3 Reasons Never to Use the Term 'Friendzone'

I'm writing about sex this week -- specifically, the situation in which certain men complain about being "friendzoned" by women who choose not to see them sexually. Now, I recognize that sex is a highly-charged, volatile, and subjective issue, so it's my goal to remain as logical and objective as possible as I urge all men to completely remove "friendzoned" from their vocabulary -- especially when they're using it to deride a woman's sexual choices.

First, what does "frieindzoned" even mean? Basically, a man who's complaining about being "friendzoned" by a woman is upset that this woman sees him in only a non-sexual manner, or only as a friend. But before we examine all three scenarios where a man would make such a complaint, and why he would be wrong to do so, let's take a step back and see what kind of men we're talking about.

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Or if you're the type of dude who uses the term "friendzoned," take like 20 steps back. Yep, keep going. Nearly there. No, don't look behind you.

As a starting point, I tend to believe that most people are awful. Consequently, I tend also to think most men are awful. And by that logic, most guys who spend their lives proving that they're "nice guys" are liars. Indeed, I fully believe that if we were to duct tape shut the mouths of all so-called "nice guys," no woman would ever again be called a "bitch" by a man she's "friendzoned."

But even if you don't accept that somewhat pessimistic logic, I think we can agree that the following three scenarios cover every situation where a man would complain about being friendzoned. And I hope that after reading you'll agree that in each scenario, the man in question would be completely wrong to raise such a complaint. Especially if you're a dude who likes to talk about the "friendzone" phenomenon. In fact, I think I'll just address such men directly from here on.

#3. When You Become Her Friend Knowing You Want More

Let's start with the most common scenario for men complaining about being friendzoned (It doesn't matter if you don't believe it's the most popular, we're covering every scenario, so relax). You see a woman. You like her. You know you like her. Sure, some sexual attractions build over time, but this is not one of them. If she were to come right up to you and say, "Hey, I really like how you've memorized every line of dialogue in Arrested Development. Wanna be my boyfriend?" you'd say yes (Then you'd probably quote Michael Cera. Maybe a Cousins Les Dangerous joke. I'm not sure. I've never met you).

But instead of being transparent with your feelings, you come up with a plan: "Hey, I'll become her friend first. I'll show her what a great guy I am. I'll be her best friend and listen to her complain about boys and her friends and whatever else, and when she sees how sweet I am and what a good listener I am, she'll have no choice but to accept me when I finally confess what I knew from day one -- I dig her sexually and want to date her."

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I didn't consult my urban dictionary, but "dig her sexually" is still the hip term for wanting to bone that all the kids are using, right? Also, "bone," right?

You have to accept, right now, that's not a legitimate way to win someone's heart. That is a trick. It is a lie. You might think you're showing her what a sweet guy you are, but what you're really showing her is that your seemingly wonderful friendship had an ulterior motive all along. So first you do your best to act like another girlfriend or her gay best friend, and then not only do you get mad that she can't change gears on a dime, you don't understand why she feels mislead? It's like adopting a cow as a pet because you're too scared to admit you want to eat it. On the day you lead it to the slaughterhouse, don't you think that cow's going to be rightly upset? OK, maybe that's not the best analogy, because a loving sexual relationship shouldn't be akin to devouring something. Then again, if you're willing to engage in cowardly deceit for sex, maybe an unflattering comparison isn't the worst thing.

Kevin Peterson/Photodisc/Getty
"No, I'm pretty sure that was the worst thing. What a terrible analogy."

Also, I find those men who feel "friendzoned" in this scenario are often the most vocal and angry about. "I've been good to you for six months / 1 year/ 2 years, and after all this time, you won't give me a chance?" There's so much wrong with that statement. First of all, getting a girlfriend isn't like building a credit rating. You don't just magically make something appear through hard work if there's no attraction. Secondly, do you really want to guilt someone into dating you? "Awww, c'mon, you have to!"

But the worst part of this is that you, not she, made the determination that months or years of being a "friend" was a means to an end. Only you knew that. That's the whole point. You decided not to show her the whole of your feelings from the start. You had the power to avoid this situation. Not the power to make someone date you if they didn't want to, but the power to find out if you had a shot before you "wasted" all that time being friends. And I say "waste" because that is how you feel if your friendship only amounted to a failed tactic to get a girlfriend.

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