Saturday, 5 April 2014

The "Friend Zone" is bullshit

Ah, yes. The "Friend Zone". That term folks use to insult the people who are friends with them and don't see fit to give them access to their squidgy bits. 


I get it. You spend a lot of time with someone as a friend, you develop a strong bond with them, and then you want to take the relationship "to the next level". Or maybe you started out with an attraction to them and with the intention of eventually dating them.


You're cool. You're suave. You listen to them and make them feel valued and heard and loved. Then, you finally build up the confidence to ask them out and BLAMMO - rejection.

I'm not gonna lie, it sucks when you have feelings for someone and they don't reciprocate them. It's not a pleasant experience and you're bound to have some feels about it. That's ok. Feel bad for a bit, talk to other friends about it and vent, write poetry, etc, to help you deal with those feelings.

But don't go into the "Friend Zoning" bullshit. That's gross and doesn't help you or them and, guaranteed, won't change their mind and make them realize you're a "catch".

What it boils down to is this: you are allowed to be honest about your feelings with the people you're close to. If you are romantically interested in someone, you are allowed to tell them. There's a risk, sure, there's also a risk if you don't. If they don't reciprocate those feelings, you're allowed to be disappointed. You're even allowed to decide that you don't want to be friends with them if you can't be in a romantic relationship with them. Heck, maybe they are purposely stringing you along and toying with your emotions. That happens, and you're allowed to not like it or put up with it.

Now, here's where I think a lot of people (not just guys, even though that entitlement does come up a lot when discussing guys putting gals into The Girlfriend Zone) get confuzzled: you can harbour these disappointments. The line gets crossed when you cannot get past that. When you cannot fathom that someone you put so much time and attention and energy into dared not return those feelings. When you start to get angry with them for having standards that you apparently haven't met. When you use "Friend Zone" as a term to disparage them for not "giving you a chance."


And this is the most important point of this whole post - no one has to give anyone else "a chance" to date them. The only thing we have control over is our bodies, and each person has 100% say as to who is going to have access to their body. In a dating context, it's fair to say that most partners want to date someone in order to be physically intimate with them (asexuals definitely exist, but I've never seen anyone who identifies as asexual accuse the object of their affections of putting them in "The Friend Zone" - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). No one owes you that or "a chance" at that, no matter if you're just looking to hold hands, looking for a kiss, or looking for some naked Jello wrestling.

To bring it home, let's talk about your rights and obligations to the people who are interested in you. You can turn someone down for any reason at all. They have bad breath, they don't like the bands you like, they're allergic to cats, they're left-handed, you don't get squishy feelings when you're around them - literally any reason at all. Your reasons for not wanting to be romantically involved with someone don't have to "make sense". I promise you, they don't. You don't have to be able to verbalize your reasons for not wanting to be with them. Not wanting to be with them is 100% enough. "No" is absolutely a complete sentence.

Understanding that you have these rights to who you let close to you, apply that now to everyone else in the world. If they say they're not interested in dating you, that's all the reason they need. Maybe that will someday change but, it's been my experience, if you continue the friendship with the sole intention of changing their mind then you will lose them as a friend as well. They'll get sick of your pestering, passive-aggressive Fall Out Boy bullshit and they'll stop returning your messages and work on prying you out of their lives. If you still want to be friends, you've gotta reign that shit in. Maybe after you tell them your romantic feelings they'll decide they don't feel comfortable being friends with you, either. That's a risk. That happens.

What can you do to avoid being that asshole that complains about The Friend Zone? Find some hobbies. Listen to a Jagged Little Pill on repeat while throwing paint at a canvas. Make new friends. If you're surrounded by people who push you to keep trying and who use the term The Friend Zone unironically and frequently, maybe tell them to stop listening to Taylor Swift for a couple days and hide their copies of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I'm looking at you, Xander).



the1janitor is wise and generally awesome and you should subscribe to his YouTube channel and share the love to him you've shared with me 

In summation, you are 100% justified in feeling upset and disappointed in being romantically rejected. If you choose to use that rejection to perpetuate this Friend Zone non-sense, then you deserve to be alone and are a bad person.

