Friend Zoning: A View From Both Sides

The Friend Zone. What exactly is it? Can one party truly be oblivious to it, or is it just “all in the mind” of the other? What steps can be taken to avoid being “friend zoned” in the first place? Why is there a problem being “friend zoned”, anyway?
Today, I’m going to dissect this phenomena and attempt to air it out for discussion.

What exactly IS the friend zone?

We’ve all heard the stories; a guy finds a girl he likes and attempts to woo her with numerous favors, dinners, help with home repairs, unconditional emotional support and so on. (Of course, if she is a true friend, she’ll provide the same.)

After weeks, months, maybe even years of this, he finally gets up the courage to ask her out.

At this point, the girl usually says “But you’re like a brother to me” or “No, I don’t want to ruin our friendship”. There is a chance that this guy and girl will remain “just friends”, or even become lovers eventually, but more often than not the guy will sever ties out of hurt and frustration…and the girl will be left wondering why one of her seemingly best friends is gone and/or had to ruin their relationship by thinking about sex.

Or so the story goes for many young men. Of course, there are many men who are perfectly capable of being friends with women without expecting anything more. And women can certainly be “friend zoned” too, though it happens less often. Strangely, I don’t hear about this happening in the gay/lesbian/trans community…though this could be due to me not reading the right forums or knowing any single/non-committed homosexual or trans people. If it does happen, please let me know. Education is a good thing, and always welcomed here!

Same situation, Two views

One thing that shows up often on various relationship sites is the idea that women purposefully friend zone their male friends. While a few men tend to spin this as yet another way that “all women are consciously evil and manipulative”, the majority seem to believe that women may not fully realize the harm they are causing by perpetuating these friendships. In essence, we can break the relationship down like this;

Guy: This woman is attractive, nice, and pretty friendly. She always complains about her boyfriend to me, lets me buy her gifts, talks to me all the time, and asks me for favors…which I do gladly. It seems like she really likes me! So why won’t she date me, or at least have sex with me? Crap, I’ve been Friend Zoned!

Girl: This man I know is so nice! He helps me whenever I need it, always provides a listening ear, and insists on treating me to dinner. He’s always kind to me, and laughs at all my jokes. I really like him, he’s a fantastic friend. But now he’s acting weird…he even asked me out last week! I already have a boyfriend though, and even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t want to add sex or intimacy to our relationship. It would be so uncomfortable!

Two very different views, right?

The woman truly does like this man, but only as a friend. She doesn’t see his gift-giving or favors as anything special. After all, she treats him to dinner sometimes, helped him study for his college exams, watched his dog when he went on vacation…things she does for ALL her friends, regardless of what sex they are. She talks to all her friends about her boyfriend too, since it helps blow off steam when they fight. In other words, she doesn’t treat the man any different than her female friends.

On the other hand, the man feels that by being an overly nice guy that it will automatically earn him love/sex from the woman. He’s treating the relationship like a vending machine…if he puts in the proper amount of money, he is owed a soda. This may work for machines, but it usually doesn’t work for humans. Unfortunately for the man, being told that “acting like *this* will get you laid” is a horrible piece of advice. It doesn’t take individual preferences into account, and so can’t be expected to work the way he wants…at least with every woman. Again, preferences.

The important thing to remember is that neither of these people are really at fault. Relationships are difficult to navigate sometimes, even if they are “just” friendships. While the above scenario is incredibly generalized, it echoes what some guys (and girls) go through. That someone has experienced this does NOT make them less of a person, nor does it reflect badly on the being of their affections. It is a simple miscommunication…with the unfortunate addition of strong emotions that make it seem worse than it should.

So how do I avoid it?

The biggest question in many guy’s minds is just this: How do I *not* get Friend Zoned in the first place. While I have no magic words or special gestures that can prevent this from ever happening, I have some suggestions that should help.

1. If you find someone attractive and pleasant to be around, chances are you’ll start to develop feelings for them. Some are able to just naturally stay platonic…their friend happens to be of the opposite sex, and that’s cool. There may be some slight sexual tension every once in a while, but it’s easy to laugh off. If you are a romantic or highly sexual, be aware that you are this way. If you notice deeper feelings when your guy friend has his shirt off at the beach, or your girl friend sits close to you on the couch, be conscious of those feelings and how you allow them to affect you.

2. If you use a dating site, and blatantly specify that you are looking for a serious relationship, do NOT go after members who seem wishy-washy or say they are only looking for friends. I don’t need a crystal ball to see that these are two completely separate starting points, with little chance of meeting in the middle.

Should you go out with someone who’s profile said they wanted a long-term relationship but you find out over dinner that they think you’ll “make a good friend”, don’t make further plans with them…unless you ALSO just want to be friends. Finish the meal, stay polite and don’t get too upset, but also don’t waste time trying to convince her/him that they should like you MORE than as a friend.

3. Remember that people of either sex are individuals, and they are more than just their genitals. If you are a man, you have a penis and that is good. If you are female, you have a vagina and that is good.* But surely you would prefer to be appreciated for your personality, achievements and intelligence instead of just your sexual abilities, right?

Good. Now remember that the woman/man you are lusting after wants the SAME THING. If you are starting a friendship with them only because you may one day get into their pants and/or date them…you’re doing it wrong. Actions like this will only lead to hurt, confusion, jealousy, frustration, etc. You owe it to yourself to NOT go through that.

4. Are you friends with someone who seems to think it’s fine to have you pet-sit, change their tires, cook them lunch, pay for the movies and popcorn, drive them to the comic store, sit with them at the dentist, and not do a damn thing in return? Well, either you made friends with Sheldon from Big Bang Theory…or you know a Leech. These are similar to Fair-Weather Friends, except they are fantastic at sticking around for long periods of time. You are always there for them, but they never return the favor. Do yourself one and have an honest discussion with them about how one-sided your “friendship” is.

If they refuse to alter their behavior, may I suggest either a) getting new friends or b) mailing the “friend” an invoice at the end of each week for Services Rendered.

5. Be 100% honest with your feelings and motivations. Think about what you really want from this relationship. Are you fine with being friends, or would that hurt you? Are you willing to spend time, money and emotion on someone who will *only* give you the same in return? If you never have sex with this person, will you consider your relationship a waste? Look inside to see what it is YOU need and want. Don’t do anything rash until you have it figured out.

Is it possible your feelings will change over time?
Yes.
Is it conceivable that your emotional maturity will alter?
Yes.
Is our species complicated when it comes to these things, and honestly should have come with some easy to understand manual or how-to guide?
Oh yeah.

But guess what? We didn’t. Each and every one of us is improvising as we go along and can take advice as much as we see fit…but eventually the real decisions are all solo. My advice to you, dear reader? Stay smart, stay safe, and stay sane when it comes to relationships.

Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to leave comments so long as they are not corrosive or hurtful.

*Intersexed or trans is different, but still good. πŸ™‚

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57 thoughts on “Friend Zoning: A View From Both Sides

  1. Im glad Im the first to like and comment on this. I have always had the best taste of anyone I know. I read something about friendzoning the other day and it got me thinking. I felt that hoensty in most cases is the best policy. If I am being nice to someone because I want something in return I am jsut a privateer or a pirate trying to get that booty :-). I think doing nice things for people should be just that doing nice things for people, and you shouldnt get points for doing nice things for people because a conscious sentient being that is our responsibility. If I like a girl I will tell her straight up. If she doesnt reciprocate then I’d move on.

    I dont think women or men are evil. I think we each view things in terms of what is best for us. I have seen both cases of the friendzone where the person with feelings was used by the other person. There is a proverb in Kreyol that goes: people will shit on you if you let them, Anyways before I babble more:

    Great Post
    Your All kinds of Awesome
    Im glad ur blogging

    Dave-O

  2. sometimes I let the fact that I am really busy get in the way of responding quickly back to everyone, but it’s always a pleasure to come here πŸ™‚ I had some free time so I planted my fat ass in the chair and here I am lol

    How have you been πŸ™‚

  3. Been good. Tired though…had to work a 16 hour shift today. I had this post done yesterday, but scheduled it to post just now. Stupid me left my phone alert noise on, so your comment woke me up, lol.

