This is an expansion of my reply to the post The hated “Friend Zone”
Expanded upon and edited for clarity. Quoting the text of original post below.
I find it kind of funny that people get so offended at, even, the
mention of the “Friend zone” and insist that it doesn’t exist. Of course
it doesn’t really exist; it’s just a silly term that people use to
describe a situation. The situation being simply this
He is interested in her romantically, she doesn’t share the same feelings
and views him as a friend
THAT is the ‘friend zone’, plain and simple. The man is a friendI believe that the reason some people hate this term so much is
instead of a lover, lover being what is what he originally wanted. And I
doubt anybody who reads this will dispute the fact that this happens.
‘Friend zone’ is nothing more than a silly term given to describe that
situation. I really don’t think anybody, be they ‘Friend Zoner’ or
‘Friend Zoned’ should take it to seriously.
because it seems to carry a negative connotation. Like being only a
friend is a bad thing. While I admit that there are some people out
there who feel that way (If we are fucking then we aren’t anything) and
those people ultimately deserve neither. But just because a person, in
his own mind, views himself as being in the so-called friend zone with a
crush should not suggest that that person is miserable or resentful at
For the life of me I will never understand why people get so offended
and angry at just the mere of the term. Maybe it’s because people here
it and think ‘We’re friends but he just wants sex’. In some cases that’s
probably correct, at which point I can understand the anger. But I
don’t see why it’s so far-fetched to believe that that guy who secretly
wants more from you really wants the sort of romantic fairy tale
relationship that Hollywood flicks plague us with these days.
I, myself, was condemned for claiming to be in the friend zone and I
believed this at the timembecause I was in a situation where my only
option with this girl as far as a positive relationship was that of the
platonic friendship; and I was ok with that, contrary to her beliefs. I
guess what bugs me is the offense this person took at my being
disappointed that a romantic relationship wasn’t in the cards (well that
an the false assumptions about me being only interested in sex were
hurtful as well). I don’t think there is anything wrong with being sad
that the person you have a crush on doesn’t feel the same way. To me
it’s like applying to, say, Stanford University but finding yourself at
San Francisco State. You can still be sad that you didn’t get your first
choice while being happy with where you ended up. You are allowed to be
sad about the relationship that never was whilst still being happy with
the one you have with the person.
I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t use the term in anger to
describe my situation. But you know what, I look back on it and I find
it laughable that I took it that seriously, even for a moment (and if
you can’t laugh at yourself, eh?) because when it comes down to it, it’s
just a silly phrase that gets thrown around these days and is used more
for jokes than anything else (at least from what I’ve seen). So I give
anybody reading this permission to point and laugh at me for using this
goofy term in a serious context because it was a daft thing for me to
do. I have learned my lesson and will live with the consequences of a
friendship no more (nobody’s fault but my own)
So whether you hate the term, find it to be funny or believe it to be
a real situation, the idea of getting so angry about it that you get
personally offended is silly. Just try to enjoy the goofy memes that
appear as a result of it and focus your anger on the most annoying term
that is going around these days… YOLO! (Fuck you, YOLO!!!).
Finally some sanity when talking about this subject.
My main beef with people obsessed from either side of the equation is that
both are setting up straw men and not view the situation individually and as it really is.
Instead both sidesare railing against skewed framings of the “friend zone” that let them
feel justified in claiming victim status and try to erase the definition the other camp is using.
What I’ve almost never seen brought up is that it’s inherent to the way the sexes
relate that men would raise the issue of the “zone.” Men approach, women
are approached and despite all the gains of the past century and a half
this is predominantly still true. Unfortunately, also not likely to
change for all the talk of breaking gender roles. As the pursued, women
play a more passive role and are the ones who end up categorizing the
men who pursue them. It’s a useful filter, subconscious for the most
part, that’s necessitated by the rigid gender roles that people take
One the one side you have either men who can’t read subtext and believe what society has sold them
in the form of media and culture (every rom-com, sad sap and underdog
ever portrayed), the well-meaning but bad advice from their friends (“be
yourself,” “you’ll make some girl very happy,” “stop looking and then
you’ll find someone.”) or were raised in a different cultural setting
(read: traditional) or are socially inept (sometimes on the autistic
spectrum) or at times all of the above.
Part of the problem is that these men are doing exactly what a lot of women
say they want but they only perceive and understand what’s spoken aloud
and none of the subtext. They’re not understanding the unspoken tenets
of the mating dance. They’re not leading with their dicks, they’re
listening to, empathizing with and pursuing these women as friends.
