In defence of the 'Friendzoned'

Moloch Sacrifice

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To be clear from the start, I AM NOT defending the 'Frat Boy' rape culture that this term has become associated with. This is an exploitative abuse of fellow human beings, powered by a machismo culture that has no place in modern society.

Now that the unfortunate, yet necessary explanation is out of the way, allow me to elaborate upon my point. More often than not, a person who describes themselves as 'friendzoned' (and does not meet the rather unsavoury condition above) is often quickly slotted into a very unpleasant stereotype; fedora wearing, unshaven, entitled, middle class white male, who feels that merely granting his attention to a woman entitles him to a sexual return of investment. Whilst this may be true of a certain percentage, I feel that many people are unfairly categorised into a convenient 'box', whilst the truth is somewhat more complex.

As an initial starting point, consider what the act of being 'friendzoned' actually means. In most cases, in implies that someone has tried to embark upon a romantic relationship with another person, yet their actions have been misinterpreted as being motivated by friendship, rather than sexual attraction. Now, the very fact these actions are being misconstrued as friendship, as opposed to stalking or possessiveness, shows that they are not overtly sinister; there is quite clearly genuine affection behind them, although perhaps misguided or misinterpreted.

Where the problem lies is in the contextualisation of these actions. Many who would describe themselves as 'friendzoned' by their desired one often fail to make clear their true intentions; either playing it off with a dismissal ("it was nothing", etc.), or simply not acknowledging the action at all.

As a British, white male who has spent the last six years in a single sex educational establishment, emotional inarticulacy is a very real problem for me. Whilst I might experience the full range of empathy and affectionate emotion, the act of realising and expressing it to another person represents a very difficult challenge. As a result, it is not hard to imagine that those who consider themselves within the 'friendzone' equally lack the means to profess their true feelings, and fail to undertake the crucial 'sink or swim' moment of handling whatever the response may be, and moving on (either into a relationship, or to pastures new) from there.

Now, whilst this may be easy to dismiss as emotionally immature people getting in over their heads, let us not forget that the idea of unrequited and unexpressed affection has been a common theme throughout art and literature for centuries. Sonnets, songs, plays and films have all been written in dedication to the inability to fully articulate ones feelings to another; it is only in the last generation that this central part of the human condition has had this stigma applied.

In short, for those who live by the rule of tl;dr: the next time you meet someone who you suspect of (or confesses to) considering themselves friendzoned, give them advice on how to say what they really want to say; what they have bottled up inside their little fedora-wearing hearts and lack the means to say themselves. However it turns out, you will have helped free someone from a subservient state of affection, another from a confused state of misunderstanding, and (maybe) even helped a potential romance to blossom fully.

What do you think? Is the friendzone an unfortunate label applied to those wrestling with romantic expression? Or is it simply a refuge invented by the possessive, who seek to validate their inability to secure their prize?
 

krazykidd

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There is no such thing as friendzoned . People need to man up and stop being afraid of rejection. Ask a girl out . 50/50 chance she says yes . If she says no , move on. How is this so hard? I swear i have never heard so much "friendzone" talk, than on this site . Guys are turning into wimps.
 

aba1

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krazykidd said:
There is no such thing as friendzoned . People need to man up and stop being afraid of rejection. Ask a girl out . 50/50 chance she says yes . If she says no , move on. How is this so hard? I swear i have never heard so much "friendzone" talk, than on this site . Guys are turning into wimps.
Ya that is how I feel too it is either they are interested or they are not. If they are cool go for it if not well shit happens just move onto someone new who is. If you are so attached to them that you can't emotionally handle it stop being around them so much it really isn't that hard though I think it is silly to get emotionally invested in a relationship you don't have.
 

senordesol

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I just don't get the...well...the claims that the 'Friendzone' doesn't exist.

For far as I can tell, it's just modern parlance for the phrase 'unrequiteded love'. You care about someone, you're happy when you're around them, you miss them when they're gone, you make excusses to spend as much time as possible with them; you want to take it further, but they don't. So far as they're concerned; you're a friend and nothing more.