    I’m going back to sleep now. Have a good night, MrMary. Zzzzz… πŸ™‚

  4. Nice proverb, dude. And I think it’s spot on. The friend zone-effect only happens to people who are not comfortable expressing their feelings of love. It is a difficult thing to do, but if you don’t you might miss your shot at that love you always wanted and you’ll just left wondering what could’ve been.

    Nice one, Sophia and nice comment, Dave.

  5. This is why more and more men are choosing to go their own way. They are called: MGTOW and it is best to only date women who are willing to pay their own way.

  6. Thank you, Daan. It is much appreciated. I always find it a sad thing that our society is more comfortable talking about violence than love/sex. Hopefully it will chsnge one day…

  7. Yes, I’ve heard about that movement. As I have chosen to stay single myself, I see nothing wrong with what they’ve decided to do. Of course, if they are only doing it because they’ve given up on the female sex, then I feel for them.
    I agree that it’s best when the man and woman both pay their own way. Perhaps when women only had low paying jobs (or none at all) it made sense for the man to pay for the entire date. But nowadays the majority of us are employed…there’s no reason whatever to expect the man to constantly put his money up, and that goes double if the woman makes more.
    I know it’s not exactly the same, but when my FwB and I go out, I usually pay for all our food/entertainment. I make a lot more than him and it is only rational that I should pay since I have more disposable income.

    Of course, this doesn’t stop our waiters from handing my card/change to *him* at the more upscale restaurants. Sigh…I guess old traditions die hard.

  8. See, now THAT’S what I’m talking about! I write about a lot of topics here…but all I really want is to share both sides of an issue and get people to *think* and *empathize* before they just *react*.
    If I can do that, and help someone by getting them to think things through…then this blog will have been worth it!

  9. Yes, I think we do work for the same thing. I don’t always have time to comment, but I love your stuff.

    Guest posting? Wow…sure, I’d love to. I am really mind-blown that you think my little thoughts are that good.
    *blush*

  10. They are great thoughts, devine thoughts. Any person that is willing to write to inspire is welcome on my blog.

    Pop over to my blog and send me an e-mail using the contact-page. I’ll set you up with a guest-blogging account immediately.

  11. Thansk Daan and Sophia for all your comments. I think that its very difficult to be the change we want to be when for the many people being is fragmented. many operate by what they are told and the vehicles inside that that would be activited.

    To be the change would require reflection, deep introspection and knowledge of self. Knowledge of self has nothing to do with our habits, the type of ice cream we like. it has to do I think,, or feel ,, or have seen so far with how we relation to deepest aspects of ourselves.

    I dont think that with a fragment approach and mindset we can be anything but fragmented. Not be negative, but I feel that we are each given a plethora of moments every day to really look at things and ourselves and make a choice to grow in awareness.

    uhm sorry for the small mini rant
    Dave

  12. yeah Daan, I didn’t include you (and also the lovely Sophia) or mean to include you in that , you’re all kinds of awake. I hope I havent offended you.

    I was very struck by the faces on the train to work this morning, it really struck me. I couldnt tell if there were people there behind the eyes.
    I know we were all going to work but i don’t know if I can put it to words. I worry sometimes when I look out at the window or at who’s in front of me.

  13. I know what you mean. Lots of people are dead inside, it’s unbelievable. Glassy eyed robots, programmed to accept the public opinion, doing the same thing over and over again. No program of their own. It’s scary.

    Here in the Netherlands we have saying: “We work to live, we don’t live to work.”

  14. Dave and Daan,

    Just this week I experienced something that completely echoes what you two are saying: namely that people act mindless, or don’t seem to care about anything/anyone.

    I had gone down to the city for an appointment, and decided to treat myself to a nice, sit down lunch while I was there. On the way out afterwards, I saw an older (60+?)year old gentleman with one leg panhandling near the door. He had nothing around him but a pair of crutches and the clothes on his back. All he was saying as people passed by was “Please help.”

    I watched for a while…not a single person, man or woman, stopped or even looked at him. After 10 minutes, I could take no more. I sat down next to him and said “Good afternoon, grandfather. My name is —-. How can I help you?” By the Gods, it was like he thought I was an angel. He grasped my hand and said he just needed some food…he hadn’t eaten today, and the soup kitchen he had planned on using was closed.

    I asked him what he liked, and if he had any dietary restrictions. Let’s just say that the extra $40 I had on me was used on lots of portable/nonperishable foodstuffs. As we parted ways, he cried and told me that I was the type of person he had gone to war for years ago. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried too…though for a different reason.

    It took only 20 minutes out of my day to feed someone. It took $40 to give a veteran of my country enough food for a week. For everyone who refused to help…to even acknowledge there was a fellow human at their feet in need of compassion…was their time truly so precious? Their money so dear? Their lives so pristine that they dare not sully themselves with “lesser” people?

    I do not know. What I *do* know is that I would not be able to live with myself if I was a glassy eyed, uncaring, and purposefully ignorant as they. May the Gods strike me down if I ever become as such…

  15. Experiences like that have formed me to become the man I am to day.

    I’ve experienced the same, the most disturbing of which was a man having an epileptic attack and people were passing by assuming he was a junkie.

  16. Daan,
    That is so sad. The thing is, even if he was a junkie instead of an epileptic…don’t most people deserve some sense of compassion and dignity? I think so.

    I watched an interesting series of ABC News videos recently, and it struck me how people reacted. Basically, they made judgements about who was worthy of being aided/defended vs who was not. Quite an eye opener as to how Jane and John Q. Public think. I don’t want to spoil more, as I’m thinking this may be my guest post. πŸ™‚

  17. Yes, to understand that reaction, you need to understand the behind lying public opinion about junkies in the Netherlands. 15 years ago, when this event occurred, our economy was flourishing and we barely had poverty in our country. People on welfare were even doing well enough.

    In the Netherlands soft-drugs are legal for use from the age of 18, together with strong alcohol (where beer is legal from the age of 16). We grow up with an understanding of a certain responsibility and appreciation that comes with that. We are ALLOWED to do and experiment with a lot of things that other countries aren’t and we should appreciate that. So if you choose to be a spoiled brat and our (already very wide) borders aren’t enough for you and you choose to pass over to hard drugs, that’s your responsibility and the rest of society looks at you like a loser.

    Honestly, back then, I lived according to that belief. I never gave money to homeless people, instead I invited them with me to have a cup of coffee and eat a sandwich. It happened to me several times that the homeless person declined the sandwich and demanded money instead.

    I’m not sponsoring your drug habit, dude.

    Nowadays it’s a different story as our economy isn’t as strong as it used to be and people are homeless by no fault of their own.

    Everyone deserves respect, and of course someone should’ve helped him, regardless of the fact if he was a junkie or not. I realize that perhaps the rant above was unnecessary, but I’ll leave that opinion up to you. πŸ˜›

    I’m looking forward to your guest post!

  18. Honestly is sounds like you are just justifying friend zoning people Sophia.

    If a guy knew they girl was not going to go out with him or have sex with him 90% of guys would not help or talk to the girl in any capacity.

    You basically admit yourself that you ‘This man I know is so nice! He helps me whenever I need it, always provides a listening ear’ ergo, you get something out of the guy, and he does not get anything out of you.

  19. Hello, Erudite Knight.

    I’m sorry that you feel I am justifying Friend Zoning people in my post. That was obviously not my intent.

