Commentary: No end-zone to the friend-zone

(Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)
(Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)

In my senior year of high school, I met this girl. She was beautiful, smart, and one of the most down to earth people I had ever met.

We ran in entirely different circles – I mean, I was kind of a geek and she was popular – but she never hid our friendship or cancelled our plans or anything.

In short, she was the hottest girl to ever give me the time of day.

I took this as flirtation, and god knows I was attracted to her. So I told her how I felt.

And she friend-zoned me.

I got pissed, stopped talking to her, and told all of my friends how cold she was and how she would be lucky to be with a nice guy like me.

Someone who genuinely cared about her feelings.

Looking back…I realize what a complete and utter douche bag I was.

For argument’s sake, I’ll use the typical definition of the friend-zone: when a guy tells a girl he wants to be romantically or sexually involved with her and she says “No, I just want to be friends.”

Most often the man’s response to this is anger and comments like “Why wouldn’t you want to date me? I’m a nice guy.”

Things get progressively worse if the girl begins to date someone else: “Why is she dating that asshole when I’m a perfect gentleman? When he hurts her she’ll be sorry, and maybe she’ll finally appreciate how nice I am to her.”

Well, you self-proclaimed “nice guys,” let’s make one thing clear: the friend-zone doesn’t exist, and women don’t owe you jack shit.

You see, being a decent human being towards a woman does not mean she has to have sex with you. Being nice to someone does not equate to flirtation. Being friends with someone of the opposite sex does not necessarily mean attraction. Being a good, nice person should be everyone’s goal, not a special qualification that lets you fuck anyone you want and get pissed at them if they say no.

Oh, and if you have to tell women that you’re a “nice guy,” you probably aren’t a nice guy.

One of the main issues with the friend-zone is that it diminishes the value of friendships as a whole. It’s basically saying that a guy being just friends with a girl is some sort of consolation prize, rather than something we should all appreciate.

I’ve heard people describe the friend-zone as not getting a job you applied for, and then having the company call you every week to complain about the guy they hired.

In reality, the friend-zone is like applying for a job and getting hired for that position, then demanding a different position. When you’re denied, because it’s not the position you got hired for, you up and quit because you never wanted the first position at all.

Sounds pretty stupid, right?

You see, a man who’s put into the friend-zone feels that he is being denied something rightfully his. After all, he worked hard to compliment that girl. He was nice to her. Of course she should want to have sex with him, because he’s so nice. Nicer than any other man they could be with.

This kind of attitude puts women in the fuck-zone. The fuck-zone is a man’s attitude towards women where they basically say, “I’m never going to see you as anything more than someone to fuck.” Who needs platonic friendship when you could be having sex with every girl who’s even remotely nice to you?

The sad reality is women are often called sluts for having a right to say yes, and cold bitches who put guys in the friend-zone when they say no.

Okay, so a few guys are butt-hurt about being rejected. It’s not like all men are like that. So what?

So women are dying.

Last November, 27-year-old Mary Spears was shot dead in Detroit.

Why? For not giving a man her phone number, while at a funeral for one of her late family members.

Sixteen-year-old Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death in April of 2015 by a classmate for saying no when he asked her to prom.

There are so many violent friend-zoned men out there that there’s a Tumblr blog called Women Who Refuse dedicated to women who were harassed, beaten or killed after refusing a man’s advances. The blog has hundreds of entries. One guy killed a girl’s puppy by throwing it out her third-story window after she refused to sleep with him.

What the fuck?

Okay, I know that was kind of heavy, so here’s a joke: how many friend-zoned guys does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They just compliment it and get pissed that it won’t screw.

Really though, this friend- zone mindset is a dangerous one. Women have died for exercising their right to say no. Unfortunately, who they were saying “no” to had such an inflated sense of entitlement that it cost them their lives.

Being friends with someone is not a consolation prize. I read this post once, and I think it captures this issue perfectly:
“Women are not vending machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.”

  • Show Comments (233)

  • JulieCfromNb

    Thanks for writing this. Myself and so many of my female friends have had bad experiences turning down a guy, at bars or ‘friends’, which have included cursing and derogatory terms no matter how polite or kindly we might say it. All here in Fredericton from self-proclaimed ‘nice guys’.

    We’ve all resorted to using the ‘I have a boyfriend/am married’ line even when not, as somehow this is more respected by a lot of guys and there’s less aggression and anger.

  • Evelyn

    I really appreciated your honesty and that you took the time to write this.

  • Sarah

    THANK YOU! Sincerely, A Fellow Friend Zone Hater.

  • Dan

    Good article. I would suggest including attributions with quotes you use. A 0.00000003 second Google search led me to the author of the quote you ended your piece with.

    • Fallgirl

      Awesome, Dan. How about you add it here?

  • Patience

    Friendzoning is actually like *not* applying for a job, but following the company around online hoping they’ll notice you and hire you and being bitter that they don’t.

    If you want to go out with someone ask them out. If they say no, move on. Sure rejection hurts, but its better than waiting around for something that may never happen. At least you know.

    • Ashlea

      I would disagree with your comparison and prefer the author’s. What you described is stalking. *shivers* The article is trying to make the point that friendship itself is equally valuable and should not be ruined because a woman isn’t interested in something DIFFERENT (not “something more.”) The article is trying to explain how a person can want to spend time with another person, go out for coffee, watch movies, chat on fb, and engage in friendly activities without being romantically involved. It’s saying that women have the right to say “I enjoy you and might invite you over to my house alone, like I invite my lesbian friend over alone, and we will make pizza and complain about the current political climate and that’s about it, because I enjoy your company, but, like my lesbian friend, I have no wish to kiss you. Also, can you pick up some pepperoni on the way? That was not an innuendo,” and then not get raped.

    • Anon

      Better yet, when they’ve made their feelings known but the friend doesn’t feel the same way- “applying for the job and getting rejected but still following the company around hoping you will get the job”…..lol

  • Naomi Rivkis

    Thank you, for being one of the relatively rare young men who really ‘get’ what’s wrong with the whole concept of the friend zone, and for stating it clearly and eloquently, so maybe some others will learn, too. (Incidentally, the quote about kindness coins is from Sylvia Plath.)

  • Gneeva

    I was stalked by an extremely jealous ex-boyfriend (why we broke up) whow would call me up whenever I went out of town wanting to know where I’d been. He would tell me what time I left and what time I returned. After a teen girl and a divorced were bother killed by exes within a week, I came home after visiting my family for the weekend and waited for him to call. I told him, “Since you’re stalking me, there’s something you need to know. If you continue to stalk me, I am going to buy a gun and kill you.” He hasn’t called since. I was working for a newspaper as a reporter and wrote a series of article about domestic violence which featured the account of a nurse who was stabbed in the back by her ex and only lived because she knew what to do and another woman who was being stalked and harassed by her ex. He asked to tell his side of the story to my male editor. This issue is very serious and I so appreciate this post. Thank you.

  • matthew

    what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind?
    what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support? what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?
    what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight?
    what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out?
    what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?
    what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?

    what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?

    • Kclag

      Just because you’re lonely doesn’t mean women are obligated to have sex with you.

    • Misty

      swap your gender pronouns and see if you still think that’s justified as the object of that person’s desire – would you want to be obligated to solve their situation?

    • Patti

      Matthew, of course men deserve a loving relationship, but just like women don’t always get the guy they’ve been genuinely in love with since childhood, women often don’t get the time of day from a guy when they don’t have large enough breasts or too much tummy, and women also get rejected or overlooked or any number of things and can also feel despair – we all have a right to be attracted – or not – to whomever we are attracted to (however bad a choice that might be), without fear for our safety or lives if it is not reciprocated. And we are all responsible for our actions when we don’t get what we want from others in this world. And those actions should include respect. Especially if we truly loved that person, and are truly a good person.

    • Jess

      No woman owes those men anything.

    • Ray

      What about the women who suffer the exact same problem? While those are all very sad things, women are still allowed to say no and have a type. I know plenty of guys who have a type and those women are bad for them. The double standard happens when the guy feels he is able to force a relationship on someone and a woman cannot.

    • Mark

      what about ’em? I was most of those ‘guys’ you mention up through my early 20s. And I am overweight. But then I got over feeling ‘entitled’ to a relationship/sex/whatever. Was it hard? Was I depressed? Did I go through suicidal periods? YES. So what? Unless you get over that sense of sex entitlement and do some research into the concept of CONSENT, you won’t get anywhere.

    • William Ballou

      Women still don’t owe you sex. It doesn’t MATTER what kind of a guy you are, you DO NOT have the authority and women DO NOT have the obligation to fuck you. Period. End of story.

      You’re overweight? Dedication and training, coupled with dietary changes can help. If that doesn’t change your weight, develop unique and interesting skills to attract women, cause they still don’t owe you shit just for being a “Nice dude”

      You genuinely show emotion and care about people? Great! You’re prime material to be a friend someone can lean on when they’ve had their heart torn open. That kind of ear is invaluable as a friend, relationships change that dynamic. Self sacrifice is all well and good, but at the end of the day, WOMEN STILL DON’T FUCKING OWE YOU SHIT.

      What I’m getting at, is all your reasons, all your commentary about “Oh those poor boys” doesn’t change the matter that NO woman, under ANY circumstances owes ANYONE their bodily autonomy. If you can’t understand that, you really need to sit down and consider what you’d do if a guy/girl you had no interest in RELENTLESSLY pursued you as a sexual object.

    • Ashlea

      Then, he should be happy that he already has a wonderful relationship with her. Unless she’s only a “friend.” Holding onto friendships that have to be put in quotation marks is not healthy, whoever the other party is. If that’s not sufficient, then he should look around and find another woman who is also looking for someone to provide love and affection and will appreciate what he wants to give. Instead of being upset that he’s not able to receive love, he can focus on an *appropriate* place to give love, instead.

    • Terri

      While I have compassion for the guys you’ve listed, *not one* of those items you’ve listed entitles a guy to anything at all from a woman who isn’t interested in him.

      If he is vulnerable, wants a real relationship, is loyal, truly loves someone, etc., etc. — SHE STILL DOESN’T OWE HIM ANYTHING. He is not owed a woman for his good qualities, and he is not owed a woman to meet his needs. The entitlement is sickening.

    • Arig

      What about no one owes you a damn thing was hard for you to understand?

    • Joanne

      Then he mans up, tells her how he really feels, and gets rejected or doesn’t. He doesn’t just hang around wishing and hoping. If the guy who’s friends with a girl with a douchebag boyfriend thinks that they guy is a douchebag and really believes she can do better, he should tell her exactly that and that he’s applying for the position. If I had a close male friend who told me he was interested in me, I’d hear him out. And, for that matter, I have. And we’re still good friends and both with other people now(I’m married, and he’s in a serious relationship with a woman and they’re trying to have children). I told him that while I wasn’t necessarily interested in him that way, I would have given him that chance. He said he knew I would, but he didn’t want to ruin what we had because THE FRIENDSHIP means that much to him. We’ve been friends since childhood, about 15 years now. He genuinely loved me since childhood, as you describe. I love him too, but not romantically. That could have become the case, but we both agreed it was for the best that it didn’t. Truly loving someone means having their best interests at heart, no?

    • Minerva

      What about them?
      They should find a woman interested in having a romantic relationship with them, because they’re not OWED anything by their female friends except understanding and sympathy – you know, what friends offer one another in a bad situation.

      What about the homely looking girl who is the mental and verbal match for the cool guy in class, and yet he always ends up dating the blond bimbo with the big tits?

      What about the pretty girl who thinks she’s FINALLY found a TRUE friend who likes her for who she is, not for her looks or her tits – and then she is betrayed in the worst fashion possible, when it turns out her friend just considers their friendship an “investment”.

      There is NO OBLIGATION to offer consolation sex or marriage if you are FRIENDS.
      Would you expect your male friends to offer a quickie if you’re feeling frustrated? I know I don’t expect that from either male or female friends…

      Everyone remotely decent deserves to love and be loved in return. What they don’t “deserve” is that one hot chick they’ve got their eyes on to give in and have sex/enter a relationship with them JUST cause they’re friends.

    • Becky

      It sounds like you’re trying to say these things are the woman’s fault. The guy’s mental health is not her responsibility. Guys don’t get rejected “because he actually shows human emotion”. There are other reasons behind it. These guys need to work on their issues and their self-esteem. They cannot hold one girl responsible for their happiness.

      “What about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like…” This isn’t love, it’s obsession and false entitlement. Try being friends first instead of making demands.

    • Sparklys@sbcglobal.net

      So your “what abouts” are more important than a person’s right to be in a relationship with whomever he/she chooses?

      “Well, I’m sad and lonely, so because I find you attractive and have been nice to you, you must date me.”

      Ugh… you are part of the problem.

      • Rosey

        great response 🙂

    • Sue

      So she owes him sex? The poor guy deserves to know what true love feels like so his chosen target owes him sex? She owes a guy sex because he’s rich and overweight? Or poor and skinny? She owes him sex because he doesn’t approve of her boyfriend? She owes ANY guy sex because he exists and wants it?

      I think you missed the point, matthew.

    • Manda

      These statements are all very admirable and I hope that you haven’t had to experience them personally…. but unfortunately all of these things can’t change the way a person feels about you. Love isn’t something you can force. You can however see that this person isn’t reciprocating your feelings and find someone who will love you as much as you love them. Friends are sometimes just friends and that’s all they were ever meant to be.

    • Firefey

      What about them?

      If a woman chooses a tatooed loser she has made her choice. HER choice what to do with her body. Deal with it.

      The overweight guy can persue other women. And frankly most of these guys refuse to give the time of day to any woman who isn’t model thin and smokin hot. And while everyone is allowed to be attracted to whom they desire (yes even women) perhaps limiting one’s pool of potential candidates is the issue. Not that women won’t fuck a chubby guy.

      Suicidal guy should get therapy and not expect women to do the emotional work of making his life have meaning. Besides you can’t fuck someone out of clinical depression and expecting women to mercy fuck someone so he doesn’t comit suicide is so beyond emotional blackmail.

      Rejected because of human emotions guy and childhood friend guy shoukd maybe examine their past actions. Because women don’t owe either of them sex. No one owes anyone sex.

      And if you’ve never known affection because your parents sucked and you have no friends and you don’t even love yourself…again get therapy. It is not a woman’s job to fix you with her pussy.

    • Laura

      I feel for them – but why is it the woman’s responsibility to date them?
      What if she doesn’t want to date him?
      What if she’s not attracted to him?
      What if she doesn’t want the attention?
      What if the guy with the tattoos is attractive to her?
      What if she isn’t dating for a financial future?
      What if she has her own mental illness issues, and isn’t prepared to take on his?
      What if she rejected him not because of emotions he showed – but because she just wasn’t into him?
      What if the childhood friend just wasn’t that into him, and thought they were just really good friends?

      What if there’s someone else there who will give love and affection willingly and wholeheartedly?

      Sincerely,
      A girl who has been in a guy’s ‘friend zone’ – and didn’t take it as she was worthless

    • Heather

      “Well, you self-proclaimed “nice guys,” let’s make one thing clear: the friend-zone doesn’t exist, and women don’t owe you jack shit.”

      …. Also, just a suggestion, maybe its you that has a bad taste in girls?

    • Jesse

      Those are all his problems, not something she owes him for. You do something kind because you want to do something kind, not because you expect a reward. If you’re doing it because you expect some kind of reward, then you are NOT a “nice guy”.

    • Drew

      You didn’t read the article did you? If you did, it’s obvious that you didn’t understand it at all. You can’t deserve another human being. If these men were actually good they would know that.

    • Erin

      Those guys haven’t found the right girl yet. Be patient and hang in there. When it’s right, there won’t be any question of the “friend zone” or not.

      I know this because if you switched all the “what about the guy” questions to “what about the girl,” you’d be describing me. It took longer than I would have wanted, but I eventually found my perfect person. And once I met him, it was easy. Give it time, and start reminding yourself of why you’re awesome. Once you’re confident in yourself alone, it’s amazing how much more interested other people start to become.

    • Heather

      You still deserve all those things, but not from anyone in particular. Your desire isn’t a hostage taking.

      If someone isn’t into you, move on.

    • Anne Horner

      No woman owes those guys anything.

    • JimC

      That’s sad for him, and unfortunate. But the universe doesn’t owe him a woman to fix it.

    • Mike

      Well, despite however noble those men’s emotions, goals and aspirations might be, relationships need to be founded on a two way street. It doesn’t matter that one person is absolutely head over heels for another if that other person doesn’t feel the same way. It’s difficult, but those people need to move on. It’s no one’s job to love another human being who they don’t have romantic feelings toward. And really, why would anyone want to be with someone who didn’t return those feelings anyways? For guys, girls, transgendered, or nongendered people, if the apple of your eye doesn’t see you in that light, keep looking. If you’re so lonely that you feel like you’re going to do something to harm yourself, that is generally when you should ask for help from your family, friends and even a psychiatrist if you’re desperate. I believe that everyone in the world has the capacity to love and be loved and it’s just a matter of finding someone who you click with and who clicks back. To return to the matter of the original article though, even if the man pursuing an uninterested woman is in pain, is truly and madly in love, it still doesn’t give them the right to expect returned feelings from someone who just isn’t interested back. Best of Luck, Matthew, I’m sure you’ll find that special someone. And to the writer of this article. Thank you very much for this inspiring piece and for your honesty. Best of luck to you as well.