I see nothing predatory or dehumanizing about being sad and frustrated about that.
 

Spiridion

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I have no issue with the word friendzone at it's most basic level where it simply refers to the state in which someone is viewed as a friend only and not a potential romantic partner. Example: even though my friend and I are often mistaken for dating, we view ourselves as closer to siblings than anything else. The idea of a romantic relationship is unappealing to us both, thus we have both essentially friendzoned the other person. I will admit that he wanted to date me at one point, but I'm pretty damn sure he doesn't want to anymore as we have similar tastes in women.

I do start to take issues with the idea of the friendzone when it involves either a sense of entitlement, or ceaseless pining. Honestly, In my opinion the best course of action is to express your romantic interest as soon as possible when it becomes apparent. And sometimes this will only happen after you've been friends for a while, but acting like you're okay with just being friends when you'd actually like a relationship feels a little creepy/manipulative to me regardless of the relative harmlessness of the guy.

Even if you're not sure if your vague interest can turn into a relationship, that's what dates are for. Express your interest, if she agrees then go on a few dates and see how things go. That way you'll be getting to know each other with the explicit purpose of potentially establishing a romantic relationship. Otherwise she'll have no reason to think you're interested in being more than friends. Thus, she has no reason to think of you as anything but friends and meanwhile you'll be sinking more and more energy into the idea of a relationship, making it harder to let go of if things don't work out. I will fully admit that clear communication is hard, but at the end of the day it's really your best option. This is also something of a two-way street, as in it will be a lot easier for you to let go if you get a concrete answer and you should ask for just that if you are having trouble getting over a crush but want to stay friends. Another life example: I crushed on a friend from high school for years even though I really, genuinely would have preferred to just think of her as a friend I couldn't get the crush to go away until she gave me an absolute, "No," and then I got over it and we stayed friends and all is well.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
All of that sorta falls apart if the "actor" is Fate, the universe, circumstance, god, etc. - which is what I think most guys are talking about when using this language. You can be in the "friendzone" without it being anyone else's fault. You can be "friendzoned" without transferring blame or ownership to the object of your (un-returned) affection.

Sometimes, "I got friendzoned" is just a simple "woe is me" statement of self-indulgent disappointment, similar to what we've seen in literature/music/film throughout recorded history. Other people obviously use it as an accusation directed at the (sometimes) innocent objects of their own unreciprocated affection, but that's no different than the bullshit pulled by similar assholes who deal poorly with unrequited love despite never uttering the phrase "friendzoned".

As with most things, context is hugely important. I've heard guys say they were friendzoned without so much as a hint of anger or expectation directed at the girls who shot them down. These men were simply lamenting their circumstances, and there's nothing immoral about doing so - especially if they let it go relatively quickly. I've only ever heard one guy use the phrase to indicate it was the gal's fault, and he was wrong to do so. Doesn't mean I'm gonna blanket judge everyone who ever uses the term, and I'm not going to be bullied into doing so by an out-of-control social justice brigade either.

I just don't get the...well...the claims that the 'Friendzone' doesn't exist.

For far as I can tell, it's just modern parlance for the phrase 'unrequiteded love'. You care about someone, you're happy when you're around them, you miss them when they're gone, you make excusses to spend as much time as possible with them; you want to take it further, but they don't. So far as they're concerned; you're a friend and nothing more.

I see nothing predatory or dehumanizing about being sad and frustrated about that.
This is what it means to most of us. Then some assholes decided to use it as an accusation, and that's apparently reason enough to eject the term wholesale on the say-so of people who think they can alter reality if they're just offended hard enough.
 

Wraith

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What gets me the most about these threads is people assume that only men use that term or complain about it. I don't know how many times I've seen a picture or post where I guy complains about it and a large group of girls comment that it happens to them too. Hell, I know a few women who have came out of their mouths with the phrase "he friendzoned me".

What also gets me is how people assume whenever it is used it is to fault someone for not liking/ wanting to fuck someone else. Yes, people can use it that way, but that DOES NOT mean it is always used to place blame. You may see it used aggressively on the parts of the web you frequent, but we should all know by now why the term was made and how it can be bastardized into a negative form. Hell, it happens with any word really.

