No One Can "Friendzone" You Without Your Consent

DISCLAIMER: While I'm serious about the substance of this piece, I have used some very mildly colorful language and attitude mainly for the purpose of satire. Please, don't be offended. If you are easily offended, how in God's name do you survive participating in this site? If you want to know what my main point is, just read the Title, or just scroll down to the Bottom Line section.

So, you think you're in the dreaded "friend zone" (also spelled "friendzone" sometimes). Well, let ol' uncle -REDACTED- [Just call me Redact, or NineBreaker, or Max, or Job... etc.] help you get out of it. First, and foremost, know this: it's you're fault. Yes, it is your fault for being in the friend zone. I know love hurts and sometimes we all feel conflicted, but I'm not going to sugarcoat this.

Anonymity... is like a warm blanket.

-- Max, from the movie Mission: Impossible

First, in order to be able to exit this limbo, we must understand what the friend zone is, and how you got there.

This is the Friend Zone

There is a third dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension where you are as close as a very good friend and as trusted as a significant other. It is the middle ground between true romance and close friendship, between dating and only hanging out, and it lies between the pit of man's false hopes and the summit of his desire. This is the dimension of denial. It is an area which we call the Friend Zone.

-- Adapted from the Opening of Season 1 of the Twilight Zone

DUN DUN DUN!!!!

Image Source: http://thegrandadmiral.com/2016/03/09/ms-changsha-and-how-i-escaped-from-the-friend-zone/

To put it very simply, being in the friend zone is not necessarily like having a crush. While there are similarities, there is a much different, much more sinister dynamic. One is said to be in the friend zone when this individual has strong romantic feelings towards someone else, and gets very close to them without these feelings being reciprocated. The object of this individual's love and/or lust only sees him [I'm using this pronoun because I'm a guy, but you can easily switch it up] as a very good and loyal friend. The friendzoned individual does not express their true feelings overtly but somehow expects that their potential significant other will start to develop romantic feelings towards him. The friendzoned behaves like a best friend and is treated as a very good friend, and somehow expects for something to change. This can go on indefinitely and it can be very painful.

But why, Whatever-your-name-is? Why would anyone subject themselves to this?

Well, I'm glad to asked. Unfortunately, I don't really know, at least not for sure, but I can only speculate.

1. Anxiety and Fear: Rejection hurts!

This may be the most common cause for an individual to avoid doing or saying something. It could be due to fear of rejection, which can bring up a lot of anxiety. It's a subconscious probability estimation that one may make. Think of it this way: For most of us, we can seek to have only a single friend, a few friends, many friends, or literally countless friends of varying degrees of friendship. However, for most of us, we only seek one significant other. Statistically, you're more likely to be someone's friend than their significant other if you control for all factors. Even in the case of polyamorous relationships, can you be in love with more than a few people at a time? I don't think so, but I also have never been in such a relationship, so just keep that in mind.

2. Ulterior Motives: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The ultimate friendzone-themed movie in my opinion is Something About Mary. I vaguely remember it from years ago. If you are in the friend zone and wondered how I personally view people in the friend zone, just watch that movie. I'm not going to spoil the movie because I have a strict no-spoiler philosophy even towards flicks I don't like. Bottom line, there's a bunch of people who are in the friendzone and they were all pathetic and had ulterior motives, often resorting to excessive lying and deception to maintain their status in the friendzone.

I would not at all be surprised if some people (mostly among us guys) infiltrate the friendzone, but actively use it as nothing more than a means to get into someone's (usually a woman's) pants, and only that. It's ridiculous and disgusting. I don't know if this type of friendzoned makes up a big percentage or not.

3. Other Reasons: Why? Because... "F!@# you!" That's why.

May be I'm wrong. May be you know better than I do. It's possible some egghead somewhere published a horrifyingly long or ridiculously over-technical wall of text talking about this. [Fellow eggheads, I know you may be offended by being called eggheads, but I am also a bit of an egghead myself, so I can use this word freely. I'm also a gearhead, but that's for another story]. What is your opinion on this? What other motivations could there be? Enlighten me fellow G@Gers!

But woe is me, that-who-has-refused-to-share-his-identity! How do I get out of the limbo of the friendzone?!

Ah, yes! That is the main reason why you've endured reading this for so long. It is elementary my dear reader: GROW A [proverbial] F!@#ING PAIR! That is, if you're in the first category. If you're in the second category, you're probably a f!@#ing sociopath and wouldn't really care if I told you to cut it out. You're probably already plotting your exit strategy after using someone else for nothing more than sexual pleasure. I'd tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself, but again, this may fall on deaf ears (or in this case blind eyes).

Yes. Grow a pair of testicles, ovaries, brain hemispheres... Just man or woman up and do the right thing. Don't be a coward. Nobody likes a coward.

