NOTE: The friend zone is a social construct which originated from the inter-workings of instances of unrequited affection in heterosexual courtship. While it is in no way permissible for females to impose this dynamic on males, this piece emphasizes the roles of the friend zone phenomenon from the perspective of those who the social system oppresses pervasively, females.
A majority of the men in my past will tell you I placed them in the “friend zone.”
Two words, noun. One word, verb.
A man feels that he has been “friendzoned” when a woman, whom he is sexually interested in, does not reciprocate sexual interest and sees him as “just a friend” despite all of the nice gestures he has done for her.
But the “friend zone” isn’t a place and you can’t actually get “friendzoned.”
Throughout our lives we categorize our relationships. We have our friends, our family, our co-workers, our colleagues, our neighbors, our significant others, and so on. These categories are complex and can be unpacked further and further into specific sub-categories.
In the broadest sense of categorization, there are two spheres of people in our lives: the people we have sex with and the people we don’t have sex with. Sex can only occur when there is consent.
The way the social dynamic of the “friend zone” operates is problematic because it strips women of their person-hood by placing the fault on them for their lack of consent.
When a man gets upset with a woman because she has placed him in the “friend zone,” he is upset that after all of his kind efforts, he is being denied access to her body. She has broken the social contract and has not kept up her part of the transaction.
I have been verbally threatened on many occasions for this very reason.
This is shameful, not only for the fact that no one is entitled ownership to a body that is not theirs, but because bodies are not something to be owned. Women have no obligation to lay with men because no such contract exists.
And yet, under this frame of thinking men develop a sense of entitlement which the internet likes to refer to as “nice guy syndrome.”
Nice guy syndrome (NGS) is a term designated to men who describe themselves as genuine “nice guys” and use kind gestures as thinly veiled disguises in order to emotionally satisfy women into a romantic relationship and/or sex.
A man with NGS, will hold open the door, pay for your meal, bring you a rose, buy you a “just-because” gift, among other nice gestures, with the expectation that there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
But women are not coin-operated machines. There is not a proper combination of nice, coercion-coins men can offer women who are sexually and/or emotionally disinterested that will convince them into dispensing their vaginas.
There is not a single damn thing that is sexy, romantic, or respectful about starting a relationship by having to coerce someone into giving you a chance because you’re such a “nice guy.”
Maybe I just don’t like you.