Ladies, Beware Of The “Homie” Box

September 5, 2012  |  


We talk a lot about the friend zone on this site. You know, that annoying area a man you’re interested in places you when he doesn’t want things to go beyond you two just being cool. But there’s another, slightly similar, zone men have a tendency to place women in when they don’t want to take things further with you; it’s called the homie box. Though it may sound like the same thing on the surface, as we learned from this season of “Love & Hip-Hop,” it is quite different.

The thing that most distinguishes the friend zone from the homie box is genuineness, plain and simple. Whether you like it or not, you know when you’re in the friend zone, and that’s because the man is treating you like a friend. There aren’t any flirtatious encounters, he isn’t selling you a pipe dream that somewhere down the line you will be together, you may have even had “the talk.” No, not the talk about being together, the talk where you said you were interested in him and he responded saying he likes you as a friend or thinks you two are better as friends, or only wants to be friends. However the idea presented itself, the key word was friend and there was no “girl” in front of it, nor any confusion about how he felt about you.

The homie box on the other hand? Nothing is clear in that area except the fact that the man is on games. He’ll flirt with you; call you and text you all times of the day, but mostly at night; he will try to sleep with you (and possibly succeed); and he will suggest that you two will be together at some point in the future, yet that future never comes. And most importantly, unlike the man who clearly tells you he only sees you as a friend, the man putting you in this group will never label you as anything — until you start asking questions. The moment he thinks you’re hinting at any type of “where is this going,” “what are we doing,” “what’s up with me and you” type of discussion, he will promptly give you a label you did not see coming, “the homie.”

I knew Shay was doomed when Scrappy only referred to her as such on “Love & Hip-Hop.” Any man who’s about doing anything with a chick instead of going up inside of her for free will be quick to lay claim to her as his girl in some shape, form, or fashion. Scrappy, not so much. And that’s because he had no interest in doing so — ever. Homie is the convenient label that places a woman in some type of category above friend (debateable because the level of treatment is certainly not on par with how anyone would treat a real friend) and far below girlfriend, yet provides the perks of sex, most times, and possibly other things, like putting things in your name, as Shay did, because who doesn’t look out for their homie like that? See the problem with this psychological word play?

Over the summer I was talking to a guy for a very short period of time and then he randomly disappeared on me. When I saw him out we started chatting again and he ended up calling me later on so I asked him what was up and why he went MIA. I wasn’t trying to check him like he was my man, I just thought it was weird and discourteous to go from talking to someone every day to not hearing from them in over a week and I thought some type of explanation was in order, even just to see if I’d done something I wasn’t aware of. He was giving me some BS excuse that I laughed off and replied with my standard, “OK, I see where this is going.” What I meant by that was I knew I was being fed lines and I had no interest in hearing any more of them. For some reason, he saw that as some type of relationship hint-dropping and proceeded to say, “this isn’t going anywhere, you’re my homie.”

Insert “Did he just try to play me” thought bubble with hella question marks.

The thing is, I wasn’t trying to go anywhere with this negro myself, but I thought it was humorous that he made it a point to “put me in my place,” so to speak, as the homie, just so I couldn’t call him out about any behavior. Mind you I was the same “homie” whose bed he wanted to be in for several weeks before when I was all sorts of variations of “his girl.” Had I been invested in this fool my feelings could have been hurt, but for me that was the ultimate red flag. For one, you think you can talk to me and treat me any kind of way. And two, you think that you actually have the power to place me in some arbitrary place in your life and that I would be content with it. Next.

Though that was an instance of a man clearly placing the homie title on me. This labeling comes in all sorts of variations from “we’re just cool,” to “she’s good people” and any other nondescript title you can come with that basically winds down to, I keep her around to satisfy my selfish needs and I don’t even value her enough as said homie to not lead her to believe I think more of her than I actually do. As I alluded to earlier, it’s not a box you want to be in.

When you have feelings for someone you are deathly afraid of being placed in the friend zone, but know that is a much better place to be in than the homie box. A man who lets you know he just wants to be friends at least cares enough about you to tell you he can’t reciprocate your romantic feelings but he still sees great qualities in you that make you a great friend. Any dude trying to pass you off as his homie, to your face or to his boys, is essentially after your goodies, and possibly your wallet if you’r the sugar momma type, and your value to him doesn’t go beyond what you can do for him without requiring anything in return. The friend zone sucks for a short while until those feelings pass. Getting out of the homie box can take years because you’re still carrying on feelings in hopes of them being returned one day. If you’re currently in that box the best thing you can do is save yourself because he won’t have the decency to do so.