    Serious question though: Did you read the next major paragraph where my hypothetical girl speaker “talks” about the other things she does for this hypothetical guy? “She” mentions how “she” treats him to dinner, watches “his” dog, etc. In other words, acts like he is a regular friend…

    Thus, I’m confused when you say “Ergo, she gets something out of the guy, and he gets nothing out of her.” He gets all the things that people would normally get from a friendship: Someone to help you when needed, to hang out with, to go to movies/fairs with, to vent about your day at work…so on, so forth. I mean, what kinds of things do YOU do with YOUR friends, Knight?

  20. Or let me put it this way, Knight:

    I helped my friend move out of his dorm room for the summer. It took us about 2 hours to fully pack everything and adequately get it all in his car. Afterwards, we went out for Subway which I paid for because he left his wallet in a hard-to-reach box.

    I received no money, food or sex from him in exchange for my 2 hours of help. I simply did it because that’s what you do for a friend. Now…was I “Friend Zoned”?

  21. The problem is, I just dont see the back-and-forth anywhere near even. Sure you walk his dog that one time he went on vacation, does that equal the time he fixed your flat, picked you up 4 separate times, bought you dinner 9 times…

  22. The way you are responding makes it sound as if you think this is an example from my own life…it is not. Like I stated before, both the man and woman above are purely hypothetical. They are caricatures of phrases and discussions I’ve seen on blogs/forums that I created to illustrate a point.

    As such, I was not going to detail how equal their hypothetical relationship is…maybe she does more for him, maybe he does more for her, maybe they somehow manage to do exactly the same amount for each other. It seems like you automatically believe that for every one favor the woman does, the man must have done three. I don’t know many people who go through true friendships while keeping a perpetual tally of favors. As I said above, Leeches and Fair Weather Friends are a different story.

    In all of my friendships, I spend more money on them than they do on me. I am single…most of them are not. Thus, I have more disposable income, a more flexible schedule, and can be there for them more than they can typically be there for me. Does this mean I’m a “better friend” than they are? In my opinion, no. They are there for me if I really need them, same as I am for them.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you keep very close eye on your friendships (at least, it seems so from your comments here). If you pick up your friend from the airport 5 times, and s/he has only picked you up 3 times…is s/he a bad friend? How many tires does s/he need to fix for you to make up for it? If you treat a female friend to an expensive dinner, do you think she owes you sex for it? If you treat a male friend to an expensive dinner, does he now owe you sex? And if you are a heterosexual man, what exactly can your male friend do that would be of equal importance to the sex you don’t want from him?

  23. Honesty is the best policy and i have iterated that numerous times on my blog. The problem is over the last 30 years, feminism has steadily taught men to:

    a.) approach women from a friend first / romantic interest second approach
    b.) vilify male sexuality and cad behavior of behaving as biology intended us to thus shaming us into viewing stranger women as whole human beings rather than people we are attracted to sexually and then as familiarity grows, true feelings grow.

    Feminism flipped the script backwards and taught women how to slut it up, embrace it, revel it in and be ’empowered’ by it, while wagging the finger at men and telling them to stop thinking with their dicks, stop objectifying women and treating only as sex objects, stop being male.

    All this dovetailed into grooming men to voluntarily walk into the friendzone and STAY there because anything else would be considered subversive and abhorrent. So men linger in the friendzone forever because they were told they would persevere in love if they just stopped hitting on women and instead became their best friends.

    Remember, first and foremost biologically, the only reason men and women interact for the most part is the primal urge to find a mate. Women must always consider that a man who spends a great deal of time, effort or investment in a woman to the exclusion of his own interests/hobbies/desires or needs is in fact trying to display his value in the absence of being taught Game or being naturally Alpha enough to not fall into the trap of ‘purchasing’ love or pedestalization.

    Related posts here:
    http://whoism3.wordpress.com/tag/friendzone/

  24. I agree that honesty is the best policy. As I said above, if you know you are unable to be around someone without thinking of them as a serious sexual partner, then do not pretend to be friends. All this will do is use up time, money and emotional resources that you actually want to give to a mate, not a friend who will never be a mate.

    Male sexuality is no better or worse than female sexuality. They just ARE.

    That said, I see no problem with learning to view women/men as more than a sexual conquest. All of us have lives to live. Men and women alike have desires, goals, careers, dislikes, etc. To judge someone based only on their looks or income means you don’t appreciate the person for who they are, only what they can theoretically do for you.

  25. I don’t disagree, and i too, have never viewed anybody i’ve been with intimately as a ‘sexual conquest’. The concept is quite foreign to me as an empathic individual.

    I have always wanted to ‘get to know more’ about the people i wanted to sleep with, but the underlying rule here is that i knew i wanted to sleep with them before i got to know them. It doesn’t work in reverse (at least for most men). And that’s the lie that’s peddled by feminism, get to know first, then make the request known. Unfortunately that ends up placing you in the friendzone and then you look like the bad guy when you don’t want to be there anymore and the woman laments “Why do all my guy friends suddenly leave?”.

    I see nothing wrong with guys and girls hanging out if both are cool with the situation, have the social skills to deal with it, have other options they can pursue and are confident enough fraternize without feelings of attraction getting in the way. But for those with unrequited feelings, they have to make it known AND be prepared to extricate themselves immediately if the feelings are not returned.

    If emotional/platonic needs are a requirement to a woman for a relationship, sexual/intimacy needs are required by a man. Otherwise both become objects to be abused in a one way relationship (she is just a FWB vagina to be used for his pleasure, he’s a beta orbitor who will supplicate and fulfill the relationship needs she fails to acquire from the man she’s sleeping with). Society has no problem telling the woman “Girl, you deserve better than that scum who just uses you for sex, kick him to the curb and find a man who will treat you right and be emotionally available to you, this BOY is not ready for a relationship!!!”..

    however, society has no such message for the friendzoned guy who’s wasting his life away trying to prove his relational worth to someone who is either consciously taking advantage of or oblivious to it. The message he gets is ‘Oh you were just pretending to be nice so you can get laid you creepy loser’ or ‘Man up, what kind of pussy are you, destroying something as beautiful as friendship over something as trivial as sex’. There is victim blaming for the guy having put himself in that role and now an obligation to remain there.

    That’s why i have a vile disgust towards the friendzone, and whether or not women do it unknowingly or are cold and calculating enough to orchestrate a harem or gaggle of orbiters to abuse (http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/every-man-needs-a-harem-of-women/), i only see the fact that i want every LJBF beta orbiting sap find his balls and destroy that zone once and for all.

  26. The friend-zone is a made up concept peddled by guys who believe they a girl ‘owes’ them sex once they have accrued a certain number of friendship points. The trick to avoiding this mythical zone is simple: if you want to get to know a woman and become friends, do it. If you just want sex, find a woman that just wants sex rather than assuming ‘friendship’ will lead to it. And I put friendship in inverted commas because if someone is only doing you favors and supporting you emotionally because they want to get into your pants, they are *not* your friend!

    It’s really not a difficult trap to avoid, but people still get it wrong. M3 for example seems to have confusing ‘getting to know a woman’ with ‘pretending to be a platonic friend when your only true goal is sex’. Want to get to know a woman before you sleep with her? Ask her out on a date! That way both of you are clear on your intentions. Painting the guy as some kind of ‘victim’ for pretending to be a friend when only actually wanting sex is disgusting.

  27. lolenjoy’s response is so utterly inane it boggles. she is apparently incapable of seeing the difference between men ‘investing’ hard in the attempts to show relationships qualities, as defacto entitlement to sex.

    May i humbly suggest that the only people who feel ‘entitled’ to sex are:

    1. Rapists
    2. Women

    If you doubt the woman part.. ask yourself the last time you saw a woman ask for sex and get rejected. Hell hath no fury or so the saying goes…

    ALL guys want sex. Many want relationships. Few want no strings hookups. This usually is represented by where they fall in the pecking order of men (alpha beta gamma omega sigma etc..).