Here's some advice to help you navigate what your options are and what the possible outcomes could be. Again, if you are in the second category of freindzoned, this doesn't apply to you. You're evil, and it's not OK.

You could express your true feelings

Assuming that your love interest is currently single. Just tell them outright how you feel about them. Be honest, be sincere, and be gentle (i.e. don't be like how I am while writing this). You may end up challenging their perception about you. I'm not saying you shouldn't be afraid of the consequences of putting your heart on your sleeve like that. It's OK to feel a bit anxious, but if you want to get somewhere you have to be brave by facing your fears. The most important thing you can do is sincerely convey that you accept their decision no matter what it is. If they accept your proposition, then you have won. If they reject you as a romantic partner, you may feel sad or disappointed, but you will feel better getting rid of that burden of not knowing where you can go. The outcome of your rejection is to either maintain some level of friendship or just decide to stay away and move on. Keeping your distance does not have to be permanent if that's not what you want. You may just need some time away to deal with your emotions, and that's OK. This person who you bared your soul to should understand your emotional needs. Otherwise, you don't need someone like that as either a friend or a significant other.

Basically, the best thing to do is to tailor your response accordingly.

You could just walk away... forever, like a ghost whose absence is never missed

Poetic, eh? I don't think I'm corny. At least I try not to be. MOVING ON!

You could just slowly drift away into acquaintance-hood, never having to deal with the pain of a potential rejection or the sweet and savory taste of acceptance. This is similar to the MGTOW approach. [I don't agree with my brothers in the MGTOW movement, but I do understand and respect their views]

This approach is possibly OK. No one really gets hurt; no love lost, but no love gained.

However...

This is the coward's way out. Remember the first statement? Yes. Grow a pair. Even if you just got sick of the situation, just be upfront about it, and move the f!@# on. Or you can pussyfoot your way out of it. Don't be a coward.

In the end, why subject yourself to a hidden emotional pain because of how you feel in your heart and not try to deal with it head-on?

BOTTOM LINE

If you don't want to be in the friendzone, just be forthcoming with your feelings no matter what the consequences are. If you can't deal with some of these potential consequences, just stay away.

Speaking of "staying away":



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Most Helpful Girl

  • I agree with most of everything that you wrote, but I do want to address one thing:
    "You could just walk away... slowly drift away into acquaintance-hood. No one really gets hurt."
    I disagree with this statement in the case of close friendship. When someone you consider a good friend does this to you, IT SUCKS. I've had two male friends fade (one of them pulled a straight-up disappearing act) out of my life because they had feelings for me, but not the guts to confess them. So they just broke off contact, no explanation given. Mind you, these were people I'd known for years, people that I trusted, respected, and had supported in their goals. Believe you me, I would have much preferred it if they'd told me how they felt (or, at least, that they no longer wanted to be friends), instead of leaving me wondering where our friendship went wrong, if I was at fault for something, or if they were in some sort of trouble. It wasn't until years later that I found out what the case really was, and I thought it was very selfish of them. No, I didn't have any romantic feelings towards these guys, but frankly, I would rather have had them confess their feelings and then chew me out in the harshest way possible for not reciprocating them than leaving the way that they did.

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    • I agree with you that what they did was wrong. When I said "drift away into acquaintance-hood" it doesn't mean that they just up and cut off all contact without warning; they just limit their interaction with you a bit and work on fixing their feelings towards you.

      Even though drifting into acquaintance-hood is bad, it's not as bad as straight-up ghosting someone; and not just someone you've dated a couple of times or known for a month or two, but someone you've known your whole life. That's despicable. And even then, I called it "The coward's way out" and "don't be a coward".

      What these so-called friends should have done was tell you about their feelings, explain to you why they're keeping their distance from you for a while, work out their feelings, and go back to being friends again. You would be at fault if after that you weren't supportive. Based on what you said, I think you would have been very supportive of that.

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    • [cont] near as upset and hurt over them dropping the friendship like something to be, well, dropped. Makes me wonder if they even valued me as a friend in the first place.

    • I agree with you 100%.

Most Helpful Guy

  • So I'll begin reading this knowing I think beta cucks worry about being "friend zoned" and alpha dudes, presumably like myself, simply don't care... there's other women around to phuck and friends are cool to have (they'll hook you up with friends... DUH!!).

    So, lets begin this read...

    Not far into it... already feeling the dude should quit being a pussy and just go for it... I mean seriously, why do beta cucks fear failure with women so much? You're supposed to fail at least some of the time... AT LEAST!!! If not you should consider a career where that will help you out. Talent scout for self owned porno company perhaps?