They’re under the false presumption that this is the right way to pursue
the woman you’re interested in. Be a friend and hopefully, when they
feel comfortable enough to reveal their interest in being
loved/lovers/romantic (yes, sex is part of this equation) and their
interest will be returned in kind.
What they fail to realize is that they’ve essentially presented themselves
as asexual, safe and taken themselves out of consideration (going back
to the subconscious filter mentioned previously) Women for their part
contribute to the idea of a “friend zone” by doing one of many things.
First off, by taking the out these men don’t realize they’re presenting of
not being suitors. Heck, most women don’t even know they’re doing this.
The men are unconsciously presenting themselves as only platonic in body
language and a lot of women see this (also subconsciously) and take
them at their unspoken word.
the source of the betrayal that a lot of women feel when their friend
confesses their romantic and sexual feelings to them.They haven’t been
getting the message on the carrier signal (subconscious) because it’s
being actively suppressed (by these men’s mistaken beliefs about life)
and they feel mislead.
Then there’s the case that there are people out there who do take asymmetrical
where one person feels more strongly than the other and use it to their
advantage. In this situation one person does see the intent of the
other and instead of rejecting them outright they ask and receive more
attention than one would ask of a platonic friend in terms of emotional
care and material favors. Whether it’s affection and attention, running
around town doing errands and favors or a steady stream of gifts. It’s
only true a percentage of the time and doesn’t apply across the board
anymore than the Machiavellian approach of seeking sexual favors that
women who rant about the “friend zone” accuse the men they’re shaming of
This is usually denied
vehemently by those who rant against the “friend zone” and highlighted
by those who complain about being in the “zone.”
also the issue that a lot of the time the word “friend” is misused. The
reason usually given is to soften the blow of rejection but that’s
misguided because it reinforces the idea that friendship is a
consolation prize, which no one truly wants promote.
the scenario is also not helped by the fact that there are many times
the word “friend” is used when there’s no intention or desire for actual
friendship in play. “Let’s just be friends” but then any effort to be a
friend is ignored or deflected until the person “friendship” was
offered to fades out of their lives.
right way to pursue a woman, as far as I can tell, is to approach with
sexual interest but politely, in a charming, slightly dangerous but
respectful way. Lead with their cocks (so to speak) but step back when
pushed and move on. Flirt, approach, and test every woman who crosses
their path and see who returns interest, then dance accordingly. Get
their needs met in some aspect by different people until someone returns
enough feeling and interest that a more serious commitment is called
They’re not playing the numbers game. They’re pursuing, in their own way, the one woman they feel is
worth pursuing. In most cases they genuinely like this woman as a friend
and appreciate them as a person. This is what they believe is the right
approach. Friends first, lovers later. They’re blinkered and only
seeking the attention of one woman for months and sometimes years and
then getting rejected. If they never get a clue and continue taking this
path years and decades can pass before they understand they have the
wrong idea entirely. Since they’re also not playing, in crude terms, the
“fuck, friend or pass” game they’re also not getting any of their
sexual wants and needs met, in extreme cases not even their needs for
simple intimacy and human contact are being fulfilled either.
If they don’t see this dance for what it is, don’t understand or perceive
flirting and can’t tell the difference between flirtation and
friendliness. They get burned enough times by their lack of perception
that any hints and signals that potentially interested women give are
interpreted as just being personable and platonic. Since they’ve
repressed their sexuality and the women in their lives see them in that
light because they aren’t following the steps on the dance floor.
Perceived asexuality becomes de facto asexuality and results in
increasingly frustrated men who have no idea what they’re doing wrong.
What’s more, most of these men also perceive other men as the problem, as
predators and horndogs. They’re striving not to be assholes and
douchebags. They have a skewed view of what constitutes an ass because
they usually end up being a shoulder to cry on and therefore only hear
about the worst behaviors of other men and virtually nothing about
what’s good and attractive about the men their women friends are crying
about. Being predisposed to discount what other men say because of how
they’ve been raised, what they’ve been told and likely because a lot of
spent their early years being pounded upon by these other men. They’re
trying not to be what they think these other men are like, not giving
any credence to the well-intentioned advice of any male friends and
family who care enough to intervene.
