Is the friend zone real?

All this talk about the friend zone, has got me thinking… what is it really? It’s the place that mostly women send men into that they don’t want to pursue any kind of romantic or sexual relationship with. Wait a minute, doesn’t that just mean that she isn’t into him that way? Why is it called the friend zone?

I hear men complain about women friend zoning them, or trying to, supposedly. But what are they really doing? They just aren’t pursuing them romantically? Is this just another way of saying rejection?

They also seem to think that women have some kind of timing window, where a man must make his romantic interest known within a certain amount of time within first meeting her, otherwise if he waits too long…he’ll lose any opportunity forever, thus going into the dreaded friend zone, where he wants to date her, but she doesn’t and instead wants to remain friendly.


Why is this called anything other than, “Sorry, she doesn’t want to sleep with you, get over it and move on…?”

This has been happening since the beginning of time. But all of a sudden, this concept has a name. A name that people who are interested use against those who aren’t.

The friend zone….is it even really a thing?

And if it is, what came first, the friend zone or the boy who cried friend zone?

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75 thoughts on “Is the friend zone real?

  1. I was once accused of friend zoning a guy. We talked for a while, and I realized he was just not my guy. I enjoyed talking to him, but after he realize he wasn’t going to be getting any from me, he kept getting pissed that I’d even so much as acknowledge his existence by saying “hey” to him on facebook. Apparently that warrants a friend zoning bitch label.

    • Wow that sucks. It seems like a lot of men either want you romantically or nothing at all. I can understand it being hard to be friends with someone you really like right off the bat, but I don’t see any reason why a friendly hello would be uncalled for.

  2. Wow, good point you raised Ash’. This also has me thinking. It shouldn’t be called the friend zone looking @ it from that angle. I mean, if she isn’t romantically into the guy; then it doesn’t necessarily means she wants to be friends either. I think the mix up comes in on the guy’s part where he automatically puts himself in the friend zone, assuming the girl would settle for being just friends since she isn’t romantically interested.

    • The concept of friend zone isn’t bad. Women put guys in the friendzone because they (the men) play it safe and neglect to get sexual with the girl from the get go. With that being the case, she puts him in the friend zone or treats him as just friends because in essence, he acted (too) friendly opposed to sexual/flirty. So friend zone is an accurate description. But Ashley’s point was valid also.

      • I have never heard a woman say anything remotely like this. Have you?

        It’s really weird to me that “putting someone in the friendzone” is supposed to be an action. All we’re discussing is a woman not being romantically interested in a person that she knows (which is probably the case with most of the people that she knows). Why would the default be a sexual relationship?

        • Of course a woman will never say anything remotely like this or what I said. Women are women, they rarely tell guys the truth or the deal when it comes to such things. Not because women are liars, but due to social stigmas, women are forced to hide their sexual intentions as to not appear slutty. This is relevant to the friendzone in that although a girl may want to screw a guy BAD! She will never just hop on his cock and ride him away in fear that such overt-sexual act would turn the man off. So, instead of saying to a guy, “I don’t want to friendzone you”, or “Get sexual with me”, she will allow him to hang himself by letting hang willingly walk into the friendzone.

      • Socialkenny gets it because he is a guy. I wouldn’t expect women to understand it. They don’t even know what they are doing on a conscious level. This stuff is all meta and subconcious, it just has a name for it.

        • @MenDiscontinued Thanks a lot for seeing the point I was making plus the underlying theme in it all. Women when it comes to love, dating and sex operate on an emotional level opposed to a rational one. I know you already know this which ties into your comment of women not operating on a conscious level.

      • “operate on an emotional level opposed to a rational one” Exactly. This is not a bad thing nor a good thing necessarily, but just how it is in life. We gotta understand that both sexes operate differently from eachother, and respect those differences and meet in the middle sometimes. Understanding the game is all part of it. I’ll save you the speech, you know it all too. :) Cheers.

  3. Also, this post is so timely in that my latest post had highlighted what bot to do to get friendzoned by a girl. The average Joe doesn’t seem to realize the reason he gets friendzoned is because he treats the girl he wants as a friend opposed to potential lover or sex-buddy. Now am I saying to treat every girl whom you’re interested in as sex-buddies? Yes! That way you will never get friendzoned.

      • Assuming you’re a woman; I expect you to see this as dehumanizing. Assuming you’re a feminist by your name, I expect you to hate my comment even more.

        We in the pickup/seduction community have had it pretty rough with the online feminist bloggers who see what we do as dehumanizing.

        This recent article of mines from 2 days ago may make you cringe:

        Sorry for posting a link Ashley :)

        • Not planning to read it. It sounds like you do have it pretty “rough”, what with all the mean scary feminists calling you out for not treating women like they are people with individuality and free will. When will you ever get your gold medal for advancing the subjugation of women? Poor thing.

      • Dehumanising? You could look at it like this instead: there are few things more human than seeking to engage in sexual activity with someone. Seriously, the desire to get into someone’s pants is far from evil (mutual consent etc must apply, of course). It’s a great thing. Let’s treat it as such.

        • Well the reason why it’s not seen as such a great thing is because those who try to get in to the pants of another, often use lies and manipulation. The one being pursued may want more than just a hookup. Sex is great, someone lying and manipulating someone else and using them for just sex, is not.

        • So, by your logic, when non-human animals mate, are they engaging in human behavior?

          I’m glad that you’re mindful of consent, but the blanket advice to treat every woman you’re interested in like a potential fuck buddy doesn’t sound like it’s particularly concerned with what those “potential fuck buddies” want. Consent is only meaningful if a woman’s “no” is accepted, rather than triggering a conquest to win her over.