    The ONLY guys that PRETEND to be friends whilst only wanting sex are PLAYERS and CADS. They pretend to be interested in creating a relationship and are attractive enough to women to make them believe it. Those who complain of being in the friendzone are those who were real and honest in their displays of relationship qualities (via the old form of courtship) and failed to adequately be attractive enough to instill desire in the woman (which does not come from comfort/utility/beta traits). But none of these guys are PRETENDING simply to have sex. What, you think all these friendzoned chumps are just waiting to get that one pump in and move on to the next woman? You’d have to be an idiot to believe that.

    These guys want real meaningful relationships.. with women.. who they have come to know and love. You know what an honest expectation of being in a relationship with a woman entails? Access to sex. Because sex is also a manifestation of how many men come to show their love towards their woman. Only Cads (and many sex poz feminists) use sex for self gratification without regard to their partner. That’s simply beyond what a great majority of these poor friendzoners are capable of. They grew up idolizing, pedestalizing and adoring women as the sugar and spice they thought they were.

    The idea for them to use women solely for sex, they find repugnant and would find your insinuation insulting and offensive. They spend their lives watching the women the adore ACTUALLY get used as warm masturbatory tools by people who only want them for sex, lie to them and get used by them. Then they are told to shut up, not complain, or question the sexual choices of these women.. but are then asked to hear about it while being the good friend and consoling her while she cries about the 27th badboy who fucked her over and why that asshole couldn’t be as nice is mr. friendzone.

    So how do these men of less alpha status fall into the ‘zone’?

    Friendzoning happens when women who are very aware of their sexual desirability keep men of ‘lesser’ stature in their orbit in the hopes that playing by the old rules will be afforded a sexual relationship (not just specifically sex since these men are prone to feelings of intense romanticism, even if it’s only a delusional constructed imaginary world in their mind)

    I advise all men now who are romantically inclined towards a female to always press forward romantically first and to never be friends with someone they have romantic interest in. This is when many women play the guilt card about only treating women as sex objects, etc.. look at her as a whole person, get to know her.. blah blah blah.. see how the feminist vicious circle repeats. Which is it? Get to know her and ‘pretend’ to be friends to show your quality? Or get to the heart of the matter, express your sexual desire and move on if nothing comes of it?

    You know.. i don’t know of any woman who would ENJOY being around a man WHOM they lusted and desired after, that every other woman wanted… and who sexually rejected her. To then be asked that you put that rejected feeling aside and just carry on in daily life interacting with that person you have feelings for out of social norms of ‘staying friends’ is preposterous. No woman’s ego would take that hit watching the man they love having sex with other women but not with her.

    So too is it with the beta-orbiting friendzoned men. You DON’T see this kind of complaining or behavior from alpha men, because they have no cause to complain. They get sex on the regular from any woman. They don’t have to play by the rules of relationships or courtship. They can be ‘bad’ and play ‘dirty’ and still ‘win’. Those lesser beta’s are conditioned from early on to play ‘nice’ as THE ONLY means of attaining ‘sexual’ relationships with women.

    lolenjoy’s comment comes from a place of privilege and entitlement mentality and i will be addressing her type of screed in an upcoming post.

    Too bad men for generations have been battered with the chivalry script and the art of courtship. Being shamed of their own sexuality and considered predators or too ‘rapey’ by many women, they instead were taught for the last 40 years to be ‘friends first’ instead of coming out and just saying ‘Hey, you look good, wanna go out and see if we click?’ and be free to part company if it doesn’t without the script of feeling bad about not sticking around to get to know someone you’re attracted to who is not attracted to you.

    /rant

  28. @M3

    I just got to work, so I can’t write an adequate response just now, but thought you should know that lolenjoy is actually a man. Not that it makes much difference, but I always think that referring to someone by the sex they are (or identify as) is a good thing.

    As it is, I like your “rants” since they are very articulate and well thought out. We may not agree on everything but at least I can see where exactly you’re coming from! πŸ™‚

  29. @M3

    You kind of betray your prejudice in your second sentence, since I’m a guy. πŸ™‚

    The funny thing is, we actually agree on a lot. We both think that men who want a relationship need to pursue a relationship rather than a friendship. Where you fall down is that if the ‘friend-zoned’ guys you speak of were real and honest they would make their intentions clear and they wouldn’t regret doing friend stuff if they aren’t going to be rewarded with sex.

    The other bizarre construct is the whole ‘pecking order’ of men. No such thing exists. There are no men that ‘get sex from any woman’, because women are actual people rather than machines that dispense sex if you press the right buttons.

    Like I said, you can sum it up pretty simply. If you want a sexual relationship with a woman, make your intentions clear. If you don’t and you pretend a friendship is all you want then the woman isn’t responsible and doesn’t owe you anything. No-one is ever obligated to have sex with anyone.

  30. @Everyone

    Just as a reminder, I don’t allow personal attacks or name calling in my comments. Not saying that anyone is doing this, I’m simply being proactive in my reminders, especially as of late. Disagreements are fine, just keep it civil. πŸ˜€

  31. I definitely agree with the philosophy that is being prescribed. It’s what i prescribe as well. That all men should begin from a frame of acting and speaking without holding back if they have romantic inclinations, and to act as one sees fit after a rejection including remaining friends if one accepts the consequences, or complete removal of that person from ones life.

    Our differences will therefore only reside in his belief that there is no pecking order (social dominance) that men must compete within for access to mates (SMP). Just as science has conferred that women have behaviors and strategies called intersexual competition between each other when competing for mates.. men have similar competition between themselves.

    To view it through the simplistic and naive lens of “β€˜pecking order’ of men. No such thing exists.” belies the entirety of our evolution as a species. The only thing you need to disprove such an erroneous assertion is to put David Beckham side by side with the quiet introverted socially awkward science nerd in math class next to each other at a bar and see which will have females flock to based on this ‘pecking order’ of social dominance. Not all men are created equal, and in a system where men chase, women choose, ones place on the pecking order is paramount in how successful their love life will be.

    Having been the beta orbiter and the friendzoner for many years PRIOR to discovering the ‘sphere’.. i followed the socially conditioned script of courtship by adults and peers, and by feminists. Be nice, show her you care, open doors, pull chairs, be ‘nice’, show her chivalry. Feminism added to this by saying ‘Don’t look at her in a sexual light, or you’re just an animal, a sexually objectifying asshole. Get to know her first, become her friend, learn of all her goals and dreams and ideals! Then, and only then.. can you start escalating sexually, to which you might find out she’s 1. not interested 2. already taken 3. lesbian.

    That’s a lot of investment in something that may not pay off in a sexual relationship.

    Maybe things have changed since my day, but THAT is what was taught in the 80’s and 90’s.. and it spawned a generation of men like me that were too respectful to and too timid to come out and say it, so we thoughts ‘actions louder than words.. we will show our quality!’. Thus friendzone hell.

    There is nature and then there is nurture. We all have innate instincts. Leaning how to be attractive is not one of them. I firmly believe that you are discounting (or being blind to) the idea that most men are not alpha types and are easy to fall into the friendzone because being nice is the way their bread is buttered. Speaking as one who was, i knew it was hopeless for me at that time to get into casual relationships as i was not desireable enough to enjoy the Gene Simmons lifestyle. My station in life trapped me into the One-itus, good girl, soulmate comlex, and tried to curry favour with women by the only means i had or was capable of.. by showing my best beta traits of being a good listener, always there for that person, dependable, reliable, consistent, and emotionally available for that person. It wasn’t pretending, it was competing with other men, showing i had these qualities that women ‘supposedly’ desired in men. It was a strategy for landing a mate.

    And today it is a strategy that is 100% FAIL.

    This is where the friendzone gets it’s disdain from men. That these things are enshrined as cherished by women.. and expected. But only those that are actually attractive get sexual relationships.. and many times, those rewarded with sexual relationships are farthest from the ones who perform those cherished traits.

