The Friend Zone myth

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about the dreaded “friend zone.”* How to avoid it, how to get out of it, why do well-meaning nerds keep getting stuck in it… It’s the nerd equivalent of The Bermuda Triangle. It is the Phantom Zone of geeks. It is Oan Science Cell of Love. It is the Chateau D’if of l’amour. You get the point. It blows goats and like death and taxes, it’s more or less inevitable when people are chasing the girls that they like.

And here’s the thing: the Friend Zone as we know it? Doesn’t really exist.

I know, I know. “Whaaaaaaaat?!”

The cold hard truth of it is, when you’re hearing “I just want to be friends”, “I like you but…” or the equally dreaded “it would ruin our friendship”, you’re not being thrown in the Friend Zone. What you’re hearing is generations of social pressure telling women that they can’t risk being direct for fear of offending someone. The words may be “You’re just such a good friend to me,” but the intended meaning behind it is “I don’t want to sleep with you.”

Y’see, there’s nothing inherent in friendship that precludes a sexual or romantic  relationship; the act of simply sleeping with someone doesn’t magically change everything about a person except for the knowledge of what they look like naked and the fact that they make really goddamn goofy faces when they’re having sex. Sex, in and of itself, is neutral. It’s only what goes on in people’s heads that adds significance and meaning to it. And that’s where the Friend Zone comes in.

Because women have been taught all their lives that being direct and risking making someone upset is the gravest of all social sins, they couch their refusal in gentler – if misleading – terms. Now, their reasons for refusing will vary; it could be as simple as she doesn’t find the other person sexually attractive. She could be attracted to somebody else, but doesn’t want to bring it up. She could legitimately be afraid that having sex would complicate or change things – which is a topic for another time. But the end result? She doesn’t want to sleep with you. Hell, depending on the woman, she may not even want to be friends with you, but again: socialization says she can’t tell you this. So you get let down gently… and she inadvertently shreds your self-esteem into brightly colored confetti.

Now, is there a way of getting out of the Friend Zone?

Actually… yes. Yes there is. But that, my friends, is a whole different post.



*Honestly, I wish there were some way to auto-embed an MP3 file to auto-play the “Blucher! <Horsewhinney> from Young Frankenstein every time someone ran their mouse over that word…

  • huh

    How can you get out of the "Friend Zone" if it doesn't even exist?

    • LongLegs

      Because it's semantics. The word has been INVENTED so horribly by the male psyche that it formed into something that doesn't exist. But what this specific article is trying to say is that women are not allowed (socially) to be as blunt as men are. i.e: "Hey girl, we've been chillin for 5 months now… I had an erection when I thought of yo chest… c'mon girl wanna fuck?"

      "Nah, I don't want to fuck you."

      "Oh…" *turns into incredible hulk and FREAK OUT like the emotionally insecure person he might be. (just an example)

      So women tend to walk on eggshells around social matters. "Ahem, no darling.. I don't want to 'date you' cause …well, we're such great friends!"

      If you're a human being… I expect you to know the human language.

      What does… we're friends mean? Does it mean:
      b. "We're just friends."
      c. "omg you're ugly drop dead I HATE you omg omg omg"

      lol in my case, I'd literally mean b… but that's cause I'm incredibly blunt. But I think it's safe enough to know that when a PERSON tells you that … ANY person… they mean exactly what they're saying. Don't believe me… wait until a gay guy tries to read between YOUR lines when you tell him how you really feel but he's SO set on you "putting him in the friend zone." Da fuq?

      Rejection hurts, maybe that's just a coping mechanism for guys to feel better… ultimately, there IS no friend zone… this isn't world of warcraft, women aren't mages creating bubbles to put you in. If you want to charm one out of the "friendship zone" consider this… that gay guy probably has a charm of his own to get you out of the friendship zone. Don't like the idea? Tough.. there's always a way to someone's heart. xD

      • LongLegs

        Oh, btw… before you think "that example was SO cool! Imagine if the world was like that and men were honest and women could say YES!! That's what all my pornos are about!! I'd be SO HAPPY!!!"

        Umm.. no you wouldn't. Cause look at how women are treated in porn. They're called whores and sluts. So this is why women have to maintain that cutesy wootsey "softy wofty" undertone. Because even if you do meet someone like yourself — in female form — she's not allowed to act the way you would. She'd be labeled a whore… but hey, you'd be labeled a man, right? So go out and enjoy and then wonder why there's such an imbalance. lol

    • How do you kill that which has no life?

  • Poof

    The point is that you're actually not in it at all, and that it's a fictional state created by people who feel entitled to another person's affections. Men (because it's often men) will try to befriend or do favors for women, seemingly altruistically, but then get upset when they don't "reward" them with romantic interest. Get this – women don't owe you anything! No one owes you a relationship! Even if you're actually a super great guy, kindness is not payment for booty! And someone who's actually a nice guy won't expect these things from a woman. It goes back to the misogynistic idea that women are not autonomous beings who can decide what's good for them. Even if she's dating a jerk? She's still not yours.

    • thanks for supporting and promoting rape culture if sex is not a reward for kindness than rape is being promoted. you should look at other primates and how a certain species HAS ZERO VIOLENCE

      • Chaotic Good

        I don't think that word means what you think it means. This link might be helpful:

        If you go to all of the links the author provides as examples, none of them say that rape culture is supported or promoted by refusing to have sex with someone that you don't want to have sex with, even though they are nice to you. Besides, that isn't even what the commenter you are criticizing was talking about. They were basically saying that nothing entitles you to sex, especially not with someone who doesn't want it.

        Finally, speaking as a biologist, there are a few things scientifically wrong with your statement. Biologists tend to avoid words like "always" and "never", because there is usually an exception to the rule in somewhere. So saying that some species of primates (I'm guessing that you are referring to bonobos based on your assumption that sex is the exclusive means to prevent violence) have "zero" violence is probably very wrong.

        Also, we are not bonobos. Even if Homo sapiens are a closely related species, we do not share all of the same social genes. If we did share all the same social genes related to sex with all other closely related primates, then we would all have mass orgies every time any social tension occurred (bonobos), while males would jealously guard large harems of tightly controlled females (gorillas), while both males and females would be very promiscuous (orangutangs), while a complicated political hierarchy would grant the most access to sex to the alpha male, the member of the social group who is most allowed to violently dominate lower ranking members (chimpanzees).

        Just in case you didn't understand my meaning there, there is no way we can share the sex-based social genes with all closely related primates as it would result in a plethora of contradictory behaviors. For that reason, it is just absurd to assume that we share the social genes that result in bonobos having sex to avoid violence within the social group, with all the evidence to the contrary (behaviors actually exhibited by extant humans).

        Finally, if you think that a woman owes a man sex if he shows her kindness (or that anyone owes sex to anyone else when they are shown kindness), then you are the one promoting rape culture.

      • Lhyzz

        You're implying that if a woman doesn't have sex with you in return for kindness, your only option is to rape her. That a woman owes sex to a man who is kind, and if she doesn't deliver it, it should be taken for her. THAT is rape culture. Dummy.

    • Madame Mildew

      I always wonder if the men who act friendly towards women in hopes of sex think about how absurd that line of thinking to friendships in general. I don’t suppose they feel owed sex when they do favors for and act kindly towards their male friends, nor would they feel they personally owed sex to any/every man or woman who was kind and helpful to *them*.
      And do they even realize that the things they do that they think are going the extra mile (and should be richly rewarded for) are just the normal things friends do for each other on a regular basis?

  • One of the few things that pretty much all of my exes had in common (once i got to know them) was this bizzarely disproportionate amount of self~ pity & this whole idea that if they didn't trick a female into becoming a "gf" (sexual partner-ish type thing) in just the exact right way at just the exact right times.. she would realize that he is trying to be her "bf" (unload his grocery- list/ checklist of sexual demands on her) & stick him in the "friend zone," where he cannot get out of because she is "pretending" they are "just friends" as an excuse not to give him what she owes him (checking off his grocery list of sexual demands)…… MOST of them are are/ or were major jerks (ok, ALL of them) but yet the vast majority of them sincerely thought that they were "nice guys."
    I happen to LOVE nice guys I just hardly ever meet any of them; & when i do…they turn out to be not-so-nice-guys after all or else they just don't share thatthey are interested in me the way that other guys, who as a result; I think like me MORE (than the nice guys do) because nice guys are either so timid about it or wishy- washy that it seems like they do not like me very much at all….. & Lord knows I do not wanna waste my time with a guy who may-or-may-not-like-me-very-much-or-maybe-who-knows-what-do-you-think? type of thing which just insults me because first of all why would i want to be with someone who's interest in me depends on my interest in them?
    I know they are trying not to be "pushy" & "scary" or whatever; but acting as if it's a big deal that they kind of sort of may be interested in us sometime maybe & that we should respond positively to being possibly considered as someone that they would have a "relationship" with (if we made it easy for them) & be all ECSTATIC that we may-or-may-not-be somebody's wishy- washy "option" kind of pisses me of; Also, a woman who has a wonderful, supportive friendship with a man (most likely because the men are still actually "nice" to them at this point) learns that as soon as she agrees to let the man move in on her & attempt to push, force or inflict his checklist of sexual demands on her; lo & behold he gets all pushy & COMPLETELY stops being nice……. she then becomes just another object in his world for him to obtain things from so that he can go running back to his friends with "proof"/ stories of the newly-crossed-off checklist thus far….. and whenever he feels he's all done presenting the evidence of all of these events taking place; he & the surrounding males begin with the bartering, tallying, addition & subtraction as well as adjustments in the updates of "coolness points" that determine each of their social statuses amongst the hierarchy of the male pack (yes, it all comes back down to sucking up to each other, basically)

    • anon99

      my goodness, you sound like just *such* a catch

    • anon100

      clearly you have issues but for the frustrated amongst us there is one line that is spot on:

      "why would i want to be with someone who's interest in me depends on my interest in them? "

      • Maybe. Go ahead and brush off the truth as just "someone having issues" because you are pissed that someone can actually articulate it if you want….

    • Alan

      Your interest in people clearly depends on the extent of their — and their ability to show — interest in you… here, take my arm as you kindly step off of your high-horse; I'm a nice guy, you see.

      • I can tell by your judgement that I am on a "high horse" just because I told a yucky truth that you are a really nice, fun guy to be around…….. I am not really that offended; I just think it's fun to reply & sometimes rude not to…

        • Alan

          By "high horse" I meant that you were being hypocritical by saying that you were interested in people who were able to show interest in you without you showing interest in them, but did not want to be with someone who required you to show mutual interest (do you see that your interest in others depends on them showing interest in you, a behavior-pattern you claim to detest?). Now, re-reading your post, I want to include in "high horse" the fact that you extrapolate what must be a very small sampling to talk about ALL men. And I was kidding about being a "nice guy", sort a "fuck you" for assuming your specific definition of "nice" was universal and not BS.

        • Alan

          Also, a more honest clarification, is that maybe those guys are not saying their interest is conditional upon yours, but instead that changing their behavior to act on that interest is conditional upon your interest.

        • Ramone

          I’m one of the nice guys most probably refer to, however I am one who welcomes as many people into my life as is possible. One can never have too many friends in my opinion.
          I’ve have many a female friend but one thing I did do when I first approached these ladies was to make it abundantly clear that I was interested in being more than friends. I laid my cards on the table and left the ball in their court. I’ve had the best relationships with women who were initially just my friend, and still are, despite our romantic one coming to an end. I despise hypocrisy more than anything other slightly shady human trait, so I always try to be as transparent as possible. That said there has to be some semblance mystery and intrigue when a woman looks at you, well, this is what I’ve come to believe. It’s a big part of the ‘game’, men and women play when pursuing someone they are interested in. I agree with kata in all that she said though. Men have to be men, our job is to woo the women. Make them feel wanted, everybody wants to be special and appreciated because of who and what they are. Show them that they are worth the effort and that they’re worth you throwing away any reservation and overriding the innocent, well mannered, considerate, little boy that usually embodies the vessel you belong to. Become a man.

    • another woman who rewards rapists and promotes rape culture and rewards men who view women as sex objects ( you know assertive makes a move ON EVERYTHING WITH TITS and you complain when he cheats. you deserve it for not being more assertive with the shy guys

      • eselle28

        Apparently the shy guys will rape me if I don't have sex with them, though. How is that different than treating me like a sex object?

        • enail

          Yeah, if I had to pick one, I'd definitely go with Assertive-makes-a-move-on-everything-with-tits-and-cheats-on-me than Rapes-me-if-I-say-no. Maybe this is a hard thing to understand, but raping people because you want sex and they won't "give it to you" is not nice, it's not treating women with respect, it's BEING A CRIMINAL AND A TRULY HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING.

      • Chaotic Good

        Okay, you seem to have a better understanding of what the word means now, but you are still putting words in the commenter's mouth. She didn't say she rewards men like the ones you're describing, she is describing another type entirely.

        Maybe you should just stop accusing other people of promoting or supporting rape culture. Especially if you are going to follow up that claim with any statement that includes the phrase "you deserve it".

    • pitbullent

      This describes me too well :/

  • anon99

    The friendzone does exist, but many misidentify themselves as being in it
    And BTW it's not always men complaining about being stuck in the friendzone. Women competing for the same high status male whine about it too, because face it, what young woman wants second best so young in her dating life?

    • when women are friend zoned does not mean she can't at least have her fantasy night, the men will be far more considerate of her feelings and show her one good night

      • Chaotic Good

        In other words, he will lead her on for a night in order to get sex that he wants and can brag to his friends about, even though it will make her feel used and dirty and even more miserable than before. A good person would not do something like that, and it is most certainly NOT considerate of someone's feelings.

        And nobody owes anybody else sex! Period!

      • eselle28

        Yikes. This is screwed up on several different levels.

      • Madame Mildew

        You are FULL OF IT.

    • Anyone using the term "high status male" is thinking like a PUA.

      • Chaotic Good

        Yeah, that's just a synonym for "alpha male" that people use because they think the people they are talking to are too stupid to recognize that.

    • Madame Mildew

      ‘High status male?’ You know women don’t really talk like that, right?

  • kak

    The friendzone does not exist. It is a misconception.
    If two human beings are friends & know HOW to fulfill each others emotional needs they will fall in love if those needs are met by one and the same person.

    I have to be careful NOT to endanger marriages of longtime female friends as I know exactly what they need & how to meet those needs, when their marriage is going to a rough patch.

    Befriend girl first if you are looking for a partner for life or a steady relationship.
    There are a lot of damaged goods out there.
    Better be careful & see what's comming your way.

    Ignore everything I said, if you just want to get laid & get some experience.

    35 MALE

  • Ancu

    I thought the Friend Zone was about love, and primarily unrequited one. Yet 80% of this article is about sex. What am I missing???

    • well for men who want a relationship love and sex are combined they are not separate we have emotional and physical needs

  • Monkey

    So…then maybe, just maybe, women could stop saying that?

  • Monkey

    I feel the need to elaborate on what I wrote. My point is that if the Friendzone is a myth, both men and women are responsible for perpetuating it.

    It's not quite fair to say that women say "let's be friends" are doing so because society. If they truly aren't attracted to a man, they should have the strength to say so!

    I have had three women tell me they want to be just friends. Here's the frustrating part: in two of those cases this was after some degree of intimacy (not intercourse, however). In both those cases, they were the more enthusiastic at the beginning, and then went cool after the intimacy. So how am I supposed to take this?

    • eselle28

      I disagree. While I realize many people would like feedback, it's not other people's obligation to provide it. "I don't want to date that person," is a perfectly valid reason for not wanting to date someone. There doesn't have to be some specified lack of physical attraction, or incompatibility, or other tangible complaint. Not feeling like it is enough, especially in the early stages of things.

      Given that, "Let's be friends," is sufficient because I think everyone understand that it means the couple should only be friends, and not have a romantic or sexual relationship. The only time I think it's a problem is when the woman in question doesn't actually want to be friends, and plans on deleting the guy's number and defriending him on Facebook as soon as the conversation is over.

      • Monkey

        Actually, in my haste, I forgot to mention that after the "just be friends" any form of contact dwindled to nil. So… Yeah.

        As well, the one who has stuck around for a mutually rewarding friendship told me when I came out as a virgin that male virgins "scare the shit" out of her. So forgive me for being a tad bitter.

        But my point was that saying "societal pressure" forces women to let men down easy suggests that women don't have a choice in the matter.

        • eselle28

          I'd agree that women have a choice what they say, and I don't think it's a good idea to suggest friendship if you don't actually want friendship. That can lead to confusion and hurt feelings if the other person is expecting some follow up on the offered friendship.

          However, I don't think the choice needs to be something like, "I'm not sexually attracted to you," or, "The other guy I go out with sometimes is a better kisser," or, "I gave it a few dates because I wanted to be sure, but the more time we spend together, the less I see you as a romantic partner." Very few men give that kind of feedback. Almost no one of either gender enjoys receiving it, and many people react badly to it. And, ultimately, I don't think you're obligated to provide reviews of people's dating skills, especially if you haven't known each other long. Something like, "I don't think this is working out, " is sufficient.

          In my opinion, the main problem with letting someone down easy is if they don't understand they've been rejected. Is that what happened to you, or are you mostly upset that you don't know why you were rejected?

          • Monkey

            Frankly. both upset me. I felt that these people were truly excited to be with me one day and then pretty much having nothing to do with me (and I mean nothing; I have not heard much from either "friend" since).

            And here;s the thing: it's not that equal. Men get rejected more because they are seen as the ones that have to do the asking.

          • eselle28

            Rejection absolutely sucks, and it's even less fun when you'd previously gotten good signals from the person and things change suddenly. Sorry you've gone through a bit of it recently.

            Men definitely get rejected more at the asking out phase of things, but at the point you describe, things are fairly equal. There are a lot of men who will go out with a woman a couple of times or kiss her, and then will give her a vague reason to end things or just stop calling. That also hurts, and it doesn't provide any more clue why things went wrong than a "just friends" speech. It's also a perfectly fair thing for a guy to do if he's not feeling it. In most cases, I don't think an explanation (especially one that hinged on something as subjective as sexual attraction) would make things feel better.

          • Monkey

            I do think intimacy changes things. As I said, we did everything except intercourse. To go from that to "see you around" is really, really heartbreaking, and I feel like saying the "friendzone" is all in guy's heads is unfair.

          • eselle28

            I completely agree that being rejected after a sexual encounter hurts more. But your complaint seems to be about the way in which you were rejected, and that's the part I'm curious about.

            Assuming that these women were still going to reject you, and weren't willing to be convinced or to work on whatever the problem might have been, what would you have wanted to change? Do you think it would have hurt less if your partner had said that she hadn't enjoyed the experience or was less attracted to you now than she was before? Or, on the other hand, if she said that she didn't attach much emotional importance to intimacy and that she'd simply tired of dating you?

            I've been blown off after sleeping with someone, and I guess I would rather things like that went unsaid. I mean, ultimately I would have preferred not to be rejected in the first place, but that's a different problem and not really something I have control over.

          • Monkey

            Actually, I would prefer an explanation.

          • BritterSweet

            Lots of people say they would, but how would they take it? Sometimes people will demand an explanation, and then the other person is pressured to justify their decision. Will the asker accept the answer, or try to argue and bombard the other person with more questions?

          • monkey

            I would do my best.

            Look, I'd just rather not be in a situation where one day we're talking about our future and the next we're barely speaking with the pretence of being friends.

          • Trooper6

            But what you are talking about is not the mythical "friend zone." You are talking about women who you were dating breaking up with you by saying they just want to be friends–but they don't actually want to be friends. That has nothing to do with the friend zone narrative, which is about a guy meeting a girl and pretending to be her friend in order to angle her for a date and when he says something about it, she says she wants to keep being friends, they do indeed keep being friends, but he complains to everyone and the internet that life is so unfair because she won't sleep with him.

            Your situation is not like the friend zone complainers at all. Your situation is about women who didn't do the break up of your relationship well.

          • Trooper6

            I don't know. What if the explanation were, "male virgins scare the shit out of me." Because you got that explanation, and you don't seem to be taking that well.

            Or what if the explanation is, "At first I thought you were okay, but now that I know you better I think you are one of the worst human beings in the world?"

            I mean some of these explanations might be really hurtful and bad for your self esteem. When you wrote that that one ex of yours told you male virgins scare her, my internal response wasn't "how great that she was so honest" but, "woah, how messed up was she for telling monkey that in that way."

