Wednesday, January 09, 2013


I am sure in some sense friendzone exists. But it doesn't exist. So I broke character and read a news article today, editorial, on the shutting down of 'Nice Guys of OkCupid' mmmtopical.

One common characteristic of these 'nice guys' was a complaint about always being friendzoned. The editorial wasn't really enlightening to me, because my brother whom I outsource all my internet trawling to had told me about it, and the write up quoted by the editorial I actually read which is a way better read than anything I will write:

I just want to say to anybody who laments the 'friendzone' and subscribes to it's existence as some tangible, plausible object -

Fuck you.

Get over it.

The article linked establishes the gender bias in the very concept, and I agree in terms of the complaint. But if I think about the practical 'existence' or circumstances under which 'friend-zone' occurs, I feel following on from the principal of 'we are what we do' post a couple of days ago - I would 'friend-zone' far more often than I am 'friend-zoned', I am 'friend-zoned' in fact kind of never, I'm generally rejected. All the girls I like know I like them, some are in long term relationships or married.

Most of them I would describe as my best friends, and certainly the people I am most capable of being comforted by just by their sheer presence.

And yet, I have aspirations to be a 'Nice guy' amongst other things, to be kind and supportive, to invest my energy and attention in people, to go out of my way to do favors, buy them thoughtful presents or even a beer or lunch or some shit. The thing is, that if I have any angst about my aspirations to 'nice-guy' status, it's that it frustrates my love life because it would be hard for somebody I like to determine they are getting special treatment.

Because if you are 'nice' as in kind, you can't actually target that trait, you can't be a nice-guy or girl for one person and treat everyone else like shit, or less flatteringly, with indifference.

The above article does allude to the fact that women are denied the equivalent complaint of the 'friendzone' though I would say that as much as it can be said to exist for men, it can said to exist for women.

Because what is it? It's a sustained relationship in which one person is interested in physical partnership and the other isn't. And reasons aside, it is sustained.

Because a relationship, by western and modern western standards is required to be consensual it requires what Economists call a 'double coincidence of wants' which is a limitation of the direct trade system - you can only exchange your eggs for milk if the person with milk wants your eggs. So too with relationships - you can only have them if you want them if they want you too.

Like trade, if you have money and all you really want is sex - just trade money for sex. If you don't just want sex or it isn't really important to you, then here's the good news:

In any relationship you are going to spend most of your time engaged in the act of talking, it'll be like 80% of the relationship, over a long term relationship, probably more. If you are lingering in the 'friendzone' you are getting 80% of the relationship you desire anyway.

Here's more good news. Jealousy is perfectly natural, and it's just a feeling and it is non-lethal and so too is the grief or periods of sadness felt that accompany rejection - in the words of somebody, probably the fucking bard - 'this too shall pass'.

Being in a physically intimate relationship is also not likely to absolve you of jealousy or sadness, nor have the transformative effect on your life that you desire.

I had three years of intimacy and daily contact with one of my best friends in the world now, and it ended. Our relationship is so much better now, and I hope we are both better for the years we spent together. We had a lot of great sex (by my recollection anyway) in that time, and yet...

Yet I would look at other women and contemplate being with them. I would come home from my dissatisfying work and be mean to my girlfriend and be angry and frustrated at all the shit I couldn't handle in my own life and didn't even understand lacking the life experience and what not that I wasn't angry or dissatisfied with my relationship, but my job and career prospects, my health, diet, fitness, friendship circle, insular world and how I spent my evenings.

Really the one redeaming feature of my life in those years was that I had a really cool girlfriend.

All my girlfriends have been really, really cool. I've been really lucky to have dated a bunch of incredible women that have behavioural traits that are positive but not commonly found in the general population.

And they are just about the only people I have dated, the rest... I think about and enjoy their company, I converse with them, invest in them and their hopes and dreams and aspirations. But I don't want to let them into my personal world, to share my company in my private spaces - the rest of woman kind to me are just friends.

If any accused me of misleading them or being a vagina-tease or being vague about my feelings for them or whatever, (they never do) my rebuttal would be to ask why they hadn't bothered to ask me out. While I personally wouldn't mind the pre-emptive rejection, I feel a minority of people would accept me practicing them.

I've been asked out by a girl (unambigously enough for me to tell I was being asked out) 3 times, but (and I find it surprising to myself) most of my relationships I have done the asking, been the initiator (that really doesn't seem right to me, but my finger counting doesn't lie) the point being that A) my life is evidence that girls can ask out guys. B) the 'social contract' or stereotype that guys ask out girls, probably persists.

But here's the thing, I think the number of women any nice guy, or even douchebag arsehole has hanging around that want more from him than he is willing to give them is probably going to outweigh the number of women 'friendzoning' him, because a number of women (perplexingly to me) won't ever assume the risk of asking out, thus the practice of fawning but spurned women must greatly outweigh those complaining men.

Largely because a larger proportion of men, will assume the risk, and speaking from experience the devastating risk and fear of ruining not just one friendship but a bunch of proximate friendships by asking out the person they desire and accepting that that gamble has a downside.

So the friendzone is a farce, if they are scared of ruining the friendship, it means in truthful terms that the imagined payoff is not as valuable as the certain status quo. Furthermore, it is also a farce because - people routinely describe their partners as 'my best friend'. Thirdmost, if the situation was reversed you wouldn't have it any other way. You don't want to be with somebody on the simple (and lazy) basis of the person who is kindest to you.

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