    Which inevitably leads to sites and posts like this:
    http://www.returnofkings.com/20834/20-signs-hes-a-player?source=delusiondamage.com

    Since men are no longer rewarded (or perceived to be that way) with lasting sexual relationships with women based on those ‘cherished’ traits.. these guys will more often than not feel played, feel like suckers, feel used. The term ’emotional tampon’ is an apt description. And they will turn towards being the badass, the liar, the cheat. Men wouldn’t be doing this en masse if they weren’t being rewarded for it so all your protestation to the contrary would have no basis in reality.

    There is a pecking order. There is real sexual competition for mates. There is such things as Alpha and Beta. There is science behind all this and evolutionary reasons for this. To claim there is no such thing flies in the face of reality.

    end of my rantings for the day. i need to do some actual work πŸ˜›

  32. We definitely agree on a lot of things, I just don’t think the approach of trying to boil everything down to evolution and ‘intersexual competition’ is particularly valuable. People are far too complex. For example I guarantee that while David Beckham might get the lion’s share there are women who would prefer to date the quiet nerd next to him. And while some women might like the ‘bad boys’ probably the majority would prefer someone who *didn’t* lie or cheat on them.

    The whole concept of ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ males really just speaks to confidence. So-called ‘alpha’ males are simply confident enough to express the desire for a relationship, which is enough to get them some interest despite whatever negative characteristics they may have. The things you call ‘beta’ traits like being reliable, a good listener etc. are still very attractive qualities, and they can go hand-in-hand with having the confidence to ask women out.

    Finally you have misunderstood feminism if you think it means being ‘chivalrous’ and never looking at a woman sexually. Women just want to be treated as human beings, meaning if you’re interested in them then ask them out on a date, or hook up for a one-night stand. Just do it respectfully and don’t spend months/years ingratiating yourself as a ‘friend’ while secretly pining after them and cursing them every time your offer to help them move house doesn’t make sex magically happen.

  33. I agree there is a spectrum, and that there are women on the edges of it that prefer men who are not the archetype of masculinity (Tarnished im sure is one of those outliers).. but generally speaking on the curve, a majority of women are innately attracted to Alpha characteristics.. and science has specifically shown that this is multiplied during ovulation, furthering the meme that women will choose alpha’s to bed, and beta’s to raise the offspring in paternity fraud. But i digress.

    You are confusing the traits for attractive when they are really just ‘nice to have’ bonus traits. They may go along in helping make someone feel like a more attractive choice in long term mating.. but in terms of initial desire, no woman (at least none i know of) would get wet with desire over any of those traits. They aren’t ‘attraction’ traits.. they’re attractive traits to have in a committed partner. But if you aren’t attracted to that person.. all those traits mean squat. That’s what i’m trying to drive at here. You say Alpha speaks to confidence. I agree. Wholeheartedly. But how do you fix that? It’s not alpha’s that have the friendzone problem. Far as i can tell only two things have been done before the advent of the sphere:

    1. Trusted females saying ‘Just be yourself, just be more confident’. <-meaningless drivel leading to no improvement
    2. Feminists saying 'NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO SEX YOU RAPIST' or 'Treat women as human beings first, not sex objects' <-which leads to friendzoning because these unconfident beta's do not want these women thinking they desire them sexually, so they take the back route.

    "Women just want to be treated as human beings, meaning if you’re interested in them then ask them out on a date, or hook up for a one-night stand."

    Already we see the onus is on men to take all the risk in 'asking' and 'risking' nuclear rejections. It's much easier to do this once you're already in the elite club of attractive options. The quiet STEM majors and introverts aren't blessed with the means (i was there a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… 😐 )

    Confidence doesn't spring out of a hole in the ground. Those who are confident were either lucky enough to be gifted with good enough looks that people naturally responded to them favorably, or they strung together enough wins to build off each successive win to the next to actually be confident in outcomes. Most of these beta's are Joe average who have to deal with tons of rejections or losses to the alpha's. Asking these guys to be as confident as alpha types without actually having wins/accomplishments to show for it is folly. The only people who are addressing how to fix their situation with any measure of success is the PUA community in the sphere.. because as that post i linked to earlier shows.. it works on exactly the opposite idea of feminism.

    Treat women as sex objects first, and then once you are in a position to be confident and choosy about women (and once they have sex with you), then you can (if you desire) choose to discover what makes her tick and treat her like a human being, but only if she's earned that right. I may not entirely approve of the process.. but when you have many guys who are absolutely ignored or locked out of the mating game (OKCupid study showing most women find 80% of men unattractive) i don't begrudge them for attempting to become players.

    Yes…

    i lied about being my last rant of the day.

    So yes, i agree (and hope) that all men should be up front about their intentions towards women (respectfully) right out of the gate. I just hope that lots of women will begin entertaining reasonable expectations and giving guys chances, rather than what the current studies show.. that women have unreasonable expectations and that they reward players/cads/asshats and top alphas with sex much too quickly (and then cry about not being able to keep him.. much in the same manner that guys will cry about having been nice trying to get the girl.. ironic ain't it?0

  34. I think the problem is you are approaching this from the assumption that men only want sex, women only want relationships. Which is a pretty faulty assumption. Plenty of men want committed relationships, and women actually enjoy sex just as much as men!

    Out of interest, what are ‘alpha’ characteristics beyond being confident, looking your best and actually approaching women? You seem to be saying ‘treat women as sex objects’, which is pretty creepy. I think you’re missing an important distinction between treating women as people who might want to have sex with you and completely objectifying them. Asking a woman out isn’t treating her as a sex object. Dancing with a girl at a club and asking if she wants to go back to your place isn’t treating her as a sex object. Not understanding that she is a person rather than a sex vending machine *is* treating her as a sex object, and its where the pick up artists fall down.

    Why are some pick up artitists successful? Because they approach women and they aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and deal with the inevitable rejection. Because guaranteed they get more rejections than successes. Why do they get some success? Because a) women enjoy sex, and if you approach enough women you will find some who will sleep with you and b) they employ sleazy tactics like getting women drunk, ignoring them saying ‘no’ and they essentially don’t care if the woman *want’s* to have sex with them, they only care that they *will*.

    As for your last paragraph… sex isn’t a reward. Women want sex, they enjoy it. They don’t dole it out like dog treats to whoever is ‘alpha’ enough. Who they choose to have sex with depends on the woman, since they aren’t all connected in some vast hive-mind.

    @Tarnished

    I would love to get your opinion on this debate πŸ™‚

  35. @lolenjoy

    And I’m happy to oblige. πŸ™‚

    I believe that *some* women enjoy sex as much as men, others *do* actually use it as a way to get their partner to give them things…be it more drinks, a nice home, etc. I know that I absolutely LOVE sex, and think about it a couple hundred times a day, but being physically female I’ve also been privy to girl locker room/pre-wedding party conversations. It was in these somewhat uncomfortable environments that I learned the majority of girls/women seem to “use” sex rather than simply enjoy it for what it is. So in this instance, both you and M3 are correct.

    Yes, lots of men want relationships as do lots of women. Yes, lots of men just want casual hookups as do lots of women. The issue really just comes down to finding someone of the proper sex (if that matters to you) who also wants what you want AND is willing to make it work. Unfortunately, our society is in a bit of an upheaval right now and people don’t really understand what they want. We have women who actually want a monogamous relationship as a stay at home wife…but feel pressured to have lots of sex and pursue a career immediately following college. We have men who desire nothing more than to simply have a successful job and a cool bachelor pad…but are told to “man up” and take on family responsibilities. Or we can reverse it and have a wannabe househusband who is told he’s “not a real man” and a careerist like myself who is told by complete strangers that “a career is all well and good, but when are you going to settle down”. Gender roles have been thrown out the window, which is both good and bad for various people (usually depending on which circles/states/cities they live in). What we need to do is say “Hey, you want to be a traditional man/woman? Go for it. But you other people want to do the opposite? That’s fine too!”