    • Nicole

      And what about a woman’s desires? Are you suggesting a woman yield to what she finds repellant, out of pity or duty to a friend? That a woman participate in a relationship she does not want because a man shows consideration? Is the free will of a woman nullified when a “nice” man desires her and would have her for himself? In the pursuit of happiness women get to choose whom they share their time and body with even if it’s a lesson learned. Women make mistakes too, and get to fix them if they want, or not.

      If a man is spending his time with a woman who does not want him, he needs to concern himself with being the cause of his own well being because no one owes him anything. He owes himself the happiness he deserves. No one can waste your time but you.

    • ZaCloud

      Matthew, the answer is this: No, that guy is still not entitled to her saying “yes”. A woman is under no obligation to go out with someone out of pure pity, against her own wishes. A woman will go out with someone she is attracted to, and that’s that. If she goes out with him out of pity or a sense of obligation, then it will not be “real.” It’ll be a burden to her. She’ll be wasting her time and feelings and energy, instead of pursuing what she truly wants. If you love someone, you want them to be happy.

      Instead, you want her to be UNhappy just to fulfill your wants. That’s not love. That’s using her.

      Let her make her own choices. Let her make her own mistakes and learn from them. Meanwhile, find other purposes in life. I’m single, I’m lonely, I deal with it. I can still draw, animate, edit AMVs, write, and create to bring joy to others around me. I can play video games, socialize in book stores where fellow browsers show common ground, go to animal shelters and brighten the animals’ days with some attention, cheer up elderly people in nursing homes, sing in the shower, go jogging.

      Nobody is obligated to do anything for anyone. That’s why you need to live for yourself. Only if you find someone who, in living for themselves, ALSO chooses you to be part of that, will you find a true relationship.

      P.S. – If you’re that lonely and hopeless, then you should be HAPPY that a girl “friend-zones” you… Because that means she considers you a FRIEND! Shouldn’t you enjoy her friendship? Shouldn’t you, once you get over the rejection gracefully and in private, BE a friend to her and spend time with her, nurturing your bonds and adding meaning to your life?

      A friend should be VALUED, not seen as nothing at all. If you’re still ungrateful toward her for being friends with you… then you do not see her as a human being, do not respect her, and certainly do not deserve her.

    • Kristin

      What about that guy? Who cares? If the girl isn’t attracted to that guy, SHE’S NOT FRIGGIN ATTRACTED TO HIM. You can’t FORCE a woman’s affection. It’s a two-way street, bub.

    • Joanne

      What about them Matthew? Is is the responsibility of a woman to make a man feel better about himself? Man or woman, if someone can’t figure out why they aren’t getting the love they want, s/he might want to consider therapy.

      My motto for a long time has been: to attract who and what I want, I need to become who and what I want.

      Like will attract like and if you have failed relationships, the common denominator is not who we choose, it is ourselves.

    • allie

      ……what about a woman’s right to decide who she wants to date, for whatever reasons SHE decides are right for her?

      • allie

        ….what about we don’t owe you anything, at any time, ever?

        ….what about women getting to decide their own criteria for dating someone?

        …..what about your sad story not “earning” you the right to demand a relationship?

        …..what about you’re not entitled to anything from anyone?

        …..WHAT ABOUT YOU READ THIS ARTICLE AGAIN AND THEN DECIDE IF YOU REALLY NEED TO ASK ALL THESE “WHAT ABOUTS” THAT EXCUSE YOU FEELING LIKE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND SEX/LOVE/RELATIONSHIPS FROM WOMEN REGARDLESS OF WHAT *THEY* WANT?

    • Deb

      I don’t mean to be unkind. But, what about them? Is it heartbreaking? Is it sad? Does it seem unfair? Absolutely! But does that mean a woman he has feelings for owes him something? I’m sorry, but the answer is no. She doesn’t. She can like him and value his friendship and treat him with the respect any good friend deserves without being obligated to reciprocate in a more intimate or romantic way just because he’s nice and cares about her. Or she may not, in fact, like him at all for reasons that can be justified or not. People are allowed to chose their friends and romantic interests without having to explain themselves to anyone. Why we are attracted to certain people and not others doesn’t always make sense, even to ourselves. It just is. And it’s not just men who are lonely and desire to know what true love and affecttion feels like. There are plenty of women who experience the same heartbreak.

    • Cody

      those guys dont get to say, what about me?!

      everyone makes their choices. if she doesnt choose you, move on. if she chooses someone that ends up bad, thats not your problem. its not your fault. its not your life.

      when you act like it is, what youre saying is, she should be mine. her life and her decisions are not hers to make, shes not able to make the right decisions anyway, im the man, i can make the right decisions for her.

      you have to stop that. its gross. it doesnt matter why any one rejects you. they can reject you for the worst most disgusting most terrible reasons, and that doesnt mean you have the right to retaliate or have those kinds of thoughts. it means MOVE ON.

      youd never be happy with that person any way

    • Jessica

      what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind? – Maybe you’re looking at the wrong girls. There are plenty of girls who like quiet, relationship-minded guys.

      what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support? what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time? – You can’t control who someone else is attracted to. If you feel that a friend is making poor choices, you might need to distance yourself from her, but you’ll never be able to change who she’s attracted to. In fact, continuing to support her life choices, listening to her complain, helping her out, etc. is just enabling her to stay with the other guy. Why would she break up with him for you? She’s already getting the best of both worlds – she gets the boyfriend with the 6-pack to sleep with and she gets you for emotional support.

      what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight? – Girls are rejected for being overweight far more often than guys are. Do you ever date overweight girls? If you’re not attracted to overweight girls, you needs to realize that maybe the girls you’re pursuing are just not attracted to you. Why are women the only ones who should have to look past physical attraction?

      what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out? – Anyone who is suicidal can’t blame “women” for those problems. There are probably other issues at play. If this is a personal statement, please talk to a counselor or mental health professional.

      what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes? – No woman is rejecting a guy “because he shows emotion.” Obviously there are other reasons why she’s not interested. And if she doesn’t like you, aggressively pursuing her will only annoy her. Just move on.

      what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood? – The length of time you’ve known someone has no bearing on whether or not they want to be with you romantically. Again, just move on.

      None of these issues are valid. You’re blaming women for things they can’t help. People can’t control who they fall in love with or who they’re sexually attracted to. If you ask a woman out and she says she’s not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you, she’s not doing it just to be contrary or hurtful. She’s being honest with you so that you can move on and find someone else.

      “The friend zone” is created by the man. If you ask a woman out and she says no, but you continue to hang around and try to win her over, that’s on you. You’re CHOOSING to stay in that zone. If you want to be friends with her, great! Stay friends. But if you’re not interested in friendship and only want romance or sex from her, once she says no, it’s YOUR decision to stick around or not.

    • Pat

      The Quiet Guy: Accept that it may take longer to find the right woman if you are shy. Look for groups where you can get to know people who share your interests. Getting to know people in group settings without the dating pressure may be easier.

      The Support Guy: If it is too painful for you to provide support to someone who doesn’t return your feelings, it is OK to back away. She’ll be fine and you will be happier.

      The Friend of a Girl Dating a Douchebag: It isn’t your choice. It’s hers. Again, if it’s too difficult for you to remain friends with her, back away.

      The Overweight Guy Who’ll Make Money Someday: Focus on your own interests and your own future. Find others who share your interests and broaden the types of women you talk to. (Are you limiting the women you approach based on THEIR looks?)

      The Guy Contemplating Death: Find a counselor immediately who can help you work through the loneliness. Rejection is part of life, we all need to develop healthy coping skills.

      The Emotional Guy: If someone actually rejects you because you “showed human emotions” she is a sociopath and not worth your time.

      The Guy Who’s Loved her Since Childhood: If she hasn’t returned your feelings in all that time, she never will. Get some help finding positive ways to move on. Love is a gift. You have given it. Now move on. She is not required to return your feelings.

      The Guys Who Deserve Love: No one. NO ONE has a right to have their feelings reciprocated! If you love some and they don’t return your feelings, it hurts, but a relationship takes TWO willing participants! None of us get everything we want in life. Live your life, focus on the good, surround yourself with supportive friends, and be the best person you can be.

    • andrew

      Hey Matthew, I sense frustration, and I understand where you’re coming from.

      That feeling is familiar, and I hate that feeling. Like *what’s so wrong with me* how come she doesn’t like me back, especially after all this time?

      All you can do is put your best foot forward, be clear with your expectations, be clear with your feelings, and let the chips fall where they may.

      If she’s not into you for whatever reason, accept it, move on, and try to improve yourself.
      Not for HER, but for YOU.

      This way, when the next gal comes along, you’re a better man, and you’re READY to give it your best shot again.

      Wallowing in self pity, being angry and bitter about the friendzone will only ruin your chances with the next girl. Am I right?

    • HerMeowjesty

      It still doesn’t matter. Maybe a guy is genuinely nice, but that still doesn’t mean that any woman “owes” him a relationship/sex. Maybe a girl rejects her friend for shallow reasons and/or she has terrible taste is men, but it’s still HER CHOICE to make if she wants to.

      And it’s not really true love if a woman is only in a relationship if she feels like she has to be, regardless of how badly her friend might “need” it.

    • Anonymouse

      As a man, I will be happy answer all these-

      1. Get on eharmony or some shit. You ‘ll get matched up with someone with similar goals.
      2.Support her as a friend, or don’t offer support. But dont offer support hoping to get some sex out of it.
      3.Accept you are not what she is looking for, and move the fuck on.
      4.Hang in there- you’ll find the gold digger you’re looking for one day.Also, take your money and spend it on a gym membership if you are unhapoy with your weight.
      5.Get proffessional help, and when you are have your shit under control see #1.
      6.Be happy. A man has lost nothing, yet a woman has lost someone who lived her. Also, move the fuck on.
      7.See #6.
      8. No one deserves shit. Focus on fixing yourself- fix your perspective, your bad habits, and most of all your shitty attitude. Until you realize, and truly accept, you DON’T need female companionship, then women are going to see you as possessive, needy, and scary. So fix yourself, live your life, if you find love GREAT! If not, also fine!

    • Mm

      What about them? It’s sad that their lives aren’t what they want then go be, but clearly they need to work on themselves before they should be in a relationship. Women owe you nothing, regardless of how good you thing your intentions are, just like you owe them nothing.

      That tattooed six pack guy might actually be a decent person. Chances are as the friend you must hear about the frustrations, which happen in every relationship. People love a good friend, and I’m 100% behind men and women being good friends (the majority of my close friends are guys), but that doesn’t mean that these women that you are friends with “owe” you a relationship just because you are friends. If you can handle the friendship after a rejection then that’s great! If not, and the only reason you held on to friendship was to potentially date her, then move on and get over it.

      It’s like you didn’t even read the article.

      • Joey

        I totaly agree that no girl owes a man anything and that kindness is its own reward. With that being said for me personaly the problem comes from when a girl keeps dating assholes then starts complaining to me about how they screwed her over and over again they dont want a friend for advice cuz they dont listen they want a friend to complain to. I have many friends that r girls and while it sux and its hard to accept the fact that it will only be a friendship put ur big boy pants on and deal with that shit if ur not mature enough to be friends with someone from the opposite sex ur probably not mature enough for a serious relationship. Like i tell all my friends male or female if u ask for my advice and dont take it i dont want to hear u complaining later u need a shoulder i got u, u need a hug i got u, u need an ear igot u as long as its not about something i warned u about. With all that being said dont forget the best things about having a girl as a friend…they also have girls that r friends, think on that

        • Lola

          So, if a girl wants to be your friend, she must let you make decisions for her, and you don’t want to hear about it if she makes her own decisions that you disagree with, and they turn out to be mistakes?

          You should probably think about the fact that this sounds like something a controlling, emotionally abusive person would do, and that is no kind of friend at all.

    • Sophie

      That guy still doesn’t get to dictate who wants to date him. Loving someone when it’s unrequited is painful, no one’s saying it isn’t. But should his love interest force herself to date him just because he loves her? If she doesn’t love him in a romantic way, then she doesn’t. She can’t force herself to and he definitely can’t.

      If he’s a genuine human being with something to offer the world, then he should find people who appreciate what he has to offer. He can’t try to force people to love him just because he thinks they should.

      If a woman is interested in a man, she won’t reject him because of his emotional interest in her. If a woman is not interested, a man cannot force her to be interested. It will only destroy him trying.

    • Emily

      Still isn’t entitled to another person

    • Alli

      The guy with all the problems, Matthew-is still not the woman he likes’ obligation.

    • Mac

      Counselling works wonders to help people of all genders understand how to cope when they can’t have everything they want even if they want it really really badly and are so nice they’d be raptured tomorrow if rapture was a thing. Seriously. Trained counselors are available and do make a difference.

    • dee

      and when it happens to girls:
      – what about the quiet girls who have real relationship goals in mind?
      – what about the girl who wants to be there for the man se likes when he needs support?
      – what about the girl who has spent years as a “friend” for a guy when his “wpman” of choice is a dumb gum-chewing cheerleader who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?
      Answer for both genders:
      – deal with it.

    • Tylee

      @matthew
      Listen, first of all people have the right to be attracted to who they’re attracted to. The guy who’s “rejected because he’s overweight” is probably also willing to reject girls for being overweight. There’s nothing wrong with that, you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to and you can’t hold that against someone.

      Second, being there for a woman you like when she needs support is called BEING A GOOD FRIEND. I’m there for my male friends when they need support, just like I’ll be there for my female friends when they need support. You don’t need to be romantically involved to care about someone. If you think someone owes you something for caring about them, then you’re not a friend at all. You’re not a nice guy, you’re an opportunistic asshole.

      Third, “what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him”…. I’m sorry, you only get a bit of pity from me for this and that’s only because I’ve been there before. No friends in high school, made fun of for my race. You know what the solution was? Look inward and figure your shit out. Actually be willing to criticize yourself so you can change for the better. Basically, grow the fuck up.

      Finally, on that last note of yours, no one “deserves” to know what true love and affection feels like. You earn that right, just like everything else in the world. The only thing anyone deserves is a chance and the benefit of the doubt. After that, it’s up to you to make yourself worthy of the things you want in life. Do it yourself if you can, seek out guidance if you need help. But absolutely do not sit there and whine to everyone about how life isn’t fair. You can get the things you want out of life, you just need to apply yourself.

    • Cory

      None of those are reasons why I woman should have to have sex with you. If she’s attracted to tattooed jocks then that’s it. Would you force her to be attracted to you? Are you attracted to every woman? No. One. Is. Obligated. To. Have. Sex. With. You. Go find someone who wants to and be good to them.

    • Amanda

      What about them?? Are you seriously trying to say that women are obliged to have a relationship with these men?? Some sort of make-a-wish charity fuck?
      This is so fucking entitled. What about the woman who happens to want her muscly tattooed but slightly slow boyfriend? Doesn’t she deserve to have what she wants? Oh, wait, you want to be the judge of what she deserves too, don’t you?
      There are plenty of women and men who have partners who are better looking than them. Whether they deserve them is not the point. The point is that they earned them.

    • Ziva Goldman

      What about them? Don’t you think that there are women in the same boat? What about the woman with the mousy brown hair and an extra 30 lbs on her wanting Mr Right when he prefers blonde barbies? What about the girl who has been in love with her friend since childhood and he thinks of her as a sister? It goes both ways, but that isn’t what the article is about! It’s about the attitude of men who think they deserve something just because they are kinder, known her longer, helped her out. With your list of “What about guys” you sound like the man this article is referring to!

    • Ehlionney

      What about the girl who feels terrible having to turn him down because she genuinely thinks he’s a nice guy and doesn’t want to have to hurt his feelings, but she’s just plain not interested in him?

      What about the girl who actually liked the nice guy but he never said anything so she thought he wasn’t interested, and then another guy that she also liked DID say something so she dated him?

      What about the girl that has to put up with her best friend trashing her boyfriend who is actually a really nice guy, just because he’s jealous?

      What about the girl who knows that the “nice guy” friend is actually a jerk, he’s ONLY nice to her, and she knows that it’s only a scene to get in her pants? Because honestly, that’s exactly what most “nice guys” are… Douches who think that there a nice guy just because they did something nice to one person, when they don’t ever do anything nice for people they don’t want to screw.

      What about the girl who is lesbian but her guy friend constantly harasses her about trying to date him to see if she likes guys, when she already knows she doesn’t.

      What about the girl who knows that even though she gets along with this friend at work/school/whatever social environment they meet in, they wouldn’t get along if they were constantly around each other because they’ve both got habits that the other can’t stand.

      The entire reason why this “friend zone” crap is bullshit, is because guys like you claim to be a nice guy and yet NEVER consider the point of view or the feelings of the girl. You’re too narcissistic to be a nice guy, and I’m willing to bet that’s exactly what the girls in your life saw that made them turn you down.

    • TootsNYC

      There are women in exactly the same situation. And yet, would you insist that the man they choose MUST have a relationship with them?

      Why should any woman choose to be in a relationship out of pity for the guy?

      What guy WANTS to be in a relationship with a woman who doesn’t really want to be there?

      I get that it’s tough when you want love and can’t find it. And it’s tough when the person you’re attracted to isn’t attracted to you. But the solution is not to force someone to be in a relationship with you against their actual inclination.

    • Thelia

      What about him?

      Women go through similar rejections but no one gives a fuck if a man rejects a woman’s advances. He’s a ‘stud’ and it’s OK for him to say no, because men CAN say no with fewer social implications and issues.

