Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Stay Out of the Friend Zone

If you're a human being living on Planet Earth, you know what the Friend Zone is. It's the place a woman knocks a guy back to when she says, “Yeah, I really like you, a friend.”

Men hate this sh*t. They mill around on the Internet and in the bars b*tching and moaning about how they've put so much time and effort into some woman at some point, and then she wouldn't even reciprocate with a single f*ck. That b*tch, stringing him along like that. They seem to think it's some kind of cruel joke.

Because women are objects, right? And you can totally buy us – if not with cash, then with a less tangible investment of acting like a doormat, right?


Once you're in the Friend Zone, the only thing you can do to get back out again is slay a freakin' dragon. Since dragons went extinct sometime around the Merovingian Dynasty, that's no longer an option. The best you can hope for is to stay out of the Friend Zone altogether.

Most girlies aren't heartless b*tches who like taking advantage of poor, can't-get-a-break “nice guys.” We aren't total idiots who keep dating a**holes because we don't know any better. Well, okay, yeah, but most of us learn our lesson by the time we reach our late 20s. That's why Douchebag's girlfriend is always 22, by the way.

I've been reading about evolutionary mating psychology lately, and thinking a lot about my personal experiences, and I've developed a theory.


Women are socially-oriented creatures. We like to make everyone feel safe, accepted and equal (at least to their faces).

Women are physically smaller and weaker than men.

Well...most women. ~ roonb

We're also more physically vulnerable, especially when we're pregnant, giving birth, or looking after young children. For millions of years, we've relied on strength in numbers to keep us safe from things like the rapists in the next tribe and that goldang cave bear we keep telling the chief to just freaking kill, already.

Don't come crying to me when it eats you. ~ Sergiodlarosa

Over the millennia, women have evolved to value strong social bonds, and many of us seem to have an inborn understanding of how to form and maintain those bonds. To make everyone feel safe, accepted and equal, you have to be gentle with people's feelings, and refrain from pissing anyone off.

This is why I don't have many friends.

Often, when a woman says, “I really like you, a friend,” what she really means is, “Please. Just. Go. Away.”

But she won't say that, because the tag-team of evolution and social conditioning have squeezed those impulses right out of her.

Over the past few decades, modern men have learned that modern women want kind, sensitive, supportive guys who will stick around to help them raise the babies. Actually, women have always wanted men who will stick around, and we managed, over thousands of years, to erect societal monoliths geared toward forcing men to provide for their spawn. We call these institutions “marriage” and “family” and they have probably been with us since around the time we started wearing clothes.

Then some chemist invented LSD, the Sexual Revolution happened, people decided that marriage was obsolete and it all went to sh*t.

Very colorful sh*t.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm glad I can have casual, drunken sex, without getting burned at the stake. I'm glad I can wear trousers and pursue a career (without getting burned at the stake). I'm glad I don't have to depend on a man, or men, for my very survival (vis à vis not getting burned at the stake). I'm glad that I, and women all over the Western world, are pursuing long-term relationships based on mutual happiness, rather than politics or economics or not getting burned at the stake.

Not cool, dude, not cool.

Until about 40 or 50 years ago, Western men didn't have to worry too much about having feelings and changing diapers. That was the woman's job, and if she wanted to eat, she'd do it.

Today's men seem to be struggling a little with the “kind and sensitive” part. You can't blame them, because fifty years won't erase millions of years of breeding. Besides, a fella could easily get confused. He hears us say we want kind, sensitive men, but he sees us hooking up with a**holes left and right.

Women, he might eventually conclude, are either lying, or they're fickle, brainless creatures who really don't know what they want. For the most part, neither of these conclusions is the correct one. There are, I think, at least three elements to this:

1) Douche-y guys are virile and provide strong, healthy offspring with good genes. If they didn't, there wouldn't be so many of them around. Back in the Stone Age, if not today, it was in a woman's best interests, for her own survival and that of her children, to find a man who would protect her from the cavebear. There weren't any who's-your-daddy tests back then, though, so the men who fathered the most children by the most women passed their philandering genes on down for the rest of us to b*tch about.
Thanks but no thanks, a**hole.

2) Douche-y guys are confident. I don't know if that's the result of genetics, or the result of thinking you're the hottest thing on feet, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was the latter.

We ladies like confidence. A confident man doesn't grovel endlessly. He doesn't need to be peeled off of us every time we leave the house. He doesn't weigh us down with needy, clingy, you-make-all-the-decisions-because-I-am-utterly-helpless bullshit. He takes some responsibility for himself and his own happiness. 

3) As usually happens when men attempt to understand women or vice versa, there's been a misunderstanding. When a woman says she's looking for a kind, sensitive man, there's a part of that statement that goes unspoken. We are looking for kind, sensitive (attractive, well-groomed) men who are secure in themselves and not afraid to show their interest from the start. 

That part is vital. When you pass yourself off as a friend, that's exactly what we take you for – a friend. Many women don't understand the “Men are always interested” rule, so we think your friendly overtures are, you know, friendly. You guys, on the other hand, seem to take female friendliness for flirtatiousness. What it is, in fact, is friendliness.

Establishing a friendship with ulterior motives is therefore a form of betrayal.

Not only that, but it makes you look like a spineless ninny who's not even brave enough to ask a girl out. If you can't do that, what are you going to do when the Zombie Apocalypse comes?

Sorry, this spot's taken. ~ Dennis Matheson

We're not in middle school anymore. Try doing something radical and unheard-of, like asking her out when you first realize you like her. Hanging around for two months of Grey's Anatomy and shopping trips with the girls is not the way to make yourself look manly.

In other words, grow a pair.