Devil’s Advocate: The friend zone isn’t real

In Devil's Advocate, Opinion
(Hannah Miller / Daily Titan)

Anyone who’s suffered through the pain of unrequited love may find themselves at a loss for words after building up the courage to share their feelings and being torn down. It’s easy to look inward, blaming one’s own personality traits or the possibility of sharing too soon or too late. What’s easier though, is to blame the elusive, nonexistent “friend zone.”

It’s a cop out, the ultimate example of entitlement and it is never justified in use. The argument is, “Someone isn’t romantically or sexually interested in me, and they should give me a chance because I’m nice and think I love them.” Whether or not the person has an explicit reason for not being interested is irrelevant. They don’t need a reason. No still means no.

More often than not, women are blamed for putting a nice guy in the “friend zone.” While nice guys paint themselves as victims, they fail to recognize the implications of their words and actions. When a woman is accused of “friendzoning” someone, they are effectively told they are nothing more than a romantic or sexual interest, depreciating any other qualities of their personality, merits, etc.

By fabricating the “friend zone,” boys shame women for wanting a platonic relationship, communicating that friendship is inherently less valuable than a sexual or romantic relationship, which is simply false. The inherent guilt that comes with accusations of “friendzoning” serves as a last-ditch effort for boys to get their way and at best, it can only be called manipulative.

There is absolutely no context in which a woman owes someone a chance. Under no circumstance is a hopeless romantic entitled to anyone else’s emotions, body or time. Nice guys who claim to care about someone only to turn around and thrash their reputation for “friendzoning” further supports any reasoning against why a romantic or sexual relationship between the two parties would be beneficial.

By demanding a chance to get out of the “friend zone,” boys show that they perceive their feelings to be of greater importance than women’s.

Yes, it hurts to love someone who doesn’t love back, but what makes a nice guy’s love more valid than a woman’s lack thereof? The answer: Nothing.

Boys who believe in the “friend zone” lack important coping mechanisms that would otherwise allow them to deal with the fact that a woman isn’t attracted to them. Whether it be a good circle of family or friends to support them, self-confidence or a passion to pursue, it doesn’t exist in their lives, much like the “friend zone” itself.

For those who lack necessary coping mechanisms, a relationship might not be the best idea anyway. Self-improvement or therapeutic help might be a far more constructive use of time than attempting to kindle the embers of a friendship into a fiery romance.

A nice guy’s inability to accept the fact that they aren’t a desirable romantic or sexual option for a woman proves one thing: that he isn’t a nice guy. He didn’t really care about her. Instead, he wanted companionship as an accessory or sex as part of an exchange for kindness.

Model and go-go dancer Porphyria R’lyeh said it best.

“Girls are not machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.”

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