says you are a great guy and rattles off how perfect your qualities are, where they basically say you are their perfect bf and they want a guy just like you, acts like you, but is not you.

          • Yeah – it sucks if the person you’re trying to have a relationship is an asshole. Such people unfortunately exist, and it hurts.

            What I do not follow is the argument that men have no choice than to play along with this. I can see being burned a few times when you’re young, but if it really is such a common pattern, and since you’ve clearly identified it, it can’t be *that* hard to spot of if it’s happening again – and to walk away? I get that it sucks that there are women who string you along. What I’m saying is that you gotta take care of yourself – no-one else is doing it.

            Maybe I’m just a cynic, but if I get the impression that people I’m getting to know are playing games, I back off.

            • Well when I realized, I told the person to fuckoff out of my life. :) I don’t take that shit anymore, I got rid of negative friends and I’ve been happier since. Trouble is it can be hard to let go when you’re young especially, hope is a fucking asshole, hope will leave you hanging for more in hopes they will change. Teach young kids not to stick around for hope, but stick around for something real and tangible.

        • soullite says:

          Look, you have a long history of deciding to ignore what people have actually written. Instead, you very often go off on tangents, pick lines out of context, or generally just assume the worst possible interpretation to anything said.

          Nothing you’ve said really actually addresses my statement. Maybe you should try doing that instead of climbing onto a soapbox and giving another ‘Men — this is all your fault. It will always be your fault. Stop whining!’ sermon. Nobody but you wants to hear it.

        • Megalodon says:

          If you’re not getting the sexual and / or romantic relationship you want, but stick around anyway hoping that if you’re persistent, she will eventually open her arms to you, that’s your choice. It’s something you are doing, not something she are doing to you. If in reality it’s bad for you (and I fully sympathize), it’s not her fault. You’re the one who can make it stop. Be assertive, act in you own best interest.

          All well and good, I guess. But on this website and others, we are frequently told that people who are in bad, unhealthy and exploitive relationships are not always capable of weighing their own interests and freely deciding to leave a bad situation. Supposedly, because of low self-esteem, emotional trauma, psychological manipulation, etc., their judgment is compromised and vitiated and they are therefore vulnerable to the exploitation of manipulative persons and cannot act in their “own best interest.” Therefore, it is bad to always put the onus on the person being used instead of the person doing the using.

          But hey, if some degenerate man strings along an emotionally and psychologically insecure woman and manipulates her to get time, money, and emotional support without ever offering her a reciprocal relationship, I guess he can always say, “If this is bad for her, it’s not my fault. She’s the one who can make it stop.”

          • Well, yes – I do think men and women alike should act in their own best interest and learn to takecare of themselves. and I do think that far foo many women have an unfortunate tendency to try to make it the responsibility of others (often their partner) that they get what they want. For added bonus, some women feel that their partner should know what they want without being told. This kind of passive-agressive behaviour is destructive. If people won’t take responsibility for their wants and needs, it’s next to impossible to related to them.

            That said, I don’t think it’s fair to compare this to what happens in a truly abusive, possibly violent relationship. The trauma this causes can destroy the ability to take care of yourself. And, again – this happens to men and women alike. But dating an asshole is not that.

            • Megalodon says:

              That said, I don’t think it’s fair to compare this to what happens in a truly abusive, possibly violent relationship. The trauma this causes can destroy the ability to take care of yourself.

              And we are also frequently told that the concept of “abuse” should not be limited to physical or violent actions. Supposedly, verbal and non-physical interactions can constitute “emotional abuse” or “psychological abuse” or “emotional violence” and such. And supposedly, people do not even have to be in an actual intimate “relationship” in order for one to abuse and/or exploit the other. And even if these interactions do not themselves constitute “abuse,” the exploited person may have suffered past or prior psychological trauma which has destroyed his “ability to take care” of himself and leaves him ill-equipped to resist the exploitation of those who would string him along and mislead him for their own gain. Some users and abusers (of whatever gender) specifically seek out damaged people like that, because they make easier marks.

              But however these bad human arrangements come about, I think it is bad taste to tell a person who is being used “it’s your fault for letting yourself get used” instead of telling the user “you shouldn’t use people.” Of course, most “users” are not susceptible to moral suasion.

              And, again – this happens to men and women alike. But dating an asshole is not that.

              I would agree. However, we are often told there is no qualitative difference between a man who is an asshole and a man who abuses his intimate partner. Supposedly, the difference between the abuser and the “asshole” is only a difference of degree and they both exist on a continuum of harming other people. And from Mary Winkler to Jodi Arias, we are being told that if a woman is in any way hurt, angered, or disgruntled in a relationship, why, it must be abuse!

            • John Anderson says:

              “That said, I don’t think it’s fair to compare this to what happens in a truly abusive, possibly violent relationship. The trauma this causes can destroy the ability to take care of yourself. And, again – this happens to men and women alike. But dating an asshole is not that.”

              So psychological abuse is OK. Is physical abuse OK if it doesn’t leave a mark? Why not, if the standard is that I have to be able to see the trauma? Does a single incidence of physical abuse destroy a person’s ability to see the abuse? How bad does it have to be? Does a slap count?