            So one scenario is that she tells you something hurtful and detrimental to you.
            The other scenario is that she tells you a reason that you don't agree with…and then what? Very often, in cases like that, the person being dumped refuses to accept the reason, because it isn't good enough, or they can change, or whatever. Then the badgering begins….and that isn't cool to do to her.

            I'm sorry you've had some crappy break-ups…but again, nothing to do with the friend zone.

          • Anna

            A lot of guys say that, but from my experience (and I think probably the majority of female experiences), the guys we may have tried that on react very badly. Seemingly "nice" ones may even sometimes react violently or with pretty nasty, bitter language. There are a lot of reasons why we would feel the need to "let a guy down easy," most of which actually have very little to do with the actual guy we're letting down. Society and our own dating experiences do pressure us to soften the blow whenever we reject someone, often to the point of lying (such as with fake phone numbers, "I have a boyfriend," a false "let's just be friends"). That said, many of us really DO just want to be friends with guys who may be attracted to us. When we say that, sometimes they don't get the hint and think we're just playing hard to get or will come around some day. That is the "friend zone" of myth.

          • Wouldn't we all? The point is, we're not owed an explanation.

          • Dude

            She didn't "Friendzone" you. She broke up with you.

        • Sick of men

          Hey dipstick, do you know what happens to women who reject psycho men? They get battery acid thrown in their faces, or stalked, or even tortured & MURDERED, so you need to shut your stupid mouth since you're so IGNORANT of the very real threat to a woman's safety when she dares to be honest with some Norman Bates/Ted Bundy wannabe! Being a woman is a catch 22; you crazy men call us "bitches" when we tell you the truth, but then come on to a blog and complain because some woman let you down easy. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS!


      • AnoNT

        Are they obligated to give you feedback? No. But, if they actually want to be your friend, wouldn't providing you with useful feedback be a friendly thing to do? If they can't do that, maybe they're not so great of friends after all.

    • eyelid

      Let's review:

      1) Girl was interested.
      2) you hooked up with girl in some way.
      3) Girl lost interest.

      …the logical conclusion is that there is something wrong with your hookup technique. Like, maybe you kiss like a lawnmower or grope painfully or look weird naked or something. I hooked up with a guy without technique once. Disappeared on him after that, because "um… you are sexually clueless" is a very awkward conversation that I didn't feel like having.

      Could be they just found they weren't that into you, though. That is also a possible conclusion. I've hooked up with people on a whim and then lost interest. It happens.

    • sounds like they where the most shallow of women they found out your not hung like a horse and ran

      • Chaotic Good

        Wow…you do realize that you have never even met these women, right? Heck, the guy said that he never had sex with them, so you can't assume they even saw his genitals. For that matter, you can't assume that he is not hung like a horse unless YOU have seen his genitals. Back to the point, though, there are a lot of reasons to reject a romantic partner, most of which have nothing to do with genital size or being "the most shallow of women".

        Being able to blame, judge, and insult them is nice, though, isn't it? Isn't misogyny grand?

      • Madame Mildew

        Most women do not want men hung like a horse, something men have a really hard time understanding. And those that do? It’s a preference, and it doesn’t make them shallow in itself. Men also have preferences, do you call them shallow for it too?

    • Chaotic Good

      So…then maybe, just maybe, men could stop blowing a gasket every time a woman says "no".

      I feel the need to elaborate on what I wrote. Blowing a gasket can and does include all of the following:

      violently assaulting said woman
      screaming at said woman (both in private and public places)
      scaring the piss out of said woman in any manner
      calling said woman any of the terms on the long list of gender-based insults typical of this situation (I don't know if I will be reported for giving a list of these derogatory words and phrases, but I think you know at least some of them)
      threatening said woman
      following said woman down the street, often (but not necessarily) while continuing to do any of the other thing mentioned here
      shaming said woman
      not taking "no" for an answer
      sexually harassing said woman
      sexually assaulting or raping said woman

      I'm sure I missed a few things there, but all of those can and do happen to women who say "no" in a blunt but not rude manner.

      So, you tell me, is the fear instilled in women by experiencing these socially acceptable behaviors not a good reason for them to tread lightly when they are saying "no"? Is it wrong for women to try to avoid physical, sexual, and emotional abuse? Is protecting yourself in the socially prescribed manner a synonym for lacking strength?

      Are men so entitled to a blunt "no" that women must risk their safety every time a man wants sex from her?

      • Red

        No one's entitled to anything. Personally, I've always respected and appreciated honesty, though. Yes, society has instilled fear into women, and so of course I've always understood when they were beating around the bush. Still, I've always respected and appreciated the honest answer, though. After all, I'm not society.

        Perhaps you could stop assuming that men blow a gasket every time a woman says no. Some men do, but that's the stereotype. I don't think that it's really most men.

        You must admit, it's frustrating to think there's something wrong with you or some reason why you're being rejected, and no one will tell you what it is.

        It's been a long time since I was insecure like that, and most of what men are worried about in this instance is based on insecurity, but I do remember how difficult and frustraging it could be.

        • Chaotic Good

          Of course you are not society, but if you are a man approaching a woman who does not already know you, how is she supposed to know that you are not dangerous. The thing is, every time a man makes sexual or romantic advances on a women who does not already know him, she has to ask herself, “Will this person rape me?” It’s not that she thinks that all men are rapists; it’s that she knows that some men are rapists and so has to take safety precautions because she does not know that person, so he very well might intend to rape her.

          I know it’s hard for men to think about it from the female perspective, but women face a very real danger that happens to men infrequently enough that they don’t have to constantly be cautious. The privileged class is lucky enough to not have to think about the dangers and struggles faced specifically by the under-privileged class. (All I mean by this statement is that you don’t have to be cautious about the extra dangers that women face, just like how white people don’t have to worry about racial profiling and heterosexuals don’t have to worry extra for their safety because of gay bashing.)

          Further, I am assuming nothing. There are plenty of perfectly reasonable and respectful men out there. In fact, I’d say that it is extremely likely that most dudes will never have terrifying reactions to rejection. However, there are enough men who will have a potentially dangerous meltdown that a woman using caution is only logical. After all, if she can’t know he is dangerous, she also can’t know that he is not dangerous.

          If you are having insecurity issues, there are some things you can do. Don’t assume that there is something wrong with you (I know that it is easier said than done), maybe she just is not attracted to you. That doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you, only that the female in question isn’t interested for whatever reason. Also, remember that if you don’t immediately accept “no” as an answer that you are not respecting her boundaries. If she is a friend already, whining and wheedling and pushing the issue just sends up red flags, so if there ever was a chance that she might become interested as she gets to know you better you will likely have ruined it. Finally, if you just can’t help letting your insecurities beat you up, you can always ask some of the female friends that you don’t have romantic interests in how you can make yourself more attractive to other women.

          Finally, I too respect honesty, but I also respect common sense and rational behavior. Complete disregard for one’s own safety is irrational and stupid.

        • Talle

          If sixteen men have blown a gasket at me, and you're a lovely person but I don't know you, how am I supposed to believe that you won't blow a gasket at me as well? The world has already emphatically taught me to expect certain behaviors in certain circumstances, and I am not a scientist, I am a human being with a life — I'm not running hundreds of clinical trials to experience and record all the variables that might occur, I am trying to live my life with as much peace, tranquility, and physical safety as I can muster. This is my concern. All the other stuff is not my concern whatsoever.

          Men need to look to their friends and colleagues, TALK to one another, and do a major cultural overhaul before women can even think about not throwing the fine upstanding gentlemen out with the bathwater, especially in situations where there is no difference in method of approach.


      (1). Why does it matter that someone say they aren't attracted to you? They don't need a REASON to have to date you. They don't even need a REASON to say no. I HAVE said things of that nature to people, kindly but directly, and I generally have to hear a lot of misogynist things after that, like how I'm such a bitch, and then I lose my supposed friend. I find this interesting, bc if I was such a bitch, why did you try to date me? Why were you friends with me? And if we stopped being friends because you're too immature to handle gentle but real rejection, I'm a bitch? Wow…all I can say is that your name says it all…evolve.

      (2). Per your "three womyn" (because that's representative of ALL womyn, and of course, you were and are CERTAIN that every womyn who's "friendzoned" you was heterosexual), maybe you should take it as this: If they got less than enamored with you after SOME level of intimacy, either, (a). You're terrible at it, (b). You're creepy when you're intimate, or (c). both. And this is all precipitated by your OWN myth that you somehow "deserved" MORE, just because they were intimate with you once. Why? If you were truly a friend, why would you try to pressure someone who, for whatever reason, wasn't okay with it, do to more with you? Are you that desperate? (Do I even need to ask THAT question?!) Maybe you turned them off…that's just my .02, but then I'll…

      BE A POST-FEMINIST IN THE POST-PATRIARCHY, and I'm glad that we are not friends but that I have many other awesome ones who get that no one, ever has a "right" to expect or demand or a relationship sex from someone else (I'm excluding kink here, as that is play, which is CONSENSUAL, even if it's consensual non-consent, but I'm sure you've never even gotten that far).


      Ms. Appropriated

    • expes puella

      No consideration is being given to why she/they began anything with you in the first place. Perhaps whatever happened beyond the friendship sprung from mere boredom and they were ashamed or thought it a mistake. Not to add insult to injury but it happens. Perhaps their definitions of "intimacy" differed from yours, or there could have been someone else. Or any of the other reasons in the comments. Who knows.

      It's too bad they had to jump on the "let's be friends [but I really have no intention of actually doing that]" bandwagon; if you care so little about someone to use that, why NOT just be blunt with the reason? Clearly there's a lack of concern about feelings so why take a cowardly way out? To me, even a simple "because I don't wanna" would've been better.

      I once dated someone I was madly into but we had a myriad of issues. When he broke it off I was devastated because I thought we could work on so many of them. He finally looked me in the eye and said, "Look, the easiest way to do this is to remember that you don't want kids and I do." It hurt but it was clear as f*ck, provided a stark yet clean end and allowed for acceptance and, eventually, closure.

      That being said, your response to the woman making a comment about your virginity makes me think you should take a second look at whether or not you genuinely desire more truthful substance.

  • monkey

    I think the problem is that when you say the Friendzone "doesn't exist" that you're saying, in effect, that a lot of guy's frustration and pain doesn't exist, or worse that they are somehow bad for feeling hurt.

    • enail

      I don't think he's saying that it's not frustrating or doesn't hurt when someone rejects you, or that you're a bad person for feeling that way, just that "let's be friends" is not actually a ploy to stick you in some zone of undesirability, but a gentle, socially acceptable way of saying "I don't want to date/have sex with you." That's it.

      Of course, that's disappointing and hurts to hear when you like someone romantically. I'm pretty sure anyone who says otherwise is some kind of robot.

      In cases where the person saying it doesn't actually want to be friends, I agree it's misleading and rather unhelpful to both parties, and I think there are better ways to let someone down kindly. But in cases where the person saying it does actually want to be friends with you, what else could they say? They're not inflicting their friendship on you as some kind of punishment, they like you and want to be friends. If you don't want to be friends with them if they won't date you, you don't have to be friends with them. If you want to be actual friends, but the romantic rejection makes it too painful for you, you can tell them that, take a break from the friendship, and maybe come back to it later.

      • monkey

        I remain friends with one woman who actually wanted to be friends. However, even there, there are problems. I can't, for example, got to her with problems about my romantic life, while if we were same gender friends it would be different.

        • Trooper6

          Why can't you go to her with problems with your romantic life? Do you feel uncomfortable with that or does she? Why?

          I have friends of all genders and sexualities and whether or not I can tell them about my love life has nothing to do with their gender or sexuality, but whether we've established a relationship where we talk about that sort of thing together. And I don't do that often. I'm pretty private, and I'm going to share my very inner world with very few people regardless of gender. But, I'm more likely to share with women than men.

        • eselle28

          What the hell kind of a friendship is that? If a man is a real friend to a woman, why is he coming on to her again, and again, and again? Why can't he care for her enough to respect her wishes?

          Your definition of male-female friendships seems to center around the assumption that the woman should spend most of her time working around the man's emotions, mothering him, and generally attending to his emotional needs. It doesn't seem to involve any reciprocity on the part of the man to care about the feelings of his friends. Yet, somehow, it's not men in this little world who are immature or irrational. It's women, or at least women who are not willing to take on this maternal role.

          Personally, I think both genders have more self-control and can be more thoughtful about finding emotional resources than the people in your narrative are.

          • eselle28

            How do you reciprocate? Do the women in your life proposition you? If so, do you act in accordance with your own guidelines, providing detailed explanations and forgiving any angry responses? If an interested woman continues to pursue you despite repeated refusals, do you maintain the friendship and treat this behavior as a joke?

            We have different definitions of handling things well. You excuse men for behaving badly, praise women who are willing to behave maternally and who are willing to either ignore bad behavior or soothe men through it, and criticize women who are concerned with their own emotional well-being.

            The conversation began when you decided your abnormal friends were the model for how other women should allow their male friends to treat them, and chose to judge other women. It invites judgment in return.

          • Mel_

            To be honest, I don't think there's much point in trying to talk through this. We've just been providing fodder for a bunch of judgmental rambling that has very little to do with anything we've said. Better to just agree to disagree. 😛

          • eselle28

            You're right, of course. I don't think there's any common ground, and it's already gone on too long. I bowed out last night, but this time I'm going to decide not to get sucked back in.

          • BiSian

            Yup. I gave up today when I realized it would be a more efficient use of my time to argue with 13 year olds. Not being snarky, that's part of my job description.

        • Becelec

          I feel really sorry for these friends of yours.

          • Becelec

            Ugh. I'm not bothering with you anymore. Enjoy wallowing in your self pity.

  • magicman

    I would like to share a story with you all. In one of my classes I had there was this woman I liked and I thought she like me. I thought she was sending me signals that she did like me. This went on for about 2-3 weeks. I just kept wondering if she did and it was becoming obsessive and driving me crazy. I said to myself, "This is crazy and insane. This has to stop. I have to concentrate on my studies."

    I finally decided to clear the air and ask her out to see if she was interested. I asked and said to myself, "what was the worst she could do? What was the worst case that could happen? She may say no." She actually did say no and she told me she had a boyfriend. Guess what? I was not angry, hurt or upset. I told her "that's cool" and I turned around. I was very calm as well.

    • Anna

      I wish all (or even most) interactions went that way. In my experience, the majority of guys I tell I have a boyfriend are in no way dissuaded and continue to follow me down the street or through the grocery, asking me why I won't go to dinner with them and telling me they don't mind being a man on the side.

  • cubedemon

    After that, I listened to the lecture in class and took some notes. After that, I went to the cafeteria at my school and ate a couple of slices of pizza and drunk a large-sized coke. I just went on about my day and played computer games after my lunch. I moved on about my day. Asking her out was like a burden relieved.

  • cubedemon

    5. If you don't like what someone says or does then directly state so.

    6. If he or she says no then he or she means no. Do not play the no means yes game. State directly that you don't play this.

    7. If communication breaks down assume you misunderstood what was said. Don't blame the other party. Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements.

    8. Don't expect anything from anyone.

  • cubedemon

    9. Ask!!! Do not Demand!!!! Use the asking voice and not the demanding voice.

    10. If you want to sound like and come across as a buffoon then break these rules.

    I'm magicman by the way!!!

  • eselle28

    There are, in fact, men who behave very badly when they are rejected. You may not do this, but that does not mean everyone behaves in that manner.

    As for constructive criticism, that's simply not a reasonable expectation. I suspect most romantic advances are turned down because of a lack of attraction, or because the other person simply doesn't want to. It's difficult to coach someone to be more attractive. Some things can't be changed, and sometimes people can't even explain why they don't find someone appealing. It's even harder to identify why the thought of going to dinner or getting a drink with a specific person somehow never sounds like more fun than staying home and watching television.

    Beyond the general uselessness of most feedback, I'm fairly suspicious that it's desired for its own sake. I'm trying to remember all of the times when I have given a specific reason. I may be forgetting some, but every one of the times that I do remember were followed not by a, "Thanks, that will be helpful in the future," but by a drawn-out discussion where the man attempted to change my mind. I feel a lot of the desire for feedback is masking a desire to for a chance to talk the woman out of rejection, which is a fairly good reason for women to be wary of having these conversations.

    • eselle28

      No, I think it's primarily that they're not willing to be persuaded and don't want to prolong an unhappy and ultimately futile conversation.

      How do people have detached intellectual discourse about a lack of physical attraction? That's not something people can typically force themselves to feel, let alone argue someone else into feeling.

      And, wow, that's a lot of sexist bullshit at the end of your post.

      • Mel_

        Are you seriously claiming that when the average guy says to a woman, "Why won't you date me?", he's doing so in a detached, unemotional, not-unhappy way? If he's not emotionally affected by her not wanting to date him, then why would he care to find out why (or have wanted to date her in the first place)?

        The reason it's difficult to have a detached conversation about not wanting to date someone is *because* the person being rejected is in a vulnerable emotional position. Pretty much anything the other person says, from refusing to give a concrete reason to giving a reason, is going to feel hurtful to the rejectee. And since attraction is a totally subjective and individual thing, there often isn't a reason other than "I'm just not feeling it" and even when there is, it's often a totally personal reason that gives the other person no useful information that can be applied to other potential dating partners. There's nothing illogical about a woman wanting to avoid situations from which it's highly unlikely anything beneficial will come to either party. Actually, I'd say that's highly logical.

        Anyway, if men are so good at detached intellectual discourse, why can't they learn how not to be jerks or sexist by, oh, reading discourse (which is posted all over the place) on how not to be sexist jerks? Why would they need to *be* sexist jerks and have someone explain it to them in person before it would sink in?

        • Mel_

          You're not doing a very good job of proving that men are so good at detached intellectual discourse on the subject, when your best argument in return to what I wrote is a vague sarcastic remark with nothing to back it up.

          Why would the woman's emotional state matter more than the man's? When a woman is rejecting a man, it's because the man *is* interested in her, and she *isn't* interested in him. Which means she has *fewer* emotions about the topic. I don't see how you can argue otherwise. Why would a person care more about the fact that they aren't going to date someone they don't want to date anyway, than about not getting to date someone they do want to date?

          • Mel_

            Right. You come here and claim that women are responsible for the entire problem of guys getting upset about being rejected, and when people point out the flaws in your argument, *you're* the one being attacked? How is your blaming the whole thing on women not an attack on women? If you can't take criticism, maybe you shouldn't be giving it out.

            I just wonder which guys exactly you're basing this on. How many guys have you witnessed having conversations with a woman about why she won't date them? What makes you so sure that most guys are capable of "postponing" their emotional difficulty by getting intellectual and making it abstract? In my experience, the guys who pursued a continuing conversation about why we weren't going to date/continue dating were *all* emotional about it, making angry and hurt statements, even though when I've turned down a guy I've always tried to be kind and calm. I am perfectly capable of having a calm detached conversation about not wanting to date someone–they were the ones having emotional difficulty with the subject. And if someone is behaving with hostility toward me, surely you wouldn't think it wrong of me to not want to continue talking to them? The guys who were able to be polite and detached about it *didn't* pursue further conversation, presumably because, taking an intellectual standpoint, they realized that asking for additional reasons wasn't likely to be productive.

            I am perfectly happy to talk about our experiences and look at proof and data on the subject. You are the one who seems to have decided "you know what you know" and seem unwilling to have an actual conversation about the ideas you put forward if anyone doesn't totally agree with them. Instead of answering my questions you've simply repeated the exact same sentiments you put forward before, which have the exact same logical problems I've already pointed out.

          • enail

            Why do you assume that the woman isn't *capable* of talking rather than just not *interested*?

            Once she's indicated that she's not interested in dating the man, what more do you think she'd want to achieve out of the conversation that would make her emotionally invested enough to WANT to prolong it?

          • Mel_

            Unfortunately, LordBrain appears to be suffering from a series of misconceptions.

            1) That when a guy is turned down romantically/sexually, he is owed an explanation beyond "I'm not interested."
            2) That women know that guys are owned this explanation.
            3) Therefore, if women refuse to give guys the explanation they're theoretically owed, it must be because of some emotional failing on the part of the woman.

            The main problem of course being that these are misconceptions. No person owes another person a detailed explanation of their life choices; therefore a woman can choose not to give that explanation while still being detached and unemotional, simply because she sees no benefit in it, and that's a totally valid choice.

