In defence of the 'Friendzoned'

Vegosiux

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
Oh god, did you seriously just try to use an episode of "Friends" as sociological evidence? This is why we can't have nice things.
That episode of "Friends" is where the expression "Friendzone" originated AFAIK. So it is relevant, because it basically created the word we're going on about here.

The unstated notion is that women have some mysterious, inscrutable tendency to assign men to categories over time. The whole point of that gag is that Rachel might be attracted to whoever David Schwimmer's character is, but if he doesn't "make a move" she will re-assign him to a friend role. That's blaming women for the relationship. It's shitty.
Actually replace both "men" and "women" with "people" in that and you have a very true to life situation. We all assign categories to other people, all the time. We're doing it right here, right now, assigning labels to other posters based on what they're saying, and seeing them in a different light, and treating them differently based on what they're saying.
 

DanDanikov

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I'm going to straddle the fence on this one.

Yes, the 'friends zone' isn't BS in the sense that there are people out there not finding satisfaction in their love life, despite their heart and mind being in what they think is the right place and not all those people deserve to be categorically demonized by whatever bigotry you'd like to hypocritically stereotype them with (mysogeny, self-entitlement, etc.)

There is an unhealthy prevalence amongst such people to not recognise that a) relationships are two-way, and b) most of the fault lies within their attitude and/or approach- some of it is stupid, unhealthy cultural shit that we get through the media- I mean, even Disney is pretty bad for teaching kids about real-life romance.... there will be plenty of people in your life that you could end up happy with. It's important to be who you are and to want things for yourself. Real relationships and love comes from experiences together, not abject longing for someone who totally does it for you, but you're totally wrong for them. Blaming other people for being friend-zoned (well, except for maybe Hollywood) is BS.

The whole 'machine that you put nice coins in, sex out' analogy can miss the point- most people, you put the right coins in (not just nice), sex will come out (along with other stuff), but there'll also be reciprocal input of coins into you and... yeah, it's a strained analogy, trying to cover the fact that relationships are about more than your input and their output, and that you can't arbitrarily chose someone to be your mate and expect success.
 

Terminal Blue

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Vegosiux said:
Who says they're feeling genuinely different about you? They're feeling genuinely different about their priorities and short-term life goals, and need a bit of a distance to refocus and realign the pieces. Why are you making it as if it's all about you?
I think maybe you're having problems understanding how this thing called "friendship" works, but just to speak for those who have working empathy chips.

It is about me.

My friends are about me. What they do impacts on me, how they feel impacts on me. This is why I call them "friends" and not "random people who sometimes sit on my couch and eat snack foods".

I am perfectly capable of accepting that sometimes (to coin the cliched phrase) people "need space", but that doesn't free them of the potential to be selfish jerks. Sometimes being a selfish jerk may be necessary (it's certainly better than being a needy emotional parasite who hangs around passively aggressively resenting the fact that its host isn't giving enough) but it is still not something other people have to "respect". If you can't deal with being a selfish jerk, and if you can't deal with having your selfishness and jerkdom called out on, then don't allow your internal frustrations to rebound on your friends.

Ultimately, being a selfish jerk isn't the worst crime ever. I've been a selfish jerk myself, and I'd imagine most people have at one time or another because, as mentioned, it's kind of necessary sometimes. But to pretend it isn't a bad thing, to pretend that you haven't hurt anyone and to misrepresent the act of dumping your feelings on other people as one of other people being inadequately responsive to your needs does not hint to me at a healthy view of human relationships.

Vegosiux said:
I'll request that you provide an explanation how "distancing oneself from a person" means "not treating that person as a human being", and that explanation better be more watertight than a merman's underpants, or I'm just going to call "hyperbolic bullshit" on this.
Okay.. replace "not treating that person as a human being" with "treating that person as a human being to whom you were not capable of being honest, towards whose feelings you have displayed no regard and yet whom you still somehow have the delusional audacity to feel you ever deserved."

Better?
 

SlightlyEvil

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To me, the problem is not the term, but a certain kind of usage of it. In my own life, one of my closest friends is, quite simply, not attracted to me as a romantic partner, though I would wish it otherwise. In this case, I feel the term "friendzone" applies. I don't see this as an automatic negative, it is just a term that denotes the unfortunate situation of one-sided romantic feelings in an existing platonic relationship. That said, the term is often used in a derogatory manner, as a slight against the girl for failing to experience basic, instinctual emotions in a manner that exactly matches the guy's desires. If the friendzone is stated as a negative, then it reflects more on the guy than on the girl. If it is stated as simple fact, even as an unfortunate fact, that is just a reflection that life isn't always perfect. Not worth obsessing over, but worth giving oneself the gratification of a melancholy sigh before moving on.
 