Has a dude ever tried to place/keep you in the homie box? Are you in that category now?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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  • Men to men, here’s some advice. Go all the way or end it right away. Honesty is the best way to go. As much as it may hurt someone. It’s better in the end…

  • The Black Delilah

    The sad thing is that many guys accept that label as well.

    There are men ( Ages 23+) that are just as desperate that allow themselves to be put in the “homie category”.

    These men aren’t even boyfriends but are doing things a husband would do (going way beyond acts of courtship @ least in my opinion): i.e.: Cleaning gutters, washing cars, doing big favors for the girls mother.

    I know guys that have shown girls off to there family as their girlfriend ( note: this girl had clearly defined what he was to her on numerous occasions) and even after being shot down as being “just a friend” in front of everyone he still continued to pursue her as if they had plans of being together.

    Then again, just as one person said its all about what they will accept.

    The even sadder part is that usually the ones that are “serial homie-ers”, male and female, are the one’s that have serious issues with commitment due to there feeling like they aren’t worthy of a consistent relationship or they are deeply wounded emotionally from past rejection that those types of relationships make them feel better about themselves (meaning subconsciously their actions are intended to get back at the person that made them feel that way.) –

    In the end, that’s why its good to take your time when you enter into a relationship because at the end of the day, that person you fell in love with was once a stranger and even after love has been fallin into and ties have been made (even if they are your high school sweetheart or something like that) you have to protect your heart and time as you would if that person was a guy/female you met randomly at walmart.

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  • DidSheReallyGoThere

    Ladies: Beware of y/our tendencies to evade from our true intentions, and then we can stop blaming men for our self-inflicted disappointments. If you encounter a man whom you wish to present the commitment prospect upon the table……don’t start browsing through Bridal Dress catalogs and clearing your throats whenever the diamond ring commercials come on TV. Don’t allow your fertility to result in a baby and expect a Kendra Wilkinson deal to automatically ensue. Don’t TELL him that ‘a commitment’ is what you ‘need’ as soon as you meet him. Any man who doesn’t (in his Right mind) run from such piteous desperation is almost-guaranteed Sociopath who will cash in on the opportunity to Tell [you] what you wanna hear, use you for all you’re worth, and disappear faster than the straightened roots of your chemically-processed hair as soon as you fail being ‘of use’ TO his Sociopathic @$$! If you wanna be “Wifey”….BE his wife before you go assuming the role and subsequent expectancy that comes along with emotionally making oneself vulnerable AS IF married to a man who’s using junior high-school jargon to entitle your ‘status’ in his life.

  • Kayo

    I’ve never been in the ‘homie box’ or ‘friend zoned’.

  • I can relate

    Dead on.

  • WhoMe

    Shay and these atrocious wigs. You are in Atl, the hair capital of the world and you cant get a decent weave or lace front. Stop worrying about men and worry about your hair boo boo! Ugh!

    • disqus_WfmNqv9gsC

      and in that order

  • TeahMonae

    Scrappy had Shay’s nose wide open. He even had her speaking in that lil dumb language he made up!

    • WhoMe

      Lmfao! Biz-ny-eee. Fools!

  • NikkitaMichelle

    Been there done that. Surprised you even entertained him trying to chat it up with you again. If you go from daily contact to MIA, it’s clear that unfinished business (i.e. another chick) popped up the following week which is why you hadn’t heard from him. And now you’re the homie? I’m sure you weren’t having “homie” like conversations the week before. Deuces!

  • HaveASeat

    Great Article!!

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  • Ain’t nobody feelin’ bad for Shay! That bicth knew that Erica was still in the picture when she asked scrappy “So she don’t no about me? She don’t know about nothin? tehehehehe” Shay has been getting passed around Atlanta for 10+ years so of COURSE Scrappy played that you’re my bestfriend card. Now Women can be JUST friends with men! I got HELLA male friends. But then again I’m extremely tomboyish and I think JUST like them. They are NOT having sex with me and we have always kept it that way.

    • Keep it 100 99% of those “hella male friends” would get with you if you allowed them. Real friends don’t want to do each other.