      A woman says no, she’s a bitch.
      A woman says no, she’s a prude.
      A woman says no, she doesn’t deserve a ‘nice guy’ anyway.
      A woman says no, she gets shit about it from so many people.
      A woman says no, guys think getting pissed off and inflicting violence on her is completely rational, because they think she deserves the abuse.

      Stop assuming that being a good friend means she’ll fall in love with you because you just have to keep at it until you wear her down.
      That’s not being a good friend or a nice guy. That’s being a closet asshole.

    • lil

      Thank you summing up this issue so clearly.

      No guy ‘deserves’ a relationship. Nor does any woman. That’s not how love works. It is how oppression works though, where the needs and desires of men are put above those of women.

      If your aim was to highlight this issue, right on.

    • Boop

      You seem to be assuming that this article is dismissing victims of the friend zone as unworthy of love and affection.

      That is not the case. This article is saying that a rejected person’s bad feelings about being rejected do not justify harassment, stalking or murder. Hurt feelings are not justification for breaking laws and violating other people’s rights.

      I would also like to point out that the notion that women do not owe men anything, should really be broadened to the more accurate “The World does not owe anyone anything.”

      The US Constitution calls it “the pursuit of happiness” after all. Happiness is not an inaliable human right. It is a privalege and something that must be actively sought. It is not guarenteed and the pursuit of it can be difficult to impossible. For some it will come easy, for others it may never come. It’s the lottery everyone plays and few win for more than breif moments.

      So about those men? I am sorry for their troubles, and I wish them better luck in the future. But their hurt does not justify violating the right to refuse the targets of their affections have as fellow humans.

      They are all in pursuit of happiness. Let us hope most of them can find it.

    • Pete

      He should stop being obsessed and find a girl who DOES appreciate him and will. Or maybe if he is actually friends with the girl and not just “friends”, they’ll both grow up, mature and realize they are meant to be. No girl owes a guy a relationship more than being friends and no guy owes a girl that either. Everyone deserves to be loved yes, but if your focus is on one person only and you think they owe you love and/or sex because you “deserve” it because they’re your “friend”, time to see a psychologist, dude. Quiet guy will find someone who will make him not so quiet, the supportive guy will support both his friend and the girl he will marry, the “friend” will either be a real friend and support her choice of man or he’ll continue to be a “friend” and will end up being the “asshole who just wanted to get in my pants by trying to pretend to be my friend”. Financial future guy should focus on someone who is interested in him and not his paycheck. Guy who is alone can be a whole bunch of guys. Maybe he’s an obnoxious asshole, maybe he just smells. Maybe he’s in highschool and will find a girl and get married before any of the popular guys will. If he’s rejected maybe he came on too strong? Maybe that woman wasn’t a friend in the first place? he’ll find someone who appreciates that he’s sensitive. Girl he loves since childhood, hey sometimes it doesn’t work out. move on and find someone who appreciates you. Or maybe that girl is still young and worried about image, and will realise that she too loves him and now doesn’t care what other people think. If you are a good guy you’ll find someone.

    • Jo

      Those attributes still do not make him entitled to sex with a woman who is not attracted to him. Yes, he deserves love, but he isn’t allowed to demand it.
      Why would he even be attracted to and wasting time with a girl who would choose such a douche bag? Doesn’t that prove that he and the girl are on different paths? He should move on and maybe look inward.

      All humans have experienced unrequited love. And some of us experience that with a touch of codependency. We see that person as the ultimate goal and put them on a pedestal of perfection. I’ve personally done it. “I care so much for him; why won’t he see that I would worship and adore him and be the best girlfriend ever?”
      Then I realized I had to focus on myself to be a whole person who didn’t require another human to make me whole.

      And please…. Please don’t ever think it’s okay to blame a woman for suicide just because she doesn’t want a relationship more than friendship. That’s what it sounded like you were implying, but I hope it isn’t.

      Yes, all of your scenarios suck huge gorilla balls, but the point of the piece is that we shouldn’t bring violence or shame against a person for not wanting us. If we shame them for having bad taste, that’s one thing, but attacking them physically or emotionally for not wanting us, the “nice guy” title is a joke.

      Be patient, Matthew. All of us want and deserve to experience love; it’s just really fucking difficult to find a partner for most. And there’s trial and error; if you pin your hopes and dreams on one person, you’ll go mad. I know it will work out for you.

    • Seth

      I’m worried about Matthew. I think if you put that much work into loving someone else they would probably go for it. You recognize these fantastic qualities in yourself, that means that they are there, and the right girl will see them. Just don’t let one girl define your self worth. Because she’s doing you a favor, you wouldn’t want to be with someone who can’t see your true worth, and she’s opening the door for you to find someone who will fit perfectly.

    • Andy

      “what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind?”
      If they can’t communicate simple feelings I doubt they have real relationship goals in mind. People who are soft spoken find relationships all the time.

      “what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support?”
      Then they should be there for support, not some fucking “prize” of her affection.

      “what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?”
      Then stop being her friend and move the fuck on. Who she dates doesn’t matter. You thinking you’re “better” doesn’t mean she owes you shit.

      “what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight?”
      Then that’s shitty, but plenty of overweight people are in relationships. Explore talking to people who don’t discriminate due to your weight.

      “what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out?”
      As someone who has been suicidal, this is a shitty thing to feel. Yet – and stay with me here – DOES NOT MEAN A WOMAN OWES YOU SHIT BECAUSE YOU’RE SAD AND LONELY. IT IS NOT A WOMAN’S JOB TO SAVE YOUR LIFE UNLESS SHE IS A PARAMEDIC AND YOU’RE HAVING A HEART ATTACK.

      “what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?”
      If he’s doing that and she doesn’t want anything, guess what – SHE HAS THAT RIGHT, BECAUSE NICENESS IS NOT A CURRENCY. WOMEN ARE NOT A MATH EQUATION. PEOPLE ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT. If you really cared, being her friend would be just as great as being with her. If being her friend hurts too much, move on, stop being her friend and find someone who reciprocates.

      “what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?”
      Hurts, but I also wanted to be a professional baseball player until I was 19. Truth hurts. Just cause you really want it doesn’t mean you’ll fucking get it.

      Congratulations on missing the whole fucking point of the article Matthew.

      You will have a lot of feelings towards a lot of women. Not all of them will return the feelings. THAT IS THEIR RIGHT, THEY DON’T OWE YOU SHIT, NO MATTER HOW ‘NICE’ YOU ARE. THEM WANTING TO BE YOUR FRIEND IS NOT A CONSOLATION PRIZE. FRIENDS ARE AWESOME. IF YOU CAN’T SEE THAT OR DEAL WITH IT MAYBE YOU AREN’T AS “NICE” AS YOU THINK YOU ARE.

      Maybe you and your way of thinking is the problem, not “those women”.

      Good day.

      • Lola

        Andy, if there was some way I could use the essential force of how much I agree to upvote your response a thousand times, I would.

    • Soraya

      You’re not very good at reading comprehension, are you?

    • Mel

      Clearly you have missed the point of the article.

      No one is ever entitled to “get the girl” just because they want her and are a nice guy who has been good to her for years.

      They get to be with her if they say to her “hey, I like you” and she says “hey, I like you too.”

    • Adina

      I hate to break it to you dude but women still dont owe any of those men a damn thing. It goes both ways you know. I’ve never been in a relationship in my life, I’ve been rejected before too, but I never would try to force a guy to have feelings for me, I would never think he *owed* it to me to go out (even just once), and I would never assume that he is choosing not to feel romantically toward me just to be cruel or spite me somehow. No matter how I’d treated him, how much he appeared to flirt with me, or how I feel about the girl he actually is dating. Feelings are what they are, and we all just have to do our best with what we have and always strive for compassion, caring, and respect toward our fellow humans.

    • Caroline

      It’s very sad. What you described can apply to all genders. Being friends with some one under false pretence in an attempt to have a romantic or sexual relationship fall into your lap is unattractive. It shows you to be a disrespectful liar, who resorts to subterfuge and manipulation due to your own self-esteem issues. Definitely not mate worthy qualities.

    • Hannah

      You don’t deserve a relationship because you exist or are friends with someone. You are not owed anything even when you have invested time into a relationship. Is that fair? Well life isn’t fair and you need to stop dwelling on things that happened previously and focus on what’s happening now. If you’re having trouble figuring out why people don’t want to sleep with you, work on yourself and leave yourself some time for self-reflection. You desperately need it.

    • Ailinn

      What about them? I am not obliged to have sex with anyone, no matter what. No one is entitled to have sex with me no matter what. Your list above is just a list of why you think women should be obliged to give of themselves sexually, and as such is meaningless, because women are never obliged and men are never owed.

    • Ace

      Those “guys” still aren’t owed a goddamn thing. Pack up the pity party, stop blaming other people, and get your own shit together.

    • Dan

      I’m sad for them, but not as sad for the people that get scared, injured and killed.

      If someone considers otherwise they should examine their entitlement

    • Charlie

      Yup, because that man is so genuine and his feelings are more important, the object of his affection should be forced to ‘love’ him regardless of their own desires and feelings.

    • Gen

      You say “deserve”. You don’t “deserve” anything just for being you, no matter who you are. No one does. Even genuinely loving a person is not enough of a reason for them to be romantically obligated to you in any way, shape, or form.

      On the other hand, it’s likely not your fault if they’re not attracted to you, and doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. Every person, male or female, will look for what they the kind of partner they think they’d like best based on any number of factors in their own head. If you don’t fit into their ideas, there’s not much you can do about it. Not saying it doesn’t hurt, but if you let it make you bitter, that will make future prospective dates not want to stick around either.

      If you want to be the kind of person people of the opposite sex find attractive, focus on adding fun things to your own life and projecting confidence (the #1 most attractive thing) in yourself, and get rid of the notion that being good to someone makes you “deserve” anything in return from them… just be the kind of person who is good to people. Also, read books by Bob Grant and Mike Fiore and other relationship experts – it really does help give you ideas for how to interact with women, and that in turn gives you more confidence.

    • Lauren

      Just because you deserve love (like everybody), doesn’t mean any woman you choose owes you it. A woman has the right to date a douchebag who can’t hold down a job, but you have no right to guilt all women with the threat of suicide, just like you’re doing here. Grow the fuck up.

    • Lilith Andraste

      They can get the fuck over it. Perhaps you missed the WHOLE point of the article. Reread it please.

    • Amber

      It is no woman’s duty to love any man just because he has a good job or weight issues. And maybe if these men worked on loving themselves a bit more, they would find more love in the world

    • Janine

      What about those guys? Should the girls they like see their good qualities? Should the world see their good qualities? She the girls, and the world, get a clue and realize the douchebags of the world are worthless?

      Absolutely.

      Does this mean that the nice worthwhile guys are somehow *entitled* to attentions or relationships, time or resources, from girls who do not want to be romantically involved with said nice guys?

      NO.

    • Ash

      The problem is that you’re assigning more weight to the guy’s feelings than to the woman’s lack of feelings. No woman owes a man a relationship just because he was nice to her, or even if he loves her. Is unrequited love sad? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s unrequited.

    • Ellen

      He’s hurt that is true. He still needs to respect her.

    • Eva

      @matthew: It doesn’t matter how nice or great someone is, it doesn’t matter how much they love that girl, or how much they’ve done for her. She still has the right to choose! Just like guys have that right. Turn this around and apply it to yourself. Would you date a girl you’re not interested in just because she feels she has earned it? Because she feels that she is so much better than the girls you do date? Because she feels she deserves it? Being in love does not give you the right to demand reciprocation. No one ever owes another person a relationship. You can either let go of those feelings and find someone else or hold on to them, hoping that some day she might grow to love you back, but you do NOT have the right to demand that she loves you or the right to be angry with her because she doesn’t.

    • Larsen

      Matthew,
      My heart goes out to you. All of your questions are valid, but some of the most valuable answers to them might not seem fair to you right now.

      Quiet guys will real relationship goals [like what?] are treasures, and there are women out there who will appreciate them. It takes time.

      Being there to support anyone, regardless of gender, is at the core of genuine friendship, and the threshold of that great gift and most difficult work of all: unconditional love. The same answer goes to the second part of that question when the “guy of her choice” is not someone you approve of [i.e. not you, in addition to being a genuine jerk]. Her choice is valid because it’s her choice: it’s that simple. Even if it’s a bad choice. It’s not your choice to make; you would not appreciate for a moment someone else telling you whom you should court. She’s learning how to do this relationship thing, too, you know, and that means there’s a learning curve, and the way we learn is by making mistakes. You have no right to step on that curve, no matter how much you wish it was you she was seeing instead. Loving her means giving her room to grow: this is one of the keystones of respect for her. If she’s worth your attention, she’ll usually figure out his bad points pretty quickly. She’ll send him on his way [and hopefully he’ll go quietly] and now she knows more about what she does want in the partner, and it won’t include his qualities [or lack thereof].

      What about the guy with a financial future who’s rejected for being overweight? — That’s a loaded question. Let’s start with the most obvious from her point of view: women who select men based on the male’s financial future are called “gold diggers” and “sugar babies” and whores. Men who make the same choice are rarely denigrated for it, though they do sometimes get called “toy boys” if there’s a significant age difference. But women get called out for that eminently sensible choice [especially if she hopes to raise a family with him] and publicly shamed by the men she didn’t choose. Item two: you have no idea that it was the weight that decided the issue. You don’t know because you can’t read her mind. Her choice is her choice, and to be respected on that basis alone. Item three: Being told honestly that it is one’s weight that makes one unattractive hurts like hell, believe me, I know. So I address the issue. I can be fit even if I will never be thin. The self-discipline that it takes to maintain physical fitness, even when one will never be an ideal weight, makes a better human being, regardless of gender. One who is more self-aware, who understands impulse control, who understands choices and their consequences, who manages their time and priorities well. Those things are what makes one an attractive partner. And no, it won’t be immediately apparent to someone at first glance – but it will be apparent to someone who engages you in conversation and gets to know you.

      “What about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he cannot figure out?” – Another loaded, and crucial, question. First, I will tell you the truth: It definitely can get better, and it probably will get better. To believe that this exact moment is the sum of your whole life is a grave mistake, and a poor strategy. To condemn all the years of rich and wonderful life you have potentially to live on the basis of your present loneliness is a tragic and wasteful mistake. If your heart hurts that badly, and I do believe you are writing from the heart, please seek help. You are not expected to know everything – even about yourself – at any point in your life. There are others who can help you know yourself better, and I ask that you find them. Pick up the phone. Ask for help and you will get it if you ask those who are specifically waiting to hear your plea. Take responsibility for learning more about yourself, for finding and healing the deep wounds. Like becoming fit, it has remarkable benefits far beyond the fact that you’ll genuinely feel better. Understanding yourself and working through the things that make you angry, afraid, and desperately lonely is very hard work. But getting started now will give you tools that will make you stronger for the rest of your life. And a better partner. Learn to be kind to yourself; learn to be emotionally self-sufficient. Being a partner is being one of two – the old romantic notion that she will “complete you” or “is your other half” are not only ridiculous they are dangerous. Only you can complete you, and the growing is never done – both a blessing and a burden, but mostly a blessing.

      “What about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?” Again, you can’t read her mind, so you don’t actually know what it was that made her shy away; do not assume anything, you have no hard data to work with unless she flat out said “I am leaving because you care about me.”
      I’m not sure which human emotion you’re referring to, since anger, rage, frustration, despair, loneliness, etc. are all on the list and could definitely make someone else step back. Caring is a very complicated thing, and the most powerful kind of caring respects completely the person cared-about. Very rarely do people reject someone for showing kindness, patience, courtesy, and care. It can happen, but it’s rare. What may actually be happening is that the expression of the caring makes them uncomfortable. It takes years to learn how to express one’s care for another person, on any level, but especially at its deepest. And in one of the nastiest ironies of the universe, loneliness can make it hard to express the very best in yourself. Also, hunger makes us stupid – we can get ourselves entangled in unhealthy relationships out of sheer desperation, and that story will repeat and repeat until you finally rein in that hunger and take control of yourself.

      “What about the guy who’s been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?” What about him? That you have loved her since childhood is a wonderful thing, but that does not necessarily mean that you know her, and it in no way entitles you to her affections in return. You choose to love her; that choice has been going on for some time. Your choice does not compell reciprocity from her. Your choice, and your love, being “genuine”, must have at its core profound respect for her, and that means accepting that she does not choose to love you back. She is under no obligation to you because of your feelings. That does not make her a bad person, or ungrateful, or even unkind. It does reveal her to be what she is: an independent adult with a mind and heart of her own. We can’t always get what we want. Life is so many things, but “fair” isn’t one of them. Growing beyond that kind of pain takes time and is necessary so you can consider loving someone who loves you back. You don’t have to stop loving her, but you need to be able to love others as well or better.

