Confessions of a Woman Put in the “Friend Zone”: It’s Not Just For Men Anymore

16 comments
March 27, 2012 ‐ By Bianca Clendenin

Source: madamenoire.com

I was having an interesting conversation with some friends on whether women truly put their close male friends in the “friend zone.” For anyone who doesn’t know what the “friend zone” is, according to the always hilarious Urban Dictionary, it’s the following:

“What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend”. Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “Friend-ed”.”

Ironically, most of the other definitions on Urban Dictionary paint this similar picture:  that men are the sole victims to being looked at as just friends by the women they care for, but who don’t happen to feel the same way back. Or what I would call victims of unrequited love.

The way some people perceive the “friend zone” bothers me because it’s usually only implied to men. Most movies and TV shows present men who feel they are victimized in some way because they didn’t get to that next level with their romantic interest and because she didn’t share his feelings.  Just because you buy a woman dinner, or take her out on a date, or spend time with her doesn’t mean she’s automatically required to either sleep with you or become your significant other and immediately feel the way you do.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who take advantage of men’s kindness, because that would be a lie. We can all probably find a time where we’ve accidentally or purposefully played with someone’s emotions, but to think that it’s only women who do this to men? That’s my problem with the perception of it all.

I’ve been friend zoned plenty of times. I’m either too cute or too sweet to the guys I’ve found myself interest in, and I’m always someone’s “kid sister” or “one of the guys.” Guys have given me some indication that they were interested in me, but then after they get what they wanted,  be it physical, emotional–whatever–they have pulled the “You’re great and all, but we just don’t have that spark. We should just be friends.” There have been guys who I’ve liked, but their only interest in me was to be friends and they never tried to lead me on and “play” like me in a romantic sense. As much as it might happen to men, it definitely is something that women go through just as much, and it might even be worse. Whether the man in the picture gets what he wants from you (be it companionship, someone to vent to, etc) but says he “doesn’t look at you that way” or not, being thrown in the friend zone isn’t something exclusive to one sex, despite popular opinion that paints women as heartless maneaters.

What am I supposed to do if someone doesn’t like me? Make them like me? Uh, no thanks. And it’s funny, because if a woman does it she’s a crazy psycho, but if a man does it, he’s a hopeless romantic. Thank you romantic comedies such as, 500 Days of Summer and Just Friends, for proving this point.

Rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but at the end of the day if someone genuinely doesn’t like you and was honest about it, what can you do? If people had more open and honest surroundings, it would create for stronger relationships and friendships. So while Urban Dictionary and others might like to play like women always rarely know what they want, use men and then play them because they’re “too nice” and would be better used as friends, men get down the same way…

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  • Brenden

    Please re-read what you wrote:
    “There have been guys who I’ve liked, but their only interest in me was to be friends and they never tried to lead me on and “play” like me in a romantic sense.”

    Sounds like a gentleman.

    How did you demonstrate your romantic interest?

    “As much as it might happen to men, it definitely is something that women go through just as much, and it might even be worse. Whether the man in the picture gets what he wants from you (be it companionship, someone to vent to, etc)

    Seems the man was in the friend-zone already.

    cont. but says he “doesn’t look at you that way” or not, being thrown in the friend zone isn’t something exclusive to one sex, despite popular opinion that paints women as heartless maneaters.”

    Why would he look at you in this way if you are venting, providing companionship, sharing jokes etc. and respond with “Bianca, I just don’t look at you ‘Thaaat way’, let’s just be friends.

    Sounds odd to me.

    I still don’t see how you were put in the friend-zone.

    Make a move on brother, then get back to me with his replies.

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  • Blackpower1976

    Women are notorious for saying “gyrl….he’s just a friend!” ha ha and all the while SHE is just banging him!! DUDES will say “Naaaah, i’m just hitting dat or We cool” Both sexes have used the term “friend” too loosely these days. U have the infamous “friends with benefits” when a lil back it was called “cut buddies”! If a woman is my friend(platonic), please believe, i have NO romantic interest in her. I have only one best female friend and rest are ASSociates or Acquaintances…lol!

  • Nope

    Women attract more women. Sometimes a woman is essentially the bait for others he really wants. Or maybe contrary to the common implication by women that they monopolize the concept of having standards of a potential partner, men have them as well, and maybe you didn’t meet them. Get over yourself and then get over him.

