Today I’ll be talking about the “Friend Zone”; that magical home away from home filled with elves and puppies, none of whom are getting laid. Or as I like to call it, Max Minervini’s permanent location.
Before I do that, however, there is something I have to address. This blog will not strictly be about couple-related things. I don’t really think ahead to what I’m going to write in the future. I just write whenever the thoughts hit me, and it just so happens that lately this type of stuff has been on my mind. But like I’ve said before, I’m no relationship guru. Thus, don’t expect every single post to be about dating/relationships/breaking up etcetera, etcetera. I just wanted to make that clear in case people are getting bored of reading about the same topics over and over.
For now though, I’m going to ask you to bare with me and try to enjoy yet another post of this genre.
Now back to the Friend Zone.
I think that what I’ll talk about today goes against some of the thoughts that you may previously have had regarding this topic, but I hope that it will make sense nonetheless.
I’d like to start off by pointing out that (in my opinion) there are 2 types of Friend Zone. One is legitimate, and the other one is bullshit. Let’s start out with the legitimate kind:
There is nothing you can do about that one. Once you’re in it, there is no getting out. It’s a bottomless pit. You clearly put your intentions forward with someone and they say, “thanks bud!” (Or whatever the female equivalent of “bud” is.) There’s just really not a whole lot you can do about it. If the person you’re trying to “get with” – for lack of a better term – doesn’t see or feel the spark coming, then it’s over. They’d rather not lead you on – and possibly make the realization that there is nothing between you two even tougher than it would already be – so they just settle for a friendship.
The first kind of Friend Zone hurts. It hurts bad. It’s frustrating as shit. You can put your heart and soul into someone, but if they don’t see it, sucks to be you. I would say most people are sort of on the same page about this one.
The one I’m slightly more interested in discussing, however, is the bullshit kind of Friend Zone:
The bullshit kind of Friend Zone occurs when Person A actively tries to become intimate with Person B, while simultaneously being aware of the fact that Person B has no interest whatsoever.
“So why does Person A keep trying?”
Thank you for asking! Well, it appears to me that certain people – (in the overwhelming majority of cases) males – are under the false impression that nice gestures must be reciprocated with acts of intimacy. In other words, their thinking goes like this, “Since I’m nice to you, you must do something nice to or with me.”
A newspaper column once defined the Friend Zone as follows:
“She discusses her love life with him and has the audacity to ask for his advice on it. He performs favors for her; he does everything a boyfriend would do, but gets no benefits.”
As if the only reason to be a good friend or a decent fucking human is if you get something in exchange. Dylan Garity, one of my favorite Slam Poets, explained this concept better than anyone I’ve ever heard when he said, “The problem is, when we start thinking of ourselves as ‘saviors,’ we begin to think of ourselves as ‘saviors with a salary.’ We put in our hours as nice guys and sex is just a living wage. But sex is not a transaction. Sex is not a handshake to seal some deal. That girl does not owe us anything.”
But what do we tend to call that these days? You guessed it! Friend Zone. And, like I said before, that’s bullshit. We make people feel bad about not “putting out” after we’ve been nice to them, as if they should feel required to do so. We make their unwillingness to perform girlfriend/boyfriend acts seem like a bad thing. And that’s dumb for two reasons:
1. It makes the recipients of the nice gestures – usually girls – feel bad about actually receiving any sort of favors. That is, it makes the person at the receiving end of the nice gesture seem like a cold-hearted bitch when she says no. But have you ever thought about the fact that she’s rejecting your seemingly innocent offer because she doesn’t want to feel the pressure of giving up her body to you in exchange?
2. It implies that the only function of people in relationships is to constantly return favors by means of intimacy. In other words, I buy you flowers, you suck my dick. That’s how it goes, right?
Now, regarding that last point, I’m going to have to expand a little bit. No, I do not think that couples shouldn’t touch each other. Of course, the physical side of a relationship is just as important and necessary as the emotional one. But what I was trying to say is that, nowadays, nice gestures have become almost direct precursors to sexual favors. But it doesn’t have to be that way! At least, it doesn’t always have to be that way. And it certainly must not be accepted as a standard. That is, no one should feel as if they are a bad partner simply because they don’t return every single favor that is done for them.
There has to be someone who disagrees with me on this that’s going, “Oh please, don’t be ridiculous. Of course nice gestures have to be exchanged in that manner! Otherwise, what’s the point of being in a relationship at all?” Well, if you agree with me that the emotional side of a relationship is just as important as the physical one, then shouldn’t those sort of things – sexual favors – happen regardless of how often two people do “nice things” for each other?
Let me put this in very straight forward terms. Do you suck your man’s dick because you love him, or because he buys you nice gifts? And do you buy your girl gifts because you love her, or because you want to get your dick sucked?
You see, I really do believe that many people actually think that way. They think that a relationship with someone is just a constant, “you do this for me, I do this for you” type of deal. But I don’t believe that should be the case, because it plays right into the hands of this type of Friend Zone – the bullshit type. And I mean, I don’t think it takes a genius to realize that: A. That type of Friend Zone mentality and its side effects actually happen. And B. That they’re wrong.
Like I’ve said in previous posts, relationships are about sharing qualities, not budgeting the amount that we contribute to the couple as individuals. But we need to stop thinking of human interactions as a simple trade. Why don’t we start doing things for others out of the goodness of our hearts rather than to look for something in return? Why don’t we act kindly towards people, not for the sake of being called nice, but because it’s the right thing to do? Why do we not respect a girl’s decision to not “put out,” rather than just feel good about ourselves for having done a good deed?
We are the problem, but we can also become the solution. So, next time you do something nice for someone, ask yourself: Am I doing it for the sake of doing it, or because I’m expecting something in exchange? If the answer typically would be the latter, then I hope this post has made you think about why that’s wrong.
As always, I hope you got a kick out of this. Till next time,
Addendum: Max is in the first category and it’s not his permanent location. Ily Max