I've been friendzoned"
Okaaaay so we’ve all been there! You’ve put in a massive effort – texting, hanging out at lunch, picking them up to go to that party together – in the hope they’ll wanna take the next step… then you learn that they don’t like you “that way”.
Cue the soul-crushing combo of disappointment, sadness, embarrassment and a miniature violin. And texting all your mates saying “I’ve been friendzoned”.
EXCEPT, the friendzone doesn’t exist (!!). Please, let us explain…
To get your head around this, it’s time to take a step toward, um, being a decent human being. Sad, but true. Because believe it or not (but just believe it), it is possible to be “just” friends.
The 'friendzone concept' relies on the idea that if you are nice and give someone attention you then you should get sex or some kind of intimacy from them. In other words, "I be nice to you, so now you have to do sex to me". But no one, ever, has to consent to sex or dating with anyone, ever.
It also gives the impression that friendship is a 'second'. But why? Sure, sex is good, but aren’t great mates an excellent great part of life? And yes, you may feel rejected for a while, you may feel like you'll never stop liking them in that way, you may feel like they just need to be convinced - but give it some time, and hold on to the idea that you are a decent human being', and you'll see...
YEP, they can befriend you with the sole purpose of being friends.
YEP, they can be curious and not sure if they’re into you, and then decide no.
YEP, they can cut it off even if you put in heaps of effort.
YEP, they don’t owe you anything.
In short: there is no such thing as the friend zone, there are just people who don’t want to sleep with you. Tough truths.
The most important things to remember is that no one owes you sex, romantic feelings or a dating relationship. Never. Not once, ever. No ifs buts maybes what-ifs.
So avoiding the “friendzone” boils down to consent and communication. Top tips:
✓ Don’t assume someone is romantically or sexually into you. Ever. Not even if XYZ, nope. You have to ask and get a positive response.
✓ Don’t assume that if they said yes once, that yes is forever. Consent is ongoing.
✓ Don’t assume the other person knows you want to do the kissing/sexing/dating with them – the responsibility is on you to tell them.
✓ You cannot control how the other person feels about you – it sucks if you’re into someone and they don’t feel the same. BUT this isn’t the same thing as them owing you feelings or sex.
✓ Do not make them feel guilty for not wanting you.
If you feel annoyed at wasted energy when someone “friendzones” you, next time try this: early on, let them know you only want to chat and hang out if they’re interested in sex or dating you. They’ll know what you’re looking for and likewise, you’ll know what they’re into. If they’re not keen then you can make your choices – shift your expectations and aim for genuine friendship, or choose to end things there.
Plus, if you only see everyone as hook-ups and feel entitled to sex and/or dating, you might watch your chances at, well, anything – friendship, dating, sex, the lot – vanish because you'll earn a reputation as being a bit of a douche.
So, how to avoid the friendzone? Recognise it doesn’t exist because people are allowed to say no thanks when you suggest sex/dating.