            And before I get accused of some sort of logical fallacy, if anyone wants to suggest that even if a specific woman doesn't owe a specific man a detailed explanation, men are still owed in general, they're welcome to as long as they also explain how society is supposed to provide men with those explanations without the specific men and women being involved, given that the explanations are going to vary from case to case and person to person.

          • Atlantica

            So the only reason you ever do anything for anyone is that you owe them something?

          • Mel_

            I'm not seeing where I said that people should never give each other explanations for their actions because they don't have to. My point was that since no one is *owed* a detailed explanation, people who don't give one should not be blamed or considered flawed for it. Obviously people can *choose* to give a detailed explanation for their actions if they'd like to, for a variety of reasons. But none of those reasons is "because they should, because it's wrong of them not to."

            I do lots of things for people that I don't owe them. That doesn't mean I can't be annoyed if I don't happen to do something I didn't have to do, and someone gets upset at me or insults me because of it.

          • Atlantica

            Yes, obviously people can choose. But I was asking you in specific. Since your argumentation is entirely based over the concept of owing, repeatedly so, to the point of being obsessive about it and unable to see anything else. You still repeat it.

            "My point was that since no one is *owed* a detailed explanation, people who don't give one should not be blamed or considered flawed for it."

            Let's say I was sitting somewhere, taking the only available chair. And a disabled person, who has trouble standing up, wished for the seat. Despite of me not *owing*<sic> anything at all to the disabled person, lot of people would blame me for not giving the seat, and not explaining why I don't give them the chair, and even more so if I didn't reply to them at all, or just told them to get lost. Just to save some seconds of my oh so precious time. Do you see now that the whole concept of owing is totally pointless? It's actually a matter of politeness and common courtesy.

            "But none of those reasons is "because they should, because it's wrong of them not to." "

            I'm a nihilist, I don't believe in right or wrong. And I don't think anyone who can make wise decisions without needing these fictional moral concepts as a crutch, should believe in right or wrong either. So can't comment on if something is "right" or "wrong". But it never hurts to be polite.

            Of course you shouldn't have to tolerate people insulting you. And shouldn't date someone who insults you. Now the question is why are you even friends with people who have the tendency to insult you?

            Now they must have that tendency. Because you assume they are going to insult you as the reply. Otherwise you would be a prejudiced, and we wouldn't want to assume that about you, right? In the modern western world, prejudice is considered to be perhaps the worst possible sin by many. People get fired up by it. People even start riots over it.

            So to return to the previous concepts of "blame", "right" and "wrong", people very often consider prejudice to be wrong, and therefore a valid reason for blame. Of course you could think that prejudice is ok, and not a valid reason for blame, but don't be surprised if many people do.

            Since nobody is asking you to tolerate insults, and it has nothing to do with asking explanations to being rejected. Also that reaction is also mostly unrealistic in the given situation. Let's now ignore insulting behavior, and assume the person is kind, your friend (assuming from the topic), and obviously thinks very highly of you and feels positive emotions about you. Can you give a reason not to be polite towards this person, and be kind enough use less than a minute of your time to be either honest or helpful, other than those that are being fueled by egomania or narcissism? Obviously people like that could spend entire day making different rationalizations for their unhealthy behavior.

          • eselle28

            Just because someone wants something from me does not mean it's impolite of me not to give it to them. There are established reasons why giving seating to those who need it most is a matter of courtesy. There are not in some other cases – for instance, if I asked someone to lend me money, it would almost never be rude of them to decline. There's no reason to assume that providing free relationship counseling should be in the first category. (I would propose that the issue with disabled seating is that the disabled person's need can only be met by people who have chairs. The person who needs a loan can have his or her needs met in a number of ways. The man who needs relationship counseling is closer to the second person, as he'd likely learn more by finding a therapist than by interrogating his friend.)

            The prejudice that people object to so strongly is not related to making assumptions about people at all, but rather about making assumptions about them based on racial, sexual, religious, orientation, and other similar traits.

            I may very well assume that someone who is my friend and who is also kind will react by insulting me. Many people, even otherwise good ones, behave very poorly when their feelings are hurt. Many more people, even otherwise good ones, turn explanations into a chance to argue and attempt to change the other person's mind.

            The last bit has a number of answers, but an easy one would be that in most cases, I don't believe that it would help, because the rejection was based on something it would be impossible for the man to change. Another one would be if my reason for rejecting the man was quite simply that I did not want to date him. Sometimes there aren't specific reasons, and there shouldn't have to be. In other cases, it may be something worth discussing, because it's specific and the man can perhaps change that trait to be more appealing to other women. In those situations, I might choose to provide a bit of an explanation.

          • Atlantica

            "Just because someone wants something from me does not mean it's impolite of me not to give it to them."

            Depends on circumstances, on the relation, and assessing what you have to lose, and what the other person has to gain.

            As said the kind of people I mentioned above, can rationalize something is not impolite. And they do it often.

            "There are not in some other cases – for instance, if I asked someone to lend me money, it would almost never be rude of them to decline."

            Obviously it's easy to make uneven comparison, in an attempt to make a point. But that's a failed analogy, therefore not a valid point. Less than a minute of your time isn't comparable to lending even a small amount of money. Unless you have extremely high income. The person isn't asking you to give your kidney to your hated enemy, who has ruined your life either.

            I would lend money to a kind trustworthy friend who loves me, even if I don't share the feeling. I see no reason why not to.

            It might be lot easier to help the person being rejected, to find someone more suitable to focus on. Than not to. It's egocentric to think that in the other persons world revolves around you. They are probably just lonely, almost everyone wants to find love, nothing wrong with that.

            "There's no reason to assume that providing free relationship counseling should be in the first category. "

            It's a matter of reasonable effort, dictated by common sense. Of course there are people who lack common sense, or the skill to assess reasonable effort. But then again there's also people who are just self-centered, and don't want to admit it, to others or themselves.

            There's no reason why relationship advice should be considered to be massively valuable to the giver. In this case it doesn't lower your chances. Like it could be in case of from-man-to-man advice.

            "The prejudice that people object to so strongly is not related to making assumptions about people at all, but rather about making assumptions about them based on racial, sexual, religious, orientation, and other similar traits. "

            Or gender, like it is in this case.

            It's not possible to objectively rank, what's more or less ok to be prejudiced about. It's entirely subjective and culture dependent.

            "I may very well assume that someone who is my friend and who is also kind will react by insulting me."

            You may, but it's an unrealistic assumption.

            Also insulting and asking for explanation are two different things. As I said, you shouldn't tolerate insults.

            "Many more people, even otherwise good ones, turn explanations into a chance to argue and attempt to change the other person's mind. "

            Many but not most. Also it's possible to tell if the motives are for honest inquiry or for the sake for argument. But sure it has happened to me that a woman has thought I was trying to start an argument, when I was just asking questions to solve some problem. This can happen especially when the two people have a different way of processing information. Like for example the other person is verbal and detail-oriented, and the other one is visual big-picture thinker.

            It takes two to argue, you can stop the argument once it starts. But there's no realistic reason to assume, there will be an argument, without any sings for it.

            "The last bit has a number of answers, but an easy one would be that in most cases, I don't believe that it would help,"

            You can't decide for other people if something is helpful or not. If they think it's helpful, there's a good chance it is helpful for them. You can also state that you don't think it's helpful, and then state what it is. Where's the harm?

            "because the rejection was based on something it would be impossible for the man to change"

            Then they know it's a lost cause, and move to someone else. It could be something that they can't assess themselves, and nobody has told them before.

            " Another one would be if my reason for rejecting the man was quite simply that I did not want to date him."

            I don't see no reason why you can't tell them that.

          • Clementine Danger

            Oh, so you're going to talk to everyone here besides me? What about my answer? Not good enough for you? I don't see what about everyone else's response is so great that it merits a reply, while I get ignored. I thought we had a conversation. I thought you cared about our conversation. Now you won't even give me your money and cut off your thumb.

            I want an answer. I really think I deserve an explanation after all I've done for you.

          • Atlantica

            Maybe it was too good and no one wants to argue with that 🙂

          • Clementine Danger

            No, I don't accept that. Explain better.

          • Mel_

            "" Another one would be if my reason for rejecting the man was quite simply that I did not want to date him."

            I don't see no reason why you can't tell them that."

            And this is exactly why your charging into this conversation without knowing what we were talking about is not remotely constructive. No one here was saying they'd give no reason at all for why they didn't want to date a friend who asked. The argument was about whether women were emotionally deficient for not wanting to sit down and explain at length (not just for "less than a minute" as you keep saying) every thing the guy might have done that might have affected the way the woman feels about him. Even though most of the time when a person isn't attracted to someone that way, they just aren't attracted to them, and don't know the reasons behind their feelings, no matter how many times the other person asks. Feelings happen all the time without reasons. Attraction isn't some logical process.

            So could you please stop accusing people of being impolite, egocentric, etc., when you are the one who's making all kinds of incorrect assumptions about what this discussion was based on, and why we were disagreed with what the deleted comments said?

            As far as I can tell, for the most part, people here would actually agree with you! The problem is that you're assuming people are arguing against your perspective, when they were actually arguing against a totally different perspective that has been deleted. And by taking the opposing side, you're allying yourself with this guy who said some pretty offensive things, without even knowing what he said. This is why people are not responding with as much patience and attempts at understanding as you would like.

            If you want to have an actual discussion about your actual ideas, I'd recommend you get out of this thread where you only can see one side of the conversation, and start a new thread that directly states whatever it is that you want to say that's relevant to the post.

          • Mel_

            Atlantica, you do realize that you're coming into a conversation where you can't see what the person I was arguing with said, and so you have no idea what provoked my comments, right? And so it's rather unfair, or one might even say, impolite, since that seems to be an important concept to you, for you to assume that I'm the one who was being unreasonable.

            To clarify, I was focusing "obsessively" on the concept of owing not because I'm incapable of seeing human dynamics in any other way, but because the person I was arguing with was framing them that way. I was trying to show him how his logic was faulty, because *he* wasn't willing to accept other arguments. And *he* is the one who was insulting me, and women in general, by making claims like that women are emotionally deficient and immature, and that's the reason they don't stick around and provide long explanations when they decline to date someone. That's how this whole discussion started–not with a polite suggestion that it would be nice for women to try to help their friends, but with sweeping negative generalizations about woman's mental and emotional capabilities. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with any quotes, because he deleted all his posts. Which suggests even he wasn't particularly proud of them.

            So how about you stop picking apart an argument you can only see one side of, and let me know exactly what it is that *you* are concerned about? Because I totally agree that if one friend asks another friend to become more than friends, and the second person declines, and the first person calmly asks for an honest reason why, it would be a friendly thing for the second person to give that reason, and maybe even give some pointers that might help with other women in future if applicable.

            The problem is that in most of these situations, the person who's been rejected is not calmly asking for friendly support, they are upset or angry and searching for a way to argue with the object of their affection as if they can find some way to turn the situation around. It is not being polite or friendly to tell your friend that "I don't feel that way about you" is not a good enough reason for them to say no to dating; it is not being polite or friendly to keep badgering your friend for answers when they don't have any more, they just aren't attracted to you as more than a friend. Once one friend stops acting like a friend, I think the other person is quite justified in wanting to remove themselves from the situation. It's hardly impolite to withdraw from someone who's being unfriendly to you. Would you disagree?

          • Atlantica

            "Atlantica, you do realize that you're coming into a conversation where you can't see what the person I was arguing with said, and so you have no idea what provoked my comments, right?"

            Yes, I realize. I wouldn't say I have no idea at all. Since I can guess, what type of person he is, and what I could expect him to have said.

            "impolite, since that seems to be an important concept to you,"

            Well not really important. Was just saying what impression it gives out.

            "To clarify, I was focusing "obsessively" on the concept of owing not because I'm incapable of seeing human dynamics in any other way, but because the person I was arguing with was framing them that way."

            All right, fair enough.

            "let me know exactly what it is that *you* are concerned about?"

            Well, I just saw some misconceptions and comments that I didn't think were true, and wanted to clear the misconceptions.

            I haven't ever been put in "friends zone", so this doesn't really concern me in a personal level.

            "It's hardly impolite to withdraw from someone who's being unfriendly to you. Would you disagree?"

            No, I wouldn't.

            But I guess I could ask you. How often this actually happens to you? And how often you can tell about the guys feelings, before he tells you?

          • Mel_

            "Yes, I realize. I wouldn't say I have no idea at all. Since I can guess, what type of person he is, and what I could expect him to have said."

            How can you guess what kind of person he is when every single one of his comments has been deleted? I can already tell that you were inaccurate in deciding what kind of things he said, since you've been responding to us as if things we were saying were "misconceptions", when the things we were saying were directly based on comments he made *that you can't see*. How can you say it wasn't "true" for me to say his expectations were unreasonable, or that he was being insulting, when you can't see what he said? Don't you see how ridiculous it is to take the side of someone whose arguments you know nothing about? It makes you come across as if you're so desperate to get across your agenda that you'll assume anyone who's arguing with anyone must be arguing with your ideas too.

            "I haven't ever been put in "friends zone", so this doesn't really concern me in a personal level."

            Then why on earth are you jumping into a three weeks old conversation, where one party has deleted all his comments, in order to argue with us about how we were clearly wrong in disagreeing with him?

            "But I guess I could ask you. How often this actually happens to you? And how often you can tell about the guys feelings, before he tells you?"

            What does this have to do with the rest of the discussion? This just proves again that you have no idea what the original commenter said, because his arguments, and our arguments against them, had *nothing* to do with whether the woman could tell a guy had feelings for her before he spoke up about them.

            I will say it one more time. Please read carefully. The discussion started because the original commenter stated that women were emotionally deficient for not being willing to have long detailed conversations with guys who asked them out about why they weren't attracted to those guys. He didn't think it was enough for the woman just to say she wasn't attracted to the guy. He didn't think it was wrong for the guy to keep asking for more reasons after the woman gave that explanation, or to keep coming on to the woman even after she said she wasn't interested. In fact, he said that we should be sympathetic to the guy even if he kept badgering or coming on to the woman, while criticizing women for not behaving in the absolutely most generous and selfless way at all times. Those were all actual things that he said. Those were the things we disagreed with. If you would disagree with those things too, then you are on the same side of the argument as us.

            I don't see how how often I've had a guy friend be interested in me, or whether I knew about his feelings, should in any way affect my opinion on whether women are emotionally deficient, or whether it's okay for men to badger women for detailed explanations they generally can't even give. If there's some way it's relevant, you're welcome to explain.

          • Clementine Danger

            Yeah, I was here for the original discussion, before he stormed out in a huff and took his misogyny with him, and I can promise you Mel isn't overstating things. Those are all things he pretty much literally said and apparently felt very passionate about. He was VERY angry at us for arguing against the idea that all women are cruel tyrants with a head full of jelly and a heart full of glitter. There's willful ignorance and casual misogyny, and then there's just batshit lunacy.

            So no, this conversation isn't about crushes between friends, and it never was. Obviously every reasonable, properly socialized person agrees with you that when you share an honest, loving bond with a person, even if it's not a romantic love, the kind and polite thing to do is help them through their emotions and hopefully preserve the friendship, if you feel you can offer that much.

            This is not the kind of relationships we're talking about here. This is about… well, money and thumbs, and how you owe me them.

          • Atlantica

            "How can you guess what kind of person he is when every single one of his comments has been deleted?"

            Based on the answers, intuition and knowing people. Guys like him always say similar things. Most people are fairly predictable, at least to me.

            "I can already tell that you were inaccurate in deciding what kind of things he said, since you've been responding to us as if things we were saying were "misconceptions","

            You can't counter illogical and non-factual statements, with more illogical and non-factual statements. As were being done.

            "Don't you see how ridiculous it is to take the side of someone whose arguments you know nothing about?"

            I'm not taking his side.

            "Then why on earth are you jumping into a three weeks old conversation, where one party has deleted all his comments,"

            Because I can?

            "in order to argue with us about how we were clearly wrong in disagreeing with him? "

            You're arguing. I'm correcting inaccurate assumptions that you make.

            "What does this have to do with the rest of the discussion?"

            Nothing. I was just curious.

            "If you would disagree with those things too, then you are on the same side of the argument as us."

            I'm not on anyone's side. But yes I agree with you, that people shouldn't tolerate being insulted.

            "I don't see how how often I've had a guy friend be interested in me, or whether I knew about his feelings, should in any way affect my opinion on whether women are emotionally deficient, or whether it's okay for men to badger women for detailed explanations they generally can't even give."

            It will bring light on if it's even a relevant problem to you.

          • Clementine Danger

            "You're arguing. I'm correcting inaccurate assumptions that you make. "

            Wow. Douchechills.

          • Mel_

            I know, right? *shudders*

          • Mel_

            "Guys like him always say similar things. Most people are fairly predictable, at least to me."

            Well, I've talked to a lot of guys on this blog, and he was far more unreasonable and misguided than most. So I wouldn't say it's likely he fits into what you'd expect. And as I pointed out, I *know* your assumptions about him are wrong based on the things you've said.

            "You can't counter illogical and non-factual statements, with more illogical and non-factual statements. As were being done."

            Okay, so pray tell, what illogical or non-factual statements were in the comment of mine that you initially replied to? This is the main content of that comment (the rest was describing what I saw as the other commenter's reasoning):

            "No person owes another person a detailed explanation of their life choices; therefore a woman can choose not to give that explanation while still being detached and unemotional, simply because she sees no benefit in it, and that's a totally valid choice."

            Do you think this statement is inaccurate or illogical? The only complaint you made about it, initially, was that I was focused on whether people owe other people things, but I explained to you that I only focused on that because the person we were arguing with had been. And focusing on it doesn't make the statement inaccurate, only narrow in focus.

            "You're arguing. I'm correcting inaccurate assumptions that you make."

            Oh please. If correcting inaccurate assumptions people make isn't arguing, then I'm not arguing with you either, I'm just correcting the inaccurate assumptions *you* have made.

            "It will bring light on if it's even a relevant problem to you."

            The problem we were discussing is a guy claiming that women are emotionally deficient. I am a woman. I care about women. Therefore, him saying that is relevant to me. Even if I was a nun who'd never spoken to a man in my life, it wouldn't be unreasonable for me to argue with someone making broad negative generalizations about all womenkind.

            You've admitted yourself that you've never been in the "friend zone", and yet you somehow feel you're in a position to "correct" us about how that all works, even though by your reasoning it's not a relevant problem to you.

            I've explained to you several times now what was going on in the conversation before you arrived in the comments that you can't see, and yet you persist in assuming that you know what the other argument was and how our responses to it are flawed better than we, who actually saw what we were responding to, can. If it bothers you to see inaccurate assumptions made, why don't you start with yourself?

            You are coming in here lecturing us about courtesy and logic and accuracy, while at the same time YOU are being totally discourteous by assuming you know better how we should have responded to comments we saw and you didn't, YOU are being illogical by making that assumption as if your guess can be more accurate than our actual reading, and YOU are making all sorts of inaccurate statements about what you think we're trying to say while ignoring the context of the conversation that's been repeatedly pointed out to you. Correct yourself, please.

            Like I said above, if you'd like to start a new thread where you can talk about whatever thoughts it is you have on friends and romantic feelings, rather than trying to talk about comments you can't even read, you're welcome to, and I will happily discuss those thoughts with you there. But I can't see anything productive coming out of this conversation. You are insulting me by continuing to talk to me as if I'm misguided when you are the one who doesn't know what half of this conversation was, and as you said above, I shouldn't tolerate being insulted. So I'll talk to you again when you decide to stop insulting us and start a new conversation you can actually take full part in.

          • Atlantica

            "I *know* your assumptions about him are wrong based on the things you've said."

            I doubt it. Since based on your answers, your assumptions what I assume about the guy are wrong. For example you assume that I'm on his side, which is not the case.

            "Okay, so pray tell, what illogical or non-factual statements were in the comment of mine that you initially replied to?"

            I didn't say it was that comment.

            "And focusing on it doesn't make the statement inaccurate, only narrow in focus."

            It's inaccurate as the reason for what problem actually is.

            "I'm just correcting the inaccurate assumptions *you* have made. "

            Except for the fact, that you aren't merely only attempting to do that.

            Are you now trying to make a point, that you don't even know yourself what you are doing / saying?

