The Friend Zone: Not the Reason You’re Single

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In my latest Internet travels, I came upon an article on Thought Catalog entitled, “6 Possible Reasons You Can’t Find a Nice Guy.” Obviously, I was intrigued. The article provided false hope in addressing the supposed lack of “nice guys” that perplexes women everywhere. The author took a different route than to point young, single women in the direction of “nice guys,” but instead asserts that, “It’s not him, it’s you.”

woman and man friend
Image from Death to Stock

I shouldn’t make the author out to be the antagonist here. For instance, she does express the need to see beyond the “ideal” man. (“Sure, we all would love to find a guy who has at least a 6-figure salary, his own place, a great personality and a fantastic relationship with his mother.”) We need to see the good in men who aren’t necessarily millionaires, but have big hearts. Still, one of her assertions frustrates me: “You friend zone all the nice ones.”

We’ve all encountered or heard of the “friend zone”: a woman doesn’t have feelings for a male friend who is interested in her. Her reluctance to participate in a romantic relationship with that man and instead, maintain a friendship, is considered a tease move. But my frustration at this particular time isn’t about this clearly messed up definition that makes the woman out to be unreasonable. My frustration comes almost entirely from the following:

friend zone literature

Let’s break this down.

“If a guy is giving you attention and is nice, it means he is interested in you, it’s not that complicated.”

Perhaps, but it doesn’t mean that a romantic relationship necessarily needs to come of it. We can give the men more credit than that. We’ll let our author’s condescending tone on that one slide for a moment. Instead, we remind ourselves that pretty much anyone with WiFi can write for Thought Catalog, and our self-described “free spirited” guide to the unknown is no exception.

“He likes you and probably wants more than listening to you bitch about how you can’t find a nice guy.”

He probably does want more than that. Fortunately, this really isn’t your problem, ladies. While you should always, always be kind in turning someone down, you are not at fault for not being attracted to someone who you aren’t attracted to. Meanwhile, listening to anyone complain constantly about their inability to find a nice person when you believe yourself to be, can be frustrating. I can understand why a friend of any gender wouldn’t want to be subjected to that 24/7. Still, you signed up for this, male friends. If you don’t want to participate in the friendship at hand, why are you a part of it? It isn’t the woman’s responsibility to censor her conversation—love life is a topic that comes up organically in discussions with friends. Women, in turn, just remember to keep it in check if you know a guy likes you and you aren’t into him. No one that’s in love with you wants to hear you talk about how no one is in love with you.

“Then you say things like ‘why can’t I find a nice guy like you?’ As he listens, his heart slowly breaks into a million and one pieces because he knows that he can offer you everything you are looking for and more if given the chance.”

Men: take a hint. If she’s saying that she can’t find a nice guy, and clearly isn’t making any moves on you, maybe you should realize that she’s not into you that way and move on. Don’t sit around and consistently blame your friend for making you feel bad about yourself, because that feeling is dependent upon a relationship that exists only in your mind. Simultaneously, strive to take this as a compliment. Women hold their kind, platonic male friends in high esteem and generally use them to gauge the behaviors of their romantic interests.

Again I stress, this is not a professional writer, nor should this article be taken as a professional piece of literature. But consider that this is advice that is being distributed publicly and illustrates a common opinion. Young women will Google “why don’t I have a boyfriend?” only to find “free spirited” Emmi telling them not to “bitch” about their standards that reach above the criteria of pleasant and literate. Yeah, there are a lot of nice guys that you won’t want to date, but also a lot of douchebags you won’t want to date. In fact, you won’t want to date most people. And you know what? It’s fantastic if you don’t want to date most people, because that’s just too many credit scores to check. You aren’t single because you’ve pushed all the good ones away, and you aren’t single for any one looming reason at all. You’re single because you haven’t found someone who you click with right now You’re smart enough to know that and maintain your independence. That is, until you find someone who gets you enough that you want to spend copious amounts of time watching television with them and eating rice crispy treats together on a ratty futon.



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