  • Get cho life !!!

    .shay wasnt nobodies homie!! She was a sideline HO!! Erica got her together on the reunion!!! Scrappy told shay in almost every scene his heart was with Erica in so many words and shay throwing shots and her body on him trying to steal him…. I saw right thru that… The man was tellin her where they stood… But she like so many other fools wanted him at any costs… And she dam shol paid it too! If a man tellin u how he wish ANOTHER WOMAN would love him… HE DON’T WANT U!!! The end!!!

  • Get cho life!!

    Men can keep that bull callin a woman his homie… U not bout to be Talkin all that sweet ish to me one day tryin to get some and callin me a homie like I’m some ni66a the next… It ain’t GOIN down like that Patna keep it he hell movin with that… Go call the next sleeze ya homie… I only answer and respond to girlfriend or wife… And if we dating then u will act accordingly or be dis-fkn-missed and I have 0 problems doing so. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!!

    • Naija81

      ROTF #realtalkthough

  • Yokessm

    I’ve never been anyone’s homegirl unless it was a fellow female or a very gay male. Some women set themselves up to be used, what kind of woman jumps in a relationship with a guy so quick anyway?
    Girl bye
    Very well written.

  • Veratta Pegram-Floyd

    One of my male mentors told me “it is all in what you are willing to accept”. If you accept the homie box (or any variation of it), don’t ask for what you want and/or need, and stay after someone repeatedly shows you that you are an option instead of a priority, than it is ultimately on you.

  • A very valid issue, and happens all the time. But dang! The Love and Hip Hop example though? LOL

  • There isn’t anything wrong with being a ‘homie’ if you both agree on the same definition. I’ve been one before, and had the same selfish sexual needs he had, but we were friends, and knew we weren’t meant to be more.

    • Get cho life!!!

      I think this article is referring to whn a man wants to just screw around wit a woman he know wants a relationship and to keep her close and hoping and praying he calls her a dam homie… If u a skeeze just like him we wasn’t Talkin to u sweetie… SMH.

      • Na Na

        Dang why youo have to call a girl a skeeze. Are you any less of a skeeze if he calls you a girlfriend and he has several more? Please get cho life!

      • LMAO! Word!

    • Pivyque

      True. Although I don’t agree with those types of relationships, I do think that as long as people are being honest about the level of their relationship, it should be fine.

    • if you both agree to be homies. Then I think that qualifies you as friends with benefits

  • Shaybaby

    Lawd help us… she gotta bird wig in every color SMH…

  • Does she have a box of go-to bad wigs?? Because this one ain’t cute either!!

    • MLS2698

      I just want to know why is it that, when everyone gets their teeth fixed ( Scrappy, K Michelle), why do they give everyone the same ” chicklet-gum-looking-grill ?

  • IllyPhilly

    Shay put herself out there. I feel like it’s no way she should have believed the BS she was getting fed by that fool. Besides who would trust a man named Scrappy? Nickname or not womp, womp, womp!

  • Stanley

    If she’s my homie, she’s my homie. That’s all!

  • Sheena

    This is where we cue in Joseline Hernandez. As much as people think she’s skank and blah blah blah, she seems to be using “the homie” for what homies should be used for. sometimes being the homie can be great, you get to spend intimate time with someone fulfilling your physical and emotional needs while he is breaking you off financially……. oh wait Stevie J aint even have a car soo maybe not.

    My homie situation works well for me as I completely understand the guy is emotionally unavailable and i date other men as well. The benefits, one steady partner which lowers the risk of std’s (especially since we NEVER have unprotected encounters), cash flowing in in addition to my 8-5 and cute arm candy when I’m stepping out, plus I can text, hang out, go out of town, read books etc with whomever I want.

    You just have to be realistic with your self and in well command of your feelings. shay let her feelings override her common sense and if a relationship is what she wanted she should have never settled for the homie.

    • Your fooling yourself. You’ve deluded yourself that you don’t have feelings for ol’boy. For women, any man you share your body with on an ongoing basis you WILL catch feelings. Usually sooner rather than later. Furthermore you will be “emotionally unavailable” for the other men you are dating.

  • Na Na

    i love your writing Brande! you should contribute more to this site.

    • Native_Noir

      I agree!!! Brande is my fav writer on MN. I’m always looking for her name on posts.