              What you’re implying is that if a woman doesn’t leave after her boyfriend hits her one time and sticks around until her ability to realize the abuse is compromised, it’s not his fault.

  12. There is no Friend Zone for women.
    There is only Friends-With-Benefits zone for them.

    Women who say they’ve been friend zoned are usually already scthupping the male friends they’re after.
    Women usually complain about romantic rejection from their male friends…rarely sexual rejection.

    Usually the Lets-Just-Be-Friends bomb is dropped by the guy AFTER he has had sex with her.

  13. Emulator says:

    But but she was actually a “Nice Girl (TM)” who was just acting nice towards you so she could have sex with you!

    Sarcasm aside, great article. Glad you figured things out in the end.

  14. Megalodon says:

    Here’s one sure way to avoid being added to the Friend Zone.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXEUltZvJKs

  15. John Anderson says:

    One of the things I think people are missing is how the sufficiency and significance of sex affects the dating pool / friend zone. There are more boys born than girls although I hear the gap is narrowing, but men make up the majority of homicides, suicides, the homeless and the incarcerated. I think voting trends would actually give a better indication of the general dating pool, which would be about 48% male and 52% female. On it’s face his would indicate an advantage for men, but that doesn’t incorporate the significance and sufficiency of sex.

    If men and women viewed sex equally in terms of sufficiency and significance, women would be 52% of the porn purchasers, sex solicitors, etc. Most strip clubs would have male strippers. Most skin mags would be geared toward women. Why is this not happening. Because women don’t view sex as sufficient (hook up culture) or as significant (other factors are as important in a relationship) as men view sex.

    Men feel and are often put in situations where they have to prove they have these other factors, which can’t always be communicated in a pickup line. It also allows women to demand a premium in a relationship dangling the possibility of a sexual encounter. As a man invest more, it becomes more difficult to cut your losses and maybe to an extent on some subconscious level women are convincing themselves that they’re still weighing these other factors, which prevents them from cutting these men loose. Even I-Villages’ sex survey indicated that men wanted sex more.

  16. When I saw this I gasped. All through the blogs only the idea of a “male Friend Zone” seemed to exist, no one attempted to address the issue of it also being applicable to women.
    I’m a very confident woman, and to be objective about it , very very attractive and extremely picky. Even so, I still found myself in this situation- God knows how. And as Dane cook would say, he completely brain-ninja’d me.

    We were friends for 2 + years and initially it was clearly obvious he was into me and I was not.. then the whole situation escalated to a foggy scenario of us being emotionally involved in a platonic way. It became a competition of who could say things better- without really saying them. Dedicating songs- making big gestures- becoming my neighbor all to see how close we could really get without touching.

    What I could learn from this article is that,He knew he had an emotional safety net to catch his fall, while he was at the same time , looking for a better thing.. (if such a one exists :)

    But to edit your highlighted conclusion : “When confident, social people get stuck in this situation, they cut their losses and move on. When lonely, isolated, awkward people get stuck in the Friend Zone, however, it can hit them hard.”

    When Confident social people get stuck in this situation. It can hit them Even harder, even when they try to cut their losses and move on. It’s not about confidence, –
    It’s about being confident you found a reflection of yourself in the Wrong person, all the while attempting to disassociate your disappointment with them, with a disappointment in yourself.

    • Amen to this. You identified the sentence that I thought encapsulated the wisdom of this whole sad tale. Any of us can find ourselves “brain ninja’d” into the friend zone. Confident people figure out what has happened, and that they have options.

    • If you are extremely picky, that’s a self-imposed limitation. You don’t rightfully deserve any empathy for being friend-zoned by the one guy out of millions that you liked. Its like a woman who says she only wants George Clooney and wouldn’t have anyone else and then expects to be sympathized with just as a guy who would pretty much date any woman who gives him a chance but he hasn’t had any opportunities and has been routinely freindzoned.

      • I completely agree, It is a self-imposed limitation.
        Also, the same would apply in reverse, Men shouldn’t just go for just any woman that gives them a chance. It means they don’t value themselves as much,which could lead to women picking up on that and enforcing rejection.
        In any case, I agree with your overall statement, although I didn’t require sympathy, Somethings’ are not so simple as to rejection and non-rejection, some people allow themselves to be dragged into a labyrinth of confusing emotions that lead to no absolution, these people prefer being “stuck” to having a resolve, because a ‘definite maybe’ feels better than a definite No. And these people, I assure you, don’t require any sympathy. They alone own all the rights to the situation they embody. (: x

  17. Guys get friendzoned, girls get fcuk-zoned

    http://www.xojane.com/sex/fuck-zone

  18. Girls get friend zoned. It hurts even more because men will supposedly take the opportunity to fuck anything, so If a man doesn’t want you when you offer it on a silver platter one his contestant companion for years, it REALLY screws with your self esteem. At least men can say ‘it’s not me, all women are picky bitches’

