The Friend-Zone: how and why it is “ONLY” a male dilemma

Disclosure: To the girls reading this post (although I hope one open-minded man or two may have the ovaries too) I am writing this in the heat of an angered moment. I am mad. I am angry. I am fucking fed up.

I, like many women, have been accused of the crime “friend-zoning”. I have yet to encounter a female who has uttered the phrase, “God, he just friend-zoned me!” Not that this hasn’t happened, but girls have been taught to react differently, which is why friend-zoning is a male issue. Not an issue so much as an ego complex.

Let’s lay out what I mean by the term “friend-zone.” It is associated with females putting men in the category of “just my friend.” It’s basically being friends with benefits, without the benefits. It’s being friends. Which apparently isn’t good enough for some men.

Reason’s why men say they are friend-zoned:

1. “She says she likes a guy who is sweet and charming and quiet and that’s me! But, no, she says we are only friends.”

2. “She’s such a tease, but won’t do anything with me. She says we’re just friends.”

3. “We went out out on one date and then she said we should just be friends.”

These are just a couple of encounters I have experienced with some of my male friends. The argument is usually them saying they are the perfect guy for them, but the girls just don’t see it, they are just too good of friends. The blame is always placed on the female. And that is where I have a huge problem.

I am not saying that friend-zoning isn’t a phenomenon but it has become one where blame is placed on women and the experience is now strictly male. Women are friend-zoned but we are taught to react differently, just as we are taught to feel bad about our true feelings toward someone (when we only like someone as a friend).

When men feel they are friend-zoned, it is the woman’s fault. She is ignorant to how perfect he is for her, she is a tease, she led him on and then shut him down, “she’s at fault not me.” God forbid, men, we don’t date you because of some fault of your own! Us women would hate to point out your flaws and really say why we won’t date you. But no, we spare your “feelings” we spare your ego and take the blame.

When women feel friend-zoned, we don’t blame the guy for being oblivious or ignorant. We blame ourselves. We chastise ourselves for thinking he would like us in the first place, we feel ashamed to think there were true signs of a romantic connection.

Now isn’t that an interesting complex.

In my opinion, the term friend-zoning helps protect the male ego. It is a way of putting the blame on the other party instead of admitting you couldn’t close the deal. You couldn’t get a date, you couldn’t get laid, whatever it might mean.

Now there are different categories of friend-zones. There’s the “one date and then decide to be friends”, friend-zone. And then there’s the, “we’ve been friends for years but I just started to form feelings for you”, friend-zone. And then there’s the, “I really like you but am afraid to ask you out so we are just going to be friends while I repress my true feelings”, friend-zone. The first category is a nice way of saying I am not attracted to you, but I don’t want to say why. The second is just a shitty situation. The third is no one’s fault but the person repressing their feelings. I have written these from a male perspective, just to clarify.

When women are confronted with the first friend-zoning dilemma, they are often asked why they just want to be friends. Opposed to saying to men you are lazy, have bad hygiene habits, or  just generally unappealing, we will say something along the lines of, “I’m not looking for anything serious. I’m just working on myself.” We are a considerate gender and it’s our down fall. With the second situation, when we may be confronted by a friend who admits they have feelings for us, now matter how nice they are, it’s hard to see them in any other light than as a friend. You cannot change your feelings toward someone at will, and you shouldn’t be asked to validate them. You have a right to feel the way you feel. The issue with friend-zoning is that it makes women feel as though they are not entitled to those feelings. The third category of friend-zoning is the worst yet. Because no one is at fault by the person who practically placed themselves there in the first place.

Call this what it is, a feminist rant, but these are statements and situations I have either been in or witnessed. And while friend-zoning may exist, it is not because us females are indecisive and bitchy, but rather because you (male friend) mean too much to lose as a friend, or we are not attracted to you, whether that means physically, emotionally or mentally. So men, I beg you that the next time you blame a girl for friend-zoning you due to no fault of your own, consider that you may indeed have flaws, and if you don’t want to be tossed into the friend-zone by placing yourself there, have some confidence. But please, for the universe’s sake, stop acting as though men are the only victims, or faultless victims at that.

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One thought on “The Friend-Zone: how and why it is “ONLY” a male dilemma

  1. Here are a few true stories that may help the author understand a man’s perspective (at least mine). First, a little male psychology: most men do not want single women as friends because it goes badly EVERY time we do. We understand that there is a good chance the woman may not be honest about her feelings until she has no choice any more. We get it! What we DON’T understand is how women don’t get it. Men are supposed to be the dense gender right? Usually we are, but not on this one. People in love are not rational. You can count on that.

    The first girl who friendzoned me pursued me as a “friend” more aggressively than anyone had ever done before (multiple phone calls per day, hand-holding, pet names, non-sexual kissing, etc.), I was young and naive and I thought this was how love blossomed. WRONG! After confessing my feelings, she kept calling me for MONTHS.

    The second time I was friendzoned, similar stuff, but I made my intentions clear much quicker, and the relationship was already sexual. Friendzoned again. Months of her unsolicited and unreturned phone calls – again!

    The third time, the woman was my BOSS (and I was very attracted to her). She told me I was “just a friend”, but I wasn’t really in a position to tell my BOSS that I didn’t want to be her “friend”. She took me out for drinks, dinner, the theater and various other traditionally romantic things – until I told her to please stop. She was FURIOUS! I loved all the attention she was giving me (I was single), but she just would stop even after I asked her to! I finally went to HER boss, who told her to stop. She still didn’t. She either quit or was fired (I didn’t care which).

    These might not be typical “friendzone” stories, but I doubt I am the only guy who has experienced this. I am VERY good at taking “no” for an answer, even when it hurts. My point is that many men learn quickly, but many women don’t want to just “drop it” after a guy accepts “no” for an answer. To be on the safe side, women would be well-served not to expect a man to want to be their “friend” after we have been rejected. When men experience a failure for the WOMAN not to take “no” for an answer, it makes women seem cruel. It also makes us wonder why being “friends” with a man who has confessed his love is SO important (important enough to lose a job over!).

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