Personal Development, Student Life

Let’s Talk About: The Friend Zone

So, gentleman, about that place where you serve loyally as an emotional support, a lifter of heavy things, and her best friend when she doesn’t have a boyfriend? That place you all complain about being in while you watch some other person sweep the purported girl of your dreams off her feet? The Friend Zone?  Chances are, if you’re complaining about being there, that’s probably where you belong.

Gentleman, what I’m about to say is pretty harsh. It’ll either crush your hopes or make you angry, and a few of you will immediately say that I’m wrong. But I’m asking you to please seriously consider it, and keep it in mind the next time you feel yourself being “Friend Zoned”. She just wants to be friends? WHY? You’re a nice guy. You’re funny. She likes hanging out with you. You’ve always been there for her when a person drops her like she’s nothing. Why, then, have you been shafted to Friend Island?

The truth is, boys, she doesn’t think you can provide for her what she thinks she needs to be happy in a relationship, whether it’s emotionally or physically. She may not have a clue what she actually needs. But that doesn’t matter. She thinks what she thinks, and she may not think any differently even after an entire lifetime trying to make it work with giant tools. Now, I’ve scoured the internet for secondary opinions on this, and one of the most important points I’d like to bring up can be reiterated here, and on many other forums, written by other women.

The Friend Zone is a grossly misogynistic idea. Gentleman, I know, KNOW, that when you start talking to a girl, the last thing you want to end up as is just a friend. You want to engage in pseudo-procreation. You don’t want to spend Valentine’s Day with her when she’s single, and then go home. But when a girl decides that she doesn’t feel the same about you, and you call all the time you’ve spent with her a “waste”, that’s not you being a nice guy. That’s you explicitly stating that, all along, you only valued her for what she was worth to you sexually.

You were never a friend to her, and the friend zone is where you belong.   For those of you who stick around once you know you’ve been friend zoned: props. That’s love. Stick around. Us girls can come around. Not always, but it happens. It’s happened to me. Sometimes knowing someone cares about you so much is enough to make you care back.

For you chaps who are in early pursuit of a damsel, DON’T LET YOURSELF GET FRIEND ZONED. Make it clear, from the start, that you want more than that. If you do all you can to express your intentions to her, you are not at fault. If you know that’s where she’s put you, get out, move on, don’t complain.

But don’t be an idiot. We aren’t gonna be wooed by an a passive-aggressive gamer bro who only shows us he cares when we’re going out with some other guy.

And ladies, I’m telling you now, if you’re pursuing a strictly emotional relationship with a guy, that is NOT what it really is for him, and he’s going to end up hurt after the drawn out and agonizing realization that he’s been shafted to this abhorrent asexual island. If you do have this best guy friend, take a second look. Think about all he’s done for you, what other guys haven’t, why you’ve kept him around this long, and why he’s decided to stay. That whole, “love is friendship set on fire” thing? True. It’s the best, actually.

So, kids:
All of this applies to any relationship. Be fair. Communicate how you feel. And when you don’t feel anything, don’t be a dick, and let the poor person know.

Ciao, Bellas.

 

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Tara Upshaw
Tara Upshaw is a third year Biology student at Ryerson University. When she’s not focused on science, she’s creating platforms for development for marginalized groups in STEM and balancing a quintessential mix of hobbies, from half-marathon running to training therapy cats. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @tupsheezy. If you are interested in contributing your unique perspective as a science student to RUSL, please contact Tara at tupshaw@ryerson.ca