Vegosiux

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evilthecat said:
I think maybe you're having problems understanding how this thing called "friendship" works, but just to speak for those who have working empathy chips.

It is about me.

My friends are about me. What they do impacts on me, how they feel impacts on me. This is why I call them "friends" and not "random people who sometimes sit on my couch and eat snack foods".
And...yet you seem to treat this as a one-way street because you're not giving them the same agency. After all, what you do impacts them, how you feel impacts them. That's why they call you "friend" and not "random person who sometimes sits on my couch and eats snack foods".

I am perfectly capable of accepting that sometimes (to coin the cliched phrase) people "need space", but that doesn't free them of the potential to be selfish jerks.
The problem seems to be in that you're equating the two. Seeing as I currently have a bad cold and trouble focusing, I'll admit I might have misunderstood something though.

Sometimes being a selfish jerk may be necessary (it's certainly better than being a needy emotional parasite who hangs around passively aggressively resenting the fact that its host isn't giving enough) but it is still not something other people have to "respect". If you can't deal with being a selfish jerk, and if you can't deal with having your selfishness and jerkdom called out on, then don't allow your internal frustrations to rebound on your friends.
The worst selfish jerks are people who take other people for granted. And yes, there's a wide variety of ways to take someone for granted.

Ultimately, being a selfish jerk isn't the worst crime ever. I've been a selfish jerk myself, and I'd imagine most people have at one time or another because, as mentioned, it's kind of necessary sometimes. But to pretend it isn't a bad thing, to pretend that you haven't hurt anyone and to misrepresent the act of dumping your feelings on other people as one of other people being inadequately responsive to your needs does not hint to me at a healthy view of human relationships.
I'm not sure who you're responding to with this one. I, for one, have never claimed anything like it. All I've said is that just as much as it is your decision to accept or reject advances from another person, it's their decision to stick around after you reject them. You might hurt them with your decision. They might hurt you with theirs. It's not a nice thing to happen either way. People will get hurt, people will have bad things happen.

Vegosiux said:
Okay.. replace "not treating that person as a human being" with "treating that person as a human being to whom you were not capable of being honest, towards whose feelings you have displayed no regard and yet whom you still somehow have the delusional audacity to feel you ever deserved."

Better?
It creates an implication that "lamenting unrequited love" somehow equals or is closely linked to lack of capacity of being honest and so on and so forth. If I stretch it a little, I could interpret it, through some creative use of logic, that it equates social awkwardness with dishonesty, or at least lack of capacity for being honest.

Wouldn't call it better.
 

Vegosiux

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
Women have thoughts and feelings of their own. Shocking, I know, but it's true. The entire notion of "friendzone" is to invalidate that and pretend they are either passive creatures who can be manipulated by men or cruel harpies who manipulate men. It's a petulant, childish, self-indulgent myth.
I'm sorry, but I still haven't found, in years, a citation confirming that. I know that this is how the term can be, and often is, used[footnote]And that using the term like that is a very assholeish thing to do[/footnote]. I have found no source or explanation that would show how it's the only or the intended use of the term, however. As it has been said so many times in this thread, sometimes it's just a figure of speech for saying "Well, this sucks, I'm sad."
 

sweetylnumb

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I wouldn't call myself "friendzoned" if a man didn't want to go out with me or have sex with me. I would feel rejected, sure, i would feel like i wasn't good enough, sure, becuase i would be both of those things. But that's it, there is no overclass of female overlords who are rejecting me because im not hot enough for them, i would just be not good enough for that one particular person.

Guys that call themselves friendzoned, are just looking for someone else to blame for them not being good enough.

It sucks but chin up kids.
 

Vegosiux

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
Did you not actually watch the Friends clip that general just posted? It's used exactly that way in the clip that started the term.
Doesn't seem like that to me, actually. I see no blame being shoved on Rachel for it, it's quite focused on telling Ross to come clean, to go out there, and tell her how he feels about her, because he can't expect her to wait forever for him to do so and if he doesn't show any real romantic interest, she won't know he actually has it, and she most definitely isn't going to pick up on vague hints.
 

Fox12

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evilthecat said:
Fox12 said:
I also consider this a very pure form of affection, because it usually does represent a sincere desire for another persons happiness over your own.
I disagree, in fact I would call that one of the most selfish and tainted forms of "affection" imaginable because it doesn't display any empathy for how other people might consider your feelings. Again, this is another problem with the friendzone "narrative". It assumes that all women do not think of you ("socially awkward" male) any more than they think of single-celled protazoa living in their food. It assumes that unless women deign to let you sleep with them you are automatically beneath their notice and of no consequence to them.