    Can't take it... speeding to end... yup same sentiments... quit being a pussy and just go for it. Quit being a fake fearful little cunt and go for it. Accept her as being a person that simply doesn't want you. Quit being that self proclaimed male feminist that ends up getting exposed as the epiphany of toxic masculinity... you future Harvy Weinstein's of the world.

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    • Hahaha! I wrote the Bottom Line section especially for impatient folks like you, brother. I absolutely agree with you 100%, and the last statement you made about the "future Harvy Einsteins of the world" was an epic mic drop!

    • Weinstein's*

    • fuck yeah bruh lol

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 13

  • Excellent take. I'm fed up with the notion that people (usually women) somehow intentionally put others (usually men) in the "friend zone" against their will in order to "use them" for some nefarious purpose (because apparently being a woman's friend is so horrible). Yeah... no. If you're in the "friend zone," it's 100% your own fault. Nobody can force you to be their friend, and if you don't want to be, then the best and most honest thing you can do for the other person and yourself is to break it off.
    I don't mean to sound like I don't have sympathy for people who are struggling to find the courage to tell their friends how they feel. That's understandable. The ones I have no sympathy for are the ones who are MAD at their friends for not being psychic or not being interested in them as more than a friend. You have no right to blame it on them.

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    • So long as the person who is the desired party doesn't use this as an excuse to abuse the love of that person, I agree with you.

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    • @NineBreaker & @Charleslvjr Agreed, it is wrong for someone to abuse and manipulate a friend they know likes them as more than a friend. But I don't think this happens as often as "friendzonies" claim it does. Most of the time, they really just want to be your friend. And as this take is about, you never have to allow yourself to be in the friendzone. You always have the power to walk away.

    • I made the mistake of become enamoured when I was younger, with women who were more into the bad boy type than I was. True to form I became an orbiter and an emotional tampon and heavy lifter. Your basic tool is what I was. It took some serious reflection for me to figure out what was going on, I was infatuated. So yeah, that shit happens and I take great pleasure in the eventual fates that befell those who were involved, including my own. I gave up being nice or giving to anyone that isn't of proven pedigree, from long association, and became quite hostile to those who think they can manipulate me.

  • The only reason someone is in the 'friend zone' is because they allow themselves to be there. If you confessed your devotion and unrelenting desire/ love/ infatuation for someone and they told you they didn't feel the same and said "Let's just be/stay friends ok?" you have the choice to accept their offer (or continuance) of friendship or cut your losses and move on. If you feel being around them is going to be too difficult and you need to get over them then moving on is the best course of action. You don't get to accept their friendship and then complain about it down the road. If you do then it's very clear it was never that important to you.

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    • I wound up there and being young and insecure I allowed myself to be used. Yes, it's my fault but now it's their fault if they think they can continue to try to manipulate me. None of those females are anywhere near me now but there is always some chick who thinks they should be allowed everything because, eye lashes, hips or boobs.

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    • @Charleslvajr One time this guy I was dating ate a piece of cake in front of me.

      Angel food cake. It's like my most favourite cake. I insisted my mom bake if for almost 10 years straight when I was a kid. She only stopped making it because I stopped wanting parties (my older sister ruined them for me).

      HE DIDN'T OFFER ME A SLICE! 😤

      I was raised that if you have a guest you entertain them and offer food and drink. And you MOST CERTAINLY don't eat in front of them!

      I mentioned this to him later and he said I could have just told him to give me a slice. I was also raised you wait until the guest offers. You don't ask.

      My favourite cake!

      This still gets my goat.

    • I'm not even kidding.

  • Nice take, and I agree with most of it. People who whine about the friendzone should shut up and look at their options. If having a friend is SO AWFUL OH MY GOD then you totally, 100%, have the right to break off said friendship. If it's too much and you just want to get over it, break it off.
    If you were just looking to get laid then you're not even in the friendzone because you were hardly even friends to begin with. Lol.

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  • I agree with a lot here. I don't agree with just ghosting someone. At the end of the day, someone might see you as a real friend and you SHOULD let them know you're only interested in them romantically and don't actually give a fuck about your friendship. But you shouldn't just ghost. I've had people do that to me and it's rude and hurtful.

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    • I agree. As I've mentioned, the solution that seems like ghosting (which can include ghosting) is the coward's way out, and is not acceptable. Sure, it'll get you out of the friend zone, but that makes you a coward.

      That's why I think that whatever your decision is (be it expressing your true feelings, accepting being a friend only, or just wanting to cut all ties), you should have the common courtesy or proverbial gonads to be up front. That's why my other take was about ghosting because it's related to this.

  • I agree, if you like someone, for the love of god, please, just tell them. It does make things easier, and it's better to know if the person feels the same way or not instead of always wondering

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  • I like the quote

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    • Not the one from Max, is it?

