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The friend zone does not exist. What do people really disguise with this word
The friend zone does not exist. What do people really disguise with this word

Natalya Kopylova - about why, instead of friendship, manipulations and the imposition of a sense of guilt appear here, and the villain is not at all what one might think of.

The friend zone does not exist. What do people really disguise with this word
The friend zone does not exist. What do people really disguise with this word

What is called a friend zone

It is believed that for the first time the word "friend zone" (from the English friend zone) sounded in the first season of "Friends". It surfaced in the conversation between Ross and Joe, where the latter explained: if you don't tell the girl about her feelings for too long, then she will begin to perceive you only as a friend.

Dictionaries give Friendzone the following meaning: a state of friendship with someone with whom you would prefer a romantic or sexual relationship.

It sounds kind of neutral enough, although in reality it is not entirely true. Compare the emotional coloring of two phrases:

  • She treats me like a friend.
  • I'm in her friend zone.

The first phrase is more like a statement of fact, perhaps with bitterness from non-reciprocity. And the second one often contains additional meaning. It assumes a relationship in which one person is in love and therefore invests in another morally and materially, and he uses all the bonuses and does not give anything in return.

To be honest, usually we are talking about some selfish girl. She keeps a “good” guy, who is ready for anything for her, in the friend zone, accepts his help and gifts. But he meets other, "bad" guys.

What is a friend zone
What is a friend zone

It seems that everything is obvious: the poor fellow-lover is sorry, the bitch-friend deserves blame and condemnation. In fact, it turns out that the situation is far from so straightforward.

Why the friend zone doesn't really exist

"How so?!" - you will be indignant. After all, almost everyone has a story in stock where someone uses a person in love with him. Someone for sex, someone for help - you never know how to pull someone else's resource. But what does the friend zone have to do with it? Here, friendship does not smell from all sides. It's just that one person is trying to improve his life at the expense of another.

Love cannot be earned. If you are forced to do this, they bargain, they lure you in with promises, nothing good will come of it. No need to fight windmills, just leave the battlefield.

Relationships are much easier than they seem. Let's say you are in love with a person who cannot reciprocate your feelings. He invites you to remain friends, and it's up to you to agree or refuse. At this particular moment, friendship or nothing is possible between you.

The very concept of "friend zone" here is manipulation in its purest form, but not from the side from which it seems. Let's take a classic situation where people like to parasitize. Our hero, a good boy, rushes to his friend's aid, is next to him in difficult times, spends time with her. But at the same time he does not count on symmetrical help, support, which would be logical to expect from friendship, but on sex. And the main complaint, as a rule, lies precisely in this: he did so much for her, but she “did not give”.

Friendzone, as it were, implies that there is an unspoken agreement, according to which one person owes the other sex for a good attitude. So, surprise: there is no such agreement.

Sex is not a bargaining chip, not a reward for anything, and not a duty even in marriage. And courtesies are not investments that should be profitable.

Another function that justifies the existence of the friend zone is to soften the blow to the ego. You are so good, but you were rejected. It's not because something is wrong with you. She is a mercantile monster. The truth is somewhere in between. Perhaps it’s the same with you, and with her. Feelings are simply not reciprocal. There is nothing special to look for in this.

Why the friendzone is often associated with sexism

Anyone can fall in love without reciprocity. But men often find themselves in the friend zone, and this is not because of the special prudence of their beloved. Are they just more often Benefit or burden? Attraction in cross ‑ sex friendship are attracted to their opposite sex friends, while women are just friends.

In part, this may be due to the fact that men have more of the area of the brain responsible for sexual desire in men. But there is another important detail. It is easier for women to be friends with men, because they perceive them as people suitable for this kind of relationship - interesting, complete and equal. Worthy of friendship. In the opposite direction, this does not always work. There was even the term girlfriend zone. It means that a girl is only interested in a man in terms of romantic relationships. The possibility of friendship is not even considered.

Moreover, often the girl's feelings do not matter. After all, her "no" is not taken seriously. She promises friendship, honestly makes friends, and then receives complaints and attempts to impose a sense of guilt for “offended a sweet boy,” simply because she kept her promise. And upon closer inspection, it turns out that the same "good guy" can easily turn out to be the main villain in this story. Because all his good attitude is based precisely on the illusion that in this way he can achieve what he wants.

It seems that the friend zone is a zone of friendship. But it turns out that he is not a friend. It is unlikely that our "good boy" will be offended that his classmate, whom he carried home drunk at five in the morning, did not sleep with him. He does not count on a hot sex marathon with an acquaintance, whose car had to be immediately “lit” on the weekend.

All of these things are normal parts of friendship. And if you agreed to it, be human friendly.

After the divorce, I talked a lot with only one guy. We went for a walk, drinking tea, coffee, wine and in general any liquid. Gallons of liquids. It dragged on for a very long time, a year for sure. During this time, I managed to fall in love with him and move away from divorce.

And then one day after a beautiful evening with wine, he called me home under the pretext "I'll give you a bottle of apricot moonshine, which my dad drives." We knocked over a couple of glasses, sat in the hall on a huge sofa, he turned off the light so that the starry sky could be seen … and turned on YouTube. We watched the clips until my patience ran out and I left home.

But I am very glad that I have such a wonderful friend. And I believe that the roles that people play in our lives are not chosen by us, but by them. If a person is given to me not as a lover, but as a comrade, I need to rejoice in him, and not in his function.

Can friendship grow into love

Of course. In the same Friends we started with, Monica and Chandler's love grew out of true friendship. And it happens in life, but feelings originate precisely from friendship, and not from the consumer attitude that characterizes the typical "victims of the friend zone."

Maria married a friend.

We played together on the university team in “What? Where? When?" and were friends. Then he had an accident and was locked at home. I was sad, I went to visit him - by the way, not alone, but with someone else. He was there alone and such a bum. At that time, I got out of an unsuccessful relationship. Then we were still friends, but I already liked him.

I was still in some kind of romantic stories, because I didn't understand if he liked me. Then she confessed. And we started dating. It turns out that it took about five years from friendship with six people to living together and getting married.

What to do if it is not clear what is going on between you

With relationships, everything is simple, but not as much as we would like. Sometimes it happens that the decisive "no, let's stay friends" has not sounded and you yourself do not understand what the status of the relationship is.

The best way is to honestly confess and discuss everything. It seems that the person with whom you are in love should understand everything himself. Especially if you follow a stereotypical set of gestures that show your attention. But signals are not always read correctly. People are different, and for many, romantic interest is not obvious. You communicate as friends, why not consider it friendship.

And some really may not notice for years that someone is in love with them.

Ivanna Doesn't know how to be friends for profit and expects the same from others.

I remember well the sadness from several situations when it turned out that a person paid attention to me, spent time with me, did some pleasant things to me, assured me that I was wonderfully good at something, because it turned out that he had some kinds. For me, if you treat me well, you treat me well, just like that, nothing. And to show a good attitude because you need something - it somehow smells bad. I myself have never been friends with anyone for the sake of something, and I naively expect the same from people.

So there is no better way than to discuss everything. And in order not to fall into the trap when you have false hopes, take anything that is not "yes" as "no." This will save you a lot of hassle. You did your part of the work, you confessed everything. The next step is in any case for the subject of interest. If the feelings turn out to be mutual, you will be informed. If this card is played for manipulation, it is, as we have already found out, not love or friendship.

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