Ruthless On Relationships: The Friend Zone
Yes folks we are there now. It is time for a Ruthless on Relationships special edition. Special edition because I really didn’t plan to post at all this week(work is savage right now), nor talk about this. SO, why am I? Well the best way I can put it is that I’m tired of people failing to grasp it and then putting their thoughts on Facebook. And we all know what happens when I get annoyed. NOW let’s get to it!
The Friend Zone is real
This statement on the face of it is not a problem really. But when you add context. When you put it in the age of XO Jane and Jezebel. The age of #NotAllWomen and #NotAllMen. The age of outrage, ostracizing and tumblr activism. Well then things take a turn. See your normal human mind that is ruled by logic knows exactly what I mean when I say friend zone. Because you, someone you know, or someone you truly care about has dealt with what it really is. You’ve read about it in romantic literature as far back as Ancient Africa. You remember the crush who you never spoke to and think “I was in the friend zone.”
But these other folks don’t mean that. They don’t mean that time you and your friend were so close that you just suddenly developed a feeling for them that was more romantic than friendly, but it was one sided. They don’t mean the friend of yours who liked a guy and was friends with him until she told him her feelings and he rejected her. They don’t mean what your brain has told you for the span of your existence that the friend zone means. They think it means something else.
To these people, these ultimately sadly but willfully ignorant masses, the friend zone is about men who think being nice to women gets them sex. Or men who say they want to be friends to trick women into dating them. Men who feel entitled to sex because of the things they have done for women or the position they have with them. Do you see the problem yet? Of course you do. You’ve been reading me this long so you know what the deal is. But since you are sharing this with your friends, I’ll point it out all clickbaity and continue.
THEY BELIEVE THIS IS AN ALL MALE CONSTRUCT TO SUBJUGATE AND OPPRESS WOMEN.
This conflict on meaning is a problem for a lot of reasons. No doubt you’ve already thought about your female friends and the guys who treated them like they were in the friend zone. But let’s not be exclusionary here. You are well aware of the nice guy friend of theirs they know likes them. The one they joke about taking them to dinner on their dime. The one who flew them out to some vacation. The one who always invites them to be their date of record for events so they don’t look gay or lonely. But even that level isn’t deep enough. Fellas you know that friend of yours. You know, the friend you’ve known since grade school or high school. That you use the excuse that they dated your boy you stopped talking to in 1997 to keep from approaching. The one you laugh off when girls you want to publicly date are around, but always seem to find yourselves in way too intimate to be just friend positions otherwise. Y’all are lying to yourselves. You’ve put that person in the friend zone. I’m not, nor am I into dating members of the trans community, so I can’t speak to them, and thus they are out of the analysis here. But I will say I’m sure everything that I’ve said so far goes for them as well. Hell probably worse since they have to come out as trans, go through their version of transition, and hope that telling a friend who they crush on won’t end in violence.
The reason the friend zone is very particular in meaning, and ultimately should be narrowly tailored to what I’m talking about, is that it is irrespective of gender, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The friend zone is a place you put a person you don’t have romantic and sexual interest in, but you believe has some romantic and sexual interest in you. I did a podcast of the Wrath of Ruthless not too long ago about the different attractions and what in the end they mean. Shoutout to friend of the show Láy Krardashian for the post that help make that happen (You fellas looking for a boyfriend go talk to the babyface badboy). In it we talked about the effect of these attractions. Here I want to talk deeper really quick about both sides of crushing on someone. Because I think that is where people mix up asshole fakes, and nice people. If you have a crush on someone, usually, USUALLY, you aren’t going to say something. You’re going to mope around, trying to figure it out. You’re going to wait just long enough for them to start dating someone else, and then move on. If you do say something you often make it bad timing(aka when they’ve already said they only want to be friends), or when you can make an angry counter to someone else vying for their affection. You are not in the friend zone just because you have a crush. You’re in the friend zone because the person doesn’t feel romantic or sexual about you, and they already scoped you might have that potential feeling.
