Not Another Friend Zone Take!

Not Another Friend Zone Take!

First off, although any gender can be in the friend zone, I'm going to make this take about men in the friend zone. Secondly, whereas the author acknowledges that there are some assholes, er, I mean men who feel entitled to sex because they were kind to a woman, and that there are men who react violently and criminally when rejected and offered friendship, and that there are some men who see friendship as a "back door" to sneak their way to sex and/or a relationship, THIS TAKE ISN'T ABOUT THOSE MEN. (and I believe those men are a loud minority).

Now, down to business. I think virtually all people with two neurons to rub together would agree that a woman indeed has every right to reject whomever she rejects without having to justify reasons, and that she should expect a courteous and dignified answer in response, and can offer friendship if she would like to be a friend to that person (but for God's sake, be sincere in offering that friendship, don't do it to "let him down gently" or out of pity).

Yet what is not as often discussed, so it seems, is that the man has every right to reject the friendship. Now, many of you might be saying, "That's obvious. Of course he does." Yet I have seen it on GAG and on other various articles on the internet wherein if the guy isn't happy with being friends, the assumption must be that he's not a good person, he must have felt entitled to sex, he must not be mature, etc. Not as many people seem to assume that perhaps continued contact tends to prolong the hurt of rejection.

More than twenty years ago, I was dating a very wonderful girl. In the end, it didn't work out and when she had to reject me, I'll never forget what she said. She told me, "[Bluemax], my feelings for you don't go beyond friendship [She referrenced a movie line! Bonus points if you can guess what movie that's from!]. I would like to be your friend, but I'll understand if you don't want to." In telling me she understood if I didn't want to be her friend, she was offering me a gracious way to never enter the friend zone. She was, in effect, saying, "I understand this hurts, and I care for you and I don't want you to hurt longer than you have to." A few years later, I was faced with having to reject a friend of mine. She tearfully explained she felt no hard feelings, but couldn't remain my friend. I felt very sad losing a friend, but would have felt much sadder knowing my presence was prolonging her hurt.

Now some of you might be saying, "Well, if you're hurt so bad that you can't stand being my friend, that's immature." I would answer that it's important to understand that different people feel the pain of rejection differently, and there's evidence it might be due to brain anatomy and brain chemistry. Some people feel less pain and recover much faster than others.

I am in no way suggesting that a rejected man can never be friends with the woman who rejected him. I've seen it happen. However, that's his decision to make. If you truly care for this person as a friend, you'll respect his decision one way or the other.

So, if you offer friendship to a man you've rejected, it's his right to courteously reject it indefinitely. Yes, I know and understand it hurts to lose a friend, but it hurts much worse to retain a friend whose hurt will be prolonged. If he responds to your rejection with courtesy, and you care for him as a friend, let him go without rancor or judgment and hope that he finds love with someone else.

Oh, the girl who rejected me? She's still single, and I think she's one of the most awesome women I've known. I hope she finds all the love she deserves. As for the girl I rejected, we are friends on Facebook. She is happily married with children, which is all I ever wanted for her.

P.S. (insert obligatory remark about how the friend zone doesn't exist)


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What Girls Said 12

  • Another great myTake. Thanks for this!

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  • Everything you said is true. I'm just sorry that people feel the need to hang on to friendship, when the popular kiss off "we can still be friends" immediately makes people think they *should* be friends. They don't. Good Take :)

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  • I 100% agree with you.
    good take :)

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  • This sucks. really haha. I'm referring to friend zoned topic. Your my Take is a good read by the way. I just don't get why there are men who doesn't want to talk about and settle things out. Why are there guys who disappear. It's not only them who got hurt.
    Also there are some guys who blame the other party for being friend zoned when they themselves had thought pessimistic and their words are contradicting in the beginning.
    I'm not against what you said or generalizing men. It's just that what i wrote puzzles me a little. Hope you get what i mean :D

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    • Of course both parties are hurt. My point is I don't think it's healthy to want the guy to remain your friend if you know that prolonged contact prolongs the pain.

      As for guys who blame women for being friend zoned, I thought the first paragraph I wrote made the point that I am not talking about those men. They are not behaving like good men.

  • I see what your saying. I hate it when guys stop being my chums when I don't like them back, but I think its because I am usually very detached from my emotions so I find it easy to move on after rejection. I guess people are too weak to stomach it though.

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    • Well, whatever their reasons, if we truly care for someone, we don't want to see them hurt any more than is necessary.

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    • Yes, I know it hurts the feelings of the rejector as well as the rejectee. It isn't all about you. It's about both of you. Yes, your feelings are hurt, but so is his. I get that you find it easy to move on after rejection and I think that's a wonderful thing. However, not all people are like you, and not all people SHOULD be like you.

