Lets talk about the Friendzone

Disclaimer: I am a heterosexual male, as are most of my friends, so this is written from that point of view. But everything written here could just as easily be applied to a girl that’s been friendzoned by a guy or a gay or lesbian relationship.

I went out this weekend with some friends of mine. One of my friends is a very attractive woman. She always seems to have the same small group of guys following her around hoping if they stick around long enough they might get their chance with her. That inspired this post.

We’ve all heard the expression ‘why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.’ It’s usually taken to mean that, if you’re getting sex (the milk), there’s no reason to actually commit/date/get married (buy the cow). What I think that most people overlook is that it can just as easily work the other way. Is someone being put in the friendzone really any different than someone just being a booty call? In either case one person is getting the ‘milk’ they want (in this case attention, emotional support, a shoulder to cry on) without ‘buying the cow’ (actually committing to some form of a physical/romantic relationship). Sure it may be an emotional booty call, but it’s still a booty call nonetheless. It’s still one person ‘using’ using the other for what they want, without committing to that other person despite the fact that that’s obviously what the other person wants.

I feel the need to define what I think it is to be put in the friendzone. I am not saying that men and women can’t be friends. Of course they can. They can even be good friends. The girl that I mentioned earlier is one of my best friends. There’s nothing wrong with a mutually satisfactory, purely platonic, emotionally supportive friendship. But when a guy is romantically interested in a girl, and she knows it (and trust me, even if you’ve never told her, she knows), and uses that knowledge to her advantage to keep that guy around as a guy she knows she can call at 3am after a bad date, that’s being friendzoned. It’s no different than when a guy keeps a girl around because he knows he can call her at 3am for a booty call, even though she wants more. Both are unhealthy, one-sided relationships.

Again, speaking from my perspective as a heterosexual male, I usually see this happening to guys, and it normally goes hand in hand with the ‘nice guys finish last’ and ‘girls only like assholes’ and other such nonsense. Which I also have some problems with. You’re not being rejected because you’re nice, you’re being rejected despite it. If you think you’re a nice guy who was just rejected by a girl that you’re in to, it’s one of the following scenarios:

A: You’re a legitimately nice, attractive, reasonably successful guy, and she shot you down anyway. If that’s the case, that’s on her not you. Some people crave drama. Some people need to be in a relationship with someone they feel they need to fix. Some people are just plain attracted to people they know aren’t good for them. Some people are just really shallow. Some people have very specific things that they look for in a partner and maybe you’re missing one or more of those things through no fault of your own. If any of those are the case, then why would you want to date that person? Sounds like you dodged a bullet to me.

B: You’re not a nice guy. You’re a guy that pretends to be nice because he thinks it’s the best way to get laid, which by definition makes you not a nice guy. It makes you manipulative creeper. You’re actually worse than the loud asshole guy, because at least loud asshole guy is honest and upfront about the fact that he’s loud asshole guy.

So let’s say you are a nice guy who’s just been friendzoned. The absolute last thing you should do is keep trying. That works in romcoms, not in real life. Once a person has decided that they’re not attracted to you, it’s next to impossible to change that. Human beings are creatures who are wired to make quick judgments. In the wild we had to be able to determine if something was a threat, if someone was friend or foe, in a millisecond. It was literally the difference between life or death. And those instincts have never really gone away. It’s why stereotypes are still a thing. It’s why first impressions are so important.

And, let’s be honest. Just as there are guys out there who only care about getting laid as much as possible and truly only see women as nothing more than booty calls, there are women out there that will deliberately put guys into the friendzone and intentionally string them along strictly because they enjoy the attention. Both are equally dick moves.

Let me repeat what I said earlier so it is very clear. She isn’t rejecting you because you’re nice. She is rejecting you because she is not attracted to you. Maybe you’re just not her type. Maybe you don’t have anything in common. Maybe she’s just a really hot, shallow person and she only dates really hot, shallow guys. Hanging around and doing the same thing you’ve been doing isn’t going to change any of that. I’m sure that if you asked 1000 women what they found attractive in a man the response “follows me around like a puppy” wouldn’t come up very often. Sure, maybe, by pure consequence of always being around, MAYBE you’ll be in the right place in the right time to hook up with her one night when she’s just went through a breakup and had one too many jaeger shots. But is that what you want? One hook up in a moment of emotional vulnerability that didn’t mean anything? If so, refer to point B from earlier.

Now I am not saying to be a dick to her. I’m not saying you should make a big scene about how your friendship is over because she wouldn’t have sex with you. I’m not saying you should stop talking to her. You can still be friends. But stop being the nice guy that’s ALWAYS there. Nothing changes if nothing changes. If it hasn’t worked for you so far, it’s not going to magically start working now. Accept the fact that she doesn’t see in you a romantic/physical manner, which does not make her a bad person or ‘only into assholes’, it just means you’re not her type. Hanging around her all the time isn’t going to change the way she feels and, worse, it’s not going to change the way you feel either.

What you should do is work on you. The time you normally spend listening to her complain about other guys is time you could spend at the gym or reading big books or learning a new language or working on your career or, *gasp*, going out and meeting other women, preferably ones that you actually have a MUTUAL attraction with.

If (and this is a big if) she ever was attracted to you, when she realizes she can’t get that milk for free anymore, maybe she will be willing to buy the cow, especially when she sees you in best shape of your life, reciting Tolstoy (in Russian) and going out on dates with other girls. Or not, in which case she was never attracted to you at all so it’s good you moved on anyway. Maybe even gotten to the point where you can be her friend without picturing her naked every time you see her. Then you can have a healthy friendship, instead of an unhealthy, one-sided infatuation.

Some takeaways

1: Just because you’re “nice” that doesn’t entitle you to sex or a relationship.

2: If she’s not attracted to you, it’s not because of your niceness, it’s in spite of it.

3: Sitting around complaining about how girls don’t go for nice guys, or you’re always friendzoned, or whatever, accomplishes nothing other than making you seem less attractive. It’s the MOST counterproductive thing you can do.

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