This is not true. In the real world your feelings matter. They matter to more than just you. Looking after them is not just advisable if you want to be functional person, it is also kind of a social responsibility because if you aren't looking after yourself, if you aren't doing what makes you happy, then you are implicitly making it someone else's responsibility to look after you and make you happy. That is not cool when you are a grown up, it is not going to make it easy for people to treat you with honesty and dignity, and it is certainly not going to make people want to go to bed with you because really, anyone who has had a bad relationship (i.e. most adult women) can see the impending trainwreck a mile off.

Otherwise, I agree with everything you've said.
This is actually the point I was trying to make, so I should probably reiterate, since you're the second person to comment on that part. It's normal for everyone to experience unrequited love at some point in their lives. It stinks, but it happens. At that point the healthy thing to do is accept things the way they are, and hope that they meet someone who treats them well. This is the unselfishness I was referring to. At this point you should move on yourself, and seek someone who will care about and respect you in the same way that you care about and respect them. If you put women on a pedastool then you'll never get any respect, and you'll never have a healthy relationship. How can a person respect someone who can't respect themselves?
 

Vegosiux

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DANGER- MUST SILENCE said:
It's not explicitly stated, obviously. But the insulting logic of the "friendzone" permeates the whole conversation. That squishy-faced dork of a friend of his even makes the point that he'll be trapped their permenantly, implying that women just arbitrarily turn off their sexual feelings after a certain amount of time has passed.
Again, I don't see any such insinuations. The closest I can come too is implying that people, after having been in a well-working platonic relationship for a while, would be averse to choosing a potential romantic pursuit over a solid friendship they've had all up to this point.

The argument is not that Schwimmer needs to go get him some or he'll miss his chance. There was no mention of the possibility of some competing man who would pick her up before Schwimmer builds up his nerve.
Well, I, for one, think it's common sense that other guys won't be gentlemen and wait their turn if I have a problem with approaching a lady I fancy. Of course not, if they like her, they'll approach her. I wouldn't phrase it as "competition", because I don't even factor into their pursuits, of course. (Just elaborating on this point, really)

The argument is that if he doesn't make a move soon he will lose the ability to make her attracted to him. That's misogynistic in the extreme.
She either is or isn't attracted to him; but that attraction doesn't exist in a vacuum. The longer he waits, the more things will get in the way, since a romantic relationship is fundamentally different from a platonic one so going from one to the other becomes harder as one becomes more established. It's been said several times; this doesn't work as flipping a switch. Other men don't factor into this.

Of course talking about "making" women attracted to you is misogynistic, yes. Then again, I personally can attest that simply changing your hairstyle can change a woman's opinion on your attractiveness. Tho, personally I choose my hairstyle based on what I think looks good on me and not what women might think looks good on me, naturally.
 

Jingle Fett

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Don't know if it's been brought up but I wanted to mention something about the whole friend-zone thing.

It seems like a lot of the people who get friend-zoned are males right? (not that it doesn't happen to women as well, but I'll focus on the guys for this post).
Well what do we see in a lot of movies and stuff? You've got the douche bag guy who gets all the women and the nice, maybe slightly nerdy and socially awkward, guy. In the media and IRL you see the women complaining about how guys should be sweet, polite, thoughtful, always there, someone they can talk to, etc. They'll also complain about the guys who are douche bags, who are insensitive, obnoxious, argumentative, how they're self-centered and only think about sex.

So what does the rational, but romantically inexperienced male conclude from all this? Well, if he strives to be everything they wish the guy had and got rid of all the stuff they with the guy didn't have, then logically he should be the ideal perfect guy that the women apparently dream about.

When a guy operates under this line of thinking and it doesn't work out, is it any wonder that he'd be confused and frustrated? It doesn't necessarily mean the person is entitled or selfish or a terrible person or trying to take advantage of their interest.
 

Rattja

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delta4062 said:
Rattja said:
I would just like to point out that it does not allways have to do with sex.

A simple thing like snuggling on the couch while watching a movie or listening to music is something you just can't do (in most cases).

Being a friend, and being more than a friend is to very different things. And is way more than a matter of having sex or not.
This is the internet, obviously we all only want sex and not affection. You fool.
Oh, my mistake, I forgot where I was.
I'll show myself out now, what's over there?

Captcha: More internets

Owh.
 

Saelune

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I hate the friendzone, not because it exists but because people treat it wrong, and is why half of all marriages fail. I blame more people who put people into the friendzone as a no date area. Why? Why would you NOT date someone who you get along with? Your partner should ultimately be your best friend....but with sexual/romantic involvement. My criteria for a perfect lover syncs rather perfectly with my criteria for a good friend, but with sexual compatibility added.

Remember, if you cant enjoy eachother as friends, then when you get old and sex is gone, your love will likely fail.