    I personally am still confused by what alpha, beta, and omega traits are. For example, my Friend with Benefits, who I’ve been with for 8 years and is the only man I’ve had sex with, is a complete nerd/geek. I buy him Silver Age X-Men comics for his Christmas presents, he loves playing Magic the Gathering, he wears glasses, is about 50 lbs overweight, starting to get grey/thin hair, owns shelves upon shelves of boardgames, and goes to Toyfair and Gencon with me every year. Yet he has an amazing scent, is witty, funny, outgoing, intelligent, hard working, kind, and willing to let me buy him just about anything. That, and he’s a *fantastic* lover…in fact, he had about 12 women in college who were either girlfriends or casual partners. So despite being an all around geek, over a dozen women have found him sexually attractive!

    I think if “alpha” traits are just a willingness to put yourself out there, be confident, and not take rejection as a personal attack, then yes…he is “alpha”. But if it means being ripped, traditionally attractive, wealthy, able to string women along, and muscular…then no, he is not “alpha”.

    I’ll point out that M3 is correct about the whole “women’s desires change according to their cycle” thing. I’ve read the papers and done the research, and it holds up. I even kept track of my own cycle + desires for 3 months, just to see if it affected me. (I don’t consider myself female, so I wasn’t entirely sure especially given that I have no symptoms during my period). All I found was that I thought about sex more, had an increased sense of smell, and was aroused incredibly easily. Other than that, I didn’t suddenly find muscular guys attractive or was more willing to put up with asshole jocks. So, maybe my brain is too masculine for the “correct” change…but other women do indeed experience this.

    Such things could be the reason why some women go out with total jerks while simultaneously complaining that there are no “nice guys”. If the “nice guys” approach during the wrong time of her cycle, she might be turned off more than usual…or simply turned off when she’d normally give him a chance. I do kinda agree with M3 that a fair number of women act very entitled, but I tend to think this is a symptom of the Me Me Me Generation rather than a natural feminine trait. When there’s entire facebook pages set up so boys and girls can bitch about getting a brand-frickin-new car in a color they don’t like…yeah, this is a very entitled point in society and it’s gonna manifest in more ways than one, including in dealings with the opposite sex.

  36. @Tarnished

    Thanks, always good to get another voice!

    I will grant that some women do use sex as a means to manipulate people, just as some men use ‘pick up artist’ tactics to try and manipulate women. But looking at it in context, that is exactly what society tells them to do. Men like M3 see sex as a reward that has to be earned rather than a shared experience, movies and sit-coms show women ‘punishing’ their partners by withholding sex, and women who actually come out and admit that they enjoy sex are called sluts and worse. At the moment its simply more socially acceptable for women to talk about sex as some kind of chore than to be open about their sexuality.

    I’m glad the whole alpha/beta thing confuses you too. Men (and women) don’t fit into such neat little boxes. Everyone is different!

    Personally I think the whole evolutionary biology bit about women’s desires changing is given too much credit. All you can scientifically prove is that on average some women may find more masculine traits more attractive at certain times during their cycle. How does that affect a man trying to find a girlfriend, or even a casual hookup? Not at all. What are you going to do, ask the girl when her last period was? And then change the shape of your face or your behaviour? In what way? Not to mention that the difference is purely statistical and so would only even register for a man who approached dozens or hundreds of women, which the vast majority of men aren’t interested in doing. The science involved is all extremely woolly, and in the end the preferences of the individual woman is going to make *hugely* more difference to the outcome, so you might as well forget about it!

  37. I like Tarnished’s write up as well.

    Personally, i am still of the opinion that most women know their sexual power and utilize it to hold men in their orbit, men they know have romantic attraction to them. I lived in that orbit for a long time and even the woman finally admitted to it after years of keeping me ‘on the edge’ so to speak.

    I also want to clarrify the sex objects aspect. What i meant to say was not that women were simply objects to be used for sex, like a warm fleshlight or something. I meant to say that biologically men seek out woman primarily for sex. It’s what makes our species thrive. If men did not care to seek out sex, we’d all be hanging out with the guys playing video games, watching sports and drinking beer. We’d be like the Japanese herbivore men.

    If it wasn’t for sex, most men would not tolerate to hang out with *most* women. Ladies like Tarnished and others who portray tomboy traits, and actually behave like one of the guys without it feeling fake or imposing, fit well. Most women do not. Most women portray moxie and grrrrl power ‘acting’ like one of the guys. They don’t do a good job of it.

    Men primarily court women (get to know them, treat them as human, etc…) because they ultimately wish to attempt a relationship. A sexual one. Most men DO NOT go out to seek female friendship simply for the sake of friendship (unless you’re a cool chick like Tarnished). Most guys do not want to hang with the girls and deal with girl problems, listen to feelings, go shopping, endure catty discussions, gossip, reality show crap. The only instances where this happens is:

    – no choice, in the workplace you must work and interact with other females, so you become their friends
    – you already get steady sex, so you can invest in friendship without the impetus to satiate the sexual compulsion that drives you
    – you have already had sex with her and no longer need to explore the ‘what if’.. but this only works well if you are still getting some on the side
    – the woman helps you by networking, being your wingman, and finding you new opportunities with women, increasing your chances of getting into a sexual relationship. she is not an emotional leech, and actively helps forward your interests

    and lastly

    – she has a ton of interests, goals, desires, hobbies, etc.. that match up to your own. This is the one that precipitates friendzones most. TOO many ‘beta’ men (yes i still use the label because it’s apt) will romanticize a woman like this ideally based on her compatibility. How do i know? Because i was the unconfident beta, who always thought “We have so many things in common, we’d be perfect for each other.. why can’t she see that?”. Believe me, now that i ‘alphad’ up.. i can see all the errors of my thinking BUT i use it to show that i did hold that mindset, and it was a result of how i was raised and the women i interacted with and the lack of male (masculine) role models that put me in that spot.

    “Men like M3 see sex as a reward that has to be earned rather than a shared experience”

    Sex is a shared experience yes.. but between whom? The victors or the losers of the SMP? To the victor go the spoils, spreading seed and passing down descendants. To the loser goes extinction and an end to lineage. We may be civilized, but our brains still follow our evolved sensibilities. Sex has always been a competition, and always will be.

    And who are the winners of that competition?

    Not the lesser men of the world. Thats what you keep avoiding in this. And yes.. sex is a reward. Sex releases the same chemical concoction in the brain that serves as a reward mechanism. And people will repeat patterns and behaviors in order to continue being rewarded. That’s why you see a proliferation of PUA’s emerging. They’re teaching guys how to get rewarded. But some folks seem to take issue with what the PUA’s prescribe because it doesn’t follow the female imperative…

    “just as some men use β€˜pick up artist’ tactics to try and manipulate women”

    I wonder if you would say that a woman who tells a man she loves him, bats her eyelashes and flirts with men is simply manipulating men? What about a woman who uses a push up bra, false lashes, high heels, makeup? Are they manipulating men?

    Finding ways to be attractive to the opposite sex is manipulation? I would argue women who friendzone men are more manipulative than any PUA. PUA’s simply create an environment to foster natural desire and for nature to take it’s course for a night of enthusiastic, consensual sex.

    Just as many would say ‘no one is entitled to sex’ for being a niceguy.. no woman is ‘entitled’ to a relationship for giving up sex on the first date.. thats a very entitled attitude to take to call it manipulative. No woman is owed anything following sex, whether a phone call or a text or whatever. The sex is just that. Sex. No promise of relationship or commitment afterwards. This is the sexual liberation women fought for, to fuck like men! The friendzone is more duplicitous. It is the eternal promise of a ‘possible’ relationship, with very subtle hints and innuendo’s dropped to give the mark feelings of hope, just to keep him in her orbit, with no real chance of a relationship. She can easily cut him loose, but she keeps him around for attention, validation, and emotional platonic support. Now that’s what i call manipulative.

