Friend Zone: A Term Used by Guys Who are Pissed at Not Getting Laid

My daughter came home from school one day after some leadership positions had been decided upon in an extracurricular group, infuriated that one girl in particular had gotten one of them. It came down, apparently, to the way she treated others. As an example, my daughter complained that she had “totally friend zoned” one boy in particular. I found it curious, since my daughter hardly even tolerated the boy in question. At the time, I thought it was just another phrase being used by the generations after mine for deliberately taking advantage of someone who has a crush on you. It’s been called a lot of different things over the years, but it’s never been condoned.

Apparently, I was mistaken. According to this article in Nerve it actually applies to ...well ... every single relationship in which the young woman just wants to be friends. It assumes 1) that two people of different genders can’t be friends, 2) that the female of the pair is denying the male something he deserves as compensation for the friendship, and 3) that it’s ok if the gender positions are reversed.

When I was my daughter’s age, I was into a lot of non-girl things — Dungeons and Dragons, comic books, and other geeky pursuits — so I was often the only girl in the group. I came to view platonic friendships as the norm, only occasionally hearing years later, “I never told you how much I loved you ... *heartfelt sigh*”  Most of us, though, thought that When Harry Met Sally was full of it, because we all had friends like that. Not so much in the real world, apparently. 

It seems that a big part of the problem is attitude. Men have a much harder time recognizing and accepting a lack of mutual attraction than their female friends do. Thus, they have more trouble dealing with the relationship not “progressing” and might become resentful at the lack of return on investment.  But assuming the relationship is supposed to become romantic can lead to some behavior that will pretty much kill it completely.  (NSFW!)

By characterizing the lack of romantic interest as “being friend zoned,” a guy is spared the embarrassment of failure. Girls, on the other hand, have always dealt with rejection differently. Take a look at this advice to girls from a guy and compare it to the advice for guys in the previous paragraph.  Wow.

Using your attractiveness for personal gain, taking advantage of the gullibility of those who find you attractive, and then discarding them when they’ve outlived their usefulness is always reprehensible. But when a girl doesn’t want a romance with you, you haven’t necessarily been “friend zoned.”  You’ve been “friended.” IRL. And that can be a very good thing to go with.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Alison Meyer

Born too late to be a Baby Boomer, too early to be Gen-X, I stayed home to raise my kids. That time was spent in volunteering in schools, re-learning everything I'd forgotten from my own, and honing my understanding of Biology and Neuroscience.

MORE FROM

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.