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Why It’s Time the “Friend Zone” Retired

If you have ever been told “I like you but…” or “I just want to be friends,” then you are probably familiar with the term the “Friend Zone.”   There are six pages of definitions of it on Urban Dictionary, feminist blogs arguing that the friend zone doesn’t exist, even some relationship books with tips on how to get out of the friend zone and don’t get me started on the memes.  It’s getting old isn’t it?!  So here are some cold-hard truths about the “Friend Zone” and why it needs to come to an end.

Everyone has the right to say “yes” or “no” to someone’s romantic interest.

There is no obligation to return interest, and if a person rejects you, it does not make them an awful person.  Girls go for guys whom they like. If they don’t like you, it’s really because they don’t like you. They never intentionally put you into a friend zone. They just don’t like you in that way.  She rejected you not because she friend-zoned you but because she’s simply not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you.

Men and women can be friends without being sexually attracted to each other.  The “Friend Zone” makes it seem as if men and women can only interact with one another if the end result is going to be a relationship or sex.  This is entirely wrong.  Being friends with the opposite sex has many benefits such as different perspectives, unique interests and just in general having a good friend.  It doesn’t need to be over complicated.  But, if you are pursuing someone of the opposite sex because you want to sleep with him or her and get “Friend Zoned” then that is your fault for being a filthy pig. 

All relationships, romantic or platonic, require some degree of “work” or “investment.”  Many guys who have been “Friend Zoned” complain about the time and effort the put into the relationship without reaping any benefits.  Just being a good friend entails a willingness to do this work.  So you paid for her dinner and complimented her on her dress.  That is very nice, I am sure she appreciated it!  But, that doesn’t mean she owes you anything for your friendship. 

Men aren’t the only ones being “Friend Zoned.”  Women do too.  But, women are conditioned to be less vocal about their rejections.  Men mourn over friends who have been put in the “Friend Zone” and praise friends who have made it out of the “Friend Zone.”  On the other hand, females internalize and think the relationship did not go further because it was something they did wrong. 

My name is Rachel Kolias and I am from St. Paul, Minnesota. I am a junior at UW- Stout studying Professional Communication and Emerging Media with a concentration in Applied Journalism. I am a dedicated tea drinker, yogi, Lindy Hopper, musician, blogger and dog lover.
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