    I agree we are all individuals and that terms of alpha/beta/etc.. are simplistic boxes that all people are very hard to conform to, but these speak to generalities and observable majority behavior of society. There are leaders, there are followers. There are extroverts and introverts. There are jocks and nerds and all manner in between. And people can break out of one role for another depending on each and every situation. Yet i still believe these labels are required for general use.

    Having been someone who endured the friendzone for years, i know it’s not a myth. I know the part i played in it, and the woman confessed to the part she played in it. That’s why i’m so vehement about eradicating it and protecting the (theres that label again) beta guys from walking into that trap and telling them what we’ve all agreed on. For guys – be forthright and honest about your intentions from the start, and deal with the outcome then and there and accept the consequences of remaining friends or parting company. For girls – do not string guys along, guys you know have romantic feelings towards you. Be adamant about your position towards him and that nothing will ever come from it. Leave no room for hopeful idiots. Cut them off for their own good.

    /end of another bloody long rant.

  38. I think our fundamental disagreement is that you don’t think sex and relationships are mutually beneficial. You still think sex is something women ‘give up’ to men and relationships are something men endure to get sex. That might be your experience, but please don’t project it onto all men and women.

    I also take issue with the idea that men never want to be friends with women, or that they only seek out their company for sex. Again, speak for yourself, not for my entire gender. I like a bit of female company, and I have platonic female friends. It’s also pretty sexist to say women have to ‘behave like one of the guys’ in order to be ‘cool’ and worth hanging out with. Your opinions about what are ‘girly’ and ‘manly’ characteristics are yours alone and would be considered pretty insulting by a lot of people.

  39. @lolenjoy

    I’m not going to speak for M3 or you, but I think there’s a bit of miscommunication going on…possibly due to age or the circles/countries you’re from, maybe even just simple differences in how you were raised.

    If I may, M3 is not saying that NO men would want female friends…just as I’m sure you’re not saying ALL men want female friends. I personally know both types: men who are very comfortable hanging out with women (even non-tomboys) and men who rebel against the idea of women being good friendship material. Again, this is where two competing generalizations are like oil and water…your world views are probably never going to mix, due to majority personal experiences/relationships that make the opposing point untrue. Also, since M3 is a “denizen” of the manosphere and you seem to be a Feminist, you both may suffer from a bit of confirmation bias in dealing with your social/online circles.

    Yes, this is partially the egalitarian OP trying to find a “neutral zone”. Now, which one of you is the Federation? Hmm… πŸ˜›

    My own experience, as M3 hinted at since he’s known me for a while, is that MOST women are difficult to get along with and that I’m incredibly more comfortable with men, to the point where I’ve not had female friends since I was in 8th grade (I’m 29 now). This is not for lack of trying, they just never pan out…or I inadvertently end up missing a social cue and it has disastrous repercussions to the attempted friendship.

    This is NOT to say that “girly” things are bad, that women are bad, or that men are superior. It’s simply that I find it very hard to relate to other women, and they to me…my mother, sisters, female coworkers, and aunt included. I will touch on this a bit more in my post about being an INTJ + Enneagram 1 personality type, as my research bears out that this could be the reason behind many of my (societally perceived) issues.

    Anyway, thought I’d try to calm the waters a bit, though I’m very happy that my commenters are able to have discussions in such a civilized and polite way. Thanks guys!

  40. Thanks Tarnished. There are several things I disagree with M3 about, but this is one of the biggest:

    “Men primarily court women (get to know them, treat them as human, etc…) because they ultimately wish to attempt a relationship. A sexual one.”

    I do not treat women as human beings purely because I want to have sex with them, and I find the idea a little insulting. Women ARE human beings. As a woman (although I’m aware you don’t necessarily identify as female) isn’t it a little distressing to think that the majority of men only treat you with basic courtesy or respect because they think you might have sex with them? Because that seems to be what M3 is saying. I just think it probably applies more to him personally than to ‘most men’.

  41. @lolenjoy

    Hmm, this is a slightly more difficult question than it seems on the surface. While I don’t mentally identify as a woman, I am painfully aware that physically I am *very* womanly (large breasts, long legs, wide hips, feminine face). It creates a strange sort of cognitive dissonance, at least when others point out/comment about my femaleness. Most of the time I don’t even think of my sex/gender…I’m a person, first and foremost and other physical characteristics are purely secondary. As such, I’m often legitimately surprised when men think I’m attractive enough to ask out…could be due to my self image as a 5, but being told I’m a 7-8. Whatever.

    Also, as every one of my friends is a cis, straight, male and none of them have ever asked me out (FwB kind of excluded), I don’t believe they, or most of my customer base, is treating me as a person because they think I’ll sex them.

    However, I do get asked out every month, and I gently but firmly explain that I’m not looking for another sexual partner OR committed relationship. So far, only 4 guys have become noticeably cooler in their interactions with me since declining their offers. I’m not mad about this, as everyone has a right to think/feel as they do. If their emotional defense to rejection is to limit the time/niceties spent on said rejector…who am I to say they are “wrong” for doing so?

    This may be where the confusion lies: You are used to the idea that women are basically honest about their intentions, whereas M3 is used to the idea that women are not usually honest (whether consciously or subconsciously). As I said before, I think this is due to different life experiences.

    Example: I do not like jocks or cheerleaders, because they were generally the ones who would hurt and harass me during my middle and high school career. Thus, I’m very suspicious of people who are very athletic or say they were during grade school, as my survival instincts tell me they will probably stab you in the back or try to use gossip/social pressure to get you to do their work for them.

    At the same time, I have a coworker who used to be a cheerleader, and she is a very nice person, if a little ditzy. Does this mean that my experiences with the other jocks/cheerleaders I knew were wrong? No. Does it mean that jocks/cheerleaders in other schools could’ve been held to better standards or were just generally nicer people? Yes.

    I believe that this is what’s happening between you and M3. He has one set of life experiences that have necessarily taught him A, and you have a different set that taught you B. Neither of you is incorrect, you’ve simply reached different conclusions based on different data.

    Since my life experiences are also different and I am more of an observation type, I’m actually inclined to agree with BOTH of you, as I’ve seen situations that prove you’re equally correct. I’m sorry if this seems like a cop out, but I’m not one to take sides if it’s not entirely necessary. Someone will always find a contradiction to a generalization…and I often wonder just how much contradictory evidence is required to show that a generalized point of view is not really all that generalized.

  42. I’m relieved to hear you don’t think most men only treat you as a human because you might give them sex. I agree that the difference in perceptions could be down to different life experiences, but I believe I’m the one generalising less here. I think it’s perfectly possible for individual women or men to be manipulative or only interested in sex, I just think its wrong to say that most men don’t want to be friends with women or most women are trying to manipulate men. Those are pretty sweeping generalisations that when made about the opposite sex border on prejudice.

    As an example, looking at your experience with jocks. It made you suspicious of anyone athletic. Life experiences are important, but replace ‘jock’ with ‘black’. If I had a number of bad experiences with black people, would it be OK for me to treat all black people with suspicion? It would be understandable maybe, but it wouldn’t be any less unfair. I think the answer is to try and examine how my experiences prejudice me towards people and do my best to avoid it affecting my behaviour too much rather than simply chalking it up to my life experiences and accepting it.

    (Oh, and I also shot you an email about a previous topic. It doesn’t necessarily need a reply, I just wanted you to know about it so you didn’t come across it in 6 months time and wonder what the hell haha)

  43. (β€œMen primarily court women (get to know them, treat them as human, etc…) because they ultimately wish to attempt a relationship. A sexual one.”

    I do not treat women as human beings purely because I want to have sex with them, and I find the idea a little insulting. Women ARE human beings.)

    I don’t have much time to write up anything extensive right now so i’ll just leave it at this. When i said treat them as human – i didn’t mean in the manner you suggest. I meant it in the context we were discussing. Treating them as human perhaps poor choice of words. But it’s premise is simply this:

    – what do you consider a stranger you just met
    – what do you consider and acquaintance
    – what do you consider a friend
    – what do you consider a sexual relationship

    I treat all of them as human beings, but i don’t care to go out of my way to do things or get to know the first tier.

    i try a little harder for the second.