      What would you have him do? Continue the friendship and act happy to see you when in fact it is saddening? Wouldn't that make you sad, knowing that your friend is sad to be around you? If you believe that a guy should continue to be your friend, even though prolonged contact prolongs the pain of rejection, then I would argue it is*YOU* who don't care about his feelings. Friendship uber alles isn't a good friendship.

      Many times, though by no means always, it is best for both parties to wish each other well, hope that each other finds happiness, and just go your separate ways.

    • "It hurts my feelings when they stop being my friend.
      Therefore they don't care about my feelings."
      But if you want him to stay friends with you despite knowing that he's secretly wishing for more I could argue that you don't care about his feelings much, either. Bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. Which is why it's for the best to let it go. If one party cannot put in the effort anymore for whatever reason the friendship simply won't feel genuine anymore.

  • The friend zone definitely exists, and I only disagree with one thing. People claim it's better to be honest and not ask to remain friends out of pity but is that what you really want? I mean I've gone the honest way most of the time and it has only ended in a variety of bad responses from rage to I'm-too-good-for-you-anyway schoolgirl bs. What I'm saying is yes sometimes it's better to just have pity especially if you're dealing with an overly sensitive person.

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    • I must perhaps respectfully disagree with you. I believe the majority of people do want honesty. As to those who displayed rage and a variety of other bad responses, they probably would have displayed rage and those other bad responses later on down the line, and perhaps even worse if they felt led on.

      And who says you can't reject someone with compassion by not offering friendship?

    • P. S. Is that you in your picture by a train engine? If so, where was that taken?

  • Yes! This is one of the most sensible friend zone takes I've read.

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  • Why does the following happen? You're just friends with a guy, for a long time, say years, and felt zero attraction towards him in the beginning.
    He eventually expresses an interest in you, you decide to give it a shot, because now that you know him better, you find him more attractive, but after you sleep with him - he friend zones you.

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    • Perhaps you weren't his taste in terms of intimacy? It happens. We have a crush on someone, then sleep with this person and it turns out they're not what we want in the sack. No crime. It just happens.

    • Thanks that's helpful, and highly plausible. He had a particular fetish that he was into, that I wasn't up for doing straight away.

  • I totally agree with this take. This is such an awesome take. Good job! :D

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  • I totally agree. I got lucky, though; my best guy friend asked me out, and although I think he's awesome, there was never any romantic attraction. But, we're still close friends, and now he likes his coworker (he got a job recently) and has asked me for advice. I like that we're still close despite the former crush, and I'm really happy that he'd found someone else.

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    • Remember this take when you aren't so lucky.

    • Yeah, I will. I wouldn't expect a guy to continue hanging around me after I rejected him. I know how painful it can be to be around someone who doesn't return your feelings.

    • And yet you'd be surprised how many women, much older than yourself, don't seem to get this. Kudos, InconspicuousBox.

  • Thank you for this. My former crush/best friend disappeared not long after I discovered a deal breaker about us as a potential couple - and although he claims he's "ok" and wants to be acquaintances, he's treating me like someone to be very much avoided. Whether that's to stop me from getting my hopes up about being close again or because it hurts him to be near me, I don't know - but in either case any interaction we have is really really awkward on his end even though I'm trying to just act normally when I end up seeing him at events (like I don't seek him out otherwise, and when I do see him I treat him like anyone else). But he never seems happy and regardless of my friends telling me that I'm the one who isn't letting go etc., I think he's the one having a harder time with this.
    So based on your advice and sort of theirs, I think it makes sense to just completely ignore him (in a non-mean way) - I hate him being unhappy :/

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    • @bertmacklinfbi you know the story; what do you think?

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    • Sounds like the way to go.

      Out of curiosity, what would you tell him if he asks why you're avoiding him?

    • He's told people he just wants to be stranger-acquaintances so I guess something like I'm trying that too.

      Also I can't imagine him asking.

  • Once again, great Take! I'm rather saddened that people need this spelled out for them.

    I was attempting to be friends with my ex, but he doesn't appear to want that, so what do I do? Respect it and move on. I'm going to have to break the no contact rule in September because I want to give his things back to him, but that's for a specific purpose and not to tear open wounds.

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What Guys Said 11

  • Meh, relationships are overrated and tedious. Be single and be proud.

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  • Most guys in the 'friend zone' simply have the delusional yet understandable attitude of "maybe if she'll get to know me better she will fall in love with me!". However, most romantic relationships are grown over time, they develop in a relatively short time frame because there is an immediate attraction. Girls especially decide rather quickly whether a man is 'dating-material' or not, and once that opinion has been formed it very rarely changes.