Just because a word/phrase can have a negative annotation that DOES NOT mean every time it's used it being used negatively.
 

IceForce

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krazykidd said:
There is no such thing as friendzoned . People need to man up and stop being afraid of rejection. Ask a girl out . 50/50 chance she says yes . If she says no , move on. How is this so hard? I swear i have never heard so much "friendzone" talk, than on this site . Guys are turning into wimps.
uh no, the friendzone is real. But it's nothing like you're describing it.
It's not like waltzing up to some random person and asking them out, and when you're turned down you complain about being 'friendzoned'. It's not like that at all.

It's when you, over time, develop an affection and attraction for someone, and you want to 'take it to the next level', only to discover that they don't feel the same way about you.

Sure, moving on is the best thing to do, but it's nowhere near as easy as you're making it out to be. That's the friendzone.
 

ERaptor

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I was allways puzzled by the definition of "friendzone" on the Internet. To give a simple example of how i see the thing:

Not too long ago i met a girl in one of my IT-Classes. We got along great, became good friends. After a while the topic of relationsship came up, and she stated that while she could absolutely see us being together, she also pointed out that the friendship seemed to valuable to her to risk it breaking with "love-drama". Thus she made clear that, at least for the moment, she wouldnt want a relationship. In that case i was totally fine with that, altough a bit sad because i really liked her a lot. We still do stuff together, but theres still the "Not anything more than that"-rule. Thats my personal definition of the Friendzone, and I can understand people that would get upset by this. And just dismissing it as "non-existant" is a bit mean. People struggle with stuff like that.

The "entitlement"-bit is a problem tough, and i agree with people bashing it before. Just being nice doesnt grant you the right to anything. Much less being a total tool and then act surprised if you get abused. If a girl or guy _needs_ to be force-fed gifts, and compliments etc. etc. which most do not btw, they just use you because you let them, you should search for someone else.
 

Wraith

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IceForce said:
krazykidd said:
There is no such thing as friendzoned . People need to man up and stop being afraid of rejection. Ask a girl out . 50/50 chance she says yes . If she says no , move on. How is this so hard? I swear i have never heard so much "friendzone" talk, than on this site . Guys are turning into wimps.
uh no, the friendzone is real. But it's nothing like you're describing it.
It's not like waltzing up to some random person and asking them out, and when you're turned down you complain about being 'friendzoned'. It's not like that at all.

It's when you, over time, develop an affection and attraction for someone, and you want to 'take it to the next level', only to discover that they don't feel the same way about you.

Sure, moving on is the best thing to do, but it's nowhere as easy as you're making it out to be. That's the friendzone.
Pretty much this. How many people here have ever felt some type of love or admiration to a close friend? How many of you here have ever gone up to that person asked them out and they gave you the whole 'we're better as friends', 'it would ruin our friendship' or other variant? Then you my friend, have lived the definition of this word. That is all it is. It is a word to describe that situation.

However the rejected person acts afterwards has ABSOLUTELY NO fucking bearing on the definition. Just because some people can't take rejection that does not mean the word is something to blame. Give credit where credit is due, on the fuckers who blame others for their rejection or who do not know how to move on. Not saying moving on is easy, but if the person says no, there is no real point in dwelling on it.(But if you were able to move on so easily, you probably weren't really in love with the person to begin with so....yeah.)
 

Soxafloppin

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More often than not I'd say one person being "Friendzoned" has little to do with there ability to express romance and more simply to do with one person finding the other sexually attractive, and those feelings not being returned.

I when you see two friends, a guy and a girl its pretty obvious if one has feelings for the other, you can tell my simply being in there company for a decent amount of time.
 

EternallyBored

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Wraith said:
IceForce said:
krazykidd said:
There is no such thing as friendzoned . People need to man up and stop being afraid of rejection. Ask a girl out . 50/50 chance she says yes . If she says no , move on. How is this so hard? I swear i have never heard so much "friendzone" talk, than on this site . Guys are turning into wimps.
uh no, the friendzone is real. But it's nothing like you're describing it.
It's not like waltzing up to some random person and asking them out, and when you're turned down you complain about being 'friendzoned'. It's not like that at all.