    I try a lot harder for the third.

    I give it my all for the fourth.

    You make it sound like im supposed treat female strangers i just met as equally among all tiers. Remember, i qualified the start of that sentence with “Men primarily court women”, court being the main word. Now, you may have a huge collection of female friends and that’s your choice and your right if that’s what floats your boat. I do not.

    And i don’t know many male colleagues who prefer the company of women unless it’s a group event among couples or a bar where people are trying to get laid. Every guy i know prefers the company of men (or the outlier girls like Tarnished who blend in well with ‘the guys’). It is only because of our desire to seek out sexual partners that we leave our video games, bars, sporting events and mancaves. Generalization? Yes. One based on reality.

    I do not make a habit of creating friendships out of women i’m sexually attracted to until after i know they are willing to entertain a sexual relationship with me. Otherwise i’d be surrounded by women i would desire to be romantically involved with (if i was single) and have no recourse but to play ‘friends’ only.

    That sir.. sounds like a recipe for blue ball disaster. But if that’s your cup of tea..

  44. “Also, as every one of my friends is a cis, straight, male and none of them have ever asked me out (FwB kind of excluded), I don’t believe they, or most of my customer base, is treating me as a person because they think I’ll sex them. ”

    Perfect example. Your customers treat you as the person you are. The person running the store. They interact with you based on the context that you have products / knowledge they seek. They are treating you at most as stranger or acquaintance.

    Treating you as a person/human. Yes. But how many of them while in the store are drilling into your daily life? Asking about your goals, dreams, aspirations? Asking about your family? Etc.. How many of your customers have crossed into friendship territory?

    Now don’t confuse ‘friend’ with the like of facebook friends or whatnot.. im talking FRIEND, the kind you drop what you’re doing for to help them out when they have a flat tire, or watch their kids or something. How many of your customers become that?

    “However, I do get asked out every month …. So far, only 4 guys have become noticeably cooler in their interactions with me since declining their offers.”

    And there is the proof in the pudding. This whole idea that we have to be friends with everyone, man, woman, child we run into is nonsense. We save our best interactions for those that we have most investment in. And for men, that is usually reserved towards those who may potentially become our sexual partners. I’m not obligated to give any more than a hello, good day, goodbye to others.

    Oh and i just caught this
    “isn’t it a little distressing to think that the majority of men only treat you with basic courtesy or respect because they think you might have sex with them? Because that seems to be what M3 is saying.”

    That’s not at all what i was saying. I hope i’ve made that clear by now. If not, please do let me know where the sticking point is. Courtesy and respect are not the frame we were discussing about friendzones and competing for sexual access.

  45. Treating women as human was quite an apt choice of words, because I just find a lot of what you say very dehumanizing towards women. ‘Sexual access’, really? Are they people or public parks?

    Like I said before if you don’t enjoy the company of women that’s fine, but you don’t need to drag everybody else in with you. Your observation really isn’t ‘based in reality’, its based on how you feel personally (and maybe your close friends). You don’t know how any other men feel, so why generalize? Usually if people feel the need to convince themselves that everybody else is thinking the same way as them its because they are uncomfortable admitting that other people might feel differently and might find their opinions disturbing.

    You also missed the point of Tarnished’s quote. She says that most of her friends are guys who don’t want to sleep with her. How does that reconcile with what you say above:

    “I do not make a habit of creating friendships out of women i’m sexually attracted to until after i know they are willing to entertain a sexual relationship with me.”

    How did those guys become friends with Tarnished? Do all of them find her unattractive, or are they all pathetic ‘beta’ males who secretly want to sleep with her? You really can’t fall back on the sexist appeal to gender roles (‘She acts like a guy!’) because how would any of them know how she acted unless they got to know her first? Could it be that maybe some of her friends are capable of being friends with women?

    If it comes down to my circle of friends versus yours, you have no friends either capable or willing to make friends with women. I have plenty of friends like that. However YOU are the one saying that nearly all men are like the ones you know. I’m not denying the existence of people like you, but you seem to be denying the existence of most people I know.

    One more point, are you familiar with the ‘no true scotsman’ argument? It’s a fallacy based on changing the definition of something to avoid being caught out on an assertion. For example you say that men don’t want to be friends with women *unless* those women like ‘guy’ things. Which gives you a neat get out clause, since pretty much any friends will have things in common, meaning you can argue that any woman who is friends with a man is ‘one of the guys’ and thus ‘doesn’t count’. You make your argument impossible to disprove. Either women can be friends with men or they can’t, saying it depends on the woman’s personality is a complete cop-out since of course friendship depends on the personalities of both parties!

  46. M3 and I sound as though we’re about the same age – in our 40s.

    It’s also quite prescient to look at song lyrics of different eras. It sounds as though both of us had acts like REO Speedwagon, Chicago, Huey Lewis etc forming some of the relational model. Pull up the lyrics to, say, Can’t Fight This feeling – http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/42874/

    “I can’t fight this feeling any longer
    And yet I’m still afraid to let it flow

    **What started out as friendship, has grown stronger
    I only wish I had the strength to let it show ** ”

    Go to the link for the rest of them – the **’d section denotes the key point – this is a shy guy who’s looking for a relationship. Slagged off nowadays as an “orbiter”, but wants to find a safe home for his heart.. and wants to commit. Actually, he CAN’T conceptualise sex without commitment because HE wouldn’t feel safe..

    Look at all the lyrics to love songs released in the 70s and 80s… Foreigner, level 42, anything Peter Cetera wrote…

    “I am a man who will fight for your honour…” this is a guy who is willing to DIE for his woman.

    And contrast to the hypergamous stuff in the female voice from Beyonce, Girls Aloud etc… eg “I want your resources, but I reserve the right to chuck you at any time if I get bored”. Pretty selfish of the woman voicing this stuff…

    Key point – i’m sure that Foreigner’s Waiting For A Girl Like You and Cetera’s Glory of Love were set in a post-coital setting… they’re the kind of spill-your-guts promises and vulnerable stuff that a romantic guy like me would probably come out with while cuddling his beloved close…

    Tracking forward, could it be said that Jay-Z’s “99 problems but a bitch ain’t one” be a lament for what was lost? The safety and comfort of “You’re my inspiration”, “Stuck with you”, “Two Hearts Collide”, “Keep On Loving You”, “Forever Tonight” etc?

    for the record, I am 43 nearly, still virginal bloke, who is recovering from low-level sexual abuse from female peers when I was between 12 and 18. Difficult holding onto hope when it appears that women want bastards… when as an Asperger guy, I don’t have a malicious bone in my body… always been the brother, never the boyfriend.

  47. @Alex Cockell

    Hello, and thanks for stopping by. First, let me say I’m sympathetic to your plight; Not only did I also go through years of sexual abuse (see my post “Unloving Kiss”), but I too have problems with certain social situations/cues. Never been diagnosed with anything though, so it’s probably just my personality type. I have a good number of customers I’m friendly with who are somewhere on the autism scale too…it is harder for them to find relationships, but the ones that have are extremely loyal to their spouses.

    I’m 29, but I’m often told I act more like I’m 39, including my taste in music lol. Just about every song you mention is on a playlist on my phone! What’s weird is that I’m not an overly romantic person…but it could be due to the fact I’ve never really seen romance so I’m unsure if it really exists anymore. For what it’s worth, I agree with you about the music. Sasha pointed out that this is the “Me Generation”, and it seems you’ve reached the same conclusion, though thru a different venue.

  48. Speaking of music, the Taylor Swift song ‘You Belong With Me’ is a perfect example of a girl being ‘friend-zoned’, with the exception of how it ends with the guy realizing he loves her instead of the more likely end of her becoming bitter and twisted about how she never got with him despite never making a move.

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