      “What about the men in the world who deserve to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?” If you have reached adulthood without having known true love and affection then you definitely are facing a serious challenge, one that you cannot expect any other human being to resolve for you. And you definitely will benefit from finding someone professional to help you tackle this pain and learn to manage it. If, on the other hand, you had loving parent(s), siblings who care for you, childhood friends whom you still value and are in contact with — then you need to rephrase the question. What you may be looking for is a different thing: romance, as in the wild ride of biochemistry that happens when two people are intensely attracted to one another and have time and opportunity to play it all out. It’s very heady stuff, very addicting, rarer than you might think, and highly perishable. Even when a relationship forms that is strong enough to survive the natural decline of that whirlwind, it is only a small part of what a lasting partnership involves. Love is hard work. Joyful work, true, but it involves some seriously heavy lifting. It is a living thing that requires feeding, grooming, exercise, honestly, expression, hospitality, gratitude, and respect. Romance can have the illusion of being endless, boundless, and self-propelled, but it is none of those things. And no one “deserves” it. It is something that some people will get to experience, and others will not – but that doesn’t mean they will be without lasting love or without a long term partner.
      You are right that everyone deserves love; you are wrong to think that in deserving it, they will get it. See above: life is not fair. However, love attracts love, and being kind, courteous, grateful, patient, respectful, honest, and caring will go a long way toward attracting to yourself others who are the same – just the kind of persons you would want as partners. As painful as it is — and it is — you have to grow out past the boundaries imposed by “deserves” and realize that you are not entitled to another person’s affection, respect, or love be default. Start by learning to know yourself a bit better, learning to respect and appreciate who you can be and are becoming. Learn to give without expectation of return. Learn to listen without expecting a chance to reply. Learn patience and self-sufficiency. And don’t try to learn all that alone: get help. It’s out there. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own happiness, contentment, and fulfillment: no one else is, particularly no woman. To expect that is to be constantly disappointed when it does not happen – a disappointment that is inevitable because you are asking another human being to do/be something that only you can do for yourself. Don’t blame them for their failure to make you happy.

      Finally, consider getting involved in something much larger than yourself, some project that will give you an outlet for all that love you have inside you. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or with Habitat for Humanity. If you know another language, learn to be a medical translator. Tutor at-risk kids in math or science. Help build a community garden. It’s amazing who you meet while you are doing those kinds of things. Amazing.

      • sunpunch

        That was one of the most beautiful and compassionate things I have ever read in a comments section.

      • Genevieve

        This could be its own article!

    • Eli

      What about him? Yes, these things suck. Sure, I have empathy for anyone who feels so badly that they want to end things. I empathize with people who are lonely, or sad, or feel rejected. I certainly don’t think men should be penalized for showing emotion.
      This post, though, is about the fact that no woman ‘owes’ any man sex, or a relationship, or ‘a chance’ just because he wants her- just because he shows up and isn’t an ass.
      Are you really saying that because a man ‘deserves to know what true love and affection feels like’ that whichever woman he chooses to direct these feelings towards now owes him? Because he wants it, and regardless of how she feels? That is a very broken idea.

    • Jen

      1) Then they need to find someone who appreciates their quietness instead of chasing after someone who’s not interested.

      2) That’s called “Being a Friend”

      3) You need to find better friends. Girls are not immune to bad decisions. You either support them or you don’t. If you support them, then support them without whining about their dudes. If you don’t and are just waiting for them to notice you as another potential cock, then leave. You’re no better than the tattoo’d asshole.

      4) Then he needs to decide whether he’s going to put effort into working out or whether he’s going to just wait for a lady who likes a bit of padding. Me personally, I spend a lot of time working out, because my career requires me to be in good shape. I don’t have any interest in dudes that can’t keep up with me. Does that mean that you have to be ripped? No. But it does mean that I expect a partner to be able to literally keep up with me while I run with my dog.

      5) Then he needs to get himself to a counselor or a psychiatrist, stat, because the problem is not with other people.

      6) Pick different people to show emotions to. You cannot have human relationships without getting hurt in some way. It is simply not possible. Learn that rejection happens, and you have to keep trying

      7) It happens. It sucks. But you have to move on and try other things.

      True love does not exist. Love is something that is cultivated and requires effort and work, both within yourself and with the partner(s) you choose to have. It’s something you choose to do through your actions.

    • Misha

      Your third point kind of undermines the rest, but in order:

      1) If you’re a quiet guy with a real relationship goal: open with that. Don’t befriend someone under false pretenses, because it’s not likely to work out. If you’re really shy, you can even say, “Hey, I’m really attracted to you and would like to have a relationship. Is it okay if we do this slowly, get to know each other, learn about each other along the way?” I guarantee that’ll have a better result than making friends and vaguely hoping for the best.

      2) If you really want to be there for a woman you like, be honest with her.

      3) Anyone who’s using the word friend in quotation marks is an asshole. Be a real friend. If you can’t be a real friend because it hurts too much, be a real man and tell her that, without blaming her for it. Sometimes people need space for hurt to heal.

      4) Maybe find people who don’t reject you over that? Not everyone in the world is shallow.

      5) I would suggest therapy for that. And I don’t mean it in a snarky or dismissive way. Depression is a real, serious thing, and it’s not a mark against a person to need help with it. But the women you’re interested in are, to be blunt, not responsible for you just because you like them.

      6) Is that what happened? Because if someone is actually rejected for “showing human emotion”, I’d say that person made a terrible, terrible choice of friend in the first place, and how the fuck did a friendship start with no human emotion involved? Is it more likely that what you actually showed was a non-reciprocated emotion?

      7) That guy needs to get the heck over it, and probably has needed to get the heck over it for a long time. The longer you don’t tell someone your feelings, the more likely that they’ll have developed a lifetime of alternate feelings. And frankly, at that point what’s actually happening is that you’re admitting that a lifetime of friendship has been built on a flat-out lie. That’s terrible. It might not be avoidable (or rather, it was avoidable but you missed the boat), but it’s a shitty way to treat a friend.

      And for (8)…. go out there! Find someone, and start with the romance. And realize that the vast majority of people aren’t attracted to most other people, and it’s not a personal knock against you when you get rejected. Everyone deserves love, but no one is required to love. It’s okay to be sad when someone doesn’t love you back, but it’s never okay to think that they should have.

      Long reply, I realize, but your comment reminded me a lot of myself. I very nearly lost someone by not realizing how self-absorbed I was being. Take time. Think about it. Don’t lose hope, don’t stop looking for the right person, and above all don’t waste all of your time pining away for someone that you already have a great relationship with, just because you want that relationship to be something else.

    • Kevin

      What about them?
      Are you saying women owe men relationships and sex? they don’t.
      Yes, some women date losers. That’s their choice, not yours.
      Love is not something you “deserve”. It’s something that happens when two people are BOTH interested.
      Love has to be reciprocal. If she isn’t interested, be an actual nice guy and either leave her alone, or continue to be her friend (if she wants that), without expecting anything else to happen, ever. If you can’t handle friendship, do everyone a favour (including yourself), and step away in a kind and respectful manner.

    • Jennifer

      Get over it and move on… That’s what women are expected to do when in all those same situations.

    • Zoey

      Matthew, you have completely missed the point of the article.

      It doesn’t MATTER what the “quiet guys” goals are if they are not wanted by the object of his desire. A woman’s sexual favors are not something you “earn” by putting in time and “niceness.” Friendship is friendship, not a direct road to romantic involvement or a “consolation prize” for those guys who don’t “win” the fair maiden.

      In other words, women are human beings entitled to decide for themselves whom they want to be romantically involved with. And huge hint, it’s very unlikely to be someone whose “niceness” comes with romantic strings attached. Whether you realize it or not, women can feel that vibe and it is NOT attractive. No matter how much any person “deserves to feel love and attention,” he doesn’t “deserve” it from someone who is not willing to bestow it. Period. And if he does truly “deserve” it — because he is a genuinely nice guy, not one who is trying to manipulate someone else’s behavior — then he will have no trouble finding it.

    • what?

      are you kidding me? not a single example you give addresses the one problem with the “friend zone” mindset. It doesn’t matter if he’s a nice guy, but overweight. it doesn’t matter if he’s financially sound, none of that crap matters, a woman has the right to refuse to date a man she is not interested without fear of harassment or abuse, end of discussion. any “but”s after that is purely misogynistic bullsh$t.

      Men do deserve to feel love and affection in their lives… by someone who actually loves them, not someone who doesn’t.

    • Anon

      What about girls who are genuinely in love and good people yet are rejected? Oh yeah, we just bury our feelings in sorrow and move on because we do not live in a society that enables to feel entitled to men as our “prizes” for good behavior.

      Life is not fair, and just because you deserve love does not mean you are entitled to it. You cannot force anyone to love you, period, and if you have that entitled mindset in the first place, perhaps you’re maybe not as nice as you think you are.

      I am speaking from experience as a 25-year-old woman who has been “friend-zoned” so bad it’s left me permanently heartbroken and unable to find love again. Do I deserve love? Yes. Would the guy who friendzoned me be happier with me? Perhaps. But that’s not for me to decide. You have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else, because the only relationship that is guaranteed in life is the one with yourself.

      If you are seriously thinking of killing yourself or someone else because you can’t get a girlfriend, then you need to get professional psychological help.

    • Natasja

      1) Tell them
      2) Be there unconditionally, and consider asking her out when she’s in a less emotional place
      3) Be her friend and get over it
      4) Move on, and if it bothers you, try to lose weight
      5) Seek help now, worry about relationship status later. If you can’t commit to life, you can’t commit to a relationship
      6) Get over it, she owes you nothing that she doesn’t want to give
      7) See above
      8) Women deserve the same thing, not to be harassed by entitled man-children who demand a love that the woman does not feel

    • Gia

      Okay you’re still not getting the point. You still clearly believe that women should prioritize the well-being/satisfaction of men like this over themselves. Well, it doesn’t matter what their life stories are. They are not entitled just because they’ve experienced heartache. Do you really think men like this, like yourself, are the only ones who’ve ever experienced rejection?? Women still have a right to say no, they always do! So pick yourself up and move on. She’s not going to see you as a hero.

    • Just Mo

      What about him?
      Should he *expect* a woman to fix all that for him?
      Should he *expect* a woman to provide sex even if she doesn’t want it?
      You are conflating his needs with what she should do about them.
      And frankly, aren’t you describing how most people secretly feel about themselves?

    • girl

      Obviously you don’t get it.

    • Kali

      Oh flipping well. Women are not obligated to return anyone’s affections no matter what their sob story is.

    • Mort

      Women do not owe men affection, attention, sex, approval or anything else. So the guy who is there needs to be a good friend, not scheme about how he wishes he was boning her. Those guys need to stop fixating on girls as a way to improve themselves – and just get on with improving themselves. Meet new people. Do new things. Stop spinning the wheels and fretting about how Betty friendzoned you and look for a new social circle. Join a club. Take a walk. See a therapist.
      None of the examples you gave are owed attention, love or sex – they are examples of men with unbalanced expectations who could use some therapy time. Being fat does not cause women to not like you – there are plenty of fat men with women. Demanding women like you because you weren’t immediately an asshole to them is not ok. WOMEN ARE PEOPLE.

    • Andy

      Matthew –

      Everyone deserves true love and affection – but you can’t expect it from a specific person who’s just not that into you. Your feelings absolutely matter, but hers do to. If you’re really that decent a guy, you’ll find someone who likes you for who you are.

      I’m not saying society isn’t unfair to guys who look a certain way, or who act a certain way – it can be. (side note to everyone who’s raising their hand and going “but… but…”: yeah, it’s usually worse for girls, but I’m talking to this one guy right now, and – with all due respect – no matter how right you are, piping in right now isn’t going to change his mind – it’s just going to make him feel worse about himself. In other words, I got this.)

      That scenario you mentioned about the guy who’s being a “friend” to the girl who winds up dating Mr. Tattooed Abs guy instead… I can see this three different ways: 1) she might be the kind of person who makes questionable choices, and isn’t particularly mature herself and maaaaybe dating her might be more drama than it’s worth… 2) Mr. Tattooed Abs guy might have hidden depths… or 3) she values your friendship, but – silly her – doesn’t realize that your “friendship” was just a plot to get into her pants the whole time. If you’re the nice guy in this scenario, I think you need to ask yourself how #3 fits into your self-concept as a “good guy,” because it sounds pretty deceptive to me.

      And if you treat every situation like a simple “goods and services” exchange, where “1,000 friendship points equals sex,”… I hate to tell you, but the world doesn’t work like that. Not when it comes to interpersonal relationships, that is. If you’re attracted to someone and want to date them, ask them. The worst that’s going to happen is that she says no. If she says “no,” and laughs at you and acts like you’re scum for it, then – newsflash: she wouldn’t have been a very good girlfriend anyway.

      It sucks – absolutely SUCKS – being rejected by someone you really like. It does. But you know what’s actually worse? Getting stabbed because you turned someone down for a date. Please tell me you get that. You get that, right? That’s obvious to everyone who isn’t a psychopath, right? Buddy…? 🙂 All kidding aside, the problem with that guy who stabbed that poor 16-year old girl because she didn’t want to go to prom with him wasn’t that he didn’t deserve love and affection. It was that he felt like he was entitled to a specific kind of love and affection from a particular person, and when she said no, he took it out on her in the worst way possible. In other words, he felt like she didn’t care about *his* feelings, but at no point did he ever consider that she, too, had her own feelings. You get what I’m saying? (oh, also the problem with him is that he freaking *stabbed her* – I think we can agree that this was a bad decision on his part.)

      Look, it sucks to be a sensitive guy sometimes – bigger guys beat you up, and feminists say you’re part of the problem anyway, and it doesn’t seem fair. Again, if someone rejects you because you actually show your emotions, don’t date that person – they’ll never get you. But if you have other problems – whatever they may be – maybe use that sensitivity to look inside yourself and ask “ok, am I being rejected because women are all crazy… or is it because I’m the kind of guy who assumes all women are crazy in the first place?”

      I hope this helps.

    • Jason

      What about them?

      You still believe that women owe you something, because of the “reasons” you list?

      Get therapy. Now.

    • Sedra

      No one is obligated to fix another person problems, you are responsible for your own happiness and only you yourself can grant it. And love is not always mutual, if you don’t love someone, that’s that. Nothing to do about it. You can’t say yes to someone just to make them feel better or because you feel sorry for them.

      If the love is one sided you just have to accept that and move on until you find someone who loves you back. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you are like, what your background is like, what your visions are or what your life goals are like. Mutual love is the key, and when it’s not there, you just have to accept that.

    • Sean

      Like the author, I understand exactly how you feel. We spend too little time addressing these concerns. It’s true that in order for someone else to love you, you’ve got to love yourself. Society has no model for how to behave when rejected, and I don’t think it fairly accounts for the damage rejection does to the male psyche when male self esteem is so usually dependant on external validation and praise. I was like you-overweight but going places. I’m still overweight, obese even. But I’m happily married now. It gets better.

      The author is talking about a different, though related point. And he does a good job answering it, though this is well trodden territory. We don’t get a lot of places, however, by telling people with emotional problems to “just deal with it and move on.” That can be very difficult. The love I felt for some of my female friends back in middle and high school was possibly the strongest emotion I have ever felt. And describing it as youthful infatuation, while true (and young women experience this just as powerfully), simply telling that to young men is not helpful. Telling them to simply swallow that pain and deal with it privately is actually cruel. But keep in mind, it’s not necessarily at all or at least solely the responsibility of the target of your affection to deal with your emotions. Remember she’s just as confused and frustrated as you are-she’s young too, and she’s entitled to do what she wants, even make “mistakes,” without having to worry how her every action is going to affect you.

      We as a society should do more for young people dealing with rejection because it clearly leads to life long feelings of bitterness and entitlement for many. As a culture we should model how to behave when rejected, develop protagonists who DON’T get the girl and are okay in the end. There is a real dearth of role models for men in this position, which is crazy, because we are ALL rejected at times. In fact, it doesn’t exist for girls either. It’s not okay to just insist young people figure it out on their own. Sure, many do, but there’s so much needless suffering. I suspect it’s largely why so many resort to cutting themselves or to violence. There’s no clear cultural script for the rejected, and no clear support strucure. It feels shameful to confide in friends about rejection-it’s embarrassing to have such strong feelings and to be utterly frustrated. But eliminating the stigma of rejection is going to be essential in getting men to process these emotions healthily.

      It’s true that women in their individual capacity as romantic agents do not owe you sex or even affection, but we as a society still owe you a sense of belonging and esteem. You still matter to us, and you are every bit as worthy of affection as anyone else. It will sound hollow, but try to hear it anyway-you’ll find someone who loves you if you can really love yourself. You’re probably an awesome dude. That doesn’t change just because someone doesn’t love you back. Be proud that you have such love and devotion to offer in this world, which is full of hate and indifference. We need more loving and devoted people and fewer jaded, angry ones. Rejection can be soul crushing, and that’s okay. Confide in people you trust. I suspect most of them feel similarly about someone. We all understand what it’s like. You’re not stupid or silly for feeling strongly. You just need something to do with those emotions until you find someone who feels them for you. Feel them for yourself. Have a great day.

    • SL

      what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind?
      WORK TOWARDS THOSE GOALS WITHOUT HIDING THEM

      what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support?
      BE A FRIEND WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING BUT FRIENDSHIP… YOU KNOW, LIKE A FRIEND

      what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?
      IF HE IS A QUOTE FRIEND UNQUOTE, HE IS NOT A FRIEND

      what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight?
      THEN HE FINDS SOMEONE HE CARES FOR THAT CARES FOR HIM

      what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out?
      THEN HE GET PSYCHIATRIC HELP BECAUSE THIS IS NOT NORMAL PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR

      what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?
      THEN HE MOVES ON BECAUSE THAT PERSON DID NOT REJECT HIM FOR THE EMOTION, THAT PERSON REJECTED FOR THEIR REASONS WHICH ARE NOT HIS NEED TO KNOW

      what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?
      THEN HE MOVES ON, BECAUSE HE LOVES THAT GIRL AND WANTS HER TO BE HAPPY

      what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?
      THEN THEY LOOK FOR IT, AND KEEP TRYING, AND STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE FOR NOT FINDING THE ONE THAT WAS ALSO LOOKING FOR THEM

    • Sylvie

      What about them? Are you saying that women should have to say yes to these people? No. Sorry. It’s very sad to be alone and nice people everywhere experience it. It sucks, but those guys aren’t owed anything by any women. Period.

