Don’t get “Friend-zoned”

Ahhh, sweet student life these days, between all of the midterms, readings, tests, etc. it seems that a good amount of us at U of T somehow find the time to give a fair amount of attention to such things as: Our friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, people we see in class or in the library, and those we are attracted to but may be simply too afraid to talk, to approach, or even flirt with. What’s with all the interest on these topics this time of year? Is it because Valentine's day is looming just around the corner, and we are all worried about being alone? Many seem to be talking about their loneliness, longing for that significant other, and of course about being “friendzoned” (especially for you guys out there). All one has to do is check out Umentioned Utoronto on Facebook to see that U of T students aren’t just merely book junkies concerned about their GPA’s these days. We have social lives too (contrary to popular belief), and thus social problems with it. Generally I wouldn't post on such a topic with so many variations in opinion floating around, but one of the Umentioned posts in particular actually gave me the incentive to write an entire post on this “dreaded” friend zone (well that and, what's a blog without relationship advice?). Of course my post is from a male perspective and is thus only my opinion, but I think it is not only a relevant topic, but interesting too. These days you see far too many guys complaining about the friend zone and a lot of girls saying “I just don’t see him in that way”. Why are guys afraid to weigh in on this topic? Because everything I read about the friend zone to relationship advice seems to be from a female persepctive, and thus doesn't cover the male side. So here we go (I’ll try not to be too biased). So first of all, how does our dear friend the Internet define “Friendzone”: “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.”……. Oh us humans can be so brutal  
Exhibit A
We all love attention. We’re human and we like the fact that others want us, it gives us self confidence, and the feeling as though we matter as individuals. In essence that is why friend zoning exists. Think about it, we enjoy having what we want (in this case, attention) without committing, or giving out more than we have to, we like being in the power position, being able to have the option to choose, and to basically have it all, its simply human of us. Is this why when relationships end the dumper wants to remain friends with the dumpee? Well I certainly think there may be a connection. There seems to be some sort of a stereotype when it comes to friendzoning though. All the time you hear about men complaining that they have been friend zoned, or a buddy of theirs is in the “friendzone”, even the guys out there who claim they never have been friendzoned, probably have, we have all fallen victim to it one time or another. So what’s a guy to do to get out of the friendzone once your in? Hmmmm…… well how about you don’t get there in the first place? Poor Snape man...... poor Snape I find (at least within my friends and experiences) that it really comes all down to confidence. If you liked the girl from day 1 then really you should have made a move in the first place (Snape buddy, you should have made a move on Lilly, totally your own fault). Allowing yourself to be irritated, annoyed, or angry and thus be just the friend, not only makes it seem like the girl owes you something for your attention, but the anger also most likely assumes that you feel she has some sort of obligation to be romantic with you. It seems those who stick around as the best friend have simply accepted the fact that they have missed out on being the boyfriend and are now settling for the consolation prize of the friend zone. You're only lowering yourself and allowing her to make the decision, which probably isn't very attractive in her eyes at all. You're also hurting your chances with her and proving that you lack the confidence to either be with her or just split. Don't settle for that middle ground. Also, as a side note, guy’s friend-zone all the time too, I’ve been guilty of it myself, and you know what, it feels great, but no one likes being on the receiving end of such a relationship. Men it seems are less inclined to friendzone women though because they don’t seem to vie for that sort of emotional attention as much, and lets face it they are quicker to take advantage of an intimate moment when they can. Guys, especially at our age, also tend to friend-zone when they believe that they can do better. Because in all honesty, many of us are shallow, we base too much on appearance and some of us honestly believe we can get that perfect 10 supermodel. The problem with this though can be that when we smarten up and realize that the girl we friend zoned might be the perfect package, she has potentially already lost interest in you. He's got it figured out Once in though, how do you at least attempt to get out? Well I personally don't think you can (at least not in the short term). If you're the best friend and that other person is used to leaning on you all the time the only solution is to "disappear" in a sense. Put your time and energy somewhere else, don't always be available, or even ask him/her to set you up with one of their friends (that'll throw them off for sure). In essence it will make them question their relationship with you, and it also shows a level of confidence and independence apart from that person. So guys, this Valentine's don't beg your female "best friend" to be your valentine if your secretly in love with her. Not only does it make you seem needy, but also like you don't have any other options. In conclusion, I may not be a psych student, and no I'm not taking any relationship/sexology courses at U of T. I am by no means an expert, this is strictly a personal account, so please apply this advice with caution. Oh and be free to tell me the results, or just post it to Umentioned Utoronto and let every know (it seems its the new way to express anything and everything these days anyways). Good luck *thumbs up* Shak G

6 comments on “Don’t get “Friend-zoned”

  1. This is hilarious! Love the way you write man.
    I just feel like people need to become more confident, and just say what they’re thinking. I know so many guys who can’t tell a girl they like her, just because they’re afraid of rejection. I also know so many guys who don’t date the perfect lady when they see one because they’re scared about what would happen if things don”t potentially work out.
    People, if you see someone you like, no matter where it is, just go tell em so! Girls like those sort of compliments, Also, don’t say “you look interesting, would you like to hangout sometime”. Man up. You should say something like “you look interesting, would you like to go out for a date, say coffee or something sometime”. That way, you;re being pretty clear about what you want, and hence the danger of the friend zone is avoided. True, the girl/boy might just freak out and say no, but that might be better than being friend zoned.
    Ladies this is for you: guys love self confident women. So if you see someone you like, or if you have a friend you may be attracted to, tell him. Don;t wait for him to make the 1st move! Queen Victoria, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liz Taylor, Jennifer Hudson, Pink all proposed to their men! And this aint even marriage! Tis just dating!