            It's obvious, that you are desperately trying to "win" an argument. And you have zero interest in factual accuracy, unless it happens to serve your argument. But you can just as well try to make-up something non-factual.

            "You've admitted yourself that you've never been in the "friend zone", and yet you somehow feel you're in a position to "correct" us about how that all works"

            Someone who observes a car wreck from the outside, is likely to have more accurate understanding what happened, than the person inside the car.

            "and how our responses to it are flawed better than we, "

            They are flawed when they don't apply to real world.

            If someone says the sun is 1 meter long, and it's replied with a claim that it's 2 meters long. I don't have know what was originally stated, to say that the sun isn't 2 meters long. And when I say it's not 2 meters long, I'm not claiming it's 1 meter long either.

            "You are coming in here lecturing us about courtesy…YOU are being totally discourteous…"

            I'm not your friend, you haven't been kind to me. Read what I'm actually saying.

            "YOU are being illogical by making that assumption as if your guess can be more accurate than our actual reading"

            It's logical, you don't fully understand what I write. Therefore by implication, it's possible that my guess can be more accurate.

            "context of the conversation that's been repeatedly pointed out to you."

            The problem is sweeping generalizations about men, that haven't stayed within the context. The context actually being insulting behavior towards women, or as per the general topic women putting men on the friends zone.

          • Clementine Danger

            "I don't believe in right or wrong. And I don't think anyone who can make wise decisions without needing these fictional moral concepts as a crutch, should believe in right or wrong either."

            I personally believe in healthy and unhealthy thoughts, behavior and actions. Productive and unproductive. So I agree on that.

            The rational, theoretical truth is indeed that ideally, "owing" does not enter into the equation. But out there in actual reality, a lot of people do ACT like they're owed all sorts of things and make that someone else's problem instead of their own. You and I and everyone we know can insist that "owing" has nothing to do with the dynamic until we're blue in the face, but that does absolutely nothing to change the fact that the behavior exists, and is common and pervasive enough to have become a goddamn meme.

            We can go on about the objective truths behind moral codes and nihilism and blame until the sky turns purple and Satan farts a tango, but at the end of the day the fact of the matter is that there's a whole bunch of guys going around *acting* like they're owed all sorts of things from women, deeply believing that they're owed these things, getting upset when they don't get what they believe they're owed, and that these guys are making things very difficult and frustrating, both for the women they've targeted and the vast majority of guys, who actually *are* nice.

            Practically speaking, in actual day-to-day reality, nobody at all benefits from this behavior. There is no win-win here. There is no possible situation in which both parties walk away happy. None.

            Also, as a side note…

            "Since nobody is asking you to tolerate insults […]"

            I can't speak for anyone else, but I can say with some degree of certainty that yes, women are often expected to tolerate and accept insults when it comes to this issue, provided that the men handing out the insults don't think of them as such. There's definitely a trend of explaining away insulting behavior by bypassing the feelings of the offended party. The "intent is magic" line of thinking, if you will.

            "Let's now ignore insulting behavior, and assume the person is kind, your friend (assuming from the topic), and obviously thinks very highly of you and feels positive emotions about you"

            Actually, no, let's not ignore that, because THAT'S THE CRUX OF THE ENTIRE ISSUE. We are friends with these people because they are hiding the part that would make us not want to be friends with them. The point is that they're either pretending to be all those things or deluding themselves into thinking they're all those things. Ignoring that aspect of the discussion is like saying "Okay, let's talk about racism, but not the parts where minorities are repressed and marginalized based on their race". That's insane.

            "Can you give a reason not to be polite towards this person, and be kind enough use less than a minute of your time to be either honest or helpful, other than those that are being fueled by egomania or narcissism?"

            I'll give you five.

            1) My kindness, politeness, patience, whatever you want to call it, does not spring eternal. I have a limited amount of energy and kindness I can give people, and I'd rather not waste disproportionate amounts of it. I may have the *time* to sit down and coach someone through the sadfeels, but I don't always have the energy. Not even for my own sisters, fiancee or best friends. Sometimes the well is dry and needs a minute.

            2) It backfires more often than not. When someone starts using the details of your explanation as tools to turn your no into a yes, or any sort of jumping off point for a discussion of your emotions, that's tiresome, threatening, frustrating, and a massive waste of teaspoons.

            3) Emotions are tricky things. Sometimes you have no idea where they come from, and you can't really explain why they're there, but gosh darn, there they are anyway. Not everyone is decisive and articulate when it comes to their inner turmoil, and an attempt to clear things up could easily result in more confusion and hurtfeels.

            4) Give me all your money. I also want you to cut off your thumb and mail it to me. Either thumb will do, but so help you GOD if you send me a pinky.

            5) If they have entire days to sit around making rationalizations for their behavior, then they damn well have the time to sit around and disregard every word I have to say about the subject. Whether I give them an explanation or not, at the end of the day I'm still going to be the mean lady who secretly wants to date an asshole, so why bother? I have shit to do.

          • Clementine Danger

            Atlantica, it's been sixteen minutes as of writing, and I STILL haven't received the money and thumb. I took half an hour out of my life to type out that reply to your comment, the least you can do is give me all your money and cut off your thumb.

          • Clementine Danger

            Where is my goddamn money and thumb!??!!!

            Christ, do you have any IDEA how poor I am? I need that money a whole lot more than you do! Get back to me!

      • eselle28

        Please describe to me how the rest of this conversation should proceed.

        "Hey, we've been really good friends for awhile now, and I think I have feelings for you that go beyond friendship. Would you like to go on a date sometime?"
        "I'm sorry, I like you as a friend, but I don't think it would be a good idea for us to date."
        "I'm just not physically attracted to you. Dating involves kissing and sex as well as friendly activities, and the idea of doing either with you isn't very appealing."

        Is there anything else for these two people to discuss? If so, what should they say next? If not, did the man learn anything useful from this conversation? And is there any reason for the woman to engage in it?

        • eselle28

          In our hypothetical case, the response is the following: "The symmetry and proportion of your facial features is just deeply unattractive. Also, I'm not attracted to people who have your body type. I'm more interested in men who are 50 pounds lighter/heavier." What happens next? Does this make the man in question feel better about the rejection?

          I am a woman who has provided men reasons for rejecting them that are much kinder than the ones above, and I am telling you that most men are deeply hurt even by a vague statement that the woman doesn't think there's physical chemistry or about rejection due to something far less personal, like lifestyle differences. Responses to this can vary from prolonged complaining for a chance to defensive claims that the man never wanted to date an ugly slut in the first place to futile attempts to compare himself to past boyfriends to nasty predictions the woman will die alone. People are often mean when they're rejected, even to their friends. I think you're substituting yourself in for all men, or perhaps assuming how you'd behave.

          • eselle28

            Again, I think your prediction is far from how most people would act. Most people do not regard being told they are ugly as useful advice. That includes men as well as women. There is not a single man who I have provided specific feedback to who has said, "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." The best case scenario has involved whining and bargaining, which just doesn't work when it's a lack of physical attraction. The worst case scenario has involved a nasty fight, and sometimes a scary one.

            As I said before, I'm not so much concerned with protecting him as protecting myself. If a friendship has had a Nice Guy Moment and the man isn't willing to take a simple no for an answer, the friendship is likely over. If he lashes out at me, it's definitely over, and I don't care whether he blames me or not. The point is that I'm not offering myself up for emotional abuse.

            I truly believe that, "I'm not interested in a romantic relationship," is an answer in itself. I don't ask for anything more than that from men who I know well who are not interested in romantic relationships with me. If a man isn't satisfied with that answer, he can choose not to continue to be friends with me.

          • eselle28

            See above. I don't think I'm either a nice or a non-nice person for doing this. I'm a person who might feel sorry for my friend for having an unrequited crush, but who doesn't feel guilty about it and who is not going to put up with the hurtful behavior that often follows a rejection.

            You can turn the honestly caring about situation the other way. If the man honestly cared about me, he could choose not to make the situation any more difficult for me and to seek comfort and closeness, or alternatively, pointers and feedback, from people who aren't as tied up in the situation.

          • eselle28

            I am not the caretaker of everyone else's emotions. I can try not to hurt people and sometimes to help them, but it is not my responsibility to tolerate emotional abuse or guilt trips, especially when I have done nothing but decline to return romantic interest.

            If someone lashes out and is cruel to me, I don't care if it's temporary. We will not be friends anymore. I have never seen the immediate reaction be sadness. I have seen it be whining and guilt trips and attempts to make me feel bad for having preferences about who I want to date. That also isn't very conducive to a future friendship. There's a much better chance we'll be able to patch things up if we don't go there and if he handles his grief by talking to other friends.

            Your description of how men behave in these situations does not match up at all with what I have seen. As I have never been friends with or dated any of your theoretical men, I don't think we can continue this conversation.

          • enail

            Wow. Laughing at someone who is upset seems much, much crueler than telling them straightforwardly that I'm not okay with them acting that way around me. I'm glad it was the right thing for you, but I don't think it's something that everyone would appreciate.

        • BritterSweet

          Laundry list? Like what? "I don't think you're attractive because you have facial hair"? But lots of other women *love* guys with facial hair! Also, even if the guy were to shave, that's not likely to change the woman's mind.

          You see the fallacy in this idea of a specific list? Not all women are the same, and it will give the guy a false sense of hope that he can persuade her.

          • enail

            She's not making the decision that she isn't going to date him for him, she's making it for HER.

            In most cases, there isn't a list of likes and dislikes that he could conform to that would cause her to want to date him if she doesn't currently, and if there IS a specific changeable thing that would affect whether she wants to date him, she'd probably say so. "Sorry, I can't imagine dating someone with a beard. Any chance you'd shave it off for me?" etc.

          • enail

            Regardless, it's not her responsibility, and isn't part of the basic requirements for treating a friend decently when you reject them romantically.

            If he wants her advice on future dating with other people, he's welcome to politely ask his friend, of course, – ONCE – but if he has it in mind that this is license to try and persuade her, he's being dishonest and not acting as a good friend.

          • OR he could take her at her word, move the heck on, and go date someone who he doesn't have to "evolve" into wanting him.

            It IS evil to still hang around with someone hoping to change their mind, whatever your chosen method is: communication, or "some good times." It IS evil if he doesn't get with the program, respect her decision, and resolve himself to keeping all romantic overtures purely inside his head… and if he can't do that, to politely take some space.

          • What game?? What the heck are you even talking about??

            She says no. HOW IS THAT NOT CLEAR? Do you not see how incredibly creepy it is for you to IGNORE the word "no"? For this fictional guy to ignore clear stated verbal communication?

            It has nothing to do with being the thought-police. Him hanging around is an action. I am being the Action Police. I am saying his behavior is wrong. If he can keep his thoughts to himself, and can absolutely ensure his behavior is platonic and non-pressure, then fine, let him hang around. But continuing to hang around with the intent of changing her mind is manipulative.

            Him hanging around to "evolve" her with "good times" IS.A.DEED.

            If a guy saved my life just to get in my pants, I'd think he was creepy as hell. Why? Because it suggests he wouldn't have saved my life otherwise. My life is ONLY worthwhile to him, if it's connected to sex.

            That is why so many women find nice guys' objectionable. But it heavily implies there is nothing more valuable about a woman than sex/romance.

          • eselle28

            I take it from this that "evolving" means "pressuring the woman until she changes her mind."

            Don't do this. If you do this, you are a bad person. If you want to continue a friendship, do so honestly and without constantly pestering the poor woman to date you or sleep with you. If you can't do that, find someone else. Don't do it eventually. Do it right away, before your touching and your comments end up hurting the person you're claiming is your friend.

          • Are you actually claiming a guy should UNDER-emphasis the word "no"? What the hell is wrong with you??

          • eselle28

            The way to handle ambiguities in language is by assuming that no means no, and that an ambiguous yes also means no.

            It is sad if the assumption is in error and your penis doesn't get touched by someone who might be willing to touch it, but it's far worse for a no not to be taken seriously and for someone to experience harassment and unwanted touching and sexual assault and rape.

          • eselle28

            Yes. Yes, I do. If I say, "You're a great friend, but I don't think we can ever be more than that," I want a man to not hit on me anymore, to not touch me in ways a platonic friend wouldn't, and to not come back to me with a grudge about the rejection. I am saying no. I want to be listened to. Not listening to me results in the man doing things that would not only hurt our friendship, but possibly hurt me.

          • eselle28

            This is the first correct thing you've said. "No." is exactly the same thing as "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

          • eselle28

            The answer is to do it the other way. Both responses are a "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" One just isn't being said as loudly. Treat them both the same. Back off the same as you would if she'd picked up her phone and dialed 911.

          • No. No, intensity is NOT relevant. I'm going to share a very personal story, which will hopefully get through to you.

            I was once with a guy. He was a "nice guy." All of his friends went on about what a nice, sweet, generous guy he was. Heck, it was why I was alone with him, because I also thought he was nice. We started making out, but I didn't want anymore. I told him "no, don't want that."

            He pushed for it anyway.

            I spent HOURS telling him I didn't want that. I went through every nuance of emotion as to why I was happy to make out with him, but that was it. I went into excruciating personal detail, the kind you are supposedly crazy for sharing with a new potential, but I did anyway, because I wanted to make sure I was rightly understood.

            He pushed for it anyway.

            I *physically removed his hands* while telling him no. He pushed ANYWAY.

            I did give in, once. And I *hated* myself for it. I hated him. In some weird, twisted, disgusting way, I thought I was to BLAME for his pushing, like I had somehow *encouraged* him. Ya know, with the hours of emotional weeping. But I'd made out with him! And I hadn't said "nooooooo" intensely enough.

            When I tried telling a mutual friend, her reaction was "Ohh…. that's… too bad. But maybe he was just confused?" He continues to be known as "such a nice guy."

            It is DISGUSTING to encourage this behavior in guys. A guy who does this is NOT a nice guy. He is a manipulator. He is a snake who wraps his abuses of other people in jargon and nuance. He is a predator who puts his own needs over *someone else's body* over their OWN.

            Is THAT what you want to be? Is THAT what you want to encourage? Is that really the lesson you want to impart to other guys having difficulties…. to be THAT guy?

          • eselle28

            Dude. Gross. Stop. Someone shared her experience of being violated, and you're still 'splaining and making it about you. Just stop it.

          • Clementine Danger


          • enail

            No. This is not how friendship works.

            A friend gets to tell you things about themselves so you can examine their likes and dislikes and be close to you IF THEY WANT TO; it's not their responsibility to do that. And it's especially not their responsibility to do that in a specific situation where you want that information so that you can attempt to create a kind of closeness that they don't want ("angling").

            If you ask someone out and need reassurance that it hasn't affected your friendship, it's within the bounds of friendship to say "hey, I feel kind of weird about things after that. Are we still cool?" Insisting that they explain their decision ad nauseum or put up with repeated attempts to persuade them is well outside the normal bounds of friendship.

          • eselle28

            No. You are wrong about this.

    • Becelec

      I can give you some constructive feedback right now! You're completely deluded and misogynistic! And you sound like a total jackass! That's your problem right there. You are welcome. I'm glad to help.

  • eselle28

    Most women do want partners who are good people.* It's just that they want partners who are good people and who also have other qualities. That's perfectly rational, and for the most part, that's how men pick their partners as well. If you aren't willing to date someone who's incredibly kind and moral, but who you find highly unattractive or who bores you, then you shouldn't be surprised that women do the same.

    *Some of them don't, of course. Some people seek out unhappiness, and there's nothing much to be done about that beyond trying not to date those people until they have worked through their personal issues.

  • Becelec

    But omg we're not rational responsible beings at all, amirite? That's why all the awesome good guys are getting left out, coz we're so STUPID and don't know what's good for us!

    • Dr_NerdLove

      Speaking of society as a whole, the “nice” guys really are owed an advantage.

      Found your problem.

      • Mel_

        Okay, so you're saying that we need a societal infrastructure to meet the romantic needs of moral men? How would that work? You can't distribute women to men the same way you can distribute food to the hungry or medicine to the sick, because unlike food or medicine, women are conscious beings who have their own rights too.

        I'm glad you enjoy feeling morally superior, but a moral position is pretty useless if you don't have any feasible way of putting it into practice.

      • eselle28

        We can collect money from everyone to make sure that the needs of the hungry and the sick are met, without it being too great a burden on an individual.

        Relationships don't work like that. Being in a relationship requires a substantial investment of time and energy, and having one assigned relationship for the good of society would make it difficult for a woman to have an additional one with someone who fulfilled her own emotional and sexual needs. Moreover, nice guys aren't likely to be satisfied with being assigned an unlucky woman who lost that year's woman lottery. Most of them are interested in particular women, or at least are only focused on women who are reasonably young and attractive (as others have noted, the nice guys themselves rarely seem to put niceness at the top of their own lists when seeking partners).

        If you want a comparison to tax policy, I think that would be similar to allowing poor people to demand that particular rich people adopt them, allow them to move into their homes, and make them a part of their lives.

      • magicman

        IMHO, it seems like you're comparing apples and oranges. To me, it seems like you're doing the fallacy of composition's converse called the fallacy of division.

        Unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems like you believe that all cases in which we generalize something true about a whole from something true about a part is always false. This is not so. There are some cases in which the whole may be true and is derived from the truth of a part.

        Let's say you are generally owned as you claim. Who would do the paying? How would society pay out this advantage to you? Would we have legalized prostitution? If it is true that no woman individually owes you then how can you claim falseness that in general women as a whole owes you? How can you claim fallacy of composition when it seems like we can derive the truthiness of the whole from the parts in this particular case? Can you walk me through you reasoning. I see you committing fallacy of division when you're using the fallacy of composition. You can derive the truthiness of the whole from the truthiness from the part in this particular case.

    • Mel_

      I've never seen any woman saying she doesn't like good guys. The problem is that the sort of "nice guys" we complain about are not very nice, or good. There's nothing nice or moral about claiming you're "owed" an advantage. There's nothing nice or moral about demanding someone else justify their lack of interest in you in explicit detail and getting upset with them if they don't. Not to mention that "moral" is a subjective concept, and morals vary from person to person, religion to religion, and culture to culture. So how can you claim that there's one moral imperative that should apply to all people?

      I also find it funny that guys will go to such lengths to try to prove that they deserve extra attention from women for being nice, when I rarely see the same guys valuing niceness in women. When was the last time you heard a guy bragging about what a "nice" woman he hooked up with? When was the last time you heard a guy talking about how much he hoped he'd hit it off with a particular woman because she was so "nice"? Why is it okay for many guys to value looks over personality, but if some women don't put a priority on niceness, that's suddenly an offense to morality?

      • BiSian

        Actually, Taylor Swift is a great example of a Nice Girl. And she is also demonstrating the exact same problematic behavior: entitlement, refusing to articulate her feeling, and demonizing her rival.

        And okay, I'll play: What specific advantage do you want society to give "moral" guys?

        • eselle28

          Yeah, Taylor Swift is absolutely a Nice Girl, and I think that her image in popular culture is that she's weird and clingy. It's certainly not an attitude we should encourage in people of either gender.

      • Mel_

        LordBrain, you keep throwing around the term "straw man" as if it proves someone wrong, when I'm not even sure you understand what it means. A straw man is when someone misrepresents someone else's argument. How have I misrepresented your argument? I merely pointed out that is odd that, if you personally are so concerned about society meeting moral imperatives, that you personally are focusing all your energy on the moral imperatives that would mean men get more of what they want, while suggesting women should behave in ways they don't want to. If you were really concerned about morality being rewarded, then you'd be arguing that all moral people should be given an advantage, not just moral guys. So it seems to me what you're concerned about is not actually how much morality is valued and advantaged, but how much romance and sex guys get. You're complaining about society being biased, when you are clearly biased yourself. Two wrongs don't make a right.

        On the other hand, you ARE misrepresenting my argument. I never said that the questions of morality are not a valid concern. I said that morality is subjective and different people within the same society have different morals, so there is no one moral imperative that can apply to everyone. (Take abortion. To me it is immoral to deny a human being the right to make medical decisions about what's happening in their own body. To others it is immoral to deny a forming human life the right to continue growing.) What is a moral person to you might not be a moral person to me, and vice versa. Society does give advantages to "moral" people, but only based on the morals that the members of each society agree upon enough to make into laws. For example, in North America, people who steal, cheat, and inflict violence on others go to jail. People who don't, don't go to jail. So you see, moral people already do have an advantage!