    • Laurie

      I’m sympathetic, some girls experience exactly the same things. BUT, no woman “owes” you a relationship or sex, or love because of any of these. No one owes you anything.

      If you want a relationship, maybe look for a woman who wants what you are offering, maybe look at the women in the same situation as you. Friends, overweight, shy….
      Why chase women who reject you, instead of looking at the same quiet, shy women you reject? Why not give a woman who doesn’t light your candle a chance to prove you wrong?

      Because YOU, like everyone else, have a right to say no. You have a right to choose who you date, who appeals to you, and who you just want to be a friend.

      Give the same right and respect to a woman’s choices. She doesn’t owe you a life just because you were nice to her. Being nice is what humans are supposed to be. You don’t get a prize for not being a douche.

    • Ryan F.

      Well Matthew, I feel bad for the guy, it’s sounds like he is a hard spot. But he still can’t complain about the friend-zone or claim rights to another person just because of his own niceness or insecurities.

      If he has real relationship goals abs mind and she says no, then he respects that and moves on.

      He wants to be there when she needs support? That’s what a friend does, so be a friend don’t expect more.

      Her taste in men is different from what you think it should be? Too bad because that’s her choice. As her friend you can say he isn’t good for her but it should not be an effort to take his place.

      He has a great job but is overweight? If that women is judging him completely on either of these issues it’s not great, but it’s also her choice who she is attracted to. Also having money/a financial future does not entitled you to anything. And as an overweight person if I thought someone wouldn’t date me for it I’d either change or not want to date them anymore.

      If a guy is considering suicide just because of a girl not wanting to date him, then he needs to seek professional help not put all his hope on one person. No matter how perfect they fail and that guy needs to get healthy before he can take care of someone else.

      The last three all basically can be summed up as “I’ve been really nice, been her friend for a long time, and will treat her well so she should be required to be with me” which makes no sense. You made the choice to be her friend, something she probably cherishes, but the fact you see all of it as a down payment on a relationship isn’t cool.

      I feel bad for you man, you are obviously struggling, but you can’t control or command another person to like/date/find you attractive just because you think you deserve .

    • Cats in Space

      what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind? – Then they need to go to places where relationship-minded women can be found.

      what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support? – Then they need to be there for her as a friend who cares about how she feels, and not because they think being there for her will get them what they want

      what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time? – Maybe he runs the errands, cooks, and cleans the house? You aren’t privy to their relationship, so how can you judge?

      what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight? – – Stop pursuing fit, athletic women who are into regular physical activity (they will assume the overweight man cannot keep up/does not want to engage in that kind of activity) and find women who have similar interests, or lose weight and become more active.

      what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out? – He needs therapy, not a girlfriend.

      what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes? – If it’s actual, genuine, healthy emotion and not abuse tactics, then he maybe needs to find women who have rejected the “manly men don’t cry!” facet of misogyny.

      what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood? – She doesn’t owe him a relationship just because he’s in love with her. Move on.

      what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives? – Find women who want to date him.

    • Terry

      What about them? Yes, all people deserve love and affection, but you’re not going to get it from someone who doesn’t have it for you.

      In short, you deserve to be loved. Find someone who can.

    • A Woman Who Has Been There

      The guy who feels these things still has to take “no” for an answer. And if death is becoming a real option, then it is imperative that he call a suicide prevention hot-line. They can help the person find someone to help him put this in balance.

      Speaking as one woman, I have be pursued by men I was not interested in. It was difficult and frightening at times. No man should want to make a woman they like, or even love, feel sad or frightened.

      Female friends are not required to explain their reasons for being attracted to someone else. It may not be weight, or emotional availability or any of the other things mentioned, they just don’t feel a romantic pull.

      Holding on to the need for that one person to show you love is keeping the guy from opening up to people who are available. If it is painful, take a break from the friendship and take a look around.

    • Jason

      Those men will find love somewhere. But it won’t be with that woman you just described. He should be perfectly content still being her friend and being there for her. If he’s not, then he’s not really her friend. Friendship doesn’t rely upon future romance.
      That woman owes that man nothing other than the same friendship she has received. She can be there for him the first time he experiences heart break at the hands of another woman.
      But just because he has loved her since childhood doesn’t obligate her to love him in the same manner in return.

    • Carrie

      Matthew:
      The simple solution is that they can date each other. Since they seem to think that being “nice”/financially secured/ depressed should trump whether or not people are attracted to/interested in them …

    • Sarah

      Matthew none of the reasons you’ve presented add up to a woman owing a guy access to her body. Love and sex can only be gifts freely given, anything else is coercion, manipulation, and abuse. If anyone is so alone in the world that they are considering death they need to seek the help of a therapist, or at the very least someone in their community, a teacher, a leader in their faith community…someone to discuss their feelings with who is not the person that they desire. If a guy doesn’t like or approve of a girl’s choices he has only one choice to make: continue to be in a friendship with her respecting her right to make her own choices including mistakes, or end the friendship. He doesn’t get to make choices for her and he doesn’t get to lay guilt on her because of his unhappiness. Your happiness is your personal responsibility and it doesn’t require romantic love or sexual activity. Sex with another person is not a right. Even in a romantic or sexual relationship anyone has the right to say no to sex at any time, even to halt sexual activity midstream, for any reason or for no reason. You can always love yourself and you can always have sex with yourself. Those are the only things you have a right to.

    • Vee

      what about the women that are fucking dying because those men can’t self reflect enough, or respect a woman enough to respect her choices. If someone is not attracted to you, they likely never fucking will be. What if a man was able to force sex or a relationship? What if you were able to do so when a woman still didn’t feel the same way? That would be rape, and that would be abuse.

      There is someone out there for everybody, that does not fucking mean that the women you have feelings for needs, or owes you anything. She is not the one.

      The fact that that self pity and anger was your reaction to this article is disturbing. Did you not read that these women were KILLED for not wanting to date or have sex with these men? That is a huge, creepy issue all women face at one point or another. I’ve had it happen to me, I thought he was just my buddy. He developed feelings, but I didn’t feel the same way. I loved him, as a friend, but I was;’t about to force myself to have sex with, and be uncomfortable having to be with a person I did;t love that way.

      It also would ruin the friendship. He ended up stalking me, and going crazy on me. It was scary, and horrible, not only did I lose a friend, I was harassed and bullied by someone I once trusted and cared for. It was not only depressing, it was gross. He even attempted to rape me, after I tried to hang out with him again. I never ‘lead him on’ I never ‘flirted’, I never gave him any signs that I felt anything other than friendship for him. He felt like I ‘owed him’ for his friendship, he used times he helped me cheer up, or times he complimented me (things friends just do for each other) against me-to try and force me to date him.

      You need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why you had this reaction to such a sad, awful article depicting the struggles and perils of these innocent women, who have lost their lives for nothing more than saying no.

      What if a girl liked you, a girl who you found unattractive or weren’t at all into, and you said no-you don’t want to date, and she started stalking you, threatening to kill and hurt you? How would you fucking feel?

    • lihe

      What about them? What exactly is your point? That it’s sad? Yes it is. That it sucks that you can’t get everything you want by being good? Yes, I suppose it does. That this means somehow that people are entitled to have the ones they desire reciprocate their feelings? No, it doesn’t.

      Exchange “women” for “men” in your “what-abouts”. (Women experience all these things too.) Maybe that will bring clarity.

    • amy

      I say to those men (and the women this applies to as well) that that person is not for you. Sure you can’t help sometimes who you have a crush on or have deep feelings for, but sometimes it isn’t returned and that is how life goes.
      There is someone out there but until you let that person go that you are pining after that isn’t seeing you they way you see them, you will never have the eyes to see them or the heart space to love them.
      Let go of what doesn’t serve you and open space for what is out there for you.

      If you are thinking rejection is coming because of some physical attributes then you have to work that out with yourself. Go to a therapist or healer and get that shit right with yourself. Love yourself fully. Feel good about yourself. Be confident but still kind and the rest will follow.

    • Jenny

      That’s sad, but if the girl doesn’t feel the same, she still doesn’t owe him anything more. I would feel sorry for this dude but you can’t force people to have relationships with people they don’t want to have relationships with.

    • Jenny

      @matthew That’s sad, but if the girl doesn’t feel the same, she still doesn’t owe him anything more. I would feel sorry for this dude but you can’t force people to have relationships with people they don’t want to have relationships with.

    • Peter Dedes

      That girl will never be available to you. Be thankful. And stop being such a sad puppy dog.

    • Zuzu

      What about him? Not everybody gets the fairy tale nor is anyone entitled to think they are in line for a fair shot at love. Did you read the article?

    • Johannes

      What about them?
      The universe does not owe a guy a relationship for being a nice guy or a “deserving” guy.

      What about the girls who would have to be in a relationship with said guy, despite not actually wanting to? What about the the girls who would have to sacrifice their their freedom of choice because someone “deserves” a pity fuck?

      The quiet guy with relationship plans should man up and tell her. If she says no he should move on, because she doesn’t owe him a relationship.
      The guy who wants to be there for a girl he likes should do so without expectung sex or a relationship in return. If being able to be there for her isn’t enough, being there for her isn’t the thing he actually wants. If she doesn’t want to cry on his shoulder, that is okay. The girl is allowed to choose who to open up to.
      If the girl falls in love with her a deadbeat dude, you do not have a say in it. It is her choice to stay with said guy, and there is nothing wrong with that unless she’s being coerced by means of violence or otherwise.
      The guy who has a financial future does is not owed a girlfriend for that fact, and if his overweight is the only thing to blame for his inability to find a partner, that is on him. Loosing weight is hard, but it is still his own choice not to work towards it. And that is of course assuming that overweight people cannot find a partner which is not true, though I will cede that it might lower their chances.
      The guy who’s starting to think of suicide because nobody wants him should talk to a therapist, getting professional help should always be the first thing you do if your mental health is going down the drain. In addition, said therapist might be able to help him figure out why others find him unpleasant.
      The guy who gets rejected because he shows human attraction is not getting rejected fot that reason at all, he is being rejected because the girl does not love her back. She does not owe him love just because he loves her.
      And the girl who he has loved since childhood? Repeat after me: a girl does not owe a guy love just because he loves her.

      Remember, women are human too. They too have feelings, they have the ability to choose on their own and they are allowed to do so. They do not owe you anything for being nice. Being nice to someone is a choice, returning said kindness is also a choice and not in any way mandatory. And if you decide to return the kindness, you are the one who chooses how, not the one who gave it at first.

      Nobody owes you anything for anything unless you made an agreement beforehand. If you are kind for the sole reason of getting laid you are only looking out for yourself. If you are being kind only to get laid, you do not truly care about the woman, because of you truly cared about her you would care about her feelings and accept them along with her decisions.

      Women are not vending machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out. They are human beings with their own thoughts, feelings and lives, just like you.

    • Katrina

      What about them?

    • Missy

      What about them?

    • …pat.

      Those guys may be all good guys. But just because they’re good guys doesn’t mean they get to own a woman.
      And the guy who is so alone that death is becoming a good idea? He needs help. Real help, from professionals. A girlfriend isn’t going to be able to pull him out of that.

    • Razzlethe@gmail.com

      You know the answer to this. Heres the thing…you and all other men are disposable and always have been. And by the way…getting hired for one job in a company and leaving it because after the good work you put in they hire someone else for the position is a perfectly acceptable option. Women can pit ot anyway they want…but in the end…being refused is being told you simply arent good enough. So no…women owe you nothing…owe you NOTHING for your friendship. But heres the deal…you owe them nothing either.
      And to ask someone to stick around after rejection is just the same bullshit entitlement that you will see from many women your entire life. So keep your mouth shut and walk away. When she asks why, tell her the truth…you tried and werent chosen and so you need to heal up amd spend your time on someone who actually might be interested thanks. Only 40 % of men in any generation procreate. Odds are you arent going to. So lose the genetic lottery and get on with your life. The sooner you realize that the foolish shit you do to be with women makes you a far lesser person. If you try and play that game you end up playing a game where you are always in the disadvantaged position. Even if you are adonis or rich you stand to lose at every interaction. So heres the truth…you do not need a woman to complete your life. Focus on yourself and your own achievements. Fuck em if they arent interested. You will be better off anyway.

      • Lola

        I am not sure where you got your 40% statistic. According to the CDC, 76% of men in the US have children by age 44.

    • Angered by your statement

      WHO CARES? WOMEN DEAL WITH THAT TOO… NOT JUST GUYS. We don’t have to date you because you think you deserve it. We have the damn right to choose just like you. There are other girls who will be interested in him. We don’t have to be. If you think your gods gift to the world… WE ALL ARE!

    • Jamie

      “what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind?”
      —Your goals are your business and your responsibility. Not hers.

      
“what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support?”
      —Who is stopping you? Friends offer support all the time. It’s when you expect your “support” to be rewarded with a romantic relationship that things get problematic. If you go in offering “support” with an expectation of reward, you’re not being honest. You’re being manipulative.

      “what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight?”
      —What about the guy who is fit and healthy but is rejected because he’s poor? People reject prospective partners for all kinds of reasons. It’s unfortunate a lot of people can’t see past the superficial, but a lot of people can. Keep looking until you find one of those people.

      “what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?”
      —The inference here being that you would be a better partner for her than Mr. Six Pack & Tatoos. Dude, you’re not even a good /friend/ if your real motive for hanging out with her is hoping she’ll “wake up” and fall for you. That’s dishonest. And judging this guy on how he looks and what job he has or doesn’t have is just as superficial as your complaint about being judged for your weight.

      
“what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out?”
      —That guy needs to reach out and get help. I’m just hazarding a guess here from the tone of your other questions, but I’d be willing to bet you are often rejected because you have a low self-image, and that is apparent to the women you pursue. Just in this comments section alone you come across here as whiny, needy, and entitled. I can’t imagine how that is magnified in person. Stop blaming the women for sensing you would not be a good partner in your current state. Go work on your self-worth issues before trying to partner with someone.

      
“what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?”
      —This is exactly what I’m referring to. Acting like a victim. I doubt you get rejected for this reason. Likelier you get rejected because the woman can sense your grasping, manipulative way of trying to start up a romantic relationship with her. “But I’m so nice! I’m so caring!” No dude. If you /actually/ cared about the woman you liked? You wouldn’t blame her for her preferences, or for exercising free will when choosing a partner.

      
“what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?”
      —This sucks. Rejection /suuuuucks/. But you are not unique in suffering rejection. Everyone has had to endure it. Most people understand this and move on. They don’t dwell and whine and woe-is-me longer than a few days or weeks. MOVE ON. If you find you can’t, again /seek help/.

      “what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?”
      —You’re in pain, that is clear, and I’m sorry to hear it. You sound like you’re suffering a lot. You are also wallowing in self-pity. I have been where you have been, and you know what? The only person who can change your circumstances is you.

      Please. Get. Some. Help.
      In summary: You are exactly the guy this article was written for. The guy suffering under the misapprehension that he is owed a relationship with a woman because he shows her kindness and support. You do not appear to understand how romantic relationships are formed. Or even how to be a real friend to someone. So stop with the self-pity, and get some help to learn! Get a therapist, work on your self-worth issues, and stop blaming women for your inability to form romantic attachments.

    • BKL

      Holy shit, looking at these replies. I didn’t know everyone hated men so much.

      I mean, you didn’t say anything about sex yet that’s what half the comments are about.

      Seriously though, people need to open their eyes sometime and realize that people are different. Low-key men don’t get the attention they deserve, especially when they show interest and the other party, be they man or woman, takes advantage of that. And then they put up posts like this when friend-zoned person doesn’t like them anymore. Of course they wouldn’t, you just broke their heart. Show some respect instead of automatically assuming they were ‘put kindness coins in until sex falls out’.

      • matthew

        youre the first person so far who understood what i was asking.

      • Gen

        There’s that word “deserve” again. And I’ll say it again: You don’t “deserve” anything just for being you (no matter how good you are). No one does.

        Please accept that, because a person who can’t or won’t accept that is not a person I would want myself or anyone I cared about to be in a romantic relationship with.

        My earlier comment didn’t mention sex. You are not entitled to someone’s feelings, attention, or honestly even their FRIENDSHIP, just by virtue of being a good person to them, or even being excellent to them. People should always be good to each other.

        Where the disconnect here is: the motivation. If you interact with anyone with the motivation of them liking you back romantically, you either need to 1) accept that they ALWAYS 100% have the right to NOT like you romantically, no matter what you do, or 2) just stop trying to get people to like you romantically.

        If you have too much emotional energy wrapped up in whether members of the opposite sex like you, that’s an unhealthy validation to seek, and will hurt you and your relationships and your whole life over time. (I’m not judging; I used to be like this.) Get therapy (I did). It gets better.

      • Lola

        For the vast majority of adults, romantic relationships include sex. The article and the follow-up comments are clearly about romantic relationships. Further, if you are paying attention to what women are trying to say, in their experience this issue is about sexual relationships.

