Friend Zone

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Friend Zone

Hmm…”Men who complain about being friendzoned”. But doesn’t this imply that the act of being “friendzoned” is solely done to heterosexual males by heterosexual females? This person (https://silversly80.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/how-i-survive-the-gay-friend-zone/) would seem to disagree with such a proposition, as would this person (http://90datelessdays.com/), along with these people (http://www.loveshack.org/forums/romantic/dating/176927-do-guys-ever-really-friendzone-girls).

So now that we’ve recognized that this “friend zone” can exist in any type of relationship, I suppose it’s important to consider what the “friendzone” is.

Now, if we took the position of this memegenerator image posted by Feminist India, it’s a land where a woman enjoys a man’s company but is considered a bad person for not wanting to have sex with a man. To me, this sounds like the friendzone is somehow a sexual concept, a place where a man goes when a woman doesn’t want to have sex with him. However, I would say that, from both my experiences and the experiences of others that I happen to be familiar with, the friendzone is more about romantic interest.

So I guess we could look at the friendzone as a sexual term or a romantic term. I would say anyone saying they’ve been friendzoned because someone doesn’t want to have sex with them definitely has some entitlement issues. I don’t think many would argue with this conclusion, though I would be welcome to discussing it.

For me though, I’m more interested in the use of the term in what I consider the more important practice in that of being friendzoned romantically. It’s hard for one to come up with a rigorous definition for a term with so many people using it in their own ways for their own reasons. So instead of trying to create a definition that will be applicable to every use of the word, I suppose I will create a pseudo-definition based on my perspective.

For me, being friendzoned is when one romantically pursues a partner, where said partner candidate, consciously or otherwise, is aware of this fact and uses it to receive the benefits of a romantic relationship without giving a romantic relationship. It is important to note that, given the awareness of this by the partner candidate, to act on one’s feelings in a responsible way would need take said awareness into account. When one is young, they may accidentally friendzone someone because they’re simply inexperienced, so as long as both parties are sorry, then no harm done and I think then being friends should be considered.

On the other hand, there has to be at least one person out there that has friendzoned someone on purpose. Knowingly accepting the company of one who is romantically interested in them while simultaneously knowing they will never, even when able, accept that romantic relationship. I feel as though the responsible thing to do when one wishes to be friends with one who is romantically interested in them, but this feeling isn’t reciprocated, is to make clear your lack of intentions for any reciprocation. Now, this opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms, worthy of discussion, albeit elsewhere, about the socioeconomic, power, cultural, etc aspects of a given “friendzone scenario”. Also, it can be quite awkward to simply assume that one has a friend in which romantic intentions exist. One needs a certain level of intimacy present, as well as some solid evidence to be in a place to acknowledge the whole situation.

The only other thing I feel worthy of mentioning is perhaps how to know you’ve been friendzoned. Unfortunately I feel as though until one’s romantic intentions have been fully acknowledged or confronted, one is more stuck in the fog of the friendzone, unaware whether they will end up out of the fog on the path of having been friendzoned, or some other path. However I believe from experience one important thing will occur when one is truly (on the hand of the individual “friendzoning”) friendzoned: you and the person who friendzoned you will no longer be friends. If one is simply your friend because of all of the romantic benefits they receive, then once they stop receiving them, they’ll leave to go off to find other such people to “friendzone”. Being an emotionally intelligent individual, I’ve seen this happen before, where someone is a repeat offender of the friendzone process. Part of me wishes to believe that they simply were unable to confront the people they were “friendzoning” because of their social abilities, but unfortunately the majority of me believes, through looking at their other relationships, they simply chose not to. They were able, but not willing.

But I don’t mean to make this into some sort of personal anecdote. 😛 In writing this, I’ve began to think about how some of the issues of the friendzone exist because of the way we conduct our relationships today. There seems to be very few who both can and will be accepted by being upfront and saying they’re not interested. They could be called a bitch or a tease, despite just not wishing to take their relationship to such a level. What do you guys think and what are your personal stories with the friendzone?

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