        And just so you know, I've seen lots of women complain when they hear women making comments that are entitled; I've seen lots of criticism of the Taylor Swift song you refer to. So yes, we do point it out when we see women doing it just as we do with men. If you'd like some examples for proof, which I found in only ten seconds of Googling:… and

        Also, you said below, "Here the nice guys are arguing for a societal change, a change that could even be argued would be empowering to women and feminist values generally, while the so called feminists are defending the status quo."

        Where are these nice guys arguing for societal change? What societal change are they arguing for? I honesty have no idea what you're referring to. The only change I've seen so-called "nice guys" arguing for is that women should be attracted to their niceness, which is not a societal change (last time I checked, society cannot control any individual person's feelings), nor is it something even the women themselves can control (feelings just happen, they aren't something you decide on). Unless you think what they're really arguing is that women should get into relationships with them and sleep with them even if they're *not* attracted, because they should recognize that this "niceness" owes them an advantage? In which case… how would it empower women and feminist values to say that women should date people they aren't actually romantically interested in? What empowers women is the fact that we get to choose who we date by our own standards, not those forced on us by someone else's ideas of morality.

        Do you seriously think that society should legislate it that women must date men who meet a certain set moral standard? How exactly do you see this working? I'm asking honestly, because I can't picture it at all.

        • Mel_

          You responded to a comment of mine, and said, "It's one thing to say, hey, you either are immoral or you already have an advantage over immoral guys. It's another to say the whole question is of no valid concern to society as a whole." If you weren't trying to imply that I said the latter, then why would you bring that up when responding to me? What is the point in responding to me at all, if you're going to mention things I haven't said and argue about them instead of what I actually did say? That makes it a little difficult to have a conversation, you know.

          Here's a thought: how about you stick to addressing the points people have actually brought up in the comments you're responding to, rather than bringing up random other points? You know, like you could address the point I've made more than once that there is no objective standard of what is a "moral" guy, since morality is subjective and different people have different morals. Or that the morals that society does agree on, we do already reward people for. Or that no amount of legislation or raising awareness is going to make someone attracted to someone they're not already attracted to. No matter what you do, there will be guys who are sensitive and cooperative who don't have much luck with women (because, funny thing, even with society the way it is, there are plenty of insensitive and competitive guys who don't have much luck with women too).

  • Mel_

    It's difficult for me to understand what you're saying here. Men are advantaged because society is patriarchal. What makes you think the two should be in conflict?

    • BiSian

      Your run-on sentences hurt my brain.
      And no, Nice Guys aren't complaining about "patriarchs", (which does not mean what you think it does) having too much power in society. They are complaining that women don't want to love/f*** them.

      • Mel_

        Hey, whenever you feel like courageously providing some concrete examples of specifically how the society could change to be more egalitarian to men attempting to find a date, as I and others have asked for more than once and you haven't bothered to respond to, be my guest! 🙂

        • BiSian

          LordBrain's "logic" is making my head hurt. Is he saying that women choosing their partners based on their own preferences and attractions (instead of being guilted or socially mandated into dating Nice, Moral Guys) is reinforcing the patriarchy?

          • Mel_

            His arguments have been kind of all over the place, but what I'm starting to gather is that he believes that women are not choosing their partners based on their own preferences and attractions. Instead, he seems to think that we have been brainwashed into choosing our partners based on what the media portrays as appealing, as dictated by the patriarchy. So therefore if we just changed what the media portrays as appealing, magically women would start being attracted to "nice" "moral" guys.

            Which of course completely ignores the fact that a large percentage of women do prefer actually nice, moral guys. They just don't prefer guys who claim to be nice while whining about how unfair the world is whenever any woman isn't willing to reward their supposed niceness with romance or sex. It seems to me a far simpler explanation is that the "nice guys" we complain about are not actually nice. Because slinging insults at women whose only transgression is not wanting to date/sleep with you is not a nice thing to do. But, you know, then we'd have to be talking about actual facts instead of vague suppositions based on people's inability to deal with rejection.

          • BiSian

            Hmm that does form a sort of cohesive point.
            Sort of parallels my 16 year old self who loved to rant about guys only wanting blonde bimbos with giant boobs and Hollywood-perfect features. Which was also offensive and wrongheaded, ay embarrassing teen years.

            How about it LordBrain, is that what you're getting at? Wouldn't want to put words into your mouth.

          • BiSian

            Oh of course attraction is partially based on societal factors. I completely agree with that. Why are you assuming my disagreement about that subject? Actually no, don't answer that: rhetorical question.

            So do you advocate in shift in how the media presents sexually desirable men? Instead of showing us muscly athletes, present a different narrative?
            Such as, focusing on the funny nice guy who doesn't have much in the way of ambition (Knocked Up). Or maybe a man who has NO sexual experience until he's 40 but is a great friend and a eventually finds love (40 year old virgin). Or a group of socially awkward guys who have wacky adventures in life and love (Big Bang Theory). And these are just 3 right off the top of my head. To explicitly make my point, these stories and images are already out there.

            Or are you pushing for something else?

          • magicman

            I love the Big Bang Theory. It is funny.

      • BiSian

        Thanks for fixing the sentences at least.
        Patriarch is not equal to alpha male. Google some definitions if you don't believe me.

    • Mel_

      Do you even know what patriarchy means? Let me help:

      "…a social system in which the male is the primary authority figure central to social organization and the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination."

      Men cannot be patriarchal or non-patriarchal. If you are male and you live in a patriarchal society, then you benefit from the patriarchal nature of that society. You benefit because you are more likely to be give authority and control over other people, regardless of anything other than your being male. Even if you don't agree with the benefits you get over people who aren't male, even if you are the least "alpha" guy around, you *still* benefit from it. Therefore, yes, it is a totally tenable position that society is patriarchal and that non-sexist men are advantaged.

      • Mel_

        You seem to be very confused about what specific philosophical positions entail. Individualism is not the same as social Darwinism.

        And since you are so concerned about straw man arguments, you might note that nowhere have I gone on a men-are-pigs rant, so accusing me of that is a pretty weak way to try to persuade anyone of your point.

        No one is telling nice guys to shut up. In fact, we are encouraging conversation by talking about this–encouraging guys to think about their approach and consider other ways, encouraging guys to talk with women about how they feel and figure out better ways of dealing with rejection. The only thing being asked for is that guys respect a woman's right to say no without badgering her about it or accusing her of being malicious or manipulative for not being willing to date/sleep with him. We're suggesting this not just for the benefit of the women involved, but for the men's benefit too! Because a guy who goes around whining about how hard-done-by he is by women is not going to attract nearly as many other women as a guy who can roll with rejection and move on in a positive way.

        And we *are* trying to encourage a less combative approach to dating. When a woman says she isn't interested in dating, and the guy tries to continue the conversation about dating anyway, the guy is the one framing it as a combative situation where someone needs to win–he wants to win over the woman. People who argue against the "nice guy" way of thinking are saying it doesn't work that way, you can't win someone over. So by saying that people shouldn't criticize "nice guy" thinking, you're actually advocating a combative approach.

        By the way, you still haven't offered any concrete examples of what you think would work. *How* should we raise the prominence of non-combative solutions in our thinking? *How* can we cooperate and compromise and yet ensure that people aren't unhappy with those compromises? The whole point of compromise is that no one is getting everything they want.

        In fact, compromise is already an essential part of dating culture. Most people cannot find someone who's the absolute ideal partner, because most people are not absolutely ideal people themselves. So most people end up with someone who isn't necessarily the most attractive person they can imagine, or who has the most perfect personality, but nonetheless is a good enough fit for their individual needs that they can be happy. If someone is not at all attracted to another person, no amount of discussion or conflict resolution is going to change that. And neither party is going to be happy in a relationship where one person is not at all attracted to the other.

        Finally, competition in dating has very little to do with the "nice guy" problem. Women aren't turning down "nice guys" because they're not competing well enough with some other "alpha" guy; they're turning down the "nice guy" because they don't happen to feel attracted to that particular guy. And if two guys did happen to ask a woman out at exactly the same time, surely you're not suggesting she shouldn't pick the guy she finds more appealing? That she should sit down and have a discussion with both of them to see if they can reach some compromise (which would look like what? She'd date one guy on Wednesdays and Saturdays and the other guy in Thursdays and Sundays?)?

        • Mel_

          "First, I haven't been talking to you personally. I am responding to what i see here from all the posters."

          Er, I'm pretty sure I *am* one of the posters here, so if you're responding to all the posters, I personally am included. And I haven't seen a single poster claim that men are pigs, let alone all of us.

          "I have given examples, mainly by stressing true win/win and nonviolent resolution of conflicts in our fiction."

          Feminists are *already* striving to change the representations of dating and sexuality in the media so there's less encouragement of tropes like the idea that "bad boys" are romantic and can be reformed. So you can't really complain that we aren't trying. What exactly do you think should be happening that isn't already? I mean a concrete specific thing the average person can do, not just a vague idea. If you could tell me personally to do one thing to help fix this problem right now, what would it be?

          "It's also there when people get on internet forums and post about how all these nice guy complainers are just men who resent that they aren't getting any and they are jerks ta boot. See Kata Lee Sandberg's post for an example of a men-are-pigs rant."

          Kata Lee Sandberg's post isn't shutting down conversation or claiming all men are pigs. She talks about specific guys she's met who pretended to be nice and then behaved like jerks, and a specific pattern she's seen. She also gives examples of "nice guys" who didn't act like jerks, but still acted in problematic ways by never showing their interest and expecting women to always take the lead. Both of which are relevant to the topic of the post. She's continuing the conversation, not stopping it. I don't see her telling any guy commenters that they're not allowed to say their piece. Not to mention, not once does she make mention of feminism or claim she's speaking on behalf of feminists.

          Anyway, why are you allowed to make general statements based on a "personal anecdote from [your] experience", but when other people talk about their personal experiences, that's wrong? If Kata is telling guys to shut up simply by talking about her troubles with guys, then therefore aren't you telling feminists to shut up by talking about your problems with feminists? Or maybe neither of you is telling anyone to shut up, you're just stating opinions and experiences. You know, like people do when they're having a conversation.

          "Or when so called "feminists" go on and on about how nobody owes these guys anything etc. etc and that nobody should get a sexual prize for being moral. Sounds so good, but it's ultimately the same not-our-problem reasoning that gets thrown in the face of everyone else who has any critique of the status quo."

          I already explained why the idea that someone is entitled to romantic or sexual attention is different from other sorts of societal issues in my comment below.

      • magicman

        "Men cannot be patriarchal or non-patriarchal." Mel, I don't understand your statement. If you do not mind will you provide further clarification.'s_law

        Let's call patriarchal p

        what you're stating is

        ~(p or ~p)

        If we took and applied De Morgan's laws wouldn't we have (p and ~p)? This means what you're stating is "Men can only be patriarchal and non-patriarchal." How would this old up if the form (a and ~a) is considered a contradiction? I don't understand. I may be misunderstanding you.

        • Mel_

          I think you're missing my point. "Patriarchal" and "non-patriarchal" aren't words that apply to human beings or their attitudes, in the sense being used in this discussion. They apply to societies and the structures within those societies. So I meant "men cannot be patriarchal or non-patriarchal" the same way I could say "men cannot be gravitational or non-gravitational" or "men cannot be global or non-global." The terminology doesn't apply.

          (I suppose you could say all the men (and women) who live in a patriarchal society are patriarchal because they're a part of that society, but that's defined by the society, not any personal qualities they themselves have, or whether or not they think patriarchy is a good thing. And whether or not any individual thinks patriarchy is a good thing has no impact on how the patriarchal society around them operates for them.)

    • eselle28

      You seem to be equating men who are stuck in the friend zone with feminist allies. That's simply not true. First of all, the world isn't actually divided into alpha males who get all the girls and nice guys who are always rejected. There are men on both ends of the curve, but there are many, many more men who have both been rejected by friends and who have had success with other women.

      Beyond that, nice guys are no more or less likely to be feminists than any other sort of man. As we've seen from this discussion, there's plenty of sexism and male privilege among guys who aren't successful with women too.

      • eselle28

        I think they're neutral, actually. Some of them are horribly sexist. Others are nice men who respect women and who are simply confused about what they can expect from them.

        Either way, there's nothing feminist about coercing women to have sex that they don't want to have.

      • eselle28

        But their cause doesn't advance the cause of feminism. The cause is, essentially, that men should be able to choose sexual partners who appeal to them while women should be forced to have sex with men to reward their behavior, even if they would prefer to have sex with other men or would ideally not have sex at all. That's not feminist. That's enforcing rape culture.

        Again, this dichotomy of emotionally available beta males and emotionally unavailable alpha males is false.

      • Mel_

        What eselle said about the "cause" and the lack of a dichotomy. Also, can you show me where anyone has said "nice guys" are "feminist enemies" or that "sensitive trusting cooperative" men are not sexy? Oh look, no one actually has, you've just made another straw man argument!

        We aren't calling "nice guys" our enemies, we're pointing out that their sense of entitlement and hostility toward women is problematic. We're criticizing a specific behavior that they can change. We wouldn't bother to talk about it if we didn't think they could change it.

        • Mel_

          "Their sense of entitlement is not problematic in general, it is only problematic when you apply it to specific women like yourselves."

          No, it's problematic in when applied to women in general as well. You can't compare guys feeling entitled to have women be attracted to them to other social movements, because it *isn't* a social movement. Romantic attraction is not something that is or can be regulated by society. Why? Because society cannot put in place regulations that make women in general more attracted to certain types of guys. Feelings cannot be proscribed. As soon as you say that men in general are entitled to dates or sex for any particular reason, the only way that can be enforced is if specific women are forced to go on dates or have sex with specific men, regardless of whether they're attracted. Which you yourself acknowledge would be problematic.

          You'll notice that the feminist movement, while asking for equal treatment and respect for women (things that can be regulated, through fair hiring policies, sexual harassment laws, etc.), has never fought for the right of all women to have a boyfriend or to have sex (only to, when they have the opportunity, make use of it without being judged or penalized). Because feminists realize that thinking you're entitled to other people's *personal* (rather than professional or societal) attention is not okay. So they are inherently at odds with any guy who tries to assert that he deserves romantic attention.

          "The nice guys think the ulltra "masculine" alphas have an advantage over sensitive-trusting-cooperative guys and that this is a social ill. They think the alpha-male strategies of dating are actually successful comparatively to being sensitive-trusting-cooperative guys. Are they right? I don't know, maybe. But if they are, it should be the feminists in their corner, first and foremost. That is if we really take the project of social change seriously."

          First, you might want to consider the ridiculousness of calling for serious social change when you admit you're not even sure if the problem that needs to be addressed actually exists.

          Second, I think you'll find that many feminists do address the "alpha" male idea and speak out against it. If you bothered to look at other discussions here, you'll see there are a few guys who advocate for treating women in the traditional "alpha" fashion, and all the women here respond saying they don't agree with that approach, offering suggestions for less problematic alternatives (which often include being sensitive and cooperative). But saying "alpha" behavior is problematic and that relationships with sensitive cooperative guys may be more successful doesn't therefore mean that guys who aren't behaving in "alpha" ways are therefore *entitled* to more attention. No one is entitled to anyone's personal attention! I'm not sure why this concept is so hard to understand.

          We can call out problematic behavior from guys of all sorts, and calling out one side doesn't mean we're supporting another. You seem very stuck in this either-or type of thinking, when it's totally possible for us to have problems with both traditional "alpha" male ideas *and* "nice guy" entitlement. Because, as eselle pointed out, there are lots of men who are capable of being neither–being respectful and cooperative without acting as if they're owed anyone's personal attention for it. Those are the men most of us here would like to support.

        • BiSian

          What specific social changes are nice guys advocating?

          • BiSian

            You keep saying that Nice Guys want some major social changes and that we're misrepresenting these guys in saying they act entitled to sex/love.
            Honestly, I don't believe you. That's my starting premise. I've seen nothing in the articles and Internet rants I've read to suggest otherwise. I've never see a Nice Guy condemn "patriarchs," only "assholes" or "alpha/beta males." Oh yeah, and feminists, can't forget them.
            But I'm willing to have a conversation. So I ask you to elaborate.
            I'm not considering you the spokesperson for a movement. Let's narrow this down. For you personally, LordBrain, what is one specific social change relating to relationships/sex that you would like to see happen?

          • BiSian

            First, wanting sex or love DOESN'T make anyone a jerk, or a slut for that matter. No one here has said that, including you or me. So yeah, I can agree that anyone who shames a person for wanting sex or a relationship is being an ass.
            But here is the caveat, Nice Guys are not men who want sex/love. Nice Guys are men who expect sex/love, who on some level think they are owed time/affection/genital contact with others in exchange for X, Y, or Z. And that's the problem. No one deserves sex/love from another person. Period.
            Google "entitlement," or look at my handy dandy examples:

            For example, I can say "I want to get laid, I'm sooo horny. There are some hot guys here, I'm going to pick one to flirt with and hopefully more." Not problematic. Normal sexual desire.
            If I say to a friend, "I like you so much. I want to be more than friends. Want to go out on a date sometime?" Not problematic. Expression of feeling and desires for relationship beyond the platonic.
            If following the above, I say, "Why don't you return my feelings? I love you soo much, we'd be perfect together. I've always been there for you and never asked for anything in return. Just give me a chance!" Problematic and demonstrating entitlement. I'm ignoring my friend's reaction and trying to argue my way into a relationship/sex that I, and only I, want.
            If I never say anything to my friend and fume every time friend gets another partner, venting to the Internet about how men only want skanks and bimbos (trying to find the female equivalent to the alpha male whining), I am an idiot, causing my own frustration.

            Focus on the negative? Do you mean my saying that Nice Guying is problematic and ineffective, not to mention annoying as hell? Because it is and I've yet to hear anything that changes my mind. Note: saying, "You should feel sorry for them," doesn't change my mind.
            However, I have heard from Nice Guys, or former NGs, or are willing to listen and change. And I've heard from some who whine and say nasty things about men and women alike. I try to keep an open mind about the individuals, but its a behavioral pattern that I find fundamentally wrong.

            Also your paragraph about radical energy and canaries is another straw man argument; no one's said Nice Guys are mentally ill.

          • BiSian

            I´m done here.
            You are either being stupid on purpose, or you get some weird Internet jollies out of misinterpreting everything I say.

          • BiSian

            Also, above you posted something whiny about how women don't like to talk to you.
            That's because if you talk to women in RL like you do here, you are an obnoxious twerp.

          • Becelec

            I would like this comment a million times if I could. Seriously, I don't know why anyone is even bothering to engage this guy, he's not trying to have an actual discussion, he just wants to project all his delusions and hangups onto everyone. Don't waste your time.

      • Mel_

        LordBrain, you seem to be rallying against women who call themselves feminists, who put alpha guys on a pedestal and bash any guy who's at all kind or sensitive. There probably are women like that, but I have not seen any of them here. Perhaps you should go find the women who are actually doing the things that you disagree with and discuss this with them, rather than pretending that people here have said these things and ranting at us about it as if it has anything to do with us. I suspect it would be more productive.

        If you actually read what the women here and in the comments on other posts on the blog are saying, you'll find that by and large, we appreciate kindness and sensitivity in men, we don't think alpha guys are automatically more attractive or deserve more attention, and we treat the men we interact with with politeness and respect as long as they are respectful of us too. We do not hold these beliefs you are complaining about. I'd appreciate it if you'd stop maligning us for things we haven't done.

  • Mel_

    Actually, you know what, I think I'm going to step out of this conversation now. Not because I'm emotional and incapable of conversing about the subject in a detached fashion–I think you'll find that I've made my arguments based on logical reasoning and presenting facts. But given that time and time again, you've failed to acknowledge points I've made, brought up random things I didn't actually say to argue about instead, and made insulting generalizations about large groups of people I belong to (e.g., claims about how women and feminists as a whole think and act), you have lost any faith I had that you actually care about hearing other people's opinions or evaluating your own beliefs. I can only conclude that your purpose here is to continue stating your own position over and over, regardless of anything anyone else says. In which case, there really isn't any point in me saying anything to you, is there? There's no place for me in the conversation.

    See, if you were behaving like a sensitive, trusting, cooperative human being, then I would continue talking with you. But you're not. I kind of wonder why you're so concerned about advocating for those sorts of people when you're clearly not interested in acting like one yourself. Maybe you should consider that if you're having problems with dating, it's not because of media representations or patriarchal bias, but because you bulldoze over things other people say, ignore their perspectives, and make insulting generalizations? None of those behaviors are nice or moral by most societal standards.