        Caring relationships that are not about sex, or about excluding other sexual relationships, are called “friendships”.

    • Fallgirl

      None of those men are entitled to anything from any woman. Ever.

    • Julie

      Doesn’t matter…it’s her choice…would you really want someone to be with you by force/guilt/obligation? Move on and find someone that loves and appreciates you…they are out there don’t waste your time life is short..

    • cindy

      they’ll find someone.. not always the girl they might have in mind though…and there’s some people who are just single..men and women…it works both way in this situation

    • bik

      Yes they may be worthy of love.
      But no woman is obliged to give it to them.

  • Susan

    Thank you for writing this – It makes me worry for my daughter, but I hope she finds a friend like you!

  • Lynda

    This is a wonderful article, very well-articulated; thank you.

    I wanted to share a story about how this kind of situation CAN turn out to everyone’s satisfaction. My daughter met a young man with a mutual interest in theater, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, and many other film and theatrical influences. A nice, attractive young man, whom she liked very much but was not attracted to romantically or sexually.

    He was attracted in that way, however, and after a few fun outings together, told her so. She explained gently that she did not reciprocate those feelings, but hoped they could still be friends. His response? “I don’t want to lose your friendship. So I will respect that and would be happy to continue to be your friend.”

    He never again made any effort to get her to be romantically interested in him – although, I’m sure that, had she changed her view and moved into that “zone,” he would have welcomed her with open arms! LOL After several years, they are still great friends. He calls me Mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Tom

      “Deserves?” Women (or men, if that’s their preference) still don’t “owe” these men anything. If you have try that freaking hard, maybe you should look elsewhere. It’s not working out. Work on loving yourself instead of hanging your life on someone’s vagina. In the end, even if you “got” her, you’d eventually resent her for not trying as hard as you. Fix yourself. Don’t become an abuser.

  • Heather

    I am glad to read this. I have heard guys berate me and other women for dating “assholes” and not them. Over time I had to come to the realization that the nice guy isn’t as nice as they think they are. Who does that to someone they care about who has been hurt?

    And assholes, usually are not 100% assholes. In fact, I have never dated a 100% bad guy or a 100% nice guy. I am not a 100% good or bad woman.

    Nice people and “bad” people do not have signs on them either. You see it over time, but it isn’t broadcast the second you meet them or even start to date or not date.

    Well written!!! Thank you.

    • TootsNYC

      And this: if you’re going to berate some woman for not dating you, maybe YOU are the asshole….

  • Sick Beets

    My kid and I have encountered one of the frightening sort who has fixated on some friends of ours in the performing arts. The kid (19, so *my* child, not *a* child) has been engaging the guy, letting him think kiddo is his ally in love-turned-hate toward these people. Kid is actually keeping the family informed of the guy’s behavior and things he’s said he intends to do to them. The guy has a crazy sense of entitlement toward these folks. Not just toward the (married) sister in the troupe, but toward the rest as well. He’s gotten insulted by a gentle deflection of the guy’s suggestion that the groups main juggler steal someone else’s signature trick that stalker guy saw online. He has told kid and me of violent fantasies toward the (married) sister who rejected his advances. The guy may not KNOW she’s married. They bill themselves as a family group of siblings. Stalker guy is not entitled to that much personal knowledge, and I’m not inclined to give it to him. It looks like the family is about to stop accepting edible gifts from fans at this point, because kiddo found out stalker guy has a notion in his head to present the family with poisoned baked goods. Which is a pity, because the family really does interact on a personal level with their fanbase, many of whom are children. It’s a shame one asshole has the power to make such sweet, giving people have to even contemplate distancing themselves from other people who so enjoy them.

  • Lola

    Thank you! I remember one of the eye-opening moments of my young life when I was 22 and thought this guy – a married man – I thought was really, really cool wanted to be my friend. I was so excited! I thought we were going to hang out and play video games and be, well, *friends*. It turned out that he just wanted to sleep with me, and had no interest in my friendship. Since then, I have had similar experiences a multitude of times, but I’ve become used to it so it hurts less now when someone I genuinely liked rejects my friendship because he had already put me in the fuck zone. But it does still hurt, because it tells me that my friendship – my liking them as a human being – is worthless to them. It hurts because it tells me that I was never really a person to them. Just a vagina.

  • Kelly

    @Naomi That quote is definitely not from Sylvia Plath (and doesn’t even sound like her).

  • alwyn lhoir

    i would suggest that the opposite is also true, that putting coins of kindness into a MAN doesn’t mean that sex falls out’ either. I’ve seen it work both ways, and there are female stalkers as well. either one is not right. a friend, of either sex, is someone to treasure, and cherish. lovers can’t be forced. just sayin.

    • Manda

      AMEN!!

    • SL

      friend zone is friend zone and is stupid vending machine mentality no matter what direction it flows.

    • lihe

      It absolutely does work all kinds of ways. The reason that this essay talks about men’s attitudes towards women is that, well, first, the author’s experience informs his focus, and second, because the phrase used in this context — of men pursuing women — has actually become a Thing. Meaning that you hear it come out of young men’s mouths often and almost exclusively.

  • Random Viking

    My problem with this is it leads to an awkward double standard where it’s okay for the girl to say I don’t want a relationship but it’s not okay for the guy to say I’m not okay with being just friends.
    It also uses a weird and (to me at least) awkward disconnect assuming that what the guys really want is just sex.. because in this odd simplification that’s the only thing separating friendship and relationships is my penis has yet to stick my friends. I can’t speak for all men but I have female friends I have *zero* interest in either dating or fucking. Now I’m admittedly weird and have no interest in dating someone I’m not friends with first but I know plenty of people of both genders that don’t look for in relationships what they do in friendships. I’ve been in situations like that where I wanted a relationship and the girl did not and depending on that situation I decided whether or not staying friends was possible. Sometimes yes sometimes no. I’ve also been in situations where I was used to provide emotional support by people who knew about my feelings and deliberately manipulated them as leverage to get me to help put them back together or fix problems in ways I wouldn’t do for other people. That’s what the “friend zone” is to me. A *person* manipulating the feelings of a *person* they know has feelings them that they are uninterested in for personal benefit. If one has issues with me referring to that as being friend zoned that’s fine, That was the definition I grew up with and the only one I ever knew before the internet moral brigade started making everything fucking assinine. I’d wager I have just as many issues with your use of the term rape culture.
    I guess what it boils down to for me is
    Women are not vending machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
    That’s cool… I agree with this but then
    Men aren’t just vending machines you put friend coins in till comfort falls out.
    All relationships whether friendship or more are a complex web of give and take and if one person is unhappy with how it is it’s probably not healthy and needs to be redefined or just broken off. In an ideal world people won’t be dicks about this, but this isn’t an ideal world, we live in assholtopia.

    • Anna

      No problem with saying “I don’t want to be just friends”. Just try not to (a) tell her she should date you because you deserve it (b) get abusive and/or violent (c) tell her her boyfriend or romantic interests are bad people.

      Try “My feelings are too strong and it’s too hard for me to be your friend right now when I want so much more. I think it would be healthier for me not to be around you.” Rather than “you’re missing out. Your boyfriend’s a !!! anyway, and I’ve always been there for you, why don’t you want me?”

    • Kolya

      Here’s the thing. The situations are not equivalent. You can tell her you’re not okay just being friends. If she’s using your feelings for her for emotional support, you have a choice. Leave. Find someone else, who wants a relationship with you. She is not likely to stalk you, to beat you up, to kill your puppy, to stab or shoot you because you decided to leave. And that’s the difference – because for many women. leaving or telling the truth is what triggers the violence. And the fact that you seem to think the two situations are equivalent may be part of the problem.

    • TootsNYC

      I totally agree with you–men should not feel required to continue in any sort of relationship in which they are not happy with how it’s working.

      Just as women aren’t required to feel affection and give a relationship to a guy they know just because he wants it–
      neither are men required to feel affection and give friendship to a woman just because she wants it.

      Men need to know that they can call it quits; it’s OK to say, “If I can’t have the relationship that I want, I don’t want ANY relationship.” That’s totally fine!

      What’s not fine is the vilification of the woman who doesn’t return their affection.

    • Ash

      It’s absolutely ok for a guy to say he’s not ok with just being friends. It’s *not* ok for him to harass her, threaten her, attack her, or bad mouth her to everyone they know.

    • Anthony Medeiros

      Thank you and well put. You’ll still get shit for this post because as you said the Internet Moral Brigade has definitely warped the definition of friendzone to fit their own agenda and purposely fails to see the friendzone from a man’s point of view that isn’t “kindness coins for sex.”

    • Mort

      No no no. The friendzone is a place of not being interested. Period. It doesn’t have anything to do with manipulating feelings that someone else has unless you need therapy. The assumption of manipulation is the problem with guys who complain about the FZ – they are in fact manipulating another person and not getting what they want.

    • Terry

      There’s a difference between “I respect your decision, but the relationship you want is not right for me. Be well and let me know if anything changes” and “B***h friend-zoned me! Watch what I do to her (or him)!”

    • lihe

      There’s no double standard because it *is* okay for someone to say they don’t want to be just friends. What’s not okay is to use friendship essentially as a strategy for getting sex. That’s what the author of this piece was doing, and what he recognized he was doing and realized was actually pretty crappy.

      I’m curious as to where you feel he’s saying that guys just want sex from women. I don’t see that. I see him talking about a very specific type of situation and mentality, not generalizing about all men.

      Last, for someone to take advantage of another’s infatuation is truly a shitty thing, but regardless of what you want to call it, that is not what the author of this piece is addressing. You’re derailing.

    • Lola

      Wait. Why can’t you just say “I’m sorry, I really like you, but it’s not healthy for me to try to be friends with you right now because I also have other feelings, and I need some distance to get over them”?

      I’ve heard that a few times, and I’ve said it, too. Usually if I really like that person and they really like me, as human beings, we end up friends down the road after the hurt romantic feelings have settled. It is completely reasonable to not be ready to be friends immediately with someone who has rejected you, and anyone who tries to guilt you into being friends under those circumstances is probably an asshole.

      If you find yourself frequently attracted to people you DON’T genuinely like as human beings, that might be something to work on, because it’s unlikely that you will be able to build a lasting romantic relationship with anyone you can’t like and respect as a friend.

    • amy

      I don’t think the article is saying it is ok for women to say they are not ok with not being friends.

      Although it is speaking about the violent and egotistical reactions that many men have when told that their romantic feelings are not requited no where do I see that is fine for a woman to react horribly to the man when they say they aren’t fine with just being friends.

      I think the overall communication is that there needs to be mutual respect given to each no matter what the other person’s feeling are in these situations.

      Sure it may sound like the author is insinuating that men just want to fuck women but I think that an educated inference can be made that the author also means the cases where the guy does actually have feelings and wants an actual relationship (not just a sexual one). Even in those cases, if the woman is not interested in that manner, all parties need to treat each other with respect.

      As far as the friend situations where someone knows about the other person’s feelings and uses that to their advantage….that isn’t treating each other with respect.

  • Matt

    That’s not what friend-zone means. The minute she says “I just want to be friends” you are in the friend-zone. It can happen to women too. It’s a gender-neutral term. I can’t speak for what it’s like for a woman, but here’s the thing women should understand about this with guys: when you tell a guy that you just like him as a friend his feelings aren’t all of a sudden going to change. A lot of times its too painful for the guy to carry on a friendship with someone he’s attracted to and the best solution is to disconnect completely. Preferably, he does this maturely and respectfully, but a lot of times it does have to done.

    • Erin

      I think that’s a completely legitimate point. If a guy can honestly say, “Hey, I understand where you’re coming from, when you say you just want to be friends. But you need to understand where I’m coming from too – I don’t think I can have this sort of friendship with you when my feelings are much stronger,” I think that’s a great, honest response. It’s sad for both parties, but it’s honest. The problem comes when guys don’t handle the situation that rationally, and they start blaming the girl – calling her a slut or stupid for dating the wrong guys. When a guy is calling himself a nice guy in one breath and demeaning the girl he supposedly likes in the next, that’s the problem. Does everyone react that way? Of course not. But does it happen? Yes.

    • Kolya

      Preferably? No, absolutely. He absolutely should do this maturely and respectfully. Then leave. The fact that the man still has feelings is no excuse for stalking or harassing or violence. And it’s the same for women. There are women who want a relationship with a man who just wants to be friends. If he’s not interested, she can accept just being friends or leave.

    • Vee

      Yes and women face that too. I have had that happen to me, and it hurt a lot, so I stopped seeing them for a while and then continued with the friendship.

      The issue here is many men often feel entitled to women, and do not accept no for an answer.

      They see the friend zone as a waiting room, for an eventual relationship. They grow bitter and resentful, and hold all of the ‘nice’ things (aka things friends do for each other anyways ) as a way to blackmail and guilt the women into being with them. ‘

      It can result in death, which in rarely gender neutral. This is a huge problem that is mainly an issue for women.

      That’s great you deal with it maturely, but you are not the only man in the world, and that does not make these issues go away.

    • amy

      and the break off of the friendship, if that is what needs to happen for the guy, should happen unfortunately.

      To me, this article is talking about the reactions that are less than mature, respectful, and ego fueled. The men who turn violent or just completely disengage without speaking about it…the reactions that are extremely hurtful.

      I have told a guy friend that I liked him and he wrote me back and very kindly and sweetly told me he adored me but not in that way and that he hoped I understood. Of course a part of me was crushed, but I understood and I still wanted to be his friend. He did distance himself a little and that hurt but I understood. Now he is married, and I still think he is hot and amazing (which he is) but I take being friends over nothing.

      I’ve also been on the end where I was friends with someone but in a complicated thing with someone else and the friend had feelings and I had feelings but the timing was wrong…We ended up putting each other in the “friend zone” at different times and there was hurt there.

      I think the biggest thing in all of this is we have to remember that the other person is human and has feelings and those feelings matter and if they are not reciprocated we have to be kind in our refusal and kind in our reaction, and respectful of the decision that comes after that.

    • Johannes

      What the friend-zone means differs somewhat from person to person. What is described in the article is however one of the most common ways it is used, and probably the most toxic one.
      It is true that it is gender neutral, but it is more common for men to use the term, especially in the more toxic “I loved her and now I’m mad that she didn’t repay my niceness in the fashion I wanted/expected”.

      The problem with the friend-zone is that it puts the blame on the one who does not return the feelings of the other.
      If one cannot deal with his or her unrequited love and decides to walk away, that is their own decision.
      “I decided to walk away because my feelings became to much to handle” is much more truthful than “s/he friend-zoned me”, because s/he didn’t actually do anything to you, they simply stated that they would prefer your relationship to continue the way it had before.

      At least, that is my definition of the friend-zone.

  • Janet

    I would also like to add that when women get friend-zoned, they generally don’t complain as much as men. The silence can make some people think women can’t possibly be pushed to the friend zone but it happens to almost anyone who’s ever felt attraction.

  • nate

    What about the guy who is actually romantically attached (has feelings for) to a girl who has been ‘friends with benefits’ or any other term for casual sex for a month or two. I dont think every guy should just accept that ‘just friends’ is a good thing. Sometimes, thats the most unhealthy place to be. Especially if you have feelings for them. Im not saying act like a prick, and of course you should remain respectful in your language and actions. But just because a girl wants to be ‘just friends’ doesn’t mean you have to be. I see no issue with being upset when someone you have been sleeping with for more than a couple of occasions tells you that she wants to be ‘just friends’ However, that does not give you the right to say or do any thing disrespectful, it is your own choice if choose to stay friends though. The concept of the ‘friend zone’ is bullshit I agree, but not every thing is black and white when emotions are concerned.

    • Kolya

      So don’t be friends. You have a right to be upset because a woman you thought was involved with you, wasn’t, but that’s the end of it So leave and find someone else who wants a romantic relationship with you.

    • jgm

      That is all true and sad. However, it doesn’t entitle him to the woman of his choosing. Unfortunately, in this world so many focus on physical attractions. Then end up divorced and lonely. Hang on for the one who sees and loves your soul. I am an aging 51 yr old, over weight, goof. Married 18 yrs, to my best friend. We are true to ourselves and the relationship is easy. Strive to be your best self and you will find happiness.

  • John

    The only one thing is that this reinforces the toxic mentality that in order to avoid the friend-zone a guy must treat a woman like shit and the woman will respect that more than a nice guy.

    • Erin

      No, I think the point is that guys should treat women kindly, just as they would anyone else. And then if something works out – awesome. If it doesn’t – move on. No one owes anyone anything. That’s a good rule of thumb for life in general- not just relationships.

    • Teapot

      Yeah, this totally reinforces that women want to be treated like shit. If you mean threatening them, then yeah, women are much more likely to say yes to you. Because she’s scared if she doesn’t, you’ll hurt her. That’s definitely the same as respect…

      If by nice guy, you mean the ones that try to get out of the friendzone by being gentlemanly, then I think you misunderstand the meaning of “nice”. Because when a woman says “no”, it should be the end of the discussion, not the start of a negotiation.

    • Lauren

      No, because the thing you don’t seem to understand, is that the majority of us women actually love nice guys. You don’t come across as a nice guy, you come across as manipulative and self-pitying, THAT’S what’s toxic.