    • I like the question quote No one can friend zone you without your consent Im not sure if it was a quote but I like it

    • Oh! I see, you mean the title? It's the shorter version which was edited by G@G before it was promoted. It like how it turned out too.

  • Of course. I thought this was obvious.

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  • The place is here, the time is now in a town called perception... you've just entered the friend zone

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  • good topic

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  • Oh my, I wound up there all by myself

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  • Anyone can do anything they want without your permission

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  • This was... interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write.

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  • Interesting...

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What Guys Said 18

  • ''The Friendzone is a psychological place in which you put yourself when you behave like a friend with the person you like, because you don't have the courage to behave otherwise.''

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_Zjans9814

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  • Hmmm... "Without your consent" - I like that.
    You do make some good points about how we don't step it up and take control of the situation. We lean back and pray that the person who friend-zoned us will change their mind. That will most likely not get you anywhere. You either do something to get into the relationship or walk away for good. If you take action, you will feel better knowing that you succeeded or ended it so you can move on. You could waste your own time and health by waiting and praying for something to change. Better to get behind the wheel and drive than sit in the passenger seat and be controlled.

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  • The friendzone is populated by beta-orbiters or beta-chumps. An alpha guy doesn't hang around a girl for shits and giggles if she has zero attraction to him.

    This is a basic difference between men and women - the ladies will keep a beta chump hanging around if he validates her and does shit for her - he's just hoping if he kisses her ass enough for long enough she'll change her mind and give him some sex. Egads.

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  • I was with you till the very end, liking the content and loving the prose. Then I hit that Alice In Chains video. Tsk tsk.

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    • Either I misunderstood the song and it doesn't belong here, or you don't like Alice in Chains; to the latter of which, I shake my head.
      Of course, nobody is perfect, but thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you liked the majority of my contribution.

  • You just copied Wil Aime's video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rSb_QD08vw

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    • That is such an awesome video! I've never seen it before! Thanks for sharing.

  • Well written great take.

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  • Intresting outlook.

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  • Yep, I think I see what you mean here. In my whole life, I've only strongly liked two people romantically. I'd spend weeks, even months trying to gather up the courage to tell them how I felt. In my opinion, whether you get put in the friendzone or not depends on when you ask. If you ask her at the right time and she likes you back, then all is well. If you ask too early for attraction to form or too late so that the attraction turns to only friendship, then you're friend zoned. I got lucky and managed to find the right time with both people.

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  • Indeed
    "No One Can "Friendzone" You Without Your Consent." But if you don't consent you're pushy and disrespecting her.

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    • Making your intentions clear reasonably early on (by asking someone on a date, like a real date) is not pushy at all. Refusing to stop trying after being rejected would be pushy and disrespectful. It's not that fine of a line and really not a tough concept.

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    • I'm also from a small town. I grew up on a dairy farm in a township of barely 2000 people.

    • @Nyx_85 I could hug ya, but no, I'm not afraid of a girl, I'm cautious of the rampant levels of power that is being slung around by women these days with just a word and I'm not going to have my life or my family's life compromised by a chick with a chip.

  • I have a friend who does the wolf in sheep's clothing thing. It's quite amusing to watch. But Yeah, I agree. The only time (since I became experienced) I've been in the friendzone is if that's where I want to be. Like for instance there's a woman I'm attracted to but she's very much engaged and has kids but we're friends and I'm cool with just that. Other times would be where I've never been particularly interested in the girl like that but just as a friend (dunno if that counts given the friendzone's negative connotations?)

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  • This "friendzone" is the figment of your imagination. I'll give it to you for a catchy phrase "friendzoning without consent", sounds like a heinous crime :D

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  • So you're only allowed to ghost some one who friend zones your ass? I like it

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  • Thank you

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  • I am not that social and so I don't actually 'hang out' with women without very clear intentions. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe girls don't like guys who seem to have too much leisure time. I don't know

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  • Interesting

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  • I will never be a friend with women. Pussy is a must for me.

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  • I think If you are in the friend zone that's fine as long as you don't let yourself get used and can stop seeing them as a potential girlfriend to win over.

    Like i was friends with a few girls in uni mostly to help me pass my exams because they where doing better than me and we got on because we where both seen as the keen ones.

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  • Yes, they can. Your permission is not required.

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    • You CLEARLY don't get the point...

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    • @Nyx_85 and that tooo, lol

    • You're right. Even if you express your feelings, you could still remain in the friend zone, that's why the rest of my sentence, I said (CAPS for emphasis):
      "If you don't want to be in the friendzone, just be forthcoming with your feelings no matter what the consequences are. IF YOU CAN'T DEAL WIHT SOME OF THESE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES, JUST STAY AWAY"

      I don't think we're in disagreement here.

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