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  • You put your self in the friend zone

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    • Not if you walk away.

    • Exactly Blue Max , I've always walked away immediately & ceased contact. It's the only way to keep your sanity.

  • You friend zone yourself. Enough of the pretending if you like someone let them know within a week of realising or you're just a great pretender.

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    • Yeah, I agree it's best to be up front. However, not everyone realizes they have feelings for people right away.

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    • Yes, they can stay friends. I strongly disagree that you can ALWAYS stay friends. People cannot always help how they FEEL. You can control how you act, you cannot always control how you FEEL.

      Is it always, 100% of the time, no exceptions whatsoever possible to remain friends, or are there sometimes when, in your opinion, it's just not possible?

    • To be honest, sometimes people are just friends because of an attraction that hasn't been addressed, so yes sometimes the friendship will simply evaporate, either way it's for the best.

  • If she friend-zones you, just load save and try again. Or look up a walkthrough.

    Joking aside, it would be fucking awesome if life was like that.

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  • I agree that you don't have to have certain people in your life.

    Just wanted to say: I chose to remain friends with my old crush a few months ago.

    Hanging out with her was just too fun to walk away forever. Granted, I needed some time to get over it, but now that I don't like her like that no more, things are better between us now. I don't get depressed anymore, it got really bad sometimes because I was certain she would be first love. Looking back, it would have been nice, but I shouldn't dwell on that. If anything, I learned a lot about handling my emotions and situations with girls in the time I've known her.

    Kind of hard to say, but I realized that she was practice (only just starting to get into dating; I'm a late bloomer). She may come in handy for future dating advice and at least I know I have a friend to rely on.

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  • I got rejected a while ago and I was offered the "I understand whatever you wanted to do" statement. Choosing to stay friends, I'm finding it difficult at the moment. I really like her as a friend as well but I'm sure that the fact that she won't be anything more than that is one of the triggers for my depression. Do I end the friendship for a while to fully move on, or will I ever truly be happy with just being her friend?

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    • That is, of course, a decision you must make on your own. If you feel it would reduce your depression, then perhaps it's best to explain it to her and take a break indefinitely. If she gave the decision to you, I doubt she would resent you deciding to take a break. If on the other hand you feel it would do nothing to reduce your depression, why lose a friend?

      Have you been diagnosed with clinical depression or is this heartache from rejection?

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    • I think the "If you got to know me better..." is probably an attempt at letting you down gently. Kind of like, "It's not you, it's me." I believe your depression might have been a reason she rejected you.

      Whatcha doin' about that depression?

    • I think the depression was mostly caused by how much I liked her and couldn't really do anything about it. I've reached a good point now and I'm not as interested in her as I once was. I can see her as just a good friend now, and that has pushed the depression away

  • I'm pretty sure this girl I liked thinks I'm a dick for not hanging around with her anymore after she rejected me. Tried hanging around after the rejection but it just sucks easier to let go and move on than hang around and cling on to little bits of hope

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    • If she thinks you're a dick for not hanging around, she might have done you a favor in rejecting you. Why would you want to be around such a person?

      It's your right to reject the friendship. She's got it all wrong.

    • Yea exactly thinking back on it her rejecting me worked out pretty well don't think she would have been good for me and I actually don't care if she thinks that about me cause at the end of the day she turned me away not the other way around

  • How dare men try to establish a long term relationship based on friendship and trust? Don't they know women only care about shoes and money? How dare they?

    i0.kym-cdn.com/.../...hite_knight_colored_4350.jpg

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    • You can start a friendship and tell this person you'd like to also get to know them romantically. You make it sound like you can't do both. I believe you can. I believe you should.

    • Nah you're right that shit don't work.

  • If I get stood up or ignored by a woman I'm gonna bitch her out without threatening her. Why is that a bad thing I'm not going to just ignore her she's gonna a hear it from me.

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    • I'm not really sure how this pertains to my take.

      Has this happened to you frequently? I don't understand why you'd bitch someone out for ignoring you.

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    • Giving women that kind of emotion makes them win, not you. Women are pretty much controlled by emotion, and when you show that they've hurt you instead of being stoic they win. You will never be able to make a woman feel bad/guilty for reaming her out.

      If she rejects you, say OK, reject the friendship if it's offered, be cool, smile, and move onto the next. Focus on what you did wrong, correct those mistakes, and move onto the next. There's a lot of fuking girls out there, man.

    • simplified: Taking her to the side and showing her emotion shows that you've lost control and have given it to her. She will pick up on this and will NOT let you gain control back.

  • If a girl I'm interested in doesn't like me I never become her doormat and shoulder to cry o. SO I leave

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