12 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. I've been thinking about this myself lately - some men describe the "friend zone" so disparagingly, as if it's not worthwhile in any way, shape or form to intellectually and emotionally connect with someone for the sake of those benefits alone. When we use the term "friend" zone so disparagingly, we disparage friendship itself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This essay is superb; a friend on Facebook shared it and in turn, I am going to show it to all of my friends. The source for that last picture, btw, is the Youtube video "You're Probably Not A Nice Guy" by the1janitor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, the video is "You're Probably Not Really a Nice Guy" and the guy who made it is awesome. Also, I would have included a link but I didn't want this comment to get marked as spam, which may or may not have been.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Paige, for the props and for info on the video so I can link right to it. :D

      Delete
  3. I think the belief that men/boys and women/girls can't be just friends stems from the idea, constructed by society, that males are naturally predatory and opportunistic. Following this logic leads to the conclusion that an opportunistic male would always look at a friendship, with a female, as an opportunity to reach an objective, rather than the friendship itself being the objective.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No. Men have every right to be angry at being put into the 'friend zone,' and to refer to it disparagingly. This is because its not simply your 'right' to get a little angry and then its not your responsibility to just 'move on' or to be happy being 'just friends' instead just because friendship is beautiful too. If I am friendzoning a woman, I make it clear from the start. I tell her I won't be interested now or in the future in dating her, then the friendship builds from there as a friendship. The problem with women though is twofold. They accept men into their lives as 'friends,' knowing full well that the man is romantically interested, and keep the men strung along due to the 'beta orbiter' benefits she gains from that. Such as free gifts, attention, someone to bitch about her boyfriend to (even though she has no intention of leaving said boyfriend, but the bitching makes out she will, and that shell get with the guy shes bitching to, because hes the one forging the emotional connection by being there for her.) We call that dishonesty. And having a hatred of the dishonest is acceptable. The reason I say its 'twofold' is because 'friendzoning' is something women are far better at perpetrating than men, and thats because its in female nature. 'Nice guys' deserve the least harsh treatment, but what nice guys don't understand is that women don't want nice guys. They look down on nice guys. They hate them. The guy who is at her beck and call simply won't be respected, and won't be looked at sexually by her. Not like Mr. Baddass muscle man over there. And thats why 'friendzoning' is one of the darkest sides of female nature. Really, it hurts 'nice guys,' because nice guys a brought up to respect women... but the 'friendzoning' exposes a phenomenon that is truly a female inadquecy... women can't make a romantic bond with someone who treats them with respect. Hence why 'every man is a bastard,' women say, but really the answer to her relationship problems was right there all along, with the 90% of guys who aren't complete dicks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like you didn't read the article and decided instead to blather on with some gender essentialist misogyny. Too bad this article was directed at you, because you could have learned something. Alas, this was an opportunity missed. I shall have to leave you with the final paragraph:

      "In summation, you are 100% justified in feeling upset and disappointed in being romantically rejected. If you choose to use that rejection to perpetuate this Friend Zone non-sense, then you deserve to be alone and are a bad person."

      Delete
    2. Hahaha -- MRA alert!!!

      Seriously, wtf is a "beta orbiter"?? You just made that shit up.

      Also, you seem to be doing a lot of projecting here; I'm truly sorry you've had such terrible luck with the ladeez. If you find that becoming friends with a woman and then giving her "free gifts" isn't working out for you, why don't you stop being such a doormat? If you feel you're being taken advantage of, put a stop to it. If you are romantically interested in someone, ask them out! Why is it a woman's fault when she takes a man at his word that he wants to be friends when really, he wants more? Stop thinking enough friendship 'points' will eventually get you sex!

      Final note: isn't "free gift" a bit redundant? That is like, the definition of a gift. Once again, your use of language reveals your messed up ways of looking at relationships. Friendship and gifts aren't supposed to be quid pro quo; when genuine, they are gestures made without expecting anything in return.

      Delete
    3. Leaving him/her in an unsure state between rejection and attraction and you'll always have a dumbass fixing all your bullshit for nothing in return, how convenient. That's what friendzoning is all about, end of story.

      Delete
    4. That sounds more like emotional manipulation, which is not cool. If the person you have affection for is using you and stringing you along, they are not good people and you are 100% in the right to stop associating with them. They still don't owe you sexy times.

      Delete
  5. Oh, and lastly, like every other article, this article is another socially damaging feminist article. Like the whole of feminism, its an excuse for women. Its just another way for women to say to themselves 'thew. Its OK. See, its not my fault after all. Theres no such thing as friendzoning, and even if there was, its not a bad thing for me to do to someone. Wow. Amazing how being a woman is so devoid of responsibility for ones own social actions. As usual, carry on!' I always ask the same question after a feminist article... 'have any of you ever written articles on the bad sides of femenine nature, given reasons for why it makes you bad, and asked amongst the feminist community about how you can fix it, to make you better for men?' Seriously, that would be equality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Golly, I wish you would have read the article. It would have been enlightening, not least of all because I acknowledged FriendZoning goes on in all kinds of gender equations and that sometimes people do string others along and that isn't cool and doesn't have to be tolerated. But, welp, you have a bone to pick. Guess that's more important. Good luck on your totally legit mission towards equality.

      Delete