  • Mls2698

    I think “ol’ skool” friend zone doesn’t exist anymore. Reason being…. when guys try to ‘friend’ women now, its just to acquire sex, but without commitment. The old reel them in by flirting, but then turn them away is classic because now, it makes the women want to be the person that pursues the relationship. In the end, after a smash session,  he will go back to not being interested. That’s the man who plays the psych role. Real “friend zone” has no smashing. He is just not that into you.

  • Tagirl

    I think a lot of times guys put women in the friend zone because they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the benefits of a relationship(companionship, confident, intimacy) but don’t want the responsibility of one(accountability). Some guys treat women as friends or little sisters, mean it and act accordingly  but others treat them like a girlfriend but at the end of the day, they can always say, “I’m not your man,” when things get too tight for them. My older male cousins always told me, if a guy says you’re this or that to him believe him. Because if you give up the goods and he hits you with that line then it’s not on him, it’s on you, because he told you where you stood with him in the beginning. All apart of the game.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GGFWL5BTXG5ID5TU2WEOFDKXAQ Felicia

    The dreaded friend zone works both ways. It does sting when you realize you are not getting anywhere. I suggest cutting your lose or just accepting it and moving on to someone who is interested romantically in all of you the friend and the lover.

  • ariesdollface

    I’m confused b/c you say you’re talking about women being friend-zoned by men but what you’re actually describing is a man “hittin it & quittin it” and offering some lame excuse to get rid of you. It might just be me but those are not the same things.

    Men who are friend-zoned by women tend to stick around for awhile because, well, men think they can eventually wear  you down; when they don’t, they leave. Sometimes women actually like the men they’ve friend-zoned just “not in that way” (it happens). Men on the other hand rarely (I did NOT say never) have female friends unless he’s gay, she’s his sister’s friend, or something. I think men are generally always thinking about sleeping with the women in their lives who are not their relatives. Perhaps that’s why you don’t hear of many cases of women getting friend-zoned.

    • OSHH

      ITA..friend zoned is when you don’t have any romantic/sexual interest in that person what so ever.
      Not when a dude wants to smash but not commit.

      • Chloe

        Hmmm, maybe about 2 – 3 years ago your intrepretation on that would have been ON POINT, but nowadays some friend zoned people are also potential if not already smash buddies — Yep, so when I hear a guy refer to a female as “my friend” and not “my homegirl” I already know… He’s hittin that but he aint’ serious about her.

        • OSHH

          That is still not friend zoned in the way most women friend zone dudes. In addtition I am already skeptical of most dudes with their female friends and homegirls or whateva hood term folks want to attach to their loose bed partners and lovers, just not exclusively of course. I know better LOL, like Ariesdollface said men rarely have platonic friendships with women, and if it is platonic it is mostly because whomever that woman is just hasn’t let it go down. Still friend zoned for me is no attraction, no dealings, no interest.

  • J16

    I sooooo completely agree with this, being placed in the friend zone as a woman sucks and it kinda takes some time in getting over the rejection but I will not beg or try to make someone like me. It is what it is, u just move on *shrug*

    • Yeah….OK

      I know thats right… Or the The guy hat flirts like crazy and then when u return the flirt puts u in friend zone without notice…. Like wtf dude!!!!! Don’t ask for me to like u especially if you are a good guy and not explain ur intentions….

      • severine

        I am having that problem right now. This guy I know flirts with me all the time, it drives me nuts cuz I really REALLY like him but whenever I return the flirt or give him the non-verbal cues that I’m digging him, he falls back and starts talking about what a great “friend” I am and how incompatible we would be as a couple. Makes me so sad/frustrated and yeah I know I should move on blah blah but in the meantime the feelings I have for him are still there. 
        Point being, men are just as good at friend-zoning us as we are there. Equally painful too.:(

        • Brenden

          Smooth Operatorrrrr!

          Better stay friends, or else a broken heart ;-)

      • Brenden

        How did the guy ask you to like him?
        Isn’t this where you decide whether to put him in the friend zone?
        Seems like the guy was just harmlessly flirting with no need to explain his intentions, he had none, just enjoying the interaction sweetheart.