    It crushed my confidence when no guy ever (or has ever) asked me out. I lived with this guy and was his constant companion, cooked for him, cleaned for him did all his favorite things (I love video games etc) was his rock. His family, even extended family had me at all their occassuons and adored me, wanted me to marry him (they also hated his girlfriends) You wouldnt believe the crazy errands I ran for him. He would date my friends and make out with them whilst I was cooking their lunch and between girlfriends he would lead me on but would actually fuck ANY girl but me because he didn’t want to ‘ruin the friendship’

    I’m not bad looking either
    http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j393/LupusAgita/F83A3BAC-9C0F-439B-A751-114515497FE2-1714-0000014E73FA07C1.jpg

    http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j393/LupusAgita/450EA6E3-083F-4F09-86C2-7F97D24E0836-2951-000001EC032988B5.jpg

    But my heart was broken over and over. I am that Nice Girl that men don’t want to fuck and it makeshift feel unattractive. I’m just there for when the bitch breaks HIS heart, or takes his money.

    Eventually this guy calls me after i moved out saying I AM the best woman for him but straight out admitted he only dates women that are bad for him. How screwed up is that. I DO love you and you are perfect… But I still wouldn’t date you.

    I wouldn’t have even cared if he used me for sex or I at least got a sympathy fuck. All I wanted was intimacy from him…

    • So he had sex with you, and you’re saying that is worse pain than friendzone for you in particular or everyone? Because a guy who is stuck in friendzone being used is NOT getting any indication that he is attractive, whilst you at least know you’re sexually attractive. Either way pain is pain and stubbing your toe for you could be as painful as me breaking my foot since pain is subjective and affects us all differently. Both friendzone and fuckbuddyzone suck, but fuckbuddyzone is one step further than the friendzone gets. You’re getting intimacy which the friendzone guy doesn’t get, it’s not comparable but both can be painful.

      That said sorry for your experience, he doesn’t deserve you. Hope you find someone who will treat you better. :)

      • Archy

        I think you didn’t notice she says that he DID’NT fuck her. So she was not FwB-zoned…just Friend-zoned.

    • Taima

      Here’s a thing you should consider. If what you want is ‘just sex’ then you can get it from 10 other guys. You should hang out in bars and hit on guys. Play the numbers game. Offer it on a silver platter to a dozen guys just like you offered it to him and see how many accept your offer. Try adult dating sites because even obese women can get laid through those (with better looking men)

      If you’re still unable to get laid with reasonable frequency, I will have all the empathy for you.

      It is my humble advice to you. Try to figure out what exactly hurts your self esteem – is it being rejected by that ONE particular guy OR is it your inability to get laid (with anyone)?
      I suspect it is the former. Because you don’t want to get laid by just some random regular dude. That wont give you any validation, because you’re a woman after all.

      And yes, I’d do you. If that makes you feel better. My friend Dave sitting in my room right now also thinks you’re fuckable. How does that feel ?

    • I clicked the first link you posted as evidence you’re not bad looking: it’s a photo of you in a corset (thanks for that), and your head doesn’t show. I hear you saying, I gave this guy my all like a sexless but otherwise successful marriage, and then he found a girlfriend who wasn’t me. You want sex, right? Just guessing from the photo. So find a guy who wants to have sex with you, right off the bat, not someone you have to convince. Being direct has its benefits.

      • You’d be amazed how hard it is for a girl like me lol

        If I or any woman directly asks for sex she is immediately a slut, you see…

        You’re welcome x There are ones with my face but the background and my hair is a little messy lol

        I want to be someone’s wife, but also get intimate with them. Is it that hard to find a guy without a madonna-whore complex XP But then again like 70% of women have some daddy issues DX…

        Ah well. My cat loves me and gives me kisses.

        • It’s strange, I know plenty of decent single guys but pretty much all of the women here are taken that I know of (rural area). In the cities I hear women have a harder time finding a partner.

          Guys asking for sex straight away will often be seen as a creep, even just asking for sex can cop the creep label quick. Girls can be called a slut for it. It’s pretty annoying that people are shamed for stepping outside of the norm of monogamous relationships with long term prospects…

    • Taima

      Here’s a thing you should consider. If what you want is ‘just sex’ then you can get it from 10 other guys. You should hang out in bars and hit on guys. Play the numbers game. Offer it on a silver platter to a dozen guys just like you offered it to him and see how many accept your offer. Try adult dating sites because even obese women can get laid through those (with better looking men)

      If you’re still unable to get laid with reasonable frequency, I will have all the empathy for you.

      It is my humble advice that you should try to figure out what exactly hurts your self esteem – is it being rejected by that ONE particular guy OR is it your inability to get laid ?

      I suspect it is the former. Because you don’t want to get laid with just some regular dude. That wont give you any validation, because you’re a woman after all. A woman may have opportunities with 50 men but if she is rejected by the ONE particular guy, they feel its the end of the world..they feel they’re undesirable

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  1. […] it refers only to this one chauvinistic idea.  Unrequited love isn’t fun for anyone.  Lots of women have been stuck in the Friend Zone, too.  Many people are expected by pop culture to always end up […]

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