  • Becelec

    Here's some real actual advice for Nice Guys, from someone who actually knows what she's talking about.

    Women are all people. We are all different people. We all think and behave completely differently, there is no general rule that applies to all of us. We don't turn 40 and suddenly wake up magically mature. We all mature at different ages, just like men do.

    Don't make generalisations about an entire gender based on your own limited experiences and set beliefs. Women are people too, and maybe they'll actually start giving a shit about you if you treat them that way.

    It still astounds me that there are people out in the world who are this ignorant. I should be used to it by now, but I never am. Ugh.

    • Joy

      As someone who'll be seeing 40 in another half-dozen years or so, I'm so "grateful I still have something going for me." That had really been keeping me up at night. But I'm glad to know that even if I'm not one of the lucky ones who is still attractive, even at such an advanced age, I will be over all of my silly hangups by that time and can finally "handle a Nice Guy's needs." Can't wait!

      • Someone doesn't have to date you just because you're "equal" to them.

        In a lot of ways, I am the female equivalent of the Nice Guy (what they think of themselves, anyway.) I'm "nice" but socially awkward. Geeky, but not flashy. I'd "treat a guy well" (whatever THAT means), make a good wife, and support him. I'm not society's definition of feminine or attractive, but I have inner beauty.

        Ya know what? Nice guys STILL don't want to date me. And that's okay. They get to want what they want; they get to decide what is attractive to them. So do women. The dating world IS fair, in that everybody, absolute everyone, gets to draw that line in the sand and say "This is what I want in a romantic partner."

        As for being great friends…. it depends. I have dated "nice" guys in the past. And every single time, their affection was hollow…. they dated me purely for their own egotistical satisfaction, out of boredom, laziness, and bitter resentment (that they ended up an old fatty, instead of a young hottie.) Once they were no longer getting what they wanted-they tossed it. Again, their pejorative, but I don't blame women who feel that being friends with "nice guys" is asking to end up in a manipulative situation.

        • BiSian

          FYI Marty, LordBrain has a problem reading what people actually say. I'm unsure if he's really as dense as he pretends, or (more likely) he gets off on being stupid on purpose.
          Don't waste your time trying to explain what Nice Guy really means.

        • I am referring to the idea of the Nice Guy as defined by this blog. A guy who is a friend and asks you out is NOT how the term is defined in any of these articles or other people's comments.

          I have never actually had a male friend ask me out, but I have dated Nice Guys, who were 1) bitter that other, "better" girls had rejected them even though they have A, B, and C qualities 2) remained friends with girls who they wanted to date, without every making a move or dealing with and moving past those feelings. That, in my estimate, makes my exes Nice Guys.

  • magicman

    LordBrain, I do not agree with what you are saying and here is why. I have been to places like car dealerships in which I have been accosted by salespeople. They make their pitch, I decline and they will not go away. In fact, some of the become angry. I remember one woman in a mall I went to tried to sell me a product. I declined and she would not leave me alone. She kept using erosion and pressure tactics. Have you ever been in this type of situation in which you had a high-powered salesperson who kept using erosion typed tactics and would not leave you alone until you bought their product?

    • BiSian

      Damn, I went to bed and missed everything. Did Lord Creepy finally realize no one was impressed by his terrible ideas?

      • Becelec

        Pretty much. I have serious kudos to the few people who actually had the patience to repeatedly argue logic to that mountain of batshit crazy. Shout outs to eselle28, Marty and Mel – you three have the patience of saints. Just attempting to read half his posts gave me a headache.

        • BiSian

          Agreed, you guys are impressive.
          And as an added bonus, his Creepiness took all those headachey posts with him when he flounced off.

      • Clementine Danger

        I just downvoted the comments I didn't agree with. As you do. Then he stopped being totally cool with sexual abuse for a bit and started raging at the horrible crime of people not liking his "no means maybe" mansplaining.

        I guess he was just too edgy for the internet.

  • magicman

    It sucks dude. I've wanted to punch a few in the face but I know that is wrong and I have to restrain myself. Believe me I know. If you have then you know what I am talking about. When it comes to women think of it in that sense. You've made your pitch and have asked her on a date or to go romantic. She declines and has said no. Maybe she says she has a boyfriend. This means she does not want the product you are selling. When you keep using erosion typed tactics on women you're like that high powered salesperson. Guess what? These women do not like it one single bit just like I didn't like it when salespeople try to high-pressure me. I wish salespeople would take no as an answer.

    My advice to you as one guy to another is ask her for what you want. If she says yes then great, you have a date. If she says no and once she declines, accept the decline by stating "it's cool" or something along those lines, and move on. Don't try to be a high-powered and high pressured salesperson. This is what the women on here are asking of men.

  • I really don't understand your logic here. You make a show of taking responsibility, but then turn right around and judge women for the exact same behavior from which you just excused yourself.
    You say that some women end up not being friends after a guy asked them out, but that "part" of it may be your fault. But you then immediately say that it proves these women are immature and can't handle the emotional work. Doesn't that mean you're immature as well, since you acknowledge you own at least part of the friendship?

    You hand-wave this away by saying you tried your best, but why don't you extend the same courtesy to the women? Maybe they tried their best too. Why do you get the credit and they don't? If not holding onto the relationship isn't a mark against your maturity, why is it a mark against theirs?

    Just like with dating, where people get to date who they want, people get to be friends with who they want. It is not necessarily appropriate to judge their personality or maturity just because they choose not to be friends.

    Overall, though, I have no idea what point you are trying to drive at. Your objections seem to be all over the map… the best I can get is that you want a woman to keep being friends with you after turning you down (or risk being labeled "immature" and being told the guys around her should FLEE for "older" women), but you also don't want her turning you down to begin with because don't nice guys deserve a shot. You don't seem to have a really clear objective in mind, EXCEPT this seemingly selfish desire to take a woman's decisions away from her on the grounds of equality.

    • Trying to ask this in a non-snarky way, but; is English your first language? Cause I am having huge difficulties figuring out what the heck you mean. For example….

      "And not having an ability is not an insult, and it is not sexist, but that is what others here are saying not me." –> " then at the same time get all mad when i point out that they don't have the ability and women in general dont."

      How is that NOT sexist, to say that "women in general" don't have an ability?

      And it IS an insult if you are saying "nice guys" should purposefully date older women, because older women have this "ability" to be mature….. even though you say maturity is something that is not common in younger people, so why do younger "nice guys" have it?

      Nothing you are saying is connecting up. Maybe it's all clear in your head, but I think people aren't jumping through hoops to perceive negative interpretations, you are just really not connecting Point A to Point B clearly.

      • "People in general have difficulty when their feelings are perceived as directly connected to them, but guess what, some people can actually do this." –> "women in general don't have."

        The assertion that WOMEN in general don't have this ability is what makes the statement sexist and offensive. You say right in the next paragraph that most PEOPLE don't have it, but then go right along and say you don't blame "guys" for wanting it. If "most people" don't have the ability, then it has absolutely nothing to do with being a woman, and it becomes a trait that either men OR women can value, not just men.

        That is why a lot of commenter are reacting negatively to your statements, because you keep ascribing negative things (like not being able to "share their attraction to that very person without them getting upset") entirely to women, even while acknowledging it's a trait most PEOPLE don't have.

        And again, just because a guy "wants" it does not excuse judging someone else for not giving it to you. Claiming women are immature because they can't "handle" it is blaming someone else for your own desires. In your metaphor, it'd be similar to a guy demanding a woman pick him up to carry him across the threshold, but insisting EVERY woman be able to do it, or women as a whole are deserving of judgement and derision.

        There is nothing wrong with wanting what you want, but blaming someone else for not having that trait, is not nice.

        • Mel_

          Seriously. I wonder how all these "nice guys" would react if a close male friend told them he was romantically and sexually attracted to them, and then badgered them for reasons why they didn't reciprocate when turned down. I'm sure they'd be totally understanding and not let it affect their friendship at all, right? 😛

          • BiSian

            Silly Mel, gay people don't exist in Nice Guy Land. It's only populated by nice guys, assholes, hot women, and invisible unattractive women.

          • So if a guy kept feeling you up, even when you told him to stop, because "boundaries are fluid, you might be gay and just not realize it," you wouldn't stop hanging out with the guy and would be completely comfortable in his presence?

            Well then, good for you. Guess you're just better than the rest of us.

  • eselle28

    If you read one of the many conversations above, the recommended way of responding to a male friend who repeatedly badgers you to date him is to treat it like a joke and consider the behavior flattering.

    Because laughing off violations of your boundaries doesn't encourage the other person to continue the behavior, or to push things even further to see how much more you'll allow. Nope. Not at all. Never happens.

  • enail

    Wow, I can't follow this at all. I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're trying to say, so I'm not trying to cherrypick, but I can only respond to this one bit that I think I can isolate and make sense of:

    "Now considering that you think it is so great to stop being friends with these guys, why would you have a problem if i tell any of them to stop trying to be friends with you? "

    I haven't seen you telling guys not to be friends with girls if they're also attracted to them, and I haven't seen anyone argue with you about that. Where are you getting this from?

    There seems to be quite a big communication problem here, so if you'd like to continue this discussion, could I suggest that you pick a single point at a time, and just explain that one point as simply and clearly as possible? I'd suggest that anyone responding do the same.

  • "What do you do if the guy is four years old? Does that change things? It sure makes a big difference how you are looking at this guy."

    This is what is known as a Straw Man Argument. A Straw Man argument is when "one side attacks a position (the straw man) not held by the other side, then acts as thought the other side's position has been refuted."

    Why is your argument a Straw Man? You cannot pretend that a four year telling a grown woman she is pretty, is equivalent to an adult male telling his female friend she is pretty is the same thing. It is no where near the same thing.

    "I believe all humans naturally violate boundaries, and in fact boundaries really are negotiable over time, but it is an anti-human culture to totally demonize what everyone does at some point or another quite naturally."

    Do you REALLY not see how creepy this is? Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt, and hope you meant that people *occasionally* cross boundaries unknowingly, it is still not a good thing. Boundaries are negotiable ONLY by the individual holding the boundaries, and while it may be understandable if someone crosses them accidentally, it should not be repeated. To KNOWINGLY cross them, or demand they be "negotiated," or to claim it is somehow human and thus all right to violate someone else's sense of safety and self, is grossly inappropriate. Saying something happens "naturally" is NEVER a justification for it to continue to occur.

    "Now considering that you think it is so great to stop being friends with these guys, why would you have a problem if i tell any of them to stop trying to be friends with you?"

    I am speaking for Eselle here, but I'm pretty sure she's not upset that you're telling guys not to be friends with her….. but are, instead, telling the guys to vilify her by saying she's immature, somehow responsible because she felt disrespected by someone else's actions while excusing themselves as "just being nature" and being "unable to help what comes alive in us" (*shutter*), and to top it all off, suggesting the guys actually SEEK OUT women who would allow them this kind of boundary-crossing behavior.

    Instead of telling the guys to maybe examine how they came across, and how to deal appropriately and respectfully with these feelings in the future, you are instead suggesting they go glomp onto some other woman who would more willingly put up with it. That is bordering on predatory.

    • eselle28

      That's exactly it, Marty, and probably better than I could have said it.

      Some of the comments being made here about boundaries are frankly quite scary, especially the portrayal of men as uncontrollable creatures moved by instinct to disregard them and to keep pushing them and as women as either sympathetic goddesses who tolerate this or cruel and immature girls who just don't understand.

      • Predatory: excessive or exploitative, acting or possessed by overbearing, or selfish motives.

        Claiming guys can't control their behavior because they just "have stuff that comes alive inside them" (like what, Lord Xenu?) is exploitative, because it's shifting personal responsibility. Ignoring or pushing the stated boundaries of another individual because of what you want, without acting *listening to the other person's desires* is acting in an overbearing, selfish way.

        Wanting something? Nothing wrong with that. But you can seek something in a moral, respectful, non-boundary-crossing way. Any attempt to slither out of that truth, and try to justify it by claiming "testing the waters repeatedly", or labeling it as "unfairly using morality" (how DARE morality be a first resort!) is a big, huge, red flag to women.

        THAT is why guys are predatory. Hopefully, it is helpful to tell them this, and explain why, so they can correct the error of their ways, and learn how to engage with women in a mutually beneficial and respectful way.

        • It is sad this has to be stated, but here goes.

          Morality doesn't necessarily have a place in our heads. Thoughts and feelings, when kept in private, can be as amoralistic as they'd like. No need to be PC in your thoughts; I will say we don't have a place in mind-controlling people, even for the greater good.

          But there is a stark difference between our thoughts/feelings, and our actions. THAT is where morality comes into play. When you start projecting your thoughts and feelings onto other human being, you had freaking BETTER be taking morality into account. No person has a right to project their needs onto someone else. That person can have their needs all they'd like, but the *second* they start putting those needs onto someone is when good/evil and morality start coming into place.

          Nothing wrong with wanting something. Wrong to want something and try to get someone else to give it to you. VERY wrong to FORCE someone else to give it to you.

          Claiming that the situation of "he feels bad because he wants a relationship (and she should either give him that or friendship" CANNOT be solved without taking morality into account, because it is now involving two people. One person's feelings and needs do not get to triumph over the other person's, which is why morality comes into play.

        • Or maybe it's that older ladies are flattered a younger man is into them and are using you to soothe their ego. Maybe older ladies come from a generation that isn't strictly comfortable with clearing laying out boundaries, and were taught from a young age to instead play coy. Maybe older ladies don't feel they have the right to turn you down.

          Maybe there are lots of other reasons besides "I am awesome and *mature* women get me."

          I also love how you say you totally respect women, while arguing to override their clearly stated boundaries, and then making a crack about how "wrinkles" help you read women. In your world, what exactly does "respecting" women look like?

      • eselle28

        Telling someone to find a more compliant group of women to violate and make uncomfortable is fucked up.

        If you continue to hit on women who have told you to stop, you are being a predator. If you ignore women's words and insist on touching them regardless of what they want, you are being a predator. If you actually do these things, you need to stop them right now. If you don't but know men who do, tell them to stop it and quit apologizing for their behavior.

        A person who is feeling needy or lonely or lustful or horny has a number of ways to express those feelings. It's our role as members of society to learn how to channel those feelings in ways that don't harm others – not just to find people who are easily victimized and unlikely to complain.

    • enail

      When you say "it's okay to seek out relations with different boundaries," do you mean seeking to change what kind of relationship they have (ie, from friendship into a romantic relationship)? Do you agree that this is something that can only happen if BOTH people want that change?

      I think what Marty means by "boundaries" is things a person has indicated they aren't okay with; that's what people generally mean when they talk about a person's boundaries.

      In the example of the guy repeatedly "testing the waters," the girl has set a boundary – she has told the guy she doesn't want to date him, so if he's asking over and over again after that, he's not respecting the boundary she's set. At what point does her desire to not have to keep revisiting a question she's already answered trump his desire to keep asking her the same thing over and over in the hopes she'll change her mind? Does it ever?

      • Yes. That MUST be it. You're just better than other people. Glad we clarified that.

      • enail

        I think it's a bit of a stretch to attribute it to lack of skill at reading subtle cues when this hypothetical guy has been explicitly and repeatedly TOLD that the woman is is not interested – subtle cues are all well and good, but letting them trump explicit communication is just plain rude. Especially if the guy isn't good at reading all these subtle cues, that makes it even more important to listen to those cues that are clear.

        • eselle28

          We're talking about a situation where you've already poured your heart out to your friend and she's already said she's not interested.

          Instead of trying to guess that she might have changed her mind based on small gestures, why don't you just assume the answer is no until she tells you otherwise?

          • eselle28

            The entire discussion has so far been about being friends with women during and after rejection. If a woman hasn't rejected you, you can flirt a bit using touch. But if she tells you with words that she wants you to stop, you need to listen to the words and not to anything you think you see in her face or her body.

            I don't use the word evil much. Many of the things you've been saying tonight are are extremely disturbing.

          • eselle28

            No. If the words include anything along the lines of "stop" or "no" or "cut it out" or I don't like this," then you don't interpret them in context. You listen to the words and you do what they say.

            If it turns out the woman meant something different, then she can tell you she didn't really mean it like that. Until then, it's a no.

          • enail

            In what context does it become sane and respectful to interpret "I'm not interested in dating you" as "please, keep propositioning me"?

        • enail

          But the problem with that is that this seems to make you feel like you should continue propositioning her; even if you're both taking it in a friendly way, at some point, it will probably get frustrating for her to have to keep restating her position – it seems like the only responses she could give that you'd consider reacting well are ones which allow you to feel like she's happy to have you keep trying as many times as you like. Which, if she's not interested in you that way, is hardly ideal for her.

          Imagine it's a less charged subject: the guy wants to talk about a movie he saw, but she isn't interested in it. At first, it's not a problem, she just says "let's talk about something else," no one's hurt or offended. He brings it up again, she laughs and jokes about how he keeps bringing it up, but still doesn't want to talk about it. If, as long as she keeps laughing about it, he keeps bringing it up, it's going to get pretty darn annoying for her.

          So you insisting that it's immature or unreasonable of her to do anything other than keep laughing and accept him bringing it up again means that you're saying she shouldn't get to have a say in their conversations. Can you see why that would be even more of a problem when the discussion is whether or not they should date?

        • enail

          Someone saying "no, I don't want to date you," is pretty darn clear, and except when the context is a rather unusual one, it means the same thing every single time. This seems like willfully reading confusion into situations where there isn't any.

          • Becelec

            "batting eye lashes" = blinking

          • Becelec

            Also, I'm pretty sure this conversation has never happened anywhere. Ever.

            Just like there's no actual woman who batts her eyelashes. Pretty sure only Bugs Bunny in drag does that.

          • Madame Mildew

            And Lucy Ricardo’s elderly neighbor who is going on a date for the first time in decades ;-D

            I hafta say that while reading only one side of this discussion piques my curiosity, it’s probably better for my temper that Lord Shit For Brains took his posts home with him when he didn’t want to play anymore.

  • Mel_

    I want to clarify a few things for anyone who stumbles on the comments here at a later time, because a lot of inaccurate generalizations and presumptions have been thrown around about what women think and feel in and about various situations. I think I'm going to be speaking for most if not all of the other women commenters here, but if anyone disagrees, feel free to jump in!

    1) The reason the Friend Zone is a myth is because most human beings (men and women) do not go around evaluating every person they meet and consciously sticking them into boxes. When you meet someone who seems kind of cool but is annoying to talk to for more than half an hour, you probably don't try to be friends with them, so they end up being just an acquaintance. Does that mean you've "stuck them in the Acquaintance Zone"? No. You're just choosing how much time to spend around them and how close to get with them based on how interesting and pleasant you find them to be around. Similarly, if a woman meets a man and enjoys his company but doesn't have any sexual feelings for him, she sees him as just a friend and doesn't pursue him as a romantic prospect, and if he brings up romance, she turns him down. Not because she's "zoned" him, because she just isn't interested in him that way.

    2) When women complain about or react badly to guy friends expressing romantic interest, it's usually because the guy has expressed that interest in a problematic way, most commonly:
    -refusing to accept the "no" and pushing the woman to "think about it more", "give me a chance", "tell me what I need to change" etc. even when she says she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. Continuing to badger someone about a topic when they've a) already answered you, and b) specifically said they have nothing more to say about it, is not the act of a friend, and if you really care about someone, you'll respect what they've said.
    -talking insultingly about the friendship, implying or stating outright that the experiences you've shared together were a waste of time if romance/sex isn't going to follow. Degrading the friendship you have with someone is not the act of a friend, and if you really care about someone, you'll be happy to have spent time with them even if you didn't get every single thing you hoped to from them.
    -becoming hostile and attacking the woman for refusing to date/have sex. Calling her names, insulting her previous romantic choices, accusing her of manipulation, etc. Are you seeing a pattern here? Verbally attacking someone is definitely not the act of a friend, and if you really care about someone, you wouldn't try to hurt them in that way.

    Simply put, the sorts of behavior that make women stop wanting to be friends with male friends who express romantic interest *are behaviors that indicate the guy is not a good friend after all and does not really care about her*. When faced with someone who's acting like your friendship, feelings, and needs are unimportant to them, it would be strange to continue trying to be their friend, as you'd only be setting yourself up for more hurt.