    • Zoey

      Right, because that’s what he meant when he said “Being a good, nice person should be everyone’s goal, not a special qualification that lets you fuck anyone you want and get pissed at them if they say no.” *eye roll*

      You are just reading into this a confirmation of what you want to believe: women prefer assholes. Newsflash: women prefer honesty. There is nothing “nice” about the way this person behaved to the young woman who offered her time and friendship. Whether or not “nice guys” realize it, women can feel the truth and know at least subconsciously when the “niceness” is not genuine. The more they encounter this kind of “niceness,” the less they wish to associate with “nice guys.”

    • Jason

      No, in order to avoid the “friend zone” a guy must be willing to actually just be friends and not expect that every woman exists exclusively for his satisfaction. If she isn’t interested in you romantically, either be a friend, or go away. There is no obligation for her to give you a third option.

    • amy

      not really understanding your logic here at all.

      No that is not what this article is saying. No where does it say anything like that. It is simply saying that we need to respect each other and if someone does not have romantic feelings for you does not mean you have to be rude or violent towards them. We need to be respectful but also do what is right for us. If that means no longer being friends, then that it what has to happen. If that means that some distance or time needs to be taken, then that is what has to happen.
      WHatever the outcome, it does not mean that anyone should be getting violent or disrespectful.

    • Lola

      Interview a few older married couples who have been together for 10+ years, and you will very quickly see that what the majority of them have in common is mutual kindness, appreciation, and respect. Don’t base your perceptions of who “gets the girl” on the bar scene or the party scene or what you see in school. Real love starts with real liking.

  • Rob

    Why is there always a “Dan” with a negative comment.
    “A 0.00000003 second Google search” What an exaggeration and why bother.

  • Evelyn

    Thank you for writing this.

  • Katherine

    Nice article. There need to be more like this, written by men. Because men listen to men. I found this from a link from facebook, so I hope it is starting to circulate around and be read by more people.

    As for what Julie said about the “I have a boyfriend/husband” comment, sadly this does work a lot better than a simple “no,” because guys would rather listen to another man (your husband/boyfriend who says you’re spoken for) than the woman they’re talking to. Honestly–I’ve heard of saying, “I’m only attracted to women” or “I have a girlfriend” works a LOT less well than saying “I have a boyfriend/husband.” That is completely absurd, because you have a lot better shot with someone who is “taken” but attracted to your sex than someone who is not attracted to your sex. I’ve known women who own a fake wedding ring that they wear when they go out in order to avoid men who can’t take “no” for an answer.

    So, again, great article. Keep helping your guy friends understand!

    • amy

      I used to do this but then read an article that made me stop doing it.

      We have a right to simply say no. We DO NOT have to lie and say we have a boyfriend or husband and use that as an excuse when the real reason is “no I am not interested”.
      We do not have to apologize for not being interested romantically. We do not need to make excuses. We do not need to devalue how we feel or think in order to ‘let the other person down easy”.

      Stop using the lie and just say what you are actually meaning.

      • Lola

        This is true, but also comes with risks. Some men respond with harassment or violence to “I’m not interested” and it can be safer to say “I’m taken”. For me, it depends on the circumstances, and I try to feel out when I might be endangering myself by being honest. I have been followed and attacked before, so I’m perhaps more cautious than some.

  • Tracy

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your growth as a human being. It really cheers me up and gives me hope for the future to see realizations like this 🙂

  • Greg Mitro

    Well written and honest to the core! Well done, young man! When you do find that special someone, they’ll be damned lucky to have you. Truck onward through the fog!

  • Tisha

    Thanks for writing this! Very powerful stuff. IMO, lots of men don’t understand that women get “friend zoned” too. We aren’t the ones to ask a guy out, but we are the ones to sort of hang around him within the group of his friends, hoping he will ask us out. Or we hope from afar, just hoping that he will deign to acknowledge us. We want that guy and while we may not have the same sense of entitlement as guys do towards women, we’re more inclined to cry “why won’t he love ME!” Women get morose, where as guys get mad, but it’s the same feeling. Both guys and girls need to learn it’s not them, it is whatever it is, and it’s ok. Someone else will come along. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Even if one is a guppy in love with an angelfish from afar, sooner or later another cute guppy will show up 🙂

  • Ian R

    For anyone interested, I believe that Tumblr is actually called “When Women Refuse” although “Women Who Refuse” worked for me in Google.

  • Joe

    Friendzoning is equal opportunity, women can be friendzoned just like men. The way I see it if the person you want is not interested in having the relationship with you that you want, just move on. You can only be responsible for your actions, not other peoples.

  • Ann

    I really appreciate you writing this. Thank you. I don’t really know what else to say, but I felt like I needed to say something.

  • Phil

    It’s not that simple. Girls, women, put out signals that sex is on the table. Then when the signal is responded to, the girl backs off and complains about “all guys are like that.” Then there are the women who get into abusive relationships, or date “high maintenance” men, just for the drama.

    So, just claiming that the “friend-zone” is a put down, and you should be glad you have a friend, examine the motives of both people. Your position that the failure of the “friend-zone” completely on the guy doesn’t acknowledge of the role of women who act the same way. Not a good article at all.

  • Phil

    Oh, and if you have to tell women that you’re a “nice guy,” you probably aren’t a nice guy.

    This is bu#lsh*t since women, girls, shoot down guys because they are overweight, aren’t on the team, or don’t have a nice car, indicates they aren’t interested in a guy as a friend anyway.

  • Sarah J

    I will admit that I am a parent of kids the age of the writer, but I lived in the same world you all do — though sexual activity was perhaps a bit more private, and definitely less expected. That said, I put as many in the friend zone as put me there. Girls get “crushes” and the guy asks the bubble head out instead. Someone above wrote about the poor guy who is wonderful and deserves love, as if “deserving” has any role in this complex world.
    This is well written, though the use of profanity is apparently meant to authenticate a non-nerd status. Your generation is relatively reliant on social media for communication, and I would say that much of this violence comes from lack of ways to communicate personally. I feared for my safety several times in my 20s when I suggested to my date (we called them that) that I was not eager to take it further. But for some reason, my rejection was met verbally in harsh terms, and even resulted in being pushed or shoved, but never escalated to sexual violence. I consider that because “date rape” was an unheard of term, so the people who were in my life would not push that hard.
    Somehow our lives have gotten so disconnected that we consider a long conversation to be “close friends” — that isn’t true no matter what you think. I have a very close friend who dated several of my girlfriends during college and after. Every time something went wrong, he would end up hanging out with me. But we were such close friends, we TALKED about why we were not a couple. I adored him, and he me, but there was just no “chemistry” and while we did not understand why, we laughed that friendship was a pretty good option. That being clear every time one of us broke up with yet another “love” and we were back going to dinner or movies or even on short vacations. I laughed that once you cross OUT of the friend zone (one night stand or more) it becomes ever more complicated to re-enter it. There is all that awkward stuff. Now sure — TV and Movies usually propels casual hook-ups to true love, but casual hook ups can be just that — short term judgment flaw. If you genuinely like someone, then it is NOT a natural to assume it will grow into a sexual attraction that is mutual. Just know that the joys of a sexual connection can be very fleeting, but the deep emotional connection to a true friend can last forever.

  • Lagerbaer

    To the defenders of the term, or those who come up with all the caveats, here are a few additional explanations:

    * Obviously you are not obligated to be friends with someone if you don’t feel like it. There’d no need to be aggressive about it, though. Just explain that due to your attraction you would find it hard to continue the friendship.

    * I’d agree that it’s not fair to allege that a “friend-zoned” guy ONLY wants sex. But still, your niceness doesn’t entitle you to sex and it doesn’t entitle you to romance either.

    * Matthew writes “what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?”. You know what normal people do when they face rejection? They move on. Any particular woman that you made the object of your desires does not owe you jack shit, and neither do you owe anything to any particular woman that might have “chosen” you but that you aren’t interested in. The only reason these self-proclaimed nice guys are missing out is that they waste months, if not years, being hung up on that one girl that rejected them that one time. If someone isn’t enthusiastic for you, don’t waste endless time and resources “convincing” them. Move on to someone who is. Oh, and work on yourself so you become someone worth being enthusiastic for.

  • Krispen Nelson

    Thanks for writing this. I mean, REALLY!
    The other thing that men don’t seem to get is that sometimes the women in these situations feel pretty hurt and betrayed when the guy pulls this. I’ve been there. I felt like I’d lost one of my best friends. I thought he really was my friend. It hurts to realize that somebody you trusted and valued was only around hoping to get laid the whole time and you didn’t really matter to him as a friend at all.

  • Michelle

    Thank you for writing this. I know some truly selfless men and two things I never hear them say are that they are “nice guys” or that they were “friendzoned”. I know several not nice guys who regularly describe themselves are “honorable” or “nice”. I have had male friends I was not interested in ask me out. When I say no, some tell me I am a lying manipulative bitch, although I never flirted or gave them the wrong idea, I have had some stay very close friends and I have had some stop being friends because it was emotionally painful for them. The later two are perfectly fine. I had it happen with two guys, but never think of myself as friend-zoned. One liked the attention but wasn’t interested so tried to keep me around, so I walked away and one has remained one of my dearest friends.
    I have zero sympathy for people, who believe they are being manipulated. Most of the time, they don’t like the answer and so they tell themselves there is malice. Sometimes there is genuine manipulation, but if they know that and choose to continue to spend time with the person, they are choosing to be manipulated.

    As to the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like, NO ONE deserves another human being. NO ONE. This is not a grade or a paycheck where putting in more time and effort earns the right to someone’s love and affection. A human being is not a reward for being a good enough person, or wanting it enough or earning enough money.

  • Jen

    To matthew :

    What about them?

    Seriously, what about them?

    You can’t force people to feel sexual attraction where it doesn’t exist. If someone’s not interested in that way, they’re just not. No amount of “what abouts” will change that.

  • TootsNYC

    I love that you paired these two thoughts:
    “I got pissed, stopped talking to her, and told all of my friends how cold she was and how she would be lucky to be with a nice guy like me.

    Someone who genuinely cared about her feelings.”

    Your subtle point being: “If I really cared about -her- feelings, I wouldn’t be trashing her just because her feelings weren’t what I wanted them to be.
    “But really the only person whose feelings I cared about is me.”

  • Jamie

    @matthew

    “what about the quiet guys who have real relationship goals in mind?”
    —Your goals are your business and your responsibility. Not hers.

    
“what about the guys who want to be there for the woman he likes when she needs support?”
    —Who is stopping you? Friends offer support all the time. It’s when you expect your “support” to be rewarded with a romantic relationship that things get problematic. If you go in offering “support” with an expectation of reward, you’re not being honest. You’re being manipulative.

    “what about the guy who has a financial future but is rejected because he’s overweight?”
    —What about the guy who is fit and healthy but is rejected because he’s poor? People reject prospective partners for all kinds of reasons. It’s unfortunate a lot of people can’t see past the superficial, but a lot of people can. Keep looking until you find one of those people.

    “what about the guy who has spent years as a “friend” for a girl when her “man” of choice is a six pack’d tatoos from cock to ears douchebag who couldn’t hold a job at fast food places for more than a month at a time?”
    —The inference here being that you would be a better partner for her than Mr. Six Pack & Tatoos. Dude, you’re not even a good /friend/ if your real motive for hanging out with her is hoping she’ll “wake up” and fall for you. That’s dishonest. And judging this guy on how he looks and what job he has or doesn’t have is just as superficial as your complaint about being judged for your weight.

    
“what about the guy who is so alone that death is increasingly becoming a good idea because nobody wants him for reasons he can’t figure out?”
    —That guy needs to reach out and get help. I’m just hazarding a guess here from the tone of your other questions, but I’d be willing to bet you are often rejected because you have a low self-image, and that is apparent to the women you pursue. Just in this comments section alone you come across here as whiny, needy, and entitled. I can’t imagine how that is magnified in person. Stop blaming the women for sensing you would not be a good partner in your current state. Go work on your self-worth issues before trying to partner with someone.

    
“what about the guy who gets rejected because he actually shows human emotion and cares about the woman he likes?”
    —This is exactly what I’m referring to. Acting like a victim. I doubt you get rejected for this reason. Likelier you get rejected because the woman can sense your grasping, manipulative way of trying to start up a romantic relationship with her. “But I’m so nice! I’m so caring!” No dude. If you /actually/ cared about the woman you liked? You wouldn’t blame her for her preferences, or for exercising free will when choosing a partner.

    
“what about the guy whos been rejected when he genuinely loved the girl since childhood?”
    —This sucks. Rejection /suuuuucks/. But you are not unique in suffering rejection. Everyone has had to endure it. Most people understand this and move on. They don’t dwell and whine and woe-is-me longer than a few days or weeks. MOVE ON. If you find you can’t, again /seek help/.

    “what about the men in the world who deserves to know what true love and affection feels like for the first time in their lives?”
    —You’re in pain, that is clear, and I’m sorry to hear it. You sound like you’re suffering a lot. You are also wallowing in self-pity. I have been where you have been, and you know what? The only person who can change your circumstances is you.

    Please. Get. Some. Help.
    In summary: You are exactly the guy this article was written for. The guy suffering under the misapprehension that he is owed a relationship with a woman because he shows her kindness and support. You do not appear to understand how romantic relationships are formed. Or even how to be a real friend to someone. So stop with the self-pity, and get some help to learn! Get a therapist, work on your self-worth issues, and stop blaming women for your inability to form romantic attachments.

  • jack

    The friend-zone is kind of a rejection-zone. Most women who claim they only want to be your friend don’t really even want that. The truth is a lot of men who end up in this zone didn’t prosecute the relationship correctly from the start. They started out trying to act like a friend hoping it would become more…This is a kind of modern soft-dating that women should not even permit if they want to avoid hurting someones feelings.

    If you are man and you are interested in a women, you find her attractive and are hoping for a serious relationship then find the courage to ask her out on a real date. You make you’re intentions known from the start. If she rejects you then at the very least it will hurt less than when a “friend” rejects you. That kind of a rejection feels more like a betrayal, that’s why so many people tend to blow things way out of proportion when it happens.

  • Denise

    “Dan” ^^^ Really? Your comment about your Google search of the author’s closing statement minimizes a very important topic. I want very much to believe that you are better than that.

  • Human

    Your article seems to hinge on this piece of information:

    Most often the man’s response to this is anger and comments like “Why wouldn’t you want to date me? I’m a nice guy.”

    In my experience and in what i’ve observed in my male friends, this really isn’t true. I think it’s a sexist stereotype. Adults should have the ability to negotiate their relationships to get what they want out of them. If an adult chooses to describe their situation by saying “i’m in the friend zone”, I really don’t see the harm.

  • Adrian

    I think there is a friendzone, but it’s one that guys put *themselves* into by pretending not to be attracted to someone they are attracted to in the 99.99% vain hope that circumstances will somehow enable them to make the switch to boyfriend material. Doesn’t mean they think they’re entitled to it because of all the kindness coins they’d put in, though there are a minority of assholes who would feel that way.

  • Natasha

    Oh my god thank you for writing this. I have so many guy-friends (or once were guy friends) who could do with taking a leaf out of your book!!

  • HGray

    Thank you. Well said.

  • Brian

    There are a few things that need to be said:

    #1. Being rejected hurts, and it’s perfectly okay to not be friends with someone who has rejected you. The object of your desire may be perfectly nice and kind in his or her rejection, but it doesn’t matter. The reality is you are offering yourself in a, usually, terrifyingly vulnerable and honest gesture, and the person who does not feel the same way about you is saying, “No thank you.” They want your friendship, but they don’t want the rest of you.

    That is rejection, and it sucks.

    Unfortunately, people in the friend-zone usually ARE nice people. That’s where the trouble starts. As a result, we feel like a schmuck if we don’t agree to the friendship terms that have been laid out for us. Here are my two cents. Just like the person who rejected you has a right not to be your girlfriend or boyfriend, you are under no obligation to be their friend.

    In fact, and here is where I might get into trouble, it’s perfectly okay for you to passionately, but respectfully, express your disappointment and hurt at being rejected. Name calling, harassment, violence – never okay. Expressing anger, resentment, disappointment, hurt, feeling betrayed and misled, used, and humiliated – perfectly acceptable.

    The next time I get put in the friend-zone, here’s what I might say: “Ouch. I have real feelings for you, and I thought we had a genuine connection, the kind of connection that makes a great foundation for a powerful and passionate and lasting romantic relationship. However, I understand that this isn’t what you want. I certainly don’t want you to pretend to have feelings for me when you don’t, but there is no doubt about it. This hurts me deeply. It shakes my confidence to the bone, and I don’t know how I will get over it. However, I do know that I don’t want to get over it by being ‘friends’ with you. Being friends with you would be a constant reminder of this moment of rejection and pain, and I deserve better than that. I am a good friend, you know that, but I cannot be your friend and hide the part of me that wants so very badly to be desired by you as something more than a friend.”

    Or something like that.

    #2. Why IS other person attracted to the A-hole instead of the nice guy or girl? No matter what they say, it’s not true. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are on the inside. So many people are powerfully attracted to giant jerks who treat them terribly. With that in mind, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a person, especially a ‘friend’, to get upset when someone they care about falls for and gives their heart to a crappy person. And again, I think it’s perfectly okay to say this to the person who rejected you.

    “One of the things that hurts so much is that you choose to be with assholes instead of someone who genuinely cares for you.”

    Saying you are a good guy or girl does not make you a bad guy. It is defining the reality of the situation. And sometimes, being a good guy or girl means walking away from the person who makes bad decisions – at least what you believe to be bad decisions.