They can’t see the divide between how they’ve been told to act and what
actually is, sometimes for decades. When the realization finally hits,
it’s a brick house to the head. Not only do these guys have the wrong
idea of how the world works but very few people can really help them
learn how to fix this. Mainly because most folks from either sex aren’t
conscious of how they approach the other side or recall having learned
Well-meaning friends and family have been telling them the ideal of what women want and have been
inadvertently exacerbating these men’s skewed view of the world. Then
there are the mercenary folk who prey on this lack of knowledge and sell
shit advice, self-help authors, sex-advice columnists and Pick-Up
Artists. Blech. The upshot is that you have a percentage of men who know
enough to see they’re doing something wrong but no clear idea of where
to go from there. They’ve been ill-served by society, by their friends
and family and it’s all been inadvertent, their path in life laid down
by everyone’s best intentions.
They’ve been seen as essentially eunuchs for a significant portion of their
lives and no one has any sympathy, gives a damn or even wants to hear
it.This is a source of at least a period of bitterness and anger for the
men who fit this description.
Some take the path of being the men who they looked down upon but since they
have a mistaken view of how these other men behave they end up being
even worse pricks than the men they despised. Some give up entirely,
they’ve never danced and none of it comes naturally. Which is a large
part of what people call confidence, performing the choreography from
muscle memory and not consciously thinking about where where their feet
and hands are supposed to be.
Most men get over it, some don’t.
Whether they know it or not, these men are also breaking their expected gender
role and are being punished for it. By being passive in their approach,
dropping hints and hoping the woman they’re interested in will see this
they’ve flipped the gender roles and a lot of women will excoriate men
who do this as much and it seems even more severely than women who take
an assertive proactive approach to their sexuality are shamed and
Then there’s the other side of the coin who have a valid and strong point. No one is
entitled to sex, love, romance simply because they feel those desires
and emotions for someone in particular. There is no argument with this.
No argument here.
Where it goes wrong though in the majority of the rants, articles and writing
I’ve seen on the net is that it’s usually reduced to just sex, then a
claim is set forth that the situation called the “friend zone” doesn’t
exist and then they proceed to tear anyone and everyone who dares to use
the phrase a new asshole, call them douchebags and evil manipulative
sorry weak excuses for men. Helpings of dismissal, emasculation, shaming
and anger expressed in spades and heaped with a steam shovel upon the
As far as I can tell this approach is taken because when framed in this way there’s no ground to
fall back on without being seen as a creep. “They wanted to fuck me, I
told them no and what’s more they’ve been lying to me this whole time.”
There isn’t any acceptable way of reframing the issue without going on
for wall upon wall of TL;dr (Too long; didn’t read) as I have just done.
Misattributing intent (“it’s only about sex”) and viewing the existing friendship in
the worst possible light just ends up with both parties feeling misused,
hurt and angry.
I don’t think this helps the men they’re addressing. It’s just a nasty way of enforcing the
gender roles in place. The fallacy of “real men” and “good women.” That
only “real men” who are willing to or know how to lead the dance are
worthy of sexual interest and that men who don’t aren’t even deserving
of friendship. That “good women” let a man lead the dance and have no
agency to express their wants and desires openly.
Then there’s the maxim that you get what you give and if you lead with
venom, you get venom in return. Which is how a good many of these rants
are perceived by the men they criticize. They’re being accused of being
the very men (as wrong as their idea of these men are in their
misconception of the world) that they’ve been striving all their lives
not to be.
A lot of the men the rants are aimed at are already feeling ill-used by society and marginalized
because they weren’t observant enough to perceive the difference between
how they’ve been told how they should act and what is actually expected
Then on top the authors of these rants are punishing men for expressing emotion openly by giving
voice to their disappointment and hurt which also reinforces
stereotypical gender roles. “Man up,” “be strong,” “walk it off,”
“don’t show weakness,” (emotion equating to weakness in this case)
“stop being a wuss,” “wah, wah, whiny crybabies,” etc. So the men being
censured are left with no voice and no outlet for their feelings
Women who post these rants feel better having vented and can bond with each
other commiserating over how they all have experienced this situation
but they’re also kicking men who are already down and not giving them
any useful information about how to fix the problem.
Men, generally don’t help other men. They’re viewed as competition in the
general sense and we aren’t raised to help each other out. Women,also
generally, are unsympathetic to anyone who doesn’t fit their criteria
for what constitutes a man and tend to give really shitty advice when
they are sympathetic that just exacerbates the situation.
Sure, entitled douchebags exist and the rants don’t spring up out of nowhere.
I just don’t think the way the issue is framed can be applied uniformly
across the board.
All in all whether people are complaining about being placed in the “zone” or ranting
against it. Complex situations are simplified and framed in a way where
the author can play the victim and solicit sympathy from their audience.
In the end, no one is served well, everyone is talking past each other and it ends up as one giant cliched clusterfuck.
Now, this isn’t “Twuth” either, just my perception of “The Friend Zone.”