  • Mel_

    3) There are plenty of ways that a guy can express interest in a female friend without her freaking out about it:
    -Being upfront about your feelings in a calm way, or at least admitting to them in a calm way if she notices before you bring it up and asks you about it.
    -Believing her when she says she's not interested, and accepting that this isn't anyone's fault, attraction isn't something we control, it sucks but neither you nor she has done anything wrong.
    -Being upfront about what you think you need. If you need some distance from her to work through your feelings, say so. If you feel you can get over the romantic feelings quickly and continue the friendship as it was, say so. If you feel you can't continue being friends with her at all, say so. Just do this as calmly as possible, and without suggesting that she's done something wrong.
    -Don't bring your romantic feelings up again unless quite a bit of time has passed *and* you're getting major indications that she's developed an interest after all.
    -If you find you really can't handle being friends with her because your unfulfilled romantic/sexual interest is making you uncomfortable/bitter/angry, admit it, and stop hanging out with her before you get to the point that you're taking out those negative feelings on her.

    Might a woman have trouble being as close friends with you after an admission of romantic/sexual feelings, even if you do the above? Yes. It's not surprising for someone to feel awkward and uncertain if they know their friend has feelings they can't return–they worry about leading the friend on or accidentally giving hints and so on, which makes it difficult for them to relax the way they used to. (Not saying this is going to happen all the time, just that it's not uncommon.) Sometimes this can be fixed by hanging out and seeing that the friend really can handle being just friends. Sometimes this can't be fixed, and the two friends sadly become less close. Just as it's okay for one person to decide they're uncomfortable staying friends because of their romantic/sexual feelings, it's okay for the other person to decide they're uncomfortable staying friends because of knowing about those romantic/sexual feelings. This doesn't mean either party lied about initially wanting to be friends. Feelings change, friendship dynamics change, all the time, for all sorts of reasons, through no one's fault. The best anyone can do is be open about what they are and aren't able to provide as soon as they realize something's changed.

    4) Are there women who'll get upset at you or accuse you of treating her badly or whatever, even if you follow point #3? Yes. You may also run into people who get mad at you for not showing up a half an hour early for a get-together, or for not psychically knowing what their favorite color is. These are what we call unreasonable people, and the trick is to recognize that this is an unreasonable person behaving in an unreasonable way, not a representation of how all people of that gender/whatever think and behave, and to end contact with them if you find them so unreasonable they're unpleasant to be around.

    The vast majority of women I have met do not behave in the unreasonable way described above. If someone expressions romantic or sexual feelings to them in a respectful way, they respond respectfully as well. If they hear about someone freaking out just because someone admitted to having feelings for them, they see that as unreasonable. They only take issue with men (and women!) who behave the ways described in point #2. If you do not behave in those ways, then it's highly unlikely anyone here thinks you're doing something wrong.

    If you think you don't behave in those ways, but multiple women get upset with you after you express your feelings to them, consider that the most likely possibilities are a) for some reason you are seeking out emotionally unbalanced people to spend your time with, and these people are not representative of the general population, or b) you actually are behaving in those ways without realizing it. A good way to determine which the problem is, is to post somewhere like here explaining exactly what you did and said, and get outside objective feedback. And then listen to it.

    • Red

      "accepting that this isn't anyone's fault, attraction isn't something we control, it sucks but neither you nor she has done anything wrong."

      This is a hard one to get past. When we get rejected, I'm assuming it's the same for women," we feel that if there's something wrong with us. Something we did wrong, that was our fault. Some sort of flaw. Hence, why self-esteems get shredded. Realizing that attraction isn't something we control (unless it comes to being clean and trim, easy to laugh with, etc) may be true, but that doesn't mean that each of us aren't going to think we were rejected because of some sort of flaw. We will. It takes a long time, a lot of experience, and a lot of rejection, ironically, to get to the point where you realize that there wasn't necessarily anything "wrong" with either you or they.

  • Mel_

    Oh, and it seems worth adding:

    5) Intentions are not justifications. It doesn't matter if you did some of the non-friend-like, disrespectful things in point #2 because you're naive or inexperienced, because you didn't realize they were disrespectful, because you lost control of your emotions, or whatever. You still screwed up and treated your supposed friend badly, and that mistreatment has damaged the friendship enough that she no longer wants to be friends, well, that sucks, but all you can do is learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them with someone else. Her not forgiving you doesn't show some inadequacy on her part; she quite possibly is unable to feel friendly toward you anymore.

    Think of it this way. If I accidentally step on your foot and break your toe, your toe is still broken regardless of the fact that I didn't mean to break it. No amount of "I didn't mean it that way" or "why can't you just pretend it didn't happen and go back to how things used to be?" is going to unbreak that toe. Sometimes friendships get broken by accident too, and if you hurt someone enough, there's no way to un-hurt them.

    • magicman

      Mel, I did not know this myself until you mentioned this. I do have a few questions if you do not mind me asking.

      1. What is the proper way to handle something like this? One does something offensive to someone and he or she is ignorant that the action was offensive what is the best way to make amends or to handle oneself in an honorable manner?

      2. May I have the logical reasoning as to why intentions are not justifications? Is it similar to our judicial system and that ignorance of the law isn't an excuse for breaking the law?

      3. If everyone is different in thoughts and outlook what is the best way to avoid causing a particular person offense or is this always possible? Are there any guidelines to look at or is there anything one can look for in his specific environment?

      • Mel_

        1) Often, if you do something that offends or hurts someone, especially someone you're already friends with, they'll tell you. "It bothers me that you did X" or "I'm hurt that you'd say Y." In which case I'd say the honorable thing to do is to apologize sincerely, make it clear that the offense/hurt was unintentional (because while intentions don't justify actions, they still give the other person context in deciding how to proceed), and do your very best not to make the same mistake if they're willing to give you another chance. Sometimes the person may be offended or hurt to the point that they just withdraw, in which case you're best off calmly and politely asking what's wrong and letting them know you're concerned, and that if you made a mistake you'd like to know so you can apologize and avoid it in future. There may be times where the other person is so offended or hurt that they just don't want to deal with you anymore, in which case you should respect that and leave them alone, and assume if they change their mind in future, they'll seek you out. If that happens and you're unsure why, you can still make a general apology, and then tell a trusted uninvolved friend what you know of the situation to see if they can determine where you went wrong (or possibly, if you didn't go wrong at all, and it must be something else going on).

        2. Yes, I'd say it's very similar to that legal idea. For something to be justified, it means it was right or reasonable. But no amount of naivity or good intentions makes it right to have done or said something hurtful to a friend (excepting the rare cases where the other person is being unreasonable and taking offense at totally neutral things. But that's not what we're talking about here–I was referring specifically to the problematic behaviors in my point #2, which should be pretty obviously not okay to anyone who stops to think about it). Your intentions can explain why you did something, but they can't make that behavior just.

        3. Everyone accidentally offends someone else from time to time–as you said, everyone is different, and it's impossible to predict where another person's boundaries are. As long as you stop as soon as the other person shows they're offended/hurt, and apologize, and don't do the same thing with that person again, most people will forgive you. It's most important to avoid making big jumps in intensity (e.g., jumping from making lightly flirty jokes to explicit sexual comments with nothing in between; jumping from a touch of the hand to groping the person), so you don't cross a whole bunch of boundaries all at once and can reign yourself back as soon as the other person expresses discomfort. It's also important to watch that you don't let your emotions or attraction override your common sense.

        Because the sorts of behavior I talked about, any guy should know is problematic if he gives it any thought. Of course it's disrespectful to keep trying to make your friend talk about a subject they've said they don't want to talk about, or to keep asking over and over a question they've already said no to. Of course it's offensive to suggest the friendship and the emotions they have shared with you are worthless. Of course it's hurtful to outright insult the other person. The vast majority of guys would never for a second think it's okay to do any of that with a guy friend. They only ever do it because they want the romance/sex so badly, or are so upset and angry about not getting it, that they ignore common sense. Or else they never really did care about the friendship in the first place, which common sense should tell them is problematic too–pretending to be friends with someone because you want something from them, not because you actually enjoy the friendship, is manipulative and deceitful whether what you're hoping to get is romance, sex, money, a job, whatever.

        Basically, as long as you keep in mind basic standards of human decency and respect, you're unlikely to go so far wrong that an apology won't be enough.

  • eselle28

    All you have to do is listen to the no part of things and not try to make excuses about body language and context. No means no is a simple lesson.

  • magicman

    I am a guy and I didn't understand what LordBrain was saying myself. To me, his thoughts were all over the place and incoherent. Honestly, I thought it was just me at first. I will admit that I do have major communication difficulties myself more specifically the social pragmatic use of the English language.

    This is one of the major reasons I come to sites like this. I believe the best way for me to understand the social pragmatic use is to talk to other people out there, read what they say and analyze it.

  • Clementine Danger

    You know what? Fine. A pinky will do. I'll settle for a pinky and 50 bucks. I can live with that.

    • Clementine Danger

      You fucking ASSHOLE! You can't even do someone the courtesy of RESPONDING!??!!

      I spent like HOURS talking to you and exlaining things to you and you're too fucking good to send me ONE LITTLE PINKY FINGER??!!!


      • Clementine Danger

        I bet you're a real jerk to kittens. I bet you drown kittens. I bet you're out there just giving away your money and thumbs to all sorts of rich skanks and you're just sooooo proud of ignoring me.

        That's it. I'm starting a blog about how all Atlanticas are selfish assholes who stomp kittens and give away money to rich skanks while LEAVING NICE GIRLS LIKE ME TO STARVE AND NOT HAVE THEIR THUMBS!!!!!

        You utter jerk.

        • Atlantica

          Well I haven't read your answers, that's why I didn't reply to them sooner.

          Sucking on thumbs can lead to prognathism. It's for your own good.

          • Clementine Danger

            Oh thank god you replied. I thought you never would and I'd have to keep up this idiocy forever, thus becoming what I fear most, and that's just no way to live.

            You seem like a decent enough guy. (Guy? I don't want to assume.) I think there's just a little disconnect. A lot of the times these discussions fall apart and one group of people starts arguing the theoretical side, while others argue from the point of actually having lived through these things. Sometimes the rational theories about a situation don't really help much when contrasted against the everyday reality of the issues discussed.

            I kind of get the feeling that's what's happening here. I have experienced this issue myself, and I've had it ruin chunks of my life. I work with teens, and hearing these young girls talk about the hurt and grief it causes them breaks my heart. So much so that sometimes, I forget why I'm supposed to stop them from becoming bitter. I guess I just lost patience with discussing the theoretical side of things, while in actual reality these girls are hurting so much, and it's so hard to guide them through it and make sure they do it without being bitter or raw about it. The theoretical debate about what things are and how they ought to be is of course very valuable, but down here in the trenches, it often gets overshadowed by the extremely painful reality of it all.

            I realize that may sound overly dramatic and all, but if it wouldn't be a huge breach of privacy, I'd love to tell you what these girls tell me. I don't even care if you're a nihilist, it would break your heart too.

  • TRM

    You hit the nail on the head with this article!

    I asked one of my female friends about the friend zone a few days ago, and she basically replied with "I don't believe in the friends zone. I believe in attraction. It's either there, or it isn't."

    Those words blew my mind!

    Men are always talking about the dreaded friends zone (esp. those PUAs) but it's completely fabricated and only serves as a mental barricade and/or an excuse to justify our failures with women.

    "Oh… she doesn't want to sleep with me? Damn that friends zone!"

    Most guys are let down with "let's just be friends" because they've failed to create any spark or attraction (be it physical, mental, or emotional) within the relationship. Sometimes women just aren't physically attracted to you. Sometimes women already have an emotional attachment to someone else. Sometimes women just don't have a compatible rapport with you. Regardless, the friends zone is just an illusion that we have created, leading us to be deluded. Take away the illusion, and you'll be able to see clearly.

    TRUST ME GUYS. Erase the whole "friends zone" concept out of your head, and your dating life will skyrocket. It certainly did for me.

  • the friend zone is proof feminism promotes rape culture because if men do not get sex for being nice how else are they gonna get it other than rape. what women want from say johnny depp ( but if average joe blow does it is rape ) they need to accept if they want one guy to rape them they want all men to. if they want to be respected and treated humanly than sex should be a reward for kindness, not aggressive sex object predatory behavior, women used to reward the nice guys ( they made good husbands and fathers they provided for women) for all the years of oppression the feminists complain about. but they reward the same guys they hate so much. while ridiculing the men who protected their mothers and grandmothers for century's
    and there would be no nice guy syndrome, if feminism actually cared about equal rights.

    • enail


      No one wants Johnny Depp to rape them, any more than they want an average Joe Blow to rape them; many women might want to have consensual sex with Johnny Depp – and many women also want to have consensual sex with specific average Joe Blows. Rape, by definition, is not sex that both parties want to have.

      Sex isn't a reward for any kind of behavior, it's an activity that people do together with another person who they want to have sex with. If you want to be someone who women want to have sex with, as a start I'd suggest developing positive qualities and working on interacting with people in positive ways. Treating women with basic human respect is not actually a positive quality, it's the bare minimum for being a decent human being – and claiming that your only alternative to being granted sex as a reward for "being nice" is RAPING people is not even meeting that bare minimum.

    • craniest

      Hm. That's a nice watch you're wearing. Give it to me, please.
      Then I'll just take it from you. Because I'm a nice guy and I deserve nice things. And I said please, so clearly I'm a nice guy.
      See, if you'd just given it to me in the first place I wouldn't have had to take it by force.
      What, that's stealing? And it's illegal? Imagine that.
      I'll just throw it in the ocean. Now you'll never get it back.
      You'll report me to the police? But I asked you nicely for it, and you gave it to me.
      What do you mean I forced you? If you'd really wanted to keep it I never would have gotten it away from you. You shouldn't have flaunted it if you didn't want to draw attention to it.
      You have only yourself to blame.

      • hayleighwrites

        I'm surprised I've never heard this parallel before. I love it.

        • craniest

          (that's because it's part of a book I'm working on. Thanks)

      • superdude1999

        You're missing the point! It's not that the person didn't give up the watch, it's that the last, like SIX, people he asked the watch from said no! CLEARLY there is a conspiracy being concocted by the watch-inist to keep nice guys from getting watches!! Filling the heads of watch owners with crazy ideas like "protect your watch" or "you don't have to give your watch to nice guys." Back in olden times, watches were given freely to nice guys who wanted watches cuz watch-inists didn't ruin everything! Stop the watch-inists before it's too late!!!! Which we won't know when it is because they have all the watches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • AnonT

        If you don't give your watch to a nice guy, only thieves will have watches!

      • You'd let Johnny Depp steal your watch! GOD.

      • expes puella

        This and the replies are just excellent. Very well done.

    • Petticoat Despot

      Hi! I date nice guys! Let me tell you how the latest nice guy in my life won me over: by being my friend without an assumption that friends are required to reciprocate with sex; by understanding that if he's not to my taste romantically, that's my right; by asking what I like in a man, realizing that he had those traits and had been hiding them from me, and choosing to not hide them anymore.

      You are not a nice guy. You are a sexist prick with Nice Guy Syndrome who believes that he is entitled to the women of his choice regardless of what those women want, who believes that he has the *right* to rape the woman of his choice if he is not the man of her choice.

      Feminists do care about equal rights and if YOU did, you would accept that women can have tastes in men just like you can have tastes in women. I would never take such a stance in regards to men because that would be in opposition to equal rights and it would promote rape. We both have the right to choose a partner and that's mutual. You believe that only men have that right. That's what Nice Guy Syndrome is.

      • Holly

        Commenting to second this. My current boyfriend developed a huge crush on me shortly into our friendship. He asked me out, and I said no, and that I didn't see him that way. He said, "That sucks, but it's okay. Can we still be friends?". I said yes, because I genuinely valued his friendship. A year later I realized that his friendship was so important to me that I wanted more, and how I felt about him was bolstered by the fact that he NEVER at any time attempted to force me to be in a relationship with him, or make me feel uncomfortable for not having feelings for him. That was ten years ago, and we're still together.

    • Odd, I haven't slept with anyone I hate lately (or ever.) I did discover some (not all) my partners were jerks AFTER… interestingly, the exact same guys who complained about how women didn't like them because they were "too nice." Huh. Go figure.

    • Talbiz

      I'm a feminist and I want a nice guy (a nice human, rather). What I don't want is a "Nice Guy." I want someone that treats me with respect, and would be great when they meet my family. I don't want someone that thinks rape is about sex, I want one that knows that rape is about power. I don't want someone that feels entitled to have sex with me. Sex with me isn't a reward for "good" behavior, it's a decision that I make with another person. I care about equal rights, sex isn't a transaction for me. There would be no "friend zone" or "nice guy syndrome" if guys like you could understand that you're not entitled to the attraction of another, no matter your behavior. Get over yourself, learn about what feminism actually is (or even just a little bit of what it is), and pay attention to your punctuation and capitalization, I'd prefer if when I talked to you my brain didn't hurt.

    • eselle28

      So if someone's nice to me, I should allow him to rape me on a regular basis to repay his kindness, rather than make any attempt to pursue pleasure or emotional connections. Those things are apparently just for men. If I resist, this previously decent man will somehow transform into a ragebeast and…rape me. It seems like I end up having sex that I don't want in both versions of this story. I think I'd rather pick up a different Choose Your Own Adventure book.

    • Max

      Haha wow. You are an actual person thinking these thoughts.

      I wonder how you would feel if someone took a screenshot of this comment and sent it to all your female friends and relatives. Do you think they would agree with you.

      • eselle28

        You're assuming he has female friends and that his female relatives would be surprised to know he thinks these things. I'm not sure that assumption is warranted.

    • Okay, so this probably should be stated:

      • Auchatnoir

        XD Right! That's the only thougt that kept me from getting cancer from that post. On the other hand i've met similarly minded grown-up men irl. Soo… yeah : /

      • Talbiz

        I clicked on his FB profile, either dude is trolling for all of life or he's actually this nuts. Unfortunately…

      • enail

        NICE gif use!

    • Man… you're fucked up. Seek help, and please refrain from teaching children.

    • Would you like it if you were obligated to have sex with any woman who was ever nice to you, regardless of whether you find them attractive? I mean, if you don't fuck them they're not going to bother being nice anymore and then you'll be sorry.

      Yeah, there's already equality when it comes to this. Nobody gets sex as a reward for kindness, not even the ladies.

    • Silly me, I always thought that people had sex because they enjoyed having sex and wanted to have sex with their sex partner. I didn't realize that sex was some sort of currency.

      Tell me, what is the exchange rate of sex? Can you have less sex for more things in other countries? If you have more sex, when do you get your mansion? Are there minor forms of sex- do you have to give small sexual favors in change if your partner doesn't ge as much sex from you as you got from them?

      Silly me, thinking that equal rights means that if you like someone and they don't like you, they have the right not to be forced into a relationship (sexual, romantic, etc). Silly me for thinking that in 2013, a woman's body is on the auctioning block to the highest bidder who will purchase her.

      Honestly, I think that the commodification of sex is fucking insulting to actual mutually loving relationships, and the idea that my husband or any other self-respecting individual is only sticking around in a relationship because they're being paid in sex is so insulting that it makes me want to puke.

      • Clarification: "Silly me for thinking that IT IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY STILL THINK, in 2013, a woman's body is on the auctioning block to the highest bidder who will purchase her. "

    • AnonA

      " if they want to be respected and treated humanly than sex should be a reward for kindness"

      I don't think these two concepts should be used in the same sentence if you want to be taken seriously.

      Not that you would be in the end.

    • I am Shocked, shocked that you are not swimming in sex! Seriously, why isn't there a line of women outside your door, begging for the privilege of touching your junk because you are obliviously such a catch!
      Dominic, this feminist cares about equal rights. I just give ZERO F***KS about your sad boner.

    • Bass

      Oh sweet jesus. What dark asshole of the world did you crawl out of?

    • Chaotic Good

      Okay, nobody is this misguided, you're just trolling. (I wish I could believe that…)

    • a person

      You do realize that rape is torture, right? The only difference is that the torturer actually gets physical pleasure out of torturing the victim. Rape also causes grave and damaging injuries that can mess someone up for life, not to mention the emotional repercussions (which can also mess them up for life). So, basically you're saying that it's okay to torture, possibly cripple, and destroy someone's life. If they don't give you what you want, torturing someone, and wrecking them up for life is perfectly all right.

