I was having an interesting conversation with some friends on whether women truly put their close male friends in the “friend zone.” For anyone who doesn’t know what the “friend zone” is, according to the always hilarious Urban Dictionary, it’s the following:
“What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend”. Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “Friend-ed”.”
Ironically, most of the other definitions on Urban Dictionary paint this similar picture: that men are the sole victims to being looked at as just friends by the women they care for, but who don’t happen to feel the same way back. Or what I would call victims of unrequited love.
The way some people perceive the “friend zone” bothers me because it’s usually only implied to men. Most movies and TV shows present men who feel they are victimized in some way because they didn’t get to that next level with their romantic interest and because she didn’t share his feelings. Just because you buy a woman dinner, or take her out on a date, or spend time with her doesn’t mean she’s automatically required to either sleep with you or become your significant other and immediately feel the way you do.
I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who take advantage of men’s kindness, because that would be a lie. We can all probably find a time where we’ve accidentally or purposefully played with someone’s emotions, but to think that it’s only women who do this to men? That’s my problem with the perception of it all.
I’ve been friend zoned plenty of times. I’m either too cute or too sweet to the guys I’ve found myself interest in, and I’m always someone’s “kid sister” or “one of the guys.” Guys have given me some indication that they were interested in me, but then after they get what they wanted, be it physical, emotional–whatever–they have pulled the “You’re great and all, but we just don’t have that spark. We should just be friends.” There have been guys who I’ve liked, but their only interest in me was to be friends and they never tried to lead me on and “play” like me in a romantic sense. As much as it might happen to men, it definitely is something that women go through just as much, and it might even be worse. Whether the man in the picture gets what he wants from you (be it companionship, someone to vent to, etc) but says he “doesn’t look at you that way” or not, being thrown in the friend zone isn’t something exclusive to one sex, despite popular opinion that paints women as heartless maneaters.
What am I supposed to do if someone doesn’t like me? Make them like me? Uh, no thanks. And it’s funny, because if a woman does it she’s a crazy psycho, but if a man does it, he’s a hopeless romantic. Thank you romantic comedies such as, 500 Days of Summer and Just Friends, for proving this point.
Rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but at the end of the day if someone genuinely doesn’t like you and was honest about it, what can you do? If people had more open and honest surroundings, it would create for stronger relationships and friendships. So while Urban Dictionary and others might like to play like women always rarely know what they want, use men and then play them because they’re “too nice” and would be better used as friends, men get down the same way…