    #3. A good guy or girl should not be ashamed of or afraid to express their physical and/or romantic desires – even if that puts a friendship at risk. If you have been there, you know what I’m talking about. At its worst, the rejection takes the form of “How could you even think I would be interested in you that way,” and at its best it take the form of “I don’t want to ruin the friendship we have.” Either one unfairly puts the weight and the blame on the person who opened their heart.

    And, finally, there are a lot of violent crimes against women listed in this commentary, but there is no mention of the suicides and self-harm that more often results from rejection – whether it is kind or cold-hearted. It is inflammatory and down-right wrong to link people who are bitter, disappointed, and hurt at being rejected with the same psychopaths who commit horrible acts of inhumanity. More often, people who are hurt by others end up hurting themselves.

    Those don’t make the headlines so much.

    Please, let’s not demonize people who are unhappy and refuse to accept being sidelined to the friend zone.

    Let’s just treat people like people.

  • Ed

    To matthew above….

    You can like a girl, but if she’s made it clear that nothing’s going to happen, I think it’s best to just move on. You know best if you can continue to be content being involved in her life. If you can’t be, it may be ideal to sever ties for all involved. You won’t put yourself through the pain, anger, and frustration of watching her with other men you deem lesser, and she won’t be faced with constantly disappointing you.

    Rejection is painful, but don’t let it turn you into what you despise in other men. I went down that route for a time before my wife straightened me out. I truly believed that a man was the most solitary creature on earth. But there is hope for everybody to find somebody. You have to ask yourself if you hold yourself to the same standards you look for in women. Using your example above, if a woman is in shape and attractive, why should she not have the right seek the same in a man (I’m not in shape myself, but I have to play Devil’s advocate because it’s logical)? It’s more difficult to love someone who doesn’t love themselves first. But you can’t attribute a lack of self love to the actions or attitudes of others. I personally never found ‘the One’ until shortly after I resolved to stop looking. Get right with yourself. Better yourself. Pursue a dream or personal goals and glean satisfaction from your own accomplishments. Don’t look to anyone else to be the source of all your happiness or all your sadness. That’s too much for anybody to bear.

    The bottom line is, you just can’t force things. People are who they are, and sometimes they don’t fit into the roles you may want, just as you may not be ‘right’ for the role of a friend to a woman you find attractive. Be honest with yourself, and move on if you have to.

  • Ron Geraci

    Awesome and empowering read when you have your logic-leading head on. Problem is, if you’ve been on earth at any time between now and the last 300,000 years, you know that logic and the rat-brained feels (right, wrong, good or bad) developed toward someone you want to be your mating partner do not intertwine well.

    In short, you’re badly mixing up a pathologically venal sense of entitlement found in the province of psychopaths or classic narcissists (small end of the bell curve) and the petulant, low-road, tail-between-the-legs butt hurtness that comes when someone you want says “I don’t want you” (universal, timeless, never ever ever ever gonna change until humans are replaced by robots).

    Far worse, you’re outright insinuating that the average, common guy who will (at least if his heart beats) exhibit the average, common, petulant, low-road, tail-between-the-legs butt hurtness of being rejected is primed to become a violent murderer.

    Not cool. Wrong. Microscopic tail end of the bell curve. Sexist and ignorant generalization cloaked in a seemingly innocuous “be noble” stance, the kind broadly applied to the male gender incessantly. Often by other males who mistakenly think they’re making some high-minded observation instead of painting with a shotgun.

    Getting “friend-zoned” is one of about a million euphemisms humans have used for being rejected as a mate choice. If you are a normal person, and therefore have developed the minimum normal investment in hoping the person you’ve developed a mammalian fondness of will respond in kind, THIS WILL MAKE YOU FEEL VERY BAD.

    Normal people act in some predictable ways when they FEEL VERY BAD. Self-helpy types and people with superior evolution say you shouldn’t act in these predictable ways, but should “reframe it” or “see it from another point of view” or “rise above it” and that sort of stuff. Oddly, they tend to forget this themselves the very next time they themselves genuinely FEEL VERY BAD.

    You’ve been rejected. You can spin it differently, call it something else, but that’s what it is. And being rejected from a situation you would naturally and eagerly like to enter makes you feel the opposite of great. Since you have possess a cerebral cortex that overlays where these non-negotiable horrible, no-good, bad feels are, you can inner-talk yourself blue with lots of Spock-like “that’s totally cool, so obviously his/her prerogative, just happy to be in their orbit” blather. All great. All valid. All true. All logical. Go ahead. Try to feel better. Can’t hurt.

    Most importantly, try to your rejector EXACTLY THE SAME as you always have. Definitely conjure that same bounce and verve and buoyancy when you speak to him/her whom does not want you in that vulgar mammalian way you ought to be ashamed of even thinking about…you…whatever you are, trundling around this earth, all clothed up and semi-shaved. Try. Try hard. Try! Hey, don’t be petulant. Be noble!

    Uh oh…did you just…not respond to her text immediately? Or take slight issue with her political comment instead of laughing in feigned agreement? Whoah! Where the hell did THAT come from? You need to do a lot of personal work. You are…butt hurt. And you’re not being 100 percent successful at ignoring it and hiding it. And, God, you’re 17, or 36, or 58, or 75, so by now you should know how to behave in a way that completely shellacs over whatever you may be feeling inside. Poor, sick bastard.

    Serious note to 99.99999999999999999999999 of you guys reading this who have acted in the normal manner the writer is talking about above and will absolutely, positively act in an identical or metaphorically similar manner again if a rejection situation you CARE ABOUT arises (and this definitely includes the author): You are NORMAL.

    (Yeah, that sucks.)

    You are not going to kill anybody.

    I apologize for the insinuation in this article that you are, even in some slight way, akin to the badly disturbed individuals who will kill another human being who makes them feel bad.

    You are not that. Even if you’re being a male makes you just want to suck up the insinuation because it’s so common and seemingly pointless to challenge.

    And if you are that, of course, reading this article or this comment won’t make the slightest trifle of a difference. Let’s just hope something serendipitous takes you out before some horribly, tragically unlucky person makes you feel bad.

  • Sterling

    I agree that men should not mistreat women for rejecting them, but I also don’t think it’s in either party’s interest to carry on a “friendship” when the man feels he’s not getting what he wants out of the relationship. I like your job position analogy, but I disagree with the conclusion. If I don’t get the position I want, I move on to another company.

    Make your attraction clear up front, and if she rejects you, respectfully move on. Why do women offer friendship to men they reject? Some women are perfectly happy to keep unattractive men around as their emotional sinks, knowing they’re dissatisfied. That’s abusive and as a man I’m not interested in being used like that.

    I may actually value the relationship without any romance, but it should not be assumed that I should. The candor of this article suggests that we settle and invest time in women who reject us, which is silly.

  • lihe

    I especially like your brilliant recognition of the “fuck-zone.” It’s fine and normal for a person to be hurt when their feelings aren’t reciprocated. But if they’re actually *pissed off* that someone they’ve been nice to isn’t interested in sex or romance with them, they were never really a friend, they were “fuck-zoning” them all along. I want to sit these people down and say, Please. Which is the actually morally gross thing here, to honestly just not be attracted to someone who’s attracted to you, or to feel entitled to their romantic or sexual attention because you are nice to them?

  • Ponyo

    Interesting article and point of view but just felt like the comment about the culprits “inflated sense of entitlement” lacked the same quality and understanding as the other sections. I definitely disagree with the actions of the culprit but I don’t think it is right to define their behaviour by something so simple as “inflated sense of entitlement”. We don’t know where these people have come from what they have experienced; mental health issues, trauma, abuse (verbal, physical)

    • Lola

      A sense of entitlement to someone else’s body or affection is still unwarranted entitlement even if it arises out of mental health issues or trauma.

  • Prudence

    Thank you for your insightful and thoughtful article.
    True. Sometimes you might not ever leave the “Friend Zone” with some of those with whom you’d seek more. But your mutual RESPECT puts you in the “Fight-To-The-Death-For-Each-Other-Regardless Zone”…and that’s a pretty amazing place to be.
    I’m on your side, any day.

  • brian

    Ron Geraci knows what he is talking about. He is spot on.

  • Kristin

    This is nice. From my perspective, I like being nice to everyone, and especially to people who seem like nice people themselves. This is independent of whether I might someday be attracted to them. I hate having to portion out my kindness based on whether it might be misinterpreted as sexual interest. I’m older now, and married, but this was a problem for most of my life. My daughters have to deal with this now. Being a nice guy should be the default, not a ploy to get women into bed. Girls beat themselves up over whether they’re thin enough, sexy enough, etc., but they usually don’t blame the guy for not being into them. I also want to say to the “friend zoned” men, “Maybe pay attention to a girl who isn’t so obviously hot. Why can’t you direct your attention to girls who are chubby, or have a little acne?” It always seems like guys who claim to be “friend zoned” are pursuing girls who are objectively beautiful, as if other girls are invisible.

  • Brian

    I came to the same conclusion a few years ago so I think we’re finally getting to a place where the majority of men understand how ridiculous the friend zone idea is.

    One thing I’ll say to all of the “nice guys” commenting here who claim that they’re kind and loving but never get any affection: I was a “nice guy too” and upon reflection of those days and hearing the bs that other men like that say… You really aren’t kind at all. You’re liars. Manipulators. You’re so afraid of confrontation that you have to manipulate women into being your friend so that you might be able to convince them to have sex with you. That isn’t nice. It isn’t genuine or compassionate. Once you realize that, as I did, you can start to work on change. After learning to be direct about my feelings and accepting the women who just wanted to be friends as some of my best friends, I’ve had a LOT more success in romantic relationships. It doesn’t matter what you look like or what interests you have, if you stop being a pussy you’ll find a match.

  • Matthew Kirkland

    from as far back as i can remember, i was never wanted. my parents yelled but i deserved it. all the faces i see in my past look down on me in contempt. i’m alone. then, and now. solitude used to be where i found peace and comfort. now it’s my jail cell, with broken nails and dry blood stuck in the scratches in the walls. my mind the lock, my heart half of a broken key. the doctors tell me i have dysthymia depression and Schizoid personality disorder. i agree with them. to an extent.

    one day the lock was opened. the other half of the key found it’s counterpart and unlocked the cell. i found freedom. what i thought was love i relished in it, bathed in it. colors finally meant something and the light didn’t burn. i was happy. she was beautiful, she was cute. she was odd, she was a child. fetal alcohol syndrome was her crutch. she was a 13 year old girl in a 20 year old woman’s body but i loved her all the same. i didn’t care. i was her high school crush and she searched for me for 5 years when i never more alone in my life, even if surrounded by other humans.. i found a reason to live in her.. she took my virginity. that was 10 months ago. i don’t regret being a virgin at 24 because i thought she was worth giving what other people call “innocence” to her. but now my regret is full. she didn’t deserve it. i don’t deserve the pain she causes me.

    3 months short of a year we spent together. the longest i’ve been in a relationship. it was also my first relationship. (in today society, at 24 this is considered pathetic) she would never admit her wrong doings. the capacity to recognize her faults and apologize did not exist within her. it’s not her fault. she was born this way. it became a chore no matter how hard i tried. she wouldn’t accept a perspective that wasn’t her own even if it was wrong. we started to argue. the arguments turned into fights.. it became apparent that i loved more than she loved in return. perhaps i was unreasonable to expect the same amount of love and effort that i put into the relationship.. we broke up.

    i didn’t mention the worst of it. i don’t want to. the pain is too great and i want to forget. to let go. to get over it but i cant. i have questions. questions that NEED to be answered in order to move on. what did i do wrong? why was my love regected? i did everything to keep us together but why wasn’t it enough? what’s wrong with me? what’s wrong with you? why did you do this to me? why did you make me open my heart to ruin it again? why am i alone? is this my fate? to hate myself so much that death is no longer the cowards way out, but the only option for freedom? if i continue to exist, what is ahead of me?

    i try to talk to her. i explain that i need to talk to her. to ask questions that will help me move on. i’m ignored. i’m always ignored. friends to talk to is something i do not posses. i can’t think. i can’t vent. i want to hurt something. i want to kill something. i want… no. killing is wrong. i’ll bottle everything like i’ve always done so no one has to hurt like i do. i don’t want anyone to hurt like i do.

    what is there for me? i deserve to be loved! my heart is filled with love but no one wants it. why does no one want it? is it unattractive to want to be held by someone? is it wrong to want to be cared about? is it wrong to show emotion? WHY AM I ALONE?!?!? i just want to be loved.. crying is exhausting.

    am i too weak to kill myself? or am i strong enough not to?

    it’s been 2 months now since the breakup. and my pain is as strong as if it happened yesterday. i’ve talked to her. i cried in front of her. told her how i still loved her. how i couldn’t let go of the person who saved my life. how i missed her and was willing to do anything for her if only we could try again. i think about her every minute. only…

    i’m not in her mind. she told me she’s moved on. she told me that she stopped loving me half way through the relationship.. she doesn’t care about me anymore.. she doesn’t want to be with me… she’s dating someone now. someone i’ve met before. i want to die. my love for her won’t burn out.. how can it? why won’t it? why am i in this perpetual misery? she is the only human who ever made me happy. taught me what it felt like to not be alone. how can i go back to being alone after this? i don’t want it. i can’t survive the solitude again.. i can’t. where could i possibly find hope that someone will pull me out of my own hell again? why do i deserve to be so tormented? i hate this. i hate this so much. i just want to be happy. why is that so hard?

    • Peter Lloyd

      There’s a thing about human relationships: words like ‘deserved’ don’t mean anything. There is no justice, no objective right or wrong, no independent judge to appeal to or argue in front of. She doesn’t love you and that’s all there is.

      You have only one option, to start again. You can’t go looking for ‘the one’ because that’s a childish (but very popular) fantasy. You can only put yourself in situations where you can interact with people, and something might happen.

      If you’re not the chatting up type, make those situations ones where you will deal with people little by little, something regular. A new job, sport, hell, just go to the same cafe regularly. And learn to be cool with being in your own company, because YOU DON’T NEED THE APPROVAL OF OTHER PEOPLE.

      Good luck.

  • Geoffre Lalonde

    Everyone has a different perspective on what is a Friend, what is a friendship, what is being Friend zoned, but what seems to count is not the ideal of one woman or one man, but the collective ideal of society.

    What Matthew said at the start it is not wrong. People that would judge on what he says are no better. People tend to overlook one person’s situation as if , if it isn’t like the collective situation like the majority of society, then it is wrong.

    If I look at the perspective of society, its the biggest F up,

    Women like Men are Shallow.

    A hot girl will always go for a hot guy with abs, with hair and good looks.
    A ugly girl will always try to go for a guy that will make her feel beautiful, feel superior as well as a ugly guy would always go for a girl that looks good that will make him feel special.

    But I’ve seen how people can be cruel.

    All sort of factors are defined to be Friend zone in Society, such as the same factor when people define what is being a Creep and being Sweet.

    An attractive person is always sweet / romantic as for the same scenario, a less attractive subject would be portrait as a Creep.

    Creep or Romantic:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0vwo_TvFPQ

    I find that they are the Best to discuss on any subject:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/WongFuProductions

  • amber

    It hurts a lot to discover that someone that you thought was a friend, that you thought valued you as such, only thought of you as a fuckhole. Even when I was married, even when I made very clear I wasn’t interested sexually or romantically. It hurts. Someone who abuses love like that isn’t NICE. Someone who makes you feel worthless because you clearly have so little value that your friendship is something to be despised isn’t NICE. Someone who thinks the only kind of love that matters is the kind that gets their dick wet isn’t NICE.

  • Rama

    That is problem with Western style. In my culture it is so simple. It is all arranged so no need to waste time. Much better.

  • Wade

    Why does everyone assume that if a MAN wants to be with a woman, it’s always only about sex?! As a man, I am attracted to women with strong personalities that I can get along with and be FRIENDS with. The old saying is “always marry your beat friend.” And I agree. Being “friendzoned” to me means you confess your feelings for a person, and they drag you along and expect you to show you a lover’s affection (without sex) and not never reciprocate that feeling. Essentially the “friendzoned” person is locked in a heartbreaking cycle, because the person they are trying to be with keeps giving them fuel to keep trying. The perpetrator says “I love you” but they don’t mean it. Meanwhile, the “friendzoned” person is left feeding off the lie.

    It’s when someone is not willing to admit that they are too selfish to let go of someone who cares about them, even though they are hurting that friend in the process of allowing that friend to continue loving them.

  • Lane

    Because if it’s not about sex, then it’s called “friendship”, in which case the so-called “friend zone”, aka “actually being friends”, wouldn’t be a problem, now would it?

  • Mike

    Well it goes both ways. Really the main thing you got to do is just be a little selfish. When a chick rejects your interest romantically you have 2 options. Move on, or be friends. Normally moving on is best. A girl who seemed very interested for just a friend basically laid down the law, I have a boyfriend and we are only friends. I accepted this reality and wanted to remain friends. But friends don’t text everyday and not for long messages. So as I weened this relationship into a more sensible exchange she started getting annoyed with the lack of attention I gave her. She broke up with her boyfriend, and now we are enjoying each other’s company let’s say. Basically if your a dude that’s friend zoned. Just move on. Be friends but have self respect for yourself. I used to think that acting like people/girls were lucky to talk to me was a dick move. But it’s not, your awesome and once you start believing it others will too. Girls typically like confidence. And that doesn’t mean showboating, it means valuing yourself and your time.

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