“The Friend Zone” is one of my least favorite ideas. It implies quite a few problematic things:
- The woman who is “friendzoning” you is aware of your feelings towards her and chooses to lead you to believe she feels the same way in order to exploit you for gifts and favors
- Simply by the fact that you have romantic feelings for someone, they are automatically required to reciprocate your feelings. If they do not, then they are somehow ungrateful that you have given them the honor of selecting them as the object of your affections.
- The idea that “I’d rather be alone than date you,” well, that one’s true. If you believe she owes you a relationship or that she thinks of you as less than nothing, she’s probably better off alone than in a relationship with you. She might think of you as different than a boyfriend, but a romantic relationship is not the last word in interpersonal relationships. Just because someone is unhappy being single does not mean they are willing to date anyone who expresses the slightest interest. There’s every chance that your friendship is important to her as-is and she doesn’t want to risk losing someone she cares about. If your response to this is “That’s not enough” or “That doesn’t matter to me,” then you’re putting your desires 100% ahead of hers and she’s better off without you as a boyfriend.
- The idea that a friend is less than a romantic partner always bothers me. They’re two different things that often go hand-in-hand, but you can’t necessarily assume that being someone’s friend means less to someone than being in a relationship with them. It might be different than what you want from them, but to put them at blame for wanting to be your friend rather than your romantic partner is again, prioritizing your desires over theirs and being upset that their desire is not to do whatever it takes to please you, and that’s not the road to a healthy relationship. Plus, people of any gender can be friends with people of any other gender, even if their sexual orientations correspond, without having anything romantic between them. If that’s not true, I must be Giacomo Casanova.
If I was unwilling to be friends with women whose sexual orientation and relationship status matched up to mine, but would not date me at a drop of a hat, I would be able to count my friends on a single hand, and they would probably all be misogynist assholes (just like this hypothetical version of me).
Yes, I get it. It hurts to be attracted to someone who does not feel the same way. It hurts like hell. However, the blame doesn’t fall on the person who doesn’t reciprocate, it falls either on the person who believes they are owed reciprocation, or, if someone must be blamed, perhaps “cruel fate.” Sometimes things just suck, and not because someone is actively trying to hurt you.
And the assertion that “women don’t go for nice guys, only assholes” is disrespectful towards women on like a billion levels:
- It paints women as some kind of hive-mind, all of whom do and feel the same things.
- This female hive-mind is actively attempting to punish respect and reward bad behavior, which goes back to the Eve/Pandora archetype that women are enabling all evil in the world.
- You’ve already managed to generalize all women, imply that they owe you their deepest affection and loyalty simply for honoring them with your friendship, and imply that women are misleading you so they can exploit your feelings for their own benefit. If “women only go for assholes,” then why the hell don’t you have a girlfriend?
Basically, if your mindset is either “I deserve them” or “They deserve me,” you’re being incredibly egotistical and more than a little bit misogynist.