It's when you, over time, develop an affection and attraction for someone, and you want to 'take it to the next level', only to discover that they don't feel the same way about you.

Sure, moving on is the best thing to do, but it's nowhere as easy as you're making it out to be. That's the friendzone.
Pretty much this. How many people here have ever felt some type of love or admiration to a close friend? How many of you here have ever gone up to that person asked them out and they gave you the whole 'we're better as friends', 'it would ruin our friendship' or other variant? Then you my friend, have lived the definition of this word. That is all it is. It is a word to describe that situation.

However the rejected person acts afterwards has ABSOLUTELY NO fucking bearing on the definition. Just because some people can't take rejection that does not mean the word is something to blame. Give credit where credit is due, on the fuckers who blame others for their rejection or who do not know how to move on. Not saying moving on is easy, but if the person says no, there is no real point in dwelling on it.(But if you were able to move on so easily, you probably weren't really in love with the person to begin with so....yeah.)
It's really not that surprising, people suck at differentiating the original meaning of a word or label with the most extreme examples of that word being used. The same principal is why fedoras are now associated with fat internet nerds rather than semi-formal wear, why trenchcoats are considered anti-social rather than a method for protecting a suit from getting dirty or wet, why terms like trekkie, brony, furry, nerd and a million other labels share uncomfortable associations with their worst representatives. It's why we often reduce political parties into farcical caricatures of themselves and it's how a lot of discriminatory stereotypes get started.

Like the fedora thing, the corruption of the "friendzone" concept probably started on Reddit. There was a long stretch where guys posted meme pictures and topics in various subbreddits, complaining about how they did all these nice things for someone that they were interested in, and got turned down. At the start, the subsequent thread was usually filled with posters circlejerking about how terrible that girl is for not putting out, and how women always fall for jerks and not nice guys. From there, the association built and spilled over onto sites like this one, where friendzone threads were prominent for a short time, eventually more levelheaded people struck back against this behavior, but by that point a lot of internet posters only experience with the word, "friendzone" was when it was used by men whining about how a girl should be obligated to start a relationship with him because he did nice things for her and pretended to be her friend.

Yeah that's not what the word was originally supposed to mean, but internet douchebags on both sides of the issue ran with it, and now a lot of people have no idea what friendzone means outside of whiny nerds moaning about how much of a bunch of nice guys they think they are.
 

Thaluikhain

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
Nope, that's not being "friendzoned". That's simply unrequited attraction. What is sinister is transforming the simple statement "She (/he) is not attracted to me" into an active and intentional notion through grammatical manipulation: "She (/he) friendzoned me." That's sinister, because the implication is it's her fault she's not attracted to you. She did it to you, so it's her fault.
Well said...I hadn't noticed that grammar of the thing before.
 

Daveman

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Yeah, the whole "so you think just because you're nice you are owed sex?" line never really rang true with me. It's not that you're pretending to be her friend either. Often the issue is you're such good friends that you fear giving up that side of the relationship because you tried to change the nature of it. Not to mention how other friends of hers are going to react. The fear of being ostracised from potentially a whole friendship group is pretty bad. I don't think it's necessarily rejection that is the fear, but more the loss of friendship. That's certainly how I've felt about it, just not wanting to fuck up a good thing.
 

Thaluikhain

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Daveman said:
Yeah, the whole "so you think just because you're nice you are owed sex?" line never really rang true with me. It's not that you're pretending to be her friend either. Often the issue is you're such good friends that you fear giving up that side of the relationship because you tried to change the nature of it. Not to mention how other friends of hers are going to react. The fear of being ostracised from potentially a whole friendship group is pretty bad. I don't think it's necessarily rejection that is the fear, but more the loss of friendship. That's certainly how I've felt about it, just not wanting to fuck up a good thing.
Sure, that's a very real thing, but it's not the friendzone.