    Finally, this goes out to people of all genders- if someone confesses their love for you, be respectful about it. And realize the amount of guts it takes to do so!
    Oodles of toodles!
    – Mr Greenspan, Former Chairman of the FedReserve

    1. Absolutely!

      This is the 21st century. Being friendzoned is completely bi-directional. Like you say, both men and women do it. Maybe if one party likes the other then they should just go all out and ask. My [now] wife asked me out first.

      Being in the Friendzone for men is a sort of blame game. It sucks for us because we like a girl but just don’t have the confidence to make the first move. But then, as I have learned in life you will never know unless you try. And what’s the worst that can happen? She says no? Whoopdie do. You just get up, brush yourself off and move on with your life 🙂

      You can, however get yourself out of the friendzone. I have a blog if you’re interested:

  2. Shak, getting out of the friendzone is simple, and you are partially right in how you believe you get out. The trick of not getting into the zone is to show immediate interest. But theres more than just interest that you need to avoid this bro! You need to escalate touch with the person you like, in order to show interest. Think about it, how many girls do you know who think that foreign european guys are cute because of their accents and whatnot. This is partially true, but really, the complete truth is that Europeans are generally less shy with touching strangers, and this creates attraction. This initial attraction prevents the girl from ‘friendzoning’ you.

  3. I definitely agree with both of you guys. It really just comes down to sheer confidence, I find we are just too worried about rejection and being judged. That goes for both men and women, I too agree that a confident woman is very attractive. Lets all just be a little more European like Strasser suggests here 🙂

  4. It’s funny to see this phenomenon is discussed so much, yet is not understood at all. I’ll lay down the basics (just like you said) of what a friendzone essentially is:

    Person A is attracted to person B, but person B does not reciprocate this emotion. Person A, instead of realizing this one-sided love interest, believes that by sticking around Person B, they will show them their “true selves”. This way person B can see how truly special, unique, and amazing Person A is, at which point Person A will get down on both knees and go “YES! IT WAS YOU ALL ALONG! I Can’t believe I didn’t see it right in front of my eyes!”. Then the two go for a romantic dinner then go down on each other, or something like that. Anyway, I digress…

    Friendzone from the male perspective (you touched on this) stems from an ego that is unable to internalize rejection and move on, so they sit around and delude themselves into thinking something else will flourish. It’s all in the ego. The need to be desired by those you want is so overwhelmingly powerful, that it drives almost all interactions a person has. Let’s go to the gym. Why? To get ripped in order to pick up better babes. Let’s go out and go clubbing. Why? To try and hopefully get with someone you find attractive, or to at least stroke your ego by watching others want you and give you attention (which is why some girls dress oh-so risque and try to defend themselves with ‘I’m not a slut! I don’t sleep with anyone’. Which is true, but they get all the attention they desire). Ooh I know, I’ll go talk to that cute girl in class. Why? To get with her. Okay, I think you’ve got the point by now, a lot of what we do is sex-oriented. And that’s FINE, it’s not a problem whatsoever. In fact, this can be used as a great motivator to get in shape, hone the mind, be more social, and all around a better person. The friendzoning issue comes when someone is faced with a rejection that they simply don’t want to acknowledge.

    Admitting your defeat at wooing your latest love-interest is basically telling yourself “I’m not as great as I think I am.” Your ego doesn’t like this, because it’s not used to being #2. So as a great psychological defense mechanism, the ego puts up a nice little cover over your eyes, which is the equivalent of giving a drowning man a boat with no paddle. Sure he’ll stay afloat, but he’s not getting anywhere. Instead of relying on his own ability and overcoming and struggles, he lets the tides take him wherever they decide. A complete loss of power. This delusion can manifest into these awesome rationalizations:

    “She’ll see how great I am when I comfort her! Her jerk boyfriend doesn’t do that!” – No, he has sex with her instead and gives her all the fulfillment she needs, while you’re on the sideline being used as garbage.

    The worst part is that they don’t (and probably won’t unless someone talks to them or they have a eureka moment) realize that they’re hypnotizing themselves into a trap.

    “HA!” you might say, “But what about those that realize they are friendzoned, and are trying to get out!”. These people are fools, because their ego has trapped them even more. These people realize they’re on the boat, and are now looking for the paddle. Now the paddle is being put on a pedestal, because getting it will allow them to finally be with the one they deserve. This usually happens when guys say “She likes big guys? I’m gonna start hitting the gym so she can see I’m like that too”. By doing this you miss the entire point. By trying so hard to overcome your ego and defy any rejection, you’re essentially idolizing the other person, making them a goal that you can achieve in order to satisfy yourself.

    So what do you do?

    Jump off the boat.

    Take control of yourself, your life, and your emotions. The only way you’ll get anywhere is if you learn to rely on yourself, and realize that you don’t need a special paddle to get where you want to go. The paddle is a crutch, you use it as a way to tell yourself “oh well no wonder I’m not doing anything! I don’t have this paddle!” Now you’re going nowhere, and you don’t even care. You let yourself blame it on the fact that you don’t have whatever it is, and so you’re content with just sitting there. When you’re swimming in the proverbial waters, you’re forcing yourself to step out of your comfort zone and to withstand and overcome the currents flowing your way.

    Only when you’re in the water do you realize how ridiculous you were, being content just sitting there. Why would you want to get back into that boat? Once you realize how ridiculous it is being in the friendzone, and why you’re the main cause of it, only then can you relinquish yourself from your overbearing ego.

    You’re free.

    Open your eyes, the entire cerulean ocean is strewn gloriously in front of you. Go, swim away.

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