Written by Shamira James
The friend zone.
In a nutshell, it’s when someone feels like they had a shot with someone romantically, but it’s quickly dismissed when they realized that that person wants to keep things as platonic as possible.
A look at any social media platform will tell you that this entire thing is nothing but a misogynistic construct that forces women to consider relationships with guys who are just nice to them, but hold on! What about the girls who feel like they were friendzoned? I mean, certainly if a guy and girl flirted in person and via text before, and now she’s getting dapped up like a homie, there’s definitely some compartmentalizing as far as who he does and does not want to sleep with. So just where is the line between playing the “nice-guy” card and actually getting rejected?
A lot of it has to do with the idea of feeling like you are owed something. Guys who play the “nice guy” card tend to feel like the acts they do for a girl, whether romantic or not, should ALWAYS result in a reward. While it feels nice to be recognized for doing a good thing, you don’t get special treatment for having basic manners and being a good person!
Girls who feel owed something might feel this way based on an ambiguous (but obviously flirty) text. However, the communications border between girls and guys is vast. We have such different communication styles that even when we’re speaking directly to each other, it’s not quite picked up. So that “Can’t wait to see you when we get back” text with a smiley face from him could send her into a full on schoolgirl crush, but he could’ve just been being an actual nice guy.
Another facet of it is being direct. Everyone can appreciate the coyness of the cat-and-mouse flirtation style, but everyone also just wants to know what the hell is going on once in while. While directness can be sexy, it can also be scary and even off-putting, and why wouldn’t it be? The English language has so many wonderful and better ways to say “we should have sex after this party!”. So why be direct when you can be cute?
Here’s why: because being direct will save everyone a lot of time and disappointment. So when she says you’re like a brother to her, you can roast her about her weird laugh and let it roll right off your shoulders, or when he calls you dude, you can fire right back with bro and act like nothing happened.
So, is the friendzone a bottomless pit of nothing but girls getting called dude and guys having girls always tell them that they wish they could find good guys like them? Or is it a way to make people feel bad for not giving someone the instant gratification they so desperately crave?
It’s neither. The friendzone is one big misunderstanding. If that guy could get his head out of his ass, he’d realized that holding the door open for a girl isn’t a one-way ticket into her pants.
If that girl could get her head out of the clouds, she’d realize that that boy talks to every girl like that, and he’s playing the game sis (very well). In today’s world of dating, it would be foolish of someone to go around thinking that they’re owed for every nice act or indirect act of flirtation, so don’t do that to yourself.
Be smart about it, do nice things (but not because you want rewards, but because people appreciate someone being nice to them), be coy, but not so coy that no one one knows what’s happening and for the love of God, DON’T GO USING THE WINKY FACE ALL WILLY NILLY!