Oh, the “friend zone”! That lukewarm sexless purgatory where nice guys are sent by the woman of their dreams. I remember Caitlyn Shuman who put me in the friend zone. We were brilliant together. I made her laugh. We talked on the phone for hours. But she wouldn’t date me. I remember the maddening frustration like it was yesterday….
If you are a guy, chances are you have felt “the friend zone” at some point in your life. Chances are you didn’t like it. Chances are you didn’t know what to do. The good news is that you can use the “friend zone” to your advantage.
The first step is to acknowledge that the “friend zone” doesn’t exist. Remember the movie “The Matrix” where the bald kid with the English accent bends the spoon with his mind? It’s like that. There is no spoon. The “friend zone” is an idea made up by guys who felt entitled to sex or a relationship and wanted to create some term to describe the supposed “injustice” of their situation. So let’s get this straight: You don’t deserve shit. No one is obligated to fuck you or date you. Period.
The second step in making the friend zone work for you is acknowledging the beauty and utility of having female friends who aren’t dating you.
Consider that the people you interact with in the world give you a reflection of yourself, especially friends. Honoring each friendship helps you honor a different part of yourself.
Now let’s say hypothetically, that you live in a society, where women are objectified and sexualized and where men are shunned for showing any “feminine” traits. In this context, even if you are “a nice guy,” there is a chance that you are going to pick up some of this social conditioning. What is likely to happen (in this hypothetical scenario) is that you shut down your own feminine side, then look for women to fill that gap, but purely in an over sexualized way. You end up starving for feminine energy, and the only way you think that gap will be filled is through “sexytime.”
If this was the case, think of the energy you would be putting off when you meet women. Seriously, stop reading for like 5 seconds and just visualize what that would look like.
Got it? Does it look attractive? Is it needy? Is it a little creepy?
Here is the thing, relationships are all about chemistry. You can sense when someone has a weird vibe. Other people can sense when you are putting off a weird vibe. It’s near impossible to hide.
Now let’s say you have a friend who is a woman. Let’s call her Caitlyn. Caitlyn does not want to get all “sexytime” with you, but she appreciates you as a friend. What before seemed like a frustrating and unjust situation now looks more like an opportunity.
If honoring friendships helps you honor different parts of yourself, just being friends with Caitlyn can help you become a more complete person and teach you to honor others as complete human beings. Appreciating her, dare I say loving her, as a friend, in a non-sexual way, helps you learn to love the feminine parts of yourself; it helps you learn to appreciate more of the people you meet. Put bluntly, it will make your vibe less creepy. It can help make you a happier and healthier person.
In addition, at the risk of stating the obvious, there is the beauty of friendship for friendship’s sake. If you accept that Caitlyn does not want to date, you can relax into just being her friend. There is a pretty strong chance that you will enjoy just being her friend, pure and simple, personal growth aside. Crazy, right?
This doesn’t mean that you have to stop dating, or that sex is bad. It just means that a diversity in your types of friendships, especially friendships of the opposite gender, are good. Who knows, maybe Caitlyn can introduce you some amazing new people? Maybe one of them will like your vibe?
So, the next time you find yourself headed for “The Friend Zone”. Ask yourself if it’s really a problem. Maybe it’s a beautiful opportunity.
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Originally published on Wholehearted masculine: