The Nice Guy: Why The Friendzone Doesn't Exist

A life 2023

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The Nice Guy: Why The Friendzone Doesn't Exist
The Nice Guy: Why The Friendzone Doesn't Exist
Video: The Nice Guy: Why The Friendzone Doesn't Exist
Video: The Friendzone Does Not Exist - Wil Aime 2023, February

Alexandra Savina

If you have ever seen memes about the unrequited love Jorah Mormont, you know what a friend zone is: this is the name of a situation when one person (more often a man) is in love with another (more often a woman), but the other perceives him exclusively as a friend. If you believe the Internet, the word "friend zone" first appeared in the series "Friends": in one of the episodes of the first season, Joe explains to Ross that he was in the "friendship zone" with Rachel - he took so long to confess his feelings to her. that soon she will perceive him only as a friend - and he will no longer be able to change the situation.

Twenty years have passed since then - but the idea of ​​a "friendship zone" is still alive, albeit a little changed. It is believed that the friend zone is formed by two people: a girl who manipulates a fan and receives all the "bonuses" of the relationship, but does not give anything in return, and a "victim" who faces incredible humiliation - because, despite all the efforts, it remains for the girl to "just friend "(" You were told that you are a great listener, you are talented and someone will be lucky with you? Congratulations, you are in the friend zone! "). The problem is that what we used to think of as a friend zone is actually a collection of sexist stereotypes and manipulations.


Good guy

The first thing that catches your eye when we talk about the friend zone is how much it is tied to sexist attitudes: it is no coincidence that we are talking most often about heterosexual relationships, and mainly men fall into the category of "friends" (although it happens that this experience, women also speak). Pop culture constantly throws us stories on the topic: a good guy falls in love with a girl, but she sees only a friend in him, because she chooses the “bad guys” instead of someone who will take care of her and give her what she deserves - remember Forrest Gump, It's Good to Be Quiet, 500 Days of Summer, and a hundred more rom-coms like 13 to 30. The problem is that the “good guy” trail is based on the idea that in order to be loved, you just need to be “good”, although respect for others is a basic requirement for a person. It is believed that in exchange for time, attention and care, a girl is obliged to develop reciprocal feelings - as if she cannot have other reasons for refusal if she is treated well. In addition, the opinion of the girl herself is not taken into account here at all - in addition to the fact that she does not want a relationship, a more "weighty" reason is needed.

Alas, the relationship is more complicated: there is no ready-made "combination" that will help you find an approach to your partner. Thinking that someone is obligated to start dating you simply because you are having a great time together, manipulatively (going back to memes, "women are not machines that give out sex when you throw friendship coins at them"). The friendzone here works as a defense mechanism: it is much easier to imagine that a woman is insensitive and selfish than to understand that the relationship will not work out.

Self-esteem question

Advice about the friend zone on men's sites usually suggests only one scenario: if you realize that a girl could potentially like a girl, then over time she will be able to convince her, even if she refused at first. In such cases, it is advised to spend time together, doing ordinary "friendly" things, to try to get to know other people, that is (shock!) To do exactly what friendship implies. The only difference is that instead of enjoying communication, the hero "stuck" in the friend zone strategically waits and tries to make the girl jealous, only occasionally wondering if it's worth it.

Friendship and truth can grow into love - but this is not the same as seeking a partner for many months "siege."Consent, obtained after much persuasion, manipulation and pressure, cannot be considered consent - but in a world where the idea is still popular that refusal may be "not clear enough", not everyone understands this.

"Instructions" on how to get out of the friend zone

Many people "fall" into the friend zone for fear of rejection. They don't necessarily think that the other person owes them something because they are well treated - but instead of directly talking about their feelings and discussing what they want from the relationship, they prefer to pretend that they have enough what is happening now, secretly hoping that they will be seen as something more than just a friend. “I almost never told the guys that I liked them because I was scared by the unknown - scared that I would become vulnerable,” writes Sisi Olisa in an essay. “I didn't want to be the first to admit that I wanted more. Instead, I preferred to sit and wait, pretending I didn't care. I lied to them and to myself."

It's really scary to confess your feelings, and in the case of friendship it is doubly: there is always a chance of losing both a partner and a friend. But this is a rare case when it is worth taking a closer look even at the heroes of modern MTV: the American channel has a show called Friendzone, where the heroes admit on camera that they are in love with their best friend or girlfriend, and at the end of the episode they say that they are not ready to remain friends. Even if they do not work out, at least there are no reservations in the relationship.


Love is more important than friendship

“You can't go on a conversation for even ten minutes without hinting in some awkward way that you have a boyfriend,” says Refinery29 journalist Lyric Henry about new acquaintances and a friend zone. The stereotype that a man and a woman cannot just be friends is still alive - and with it the idea that if a woman does not define boundaries at the first meeting, she allegedly misleads the man.

The idea of ​​a friend zone is, in principle, hardly compatible with friendship: it is understood that it makes sense to communicate with a girl only when there is an opportunity to have sex with her - and friendship itself is considered just a stop on the way to a relationship. Reddit users even invented the term girlfriendzone for such a situation - a situation when a man sees in a woman only a potential partner, and not a friend or full-fledged interlocutor. Friendships still seem less meaningful than romantic ones, and being friends in that frame of reference is humiliating - not surprising if it’s practically “punishment” for the “loser”.

Why the friend zone doesn't exist

Unlike unrequited love, it is believed that those who find themselves in the friend zone are faced with endless humiliation: they are used without giving anything in return. The problem is that upon closer examination, the claims turn out to be far-fetched: yes, a person may be pleased with attention and care (although the fact that all girls want male attention is also a stereotype) - but the fact that he accepts them does not mean that he is ready to something more. Asking for help with the move, saying thank you in response to a compliment, hugging and looking like a couple in photos, accepting gifts - none of this implies that the person is ready to take the relationship to another level.

Yes, a person who thinks they are being friend-zone can get hurt. But instead of blaming the other for not meeting expectations, it is worth moving on: accept the relationship as it is, or discuss what is absolutely uncomfortable in them (if you, as the hero of "Women of the Twentieth Century", are ready sleep in the same bed only with a partner - tell it directly). So it will definitely be more honest - both in relation to oneself and in relation to others.

Photos: HBO, Summit Entertainment, Warner Bros.

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