There’s no place worse to be than The Friend Zone, amirite, guys?
We all know what The Friend Zone is, I hope. It’s that terrible purgatory wherein you get to spend a whole bunch of time with that one member of the female gender who is, like, completely perfect for you in a making out and boobie-touching sort of way, but she just won’t let you touch her boobies and totally won’t make out with you. It’s an awful thing to behold, truly.
And we all know how one gets put into The Friend Zone. It’s when you, as the guy, say something like, “We should go on a date,” or, “You know we’re perfect for each other, right?” or you keep “accidentally” touching her boobies when you’re hanging out, and then suggest that maybe she should let you actually touch them in a non-accidental sort of way. But no matter what you do she just plain doesn’t let you touch her boobies or make out with her because she just doesn’t want to ruin your friendship.
Of course that whole thing is bullshit. She’s just trying to use you. Or keep you as a backup. Or string you along out of some sort of crazy-ass sadism because women are evil, controlling bitches like that.
You know, when I put it in those terms, The Friend Zone doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. I literally cannot figure out why anyone would want to stay involved in a relationship wherein one person has been put in The Friend Zone. Obviously the woman doing the putting into The Friend Zone is some sort of using, controlling bitch, so why would her poor victim even want to touch her boobies? She’s obviously controlling him with her feminine wiles and the poor sap has been brainwashed by boobies. Boy, howdy, does it ever suck to be that guy.
Wait, no. That still makes no goddamn sense.
Okay, let me try to figure this out in some way that does make sense. Okay, what about this: let’s take a hypothetical approach wherein the female in question really does want to be friends and the male in question is a whiny little dipshit. Then let’s see where this whole thing goes. Conceptually, of course. Theoretically, even. Because we all know that this scenario is, like, totally impossible in reality.
Let’s say that the woman in question genuinely doesn’t want to date right now. This could be a general thing and she’s totally off the dating scene. It could also be a specific thing and she doesn’t want to date the guy in question but, like, if Orlando Bloom showed up and said, “Ya wanna go for coffee?” she’d be all, “Yes, Legolas, oh, god, yes.” It’s not likely, but, hey, it could happen.
Let’s ask the question, “What could possibly going through a woman’s head when she puts some poor guy into The Friend Zone?” This, of course, depends on any number of factors. We must consider them.
There are the general environmental factors. Has she recently experienced a big life changed, including a career change, a death in the family, a cross-country move, or something similar? Is she currently engaged in some sort of long-term self-improvement project, including going back to school, trying to write the great American novel, putting more of her time into charitable giving, or finally learning how to make those awesome pastries she’s always wanted to learn to make? Is something taking up a shitload of her time, such as finishing her Masters while working full-time, a huge project at work, an ailing family member, or a recently purchased house that needs a lot of work? Has she recently gotten out of a long-term relationship? Has she recently gotten out of a short but intense relationship? Has she experienced a string of bad relationships with guys who suck? Is she, for that matter, currently in a relationship?
Once we get through the general environmental factors we need to ask specific factors. Does she tend to date dumb jock types while you happen to be a pointy-headed intellectual type? Are you pretty much her only friend and confidant? Does she happen to be best friends with your sister?
These are all valid, nay, important questions to consider. This list is also far, far from exhaustive. Chances are that these or similar questions are all part of the mental calculus a woman puts into a potential relationship.
Guys, on the other hand, pretty much only ask two questions:
1. “Is she hot?”
2. “Is she single?”
If the answers are, “Yes,” and, “Yes,” respectively, then there shouldn’t be any roadblocks in the way. Any woman who does put up a road block, then, is being some sort of scheming bitch who is trying to destroy the guy in question. Because, really, what else does a relationship need?
The problem with this difference in approach is pretty simple: the guy signals that he doesn’t actually give a shit about the supposed object of his affection. If it’s only worthwhile to be friends with someone if she’ll make out with you and let you touch her boobies, then that person has been reduced to tongue, lips, and boobies. It’s really that simple.
As such, the guy who sits around and bitches about being relegated to The Friend Zone sends the message that he is not and never will be boyfriend material. Because, really, why would anyone want to date someone who doesn’t actually give a shit about them? I suppose that there are women out there who are like that, though. So maybe Captain Friend Zone needs to go find one of them. Chances are he’ll be doing the object of his attention a great service if he does.
For the record, I’m not saying any of these things as someone who hasn’t fucked this up. I totally have. I’ve simply made it a point to learn from my mistakes.
Amy and I dated for about three months, then spent the next year and a half or so in this kinda-sorta pseudo relationship thingy that was bad for everyone involved. For whatever reason she decided it wasn’t going to work and then tried to Friend Zone me, with a certain level of success, most of which had to be qualified by me pointing out that I did the passive-aggressive douchebag thing for most of that time. After we stopped talking I realized from time to time that I actually missed her. It wasn’t that I missed sitting around thinking about how great it would be if she let me touch her boobies. It was that I missed having her around as someone to talk to and as someone who I knew would know Thing X about Subject Y that I, personally, knew fuck all about or would want to talk about Subject Z that I knew most other people I know couldn't be arsed to discuss. Ergo, I hadn’t broken up with someone, I’d lost a friend. I missed that particular friend and there was no getting her back.
Meanwhile, at a later, non-disclosed point in time I met a woman I came to value as a friend. She was in a relationship when I met her. I eventually figured out that she was actually someone I would date in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.
Eventually she broke up with the guy, which I considered a good move on her part. It wasn’t because I knew I could then make my move, but because she wasn’t happy and I wanted her to be happy because she totally deserved to be happy. The fact is that by the time that happened our friendship had progressed to the point where I didn’t want to potentially fuck it up by making a pass and finding out she totally wasn’t interested.
The fact of the matter is that I know the standard guy response to that situation is, “Ask her out. Who cares about the consequences?”
I do, that’s who. And I care because in the final analysis I ended up being more unhappy that I didn’t let Amy Friend Zone me than that she didn’t let me play with her boobies and make out with her and shit.
Turns out the dreaded Friend Zone isn’t necessarily such a bad place to be.
I originally wrote this as “Or keep you as a backpack,” which would be really, really weird.
I mean, other than the obvious reason. Boobies are fun to touch, after all.
Brainwashed By Boobies is also the name of The Curb Tacos’ debut album. Out June 12th.
This question is, sadly, optional for some guys.