      …What the fuck is wrong with you, man. I hope you're a troll. I fear for the human race otherwise.

    • a person

      In the case you're not a troll,
      to clarify, feminism, humanism, and general human rights movements exists cause of shitheads like you.

      Reverse this.
      Suppose there was a woman that propositioned you whom you really didn't want to sleep with. (Maybe she was ugly or some other stupid reason.) By your logic, it would be right for her to rape you, because you had the gall to refuse her. She spent a lot of time sucking up and acting really nice to you. So of course, it's her right to rape you because you refused and she spent a lot of time being nice to you. Therefore it's perfectly okay for her to rape you. In fact, your refusing when she spent all that time sucking up to you means that you secretly want all women, old, ugly, everyone to rape you. Because rape is the most enjoyable thing in the world, and you love it. How could you not?

      That's your logic right there, pal. Think about it.

  • If I were a foot taller, had denser bones and larger, stronger muscles and generally had entire systems of society working to make sure that I succeed because of my phenotype more-so than more than 50% of the population, I'd probably just tell people I wasn't interested in having sex with "I don't want to fuck you." Because when you're bigger and stronger, unless someone pulls out a gun, you're pretty much assured to be physically safe from someone successfully overpowering you and hurting/raping/killing you.

    Also, let's face it. People who try to bully you into a relationship, especially if you've just met them (creepy) also tend to be people who Do Not Let Go Easily. These people can easily transition from Guy Who Believes He Is Entitled To A Relationship to Stalker Dude Who Watches You Sleep Through A Window. Stalkers are emotionally exhausting and the legal and financial stress of dealing with one can be harrowing. It's easier to take a potential stalker and knock the wind out of his sails by using the "friendship" line because it means that she still has a tie to him (even if she doesn't want it) so that he'll stay on best behavior to maintain it and not go into crazy stalker murdering psycho mode.

    Because you know what really sucks? Being raped and/or murdered by some guy who believes that he DESERVES to have your body, your mind, and your heart simply because HE WANTS IT.

    Imagine if a Predator alien came out of the sky and trapped you in a cage and did whatever it wanted to do to you because it was stronger and it WANTED TO? Would you think that was unfair and bullshit? I would imagine so.

    So imagine how a woman feels when her body and her mind is constantly treated like a commodity, an item that boosts up some dude's sense of self-esteem and little more than emotional nanny and domestic servant. Would you want to live in a world where someone bigger and stronger than you kept trying to trap you into a relationship where you would be sexually assaulted, forced into manual labor, grow and birth smaller versions of your abuser, and basically spend your remaining emotional sanity on making him feel like a king/god?

    It's one thing to have a relationship partner who you mutually love, respect and find attractive.

    It's quite another to believe that just because you have a penis, you are SUPPOSED to get your very own Woman (TM) to do everything you want done in your life because you want her and you have no respect or interest in what she thinks about your arrangement.

    • Chaotic Good

      Thank you!

      Can I quote you on the last paragraph, please?

    • LOL! funniest comment I've read in a looooong time. An entire society working to make sure I succeed??? Hilarious!

  • ArmedWombat

    What I wanted to say has already been said by people who use english more eloquently than me. But just let me say this:

    I'm not sure why you talk about nice guys like you know anything about them. You seem to think that you are one of them, but actually you're just some kind of undercover asshole who pretends to be nice. But isn't. Because nice guys (or nice people for that matter) don't assume that anyone wants to be raped. And sooner or later, people around you see the difference.

    Also, and that's just on behalf of men: Sex as reward for good behavior? Dude, I don't know about you, bust most of us aren't dogs. We don't need to be trained. We don't need to be conditioned. We don't want sex to be a carnal equivalent of a scooby snack. We don't want "Uuuh, who's been a good boy? Have some pussy!". It's degrading. And the fact that you don't see that speaks volumes about you.

    • Chaotic Good

      You get it. You get it better than a lot of people (men and women) that I have encountered.

      Rape apologists ARE insulting to men. Men are humans, too, and can exercise self-control just like everybody else. As you said, men are not dogs who need to be trained. Men are not sharks swimming in a tank with a human wearing a meat costume. Men are not cats who eat meat that is carelessly left outside. Etc.

      When people recognize and speak out against rape culture when they see it, it always gives me hope.

      Also, can I quote you, too, on the last paragraph?

  • Alina

    Holy shit, Dominic Blais, is this a bad joke or are you mentally deficient? Do you think you're entitled to sleep with any woman you've been polite to? And what about the ones you aren't sexually attracted to – they don't deserve to "be respected"?
    You seem to be implying that the only way for a woman to earn respect is to be sexually subservient. Don't you think it's attitudes like YOURS that promote rape culture? To suggest that being kind gives you the right to have sex with a woman – with or without her consent – is to suggest that we are nothing but commodities or sexual objects.
    Have you ever even listened to a feminist? If you had, you might have learnt that the movement is not about belittling men, but about gaining equal rights – one of those being the right to sexual autonomy – ergo, it should be somebody's CHOICE; you don't earn the right to have sex with someone, and it's certainly not a fucking "reward for kindness".
    Furthermore, you're absolutely trivialising rape by implying that it is no different to consensual sex. Rape is a traumatic ordeal that can leave people psychologically scarred for the rest of their life. Nobody deserves that level of violation.
    There is never any justification for rape and even to suggest that someone 'wants' to be raped is not only a mighty fucking contradiction in terms, but the most disgustingly misogynist stance you can take on female bodily autonomy. Maybe one day Johnny Depp will rape you and you might begin to understand how stupid your entire comment is.
    You're an idiot.

  • Guys, why don't you just Be Yourself and see which women seem interested in you?

    • Dr_NerdLove

      Because sometimes just being yourself is the problem in the first place.

    • Gentleman Johnny

      Because if I followed that advice, I'd still be shy and awkward. That's what myself was. Its a terrible way to meet people and a great excuse not to. No one ever grew as a person by staying within their comfort zone.

  • hijackthemic

    Listen to women, and live with what you get my friends.

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  • The friend zone definitely exists and lord knows I've stuck a few guys in there (as have my girlfriends). I'm not sure why people get so offended over its existence though.

    It doesn't mean you're "friends" with the person. It just means you will never be romantically interested in them and it's nearly impossible to get out of the friend zone.

    If that offends you, too bad! 🙂

    • chenouar

      Well, the problem most people (most guys) have with the friendzone is not the fact that the girl may not be interested, it's just that it feels condescending.

      I can understand women fear men reaction and don't want to be blunt, but there is almost no guys out there who actually believe the "LJBF" speech. And when we hear it, it kind of sound like "I don't think you're strong/don't respect you enough to tell you that I'm not interested in you". Also, sometimes to the offense of condescendance, you can just add disdain, when you can almost hear the words "YOU think you could date me? Seriously"?

      And that's the most hurtful thing. Let's invert roles.

      Let's say you just confessed your interest in me (which, if you're shy, feels almost like the idea of climbing the K2 naked). Which would you prefer? :

      – Well, thank you, but I'm not interested in you in this fashion (blunt, but honest)

      – Well, you know, you're nice and all, and I like you, but let's just be friend (Dishonest and a bit condescending)

      I guess the first one.

      Anyway, I've had my load of friendzoning, from the hurtful "let's just be friend" to the honest "I'm dating someone, so from the beginning I've only seen you as a friend", and never have I reacted with violence (in fact, for the last one, she was pretty considerate and asked me if I was angry at her, I just said "well, I can't say I'm not a bit sad, but how could I be angry at you for not feeling the same way I do?"

      The main problem with the "myth" of the FZ (the one where a guy don't dare tell a girl how he feels, not the one where a guy poses as a friend to get close to a girl and begin a romantic relationship – the involuntary one, not the chose one) , is that it often happens to shy guys, people who have very hard times to see which girls may be interested in them, and harder time showing their own interest (shyness is a bitch), and as society say that the men should be the ones doing the first move, they can end up never finding anyone, regardless of how nice/cool/intelligent/etc… they may be.
      And the mere existence of the discussions about the FZ just say "men have to do all the work, and if they are not able to, it's normal they don't find anyone". And then you tell them to be considerate of the way a girls feels/is she is attracted or not (wich they should and have to be, no question here), but on the other hand, it's almost written in stone that a girl won't show her interest (or not directly). You see where is the problem?

      Btw, excuse my poor english, I'm french.

      • Jess

        I think your framing of "men have to do all the work" is both inaccurate and inconsiderate. It's inaccurate because there's a ton of work that goes into making oneself approachable, but which is invisible to men because they don't get taught how to do it. It's inconsiderate because while being the approacher is hard, it also comes with significant benefits that aren't available to people who don't approach, like being able to choose who you interact with romantically. Pretending that it's just a burden without any corresponding benefits is insulting to people who struggle with the reverse problem.

        • chenouar

          I don't say it's the fact, I say that what you can deduce from the various discussions about the Friendzone lead to this conclusion, it's not the same. I know girls send a LOT of messages, I've had this discussion with a friend of mine, and it amazes me when she described everything she was doing.

          And a lot of guys tend to have this impression they have to do everything when they want to get involved romantically. Hell, i've had the occasion to discuss with a lovecoach – a woman – who told me these exact words : "Everyone has to do some part of the work if they want the dating to get anywhere. But it's true a woman who don't do anything might still find someone, while a man that don't do enough – even if they do something – have very little chance to find someone. Inaction is a slow death for a man on the terrain of seduction" (well, not EXACTLY those words, as I'm translating from the french).

          You can't deny a single fact : watch around you. For myself, I know several guys who are still virgin at 25 (which is not a problem in itself, I won't taunt them for it) because they can't seduce a girl. But I don't know a single girl of this age who is still a virgin without having chosen it (it might exist, but I think the proportions is far from balanced)

          Plus, I think many guys would like to be the chosen some times, not always the choser (mind you, being chosen might have some benefits too, for your self-confidence, your ego, etc…) but that's another debate.

          Don't take what I say the wrong way, I'm not saying "girls are the enemy, etc…", and I don't try to be inconsiderate toward them, and the difficulties they might have. But sometimes I dream of being approached (and I think if anyone was willing to do the approach, it might likely be easier for everyone – be they guys, girls, shy, etc…)

          • Jess

            Ah, I see, you're talking about the discourse. I think you're right that men do think they have to do everything – but I think it's in part precisely because the work that women do is so invisible.

            I do agree that there are benefits as well as drawbacks to being the chosen vs. the chooser. I just get pissy when people are like "Being the chosen is all benefits and no drawbacks, while choosing is all drawbacks and no benefits!"

            I'll also say that I know many, many women who approach men. If you want to be approached by women, you should ask yourself the same questions women ask: what do I need to do to be more approachable? Yes, more men than women approach, but if you're not putting in the work of being approachable then you're unlikely to ever connect with the women who do approach. I say this as someone who has been the approacher in the vast majority of the relationships I've had, including approaching the man I married. I would not approach just any guy, and neither would the many women I know who approach. If you aren't putting in the approachability work, you can't expect to reap the benefits.

            As for the virginity thing, that's the one place I think you are just plain wrong. All you're telling me is that there's a difference between the populations of men and women you know. My read of the data is that the proportions of male and female virgins are about the same in every age group, making it very unlikely that the motivations are somehow different (men can't, women won't have sex).

          • Conreezy

            By "invisible" work, are you referring to dress and sending approachable "signals?"

            I would imagine that making oneself as physically attractive as possible is something both parties have to do.

          • That's part of it, but the work is not equivalent for a) women vs men and b) approached vs approacher. I'm actually not your best bet for anatomizing as I'm generally an approacher in dating. You'll get good insight if you ask on the forum.

          • Conreezy

            Am I allowed to be less attractive simply because I'm an approacher?

          • Mel_

            This depends on your definition of attractive–I would say you're "allowed" to be less eye-catching/noticeable in a crowd. By approaching, you're prompting the person you're approaching to consider you specifically. If you're waiting to be approached, you need to stand out enough compared to the people around you for it to occur to prospective partners to consider you. A person who's still a little above average looking may be attractive to a fair number of people, but isn't likely to get noticed unless they draw attention to themselves some other way (like by approaching). If that makes sense?

            I also think there's an advantage in, if you approach in an engaging way, your personality has more of a chance to enhance whatever attraction your looks might create than if you're merely waiting to be observed.

          • chenouar

            Wow, I didn't mean to start such a conversation.

            To react on your message, maybe the problem is precisely the fact that women's work is invisible while it should not be. It should be static yes, but visible. I read a book about this subject not so long ago, and (at least in France), a study showed 70-80% of men where unable to catch a single sign of interest from a woman. It's a pretty high score from my point of view.

            Also, there is another drawback being the approacher : as you have to "show yourself", it's a matter of trust. When you approach someone, you have absolutely NO idea if you can trust her. You're going to try to interact with someone, and show yourself, without knowing what kind of reaction the approachee will have. Maybe he/she is a total jerk, maybe he will laugh at you, insult you, etc… If you happen to have an average to below average self-confidence, it's a pretty difficult obstacle to overpass.

            On the advantages of being the approachee, it's a serious boost to self-confidence. Being approached clearly say "this person likes me, even a little". Being the approacher is the complete opposite. If you're not able to read the signs (if you're one of the 70%), it's a 50/50 situation. Either you approach successfully and your ego and self-confidence remains untouched, or you get rejected, and your self-confidence take a steep dive.

            For the women approaching men, it seems to be the case in the US and Canada, but France is still a little "frigid" about this. Moreover in Paris (Parisian people are reknowned as cold and distant people, and I have to say, almost every warm people I met in Paris were from other region of France, or from other countries). It's part of the mentality I guess.
            As for me, I'm shy, but I do my best to be the most approachable and easy going person you can find. And as for my look, classic but not bad I think. I may be beerkeg-shaped, but I dress with fitting shirts, suit vest, classic but far from ugly old shoes/too-large-to-it t-shirts and sport trousers I used to wear a few years ago. But stil…

            Anyway, I was not the subject of the conversation…

        • Conreezy

          I'm thinking that the idea that men do everything is a cynical reaction to the feeling of being put on display in a flirty interaction. It can make one bitter to always have to live up to someone else's arbitrary standards.

          Of course, this line of thinking ignores the fact that a man approaches only those he finds attractive, disregarding a large population of women as not up to his arbitrary standards. Also, I think the focus on physical traits does men a disservice here too–I remember for a long time feeling like "she's hot" was good enough to cover up a lot of personal faults; it's what allowed me to place women, in my mind, in the position to judge me like I was just the next guy in the casting call. (I'm sure many women are not looking down their noses at men and are just as nervous.) It never occurred to me that I was allowed to find her unattractive after a conversation, which led to some poor relationship choices.

          • It must be nice to only feel like you have to live up to the arbitrary standards of the opposite gender in flirty interactions. 😛

            Your second paragraph is pure gold. I need to chew on this. Thanks.

          • Conreezy

            "It must be nice to only feel like you have to live up to the arbitrary standards of the opposite gender in flirty interactions."

            A fair point.

          • This is actually a really interesting insight, and it reminds me of something Gentleman Johnny was saying a few weeks ago in another thread:

            When we're looking for romantic partners, we're looking for two criteria: 1) I like this person, and 2) This person likes me. It's a Venn diagram, with some degree of overlap between the two, but not 100%.

            In a first pass, you're weeding down to mutual "maybes": I maybe like this person, and they maybe like me. But there are two cuts.

            The approacher has the advantage of getting as his or her initial pool literally Every Person In the World. They can scope out the entire range of possibilities. They can also shape their pitch exactly the way they want to: they can present the best possible version of themselves: they can put on a witty smile. They can pick the time and the place. They can make themselves be noticed.

            On the other hand, they're absorbing a high risk, because when they get rejected, they know it. The person they're approaching lets them know: yes, I saw you, and you are not what I want. Goodbye. Which sucks.

            The approachee, on the other hand, has as their pool of possibles only those people who choose to approach them, which is, for most of us, a MUCH smaller pool. They don't get to carry around a card with a sales pitch on it: read this and realize how cool I am. They can signal interest, and in social situations will do so, but if the person is distracted by other "targets", they may never even register as an option.

            On the other hand, when they are "rejected" (or rather, not chosen), they don't have to know that a person is actively rejecting them. They can find another narrative that works for them.

            Being the approacher has more immediate risk, but I suspect it also has a higher chance of success, at least in a first pass.

            And it is more work — in the moment that you're making the approach.

            I read this article a few years back about how women's strength has always been more about endurance than men's strength, which is about raw power applied in a single moment to a single task (did anyone else catch that a woman is now the world record-holder for consecutive marathons run, at 53 marathons in 53 days??) I think that is a good metaphor for approacher/approachee work. The approacher applies burst effort in the moment. But the approachee works all the time, whenever they're out and in public, to check out possibilities, to send the right signals, to be attractive and appealing and approachable. It's less showy work, but it wears you down.

          • Conreezy

            Why does being the approacher have more chance of success? The approacher signals interest without knowing if it's reciprocated. The approachee at least has some idea that they're wanted.

            Unless you mean being the approacher has more chances of a success over numerous attempts.

          • I don't mean in a specific interaction.

            I meant… well, sort of two things:

            1: If you are an approacher, you have a higher chance of getting a mutual-interest encounter in a given period of time. Over 2 hours in a bar, you can target as many people as you want and approach hoping for a connection. An approachee is trying to get people to approach him, and will probably have fewer hits.

            2: If you are an approachee who likes a specific person, you can try to get their attention to have them approach you, but your chances of succeeding in that are probably lower than the approacher who is directly coming over, because the indirect signals are easier to lose in noise.

          • Conreezy

            Okay, gotcha. I agree.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Because the approacher has several advantages:
            1. He can approach people after he has some information to start a conversation with, meaning he knows there is a shared interest of some type.
            2. He can approach a lot of people. Very attractive women often don't get approached as much as you think because they challenge a guy's self confidence. Less than conventionally attractive women often don't get approached at all. More "collisions" (as local crazy man Tony Hsieh calls them) means more chances to find the right person.
            3. He's starting from a pool of "everyone". Give me two hours in a crowded event with the objective of setting up a coffee date and I can pull it off just by virtue of having 100 or more people to approach. Someone on the other side may be 50th on my list and not get approached at all.

            Basically, as an approacher, your success or failure is more in your control. As an approachee its more like the weather.

          • Also, an approacher can tailor his approach to the person he's approaching now. If she's wearing a Captain America shirt, he brings the superhero talk. She's reading the Feminist Mystique, he goes in a different direction. She's pruning her Magic: the Gathering deck? She's sketching? She's got a copy of Cold Days next to her? Or Dance with Dragons? Or Captain Vorpatril's Alliance? You maybe get all those things, and you get to choose your opening line based on her signals. If she doesn't work out, you move on to a woman sending a different signal, and you tailor your approach to her.

            In contrast, she gets to send one message and hope it resonates with some of the people in the room. If she chooses wrong — if she brings the GoT book and it turns out the guy there is someone with whom she could have bonded over Captain America — then she's missed the window.

          • Gentleman Johnny

            Haha. Guys have a venture capital model! Invest a small amount in a lot of people and hope for one big pay off while expecting the rest to come to nothing.

  • tgit28

    I can only hope this lethal hogwash of "friend-zoning doesn't exit" isn't consumed by logical humans.

    It is by all means just a mind manipulating way of trying to JUSTIFY the practice of human manipulation and exploitation.

    Whatever crosses peoples mind when the phrase "friend-zone" is introduced may differ but there is mountains of truth to the number of people who manipulate, use and abuse the ones they refer to as "friends".

    "Hey give me food, money, support and/or attention"
    "Oh whoops, sorry – I OWE YOU NOTHING!. I never really wanted to be close to you, just wanted to use you."

  • JohnI21h

    I've recently had the whole friendzone bullshit shattered before my eyes. I went out on a couple dates with a lady before realizing I'm not quite ready for a relationship. I tried converting it into a friendship, but she didn't want it, expressed her hurt and moved on. I was really saddened. I thought so highly of her. However, I understood her need to move on.

    These bitter ass guys don't get it. The tables can easily get turned on you one day. You could be the one telling the woman "let's just be friends". You're ever in that position and you realize just how un-fun and hard it can be!

    The real problem with the friendzone concept, is it gets presented like it's some sort of purgatory for non alpha men. That's bullshit! LJBF happens simply because he/she is not into you, that's it!