Of course the assholes are the ones who, gender non-dependant, say they want to be friends to try and trick their way to sex, or keep you in said friend zone for the purpose of abusing your feelings about them to gain things to their benefit. Putting you into the Friend Zone is not an asshole move. It is a perfectly reasonable protective measure. Let me said it again. PUTTING YOU IN THE FRIEND ZONE, BY ITSELF, IS NOT AN ASSHOLE MOVE. IT IS A REASONABLE PROTECTIVE MEASURE! The asshole is also found in the ones who feel entitled to sex for doing things. REGARDLESS OF GENDER. I don’t care if you are the doting female friend who brings chicken soup to her childhood buddy because his last girlfriend got him and the puppy sick right before she walked out. I don’t care if you are the super cool LGBTQ+ friend who helped your homie pick up the pieces after every single straight person broke their heart and made them write godawful poetry that you still clapped along to. Just because you do friendly things doesn’t mean you get to make moves. Those lunch time mimosas where she poured her life story and you repoured your heart out? No excuse to try making out with her while y’all were drunk. That 3rd watch of fear and loathing over blunts and beer? Didn’t earn you cop a crotch on the couch time. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. And that’s not the friend zone. That is sexual assault.
However, just like there are assholes, asshole fakes, and the like, there are also nice people. You have a nice person in the friend zone now. You are also in the friend zone of a nice person. Nice people who have no idea you like them and are oblivious to the fact that you want to tell them how you feel. Just like there is someone you think is interested in you, but is just being a good friend. You’ve been told all your life that in heterosexual relations men and women can’t be just friends. And you’ve been told the same for homosexual relations. That everyone who is in your part of the sexual spectrum and isn’t family is so part of the culture that you are unable to be truly platonic. I’ve fought that notion myself. I’ve grappled with the “Am I digging her like that now?” moment. Usually a few times thinking about it makes it go away. But since I already told you 1. The friend zone is a place you put a person you don’t have romantic and sexual interest in, but you believe has some romantic and sexual interest in you. And 2. Putting you into the Friend Zone is not an asshole move. It is a perfectly reasonable protective measure. Let me give you the third and final bit now. 3. You owe it to your single friends, as a friend, to be helpful to their love life, aka be a wingman/wingwoman(A trans man or trans woman is still a man or woman for the purpose of this analysis. When the nonbinary community comes up with a word, and I’m doing this again, I’ll add it).
Now why do you owe them? Mostly to prevent confusion, and be a good friend. Think about it. When you’re single and available your friends who share your gender identity help as best as possible. You may even seek them out for good ideas in dating. Why is it any different for those who share a gender with your sexual preference? Why isn’t it MORE important to help and be helped by them? After all, a guy talking to other guys is only going to get so far on what an incoming woman wants. You can actually have a chat with her and size up who she is versus the male friend and pre-check some compatibility. Your lady friends can see what kind of girls a guy is into, but your guy friends can give you some insight about what his manly habits are. I often boil this down in conversation to a simple thing. If you are in the friend zone with a single person who matches your sexual preference, ask them to hook you up with their friends. “I’m your friend? Word? Then hook me up with your girls, bestie.” is common parlance these days in memes, but I truly believe that. You have a female friend who just need her ass slapped and hair pulled to get life right? Don’t be salty, link her up with the dude who is 28 and still has no plans to be serious this decade. You have a guy trying to pick up the pieces? You know your homegirl has the Ms. Materialistic attitude, don’t pawn him off on her, hook him in to your network of good girls who will treat him right. I’m not saying you have to be the patron saint of matchmakers, I’m saying friends help friends find their way in life. And in love, that’s the way it should be no matter what the orientation and identity of the people involved. So seriously, I’m single, you have hot friends, and in my Jagged Edge voice “Where the party at?” LOL
No, but seriously, I want to walk off with this notion. You are being sold a bill of goods about the friend zone that just isn’t true. Both by the people who aren’t really as nice as they claim, and by the people who are the victims of fakes and phonies. The friend zone is a place you put a person you don’t have romantic and sexual interest in, but you believe has some romantic and sexual interest in you. Putting you into the Friend Zone is not an asshole move. It is a perfectly reasonable protective measure. You owe it to your single friends, as a friend, to be helpful to their love life, aka be a wingman/wingwoman. Beyond that, everything is someones agenda. Shame to get you on their side of a ideological debate about the place of normative versus transative, male versus female, and all other manner of ideas on sex and gender. But the friend zone is a neutral construct. I’m THE Ruthless Wonder and I believe in the friend zone. And I’d say more but Words Don’t Do It Justice!