One topic which has been ripping its way across Social Media recently is the issue of “The Friend Zone”, which is a hard concept to explain because there are are so many definitions of it out there. The one which is making the rounds on social media, however, looks like this:
- Person A likes Person B.
- Person B thinks Person A is a nice person, but not relationship material for them.
- Person A does lots of nice things for Person B to try and get them into a relationship.
- Person A eventually gets frustrated when Person B still isn’t interested, despite their efforts.
- Person A declares that Person B has “friend zoned” them and blames them for Person A not getting what they want.
(If you want a slightly more colourful version, check out Chuck Wendig’s blog entry here.)
I have to say I’m torn on the whole Friend-Zone issue. People and relationships are complicated things, and simple absolute terms rarely apply across all situations. Yeah, being nice to someone because you want something from them (money, help, or sex) is a selfish and prickish thing to do, and if you use the whole “friend-zone” thing as an excuse to blame them for not doing what you want you’re definitely a jerk. On the other hand, people often (but not always) do know (consciously or unconsciously) of another’s intentions and then string them along to get what THEY want by giving hints but never promising anything.
So that’s (one) of the issues with the whole “friend-zone” thing- sometimes the person complaining really was a jerk, sometimes they were a victim, and sometimes both people were jerks. (And note, women do this crap all the time too, even if men all-too-often are the ones you hear complaining about it, so it’s mostly a male thing.)