  4. It’s only real in people’s imagination. I don’t think many women are going to meet someone and think, “Ok he’s going to the friend zone.”

    • @Celektra- Well you’re 100% right. That’s why I’d said in my previous comment that it’s the guy’s fault he gets friendzoned. The girl doesn’t do it because she’s so mean and heartless and wants to shatter men’s dreams. The guy who pretends to be non sexual and thinks the best way to get to a girl is through friendship, he ends up in the friendzone

  5. To me it’s obviously real. It should be real to anyone who ever had a guy friend suddenly express sexual interest, and you say pretty much “I’m sorry, but I’m not attracted to you” (if you were honest). I’d like to add the typical “but men do it, too”, however, men are much less likely to turn down a female friend for sex, so it’s not very relevant.
    Now, there is nothing malicious about being honest and telling a guy you don’t see him that way. And there is nothing malicious about the guy if he feels disappointed because of it. But he better approach it from another angle next time, if he wants more than friendship. That means he has to act attractive from the start. Or at least let his real interest be known from the start – save himself the time. I think a lot of the time, honesty is the best policy, for both sides.

  6. I think it needs a little POV from the other side. The friend zoning is like using a guy as spare part, if you will need him you will use him. If not then he’s just resting at your side and that’s totally wrong. From your childhood your have friends but you don’t use this term with them. It’s like using someone just because you know he likes you. It’s the case when “YOU NEITHER SAY YES NOR SAY NO”…so he’s just struck out there. If he leaves he’s the wrong guy and if he proceeds he’s still the wrong guy. :) After writing this I think I can do some counselling work ;) :D

  7. Emma is right,it really is mostly toward guys. I’ve witnessed it and have had it happen to me.The usual scenario is the girl is usual on a “bad boy binge” and keeps the “friend zone” for the one guy who actually shows he cares and listens. I’ve put an end to a “friendship” before because the girl wasn’t interested in anything more.

  8. I don’t believe in the ‘friendzone.’ I’m sorry, what is so wrong about being friends with me? Was sleeping with me the only intention you had? It’s like some men think they are entitled to ‘get some’ just because they are being friendly and courteous. When men complain about the friend zone it’s usually a dealbreaker for me because it says they haven’t learned to accept a woman’s decision that she’s just not into them. It’s very immature. Let me leave you with a url to an awesome comic on this subject:



      That got right to the point. The author/artist is about as far from me demographically and politically as possible but I agree with her here.

      The problem is a lot of males are just socially retarded and not self aware. They also are basically just narcissists with entitlement issues.

      I posted before that I thought no true nice guy ever sees himself as a nice guy. They just feel normal. The nice guy identity is a self deception to cover the passive aggressive attitudes of guys who are not nice guys.

      Nobody is ever in the “friend zone”. The term is the “normal zone” because thats how normal people relate. They don’t hate you or want to have sex with you so if they know you and you are both normal people you will be in the normal zone.

      When a guy says he’s in the friend zone and the problem is that he’s a nice guy that means he feels entitled to have sex with a woman because HE finds her attractive as an object or target with no mind or feelings of her own. It also means he has to rationalize this situation by saying he’s TOO nice and that she only wants the opposite of a nice guy – an a-hole or a jerk.

      That’s it.

    • It seems that men are often told that if they play be these certain guidelines of advice, that it will get them the girl.

      “Be friendly, nice, open the door for her, compliment her, lend your shoulder to her, flirt playfully, and you’ll get her.” What they aren’t told is that it might not happen no matter how they play it. It’s like a lottery. There are things men can do to increase their changes of winning her heart, but there are not guarantees, and no amount of playing by the rules or self improvement will change that.

      So then they get frustrated because they did everything they thought they were supposed to do, and it didn’t work.

  9. You’re missing a huge part of this equation out. Women often keep men around “on the shelf” until they can be used. Don’t lie, you’re probably guilty of this too. They keep men on the shelf because women treat men like a commodity, something to be disposed and used when it is convenient. “Friend zone” is what it describes, a woman who is not sexually attracted to a man to have sex with him, but still wants to keep him around in case she needs him for A) Protection B) Resources C) Wealth/status, or any combination of handiwork. Women use men. It’s simple.

    • This is a generalization. I’m not sure where you are drawing it from be it personal experience with women or witnessing these relations in those around you, but how can you know that this is what women knowingly and willingly do? I’m not saying that no woman ever has used a man for money or resources, but at what point do you think it’s reasonable to place women in the general sense in that box?

      • Men Discontinued made a great point here. Think about it Ashley. Women have options in men. The average man has 0 options in whom to date. The average woman string men along which is where friendzone comes in. She can dump a guy today and pick up another tomorrow, i.e. an orbiter.

      • Studies, psychology books, etc. all combined with personal experience, experiences of other men around me, on the internet, etc. all says it’s true. Unless there is a unicorn around that can prove otherwise. Yes, exceptions exist, but they do not make the rule. So until I see the general behavior of women change, my attitudes and world view won’t change. I’ve dated a lot of women. How many have you dated?

      • MD, I haven’t dated any women, but I am one. I’m not in the dark when it comes to how we relate to men in different kinds of relationships. You want to say, “Women use men,” ok fine, yeah they do. Then I think to myself, “Why do they use men and what can get them to stop?” Well, I just don’t see it happening any time soon. Society views men as providers, handy, can-do men, with resources, power, money, etc. Men aren’t complaining about it either. In fact, they pride themselves on this archetype, that is until they feel that women are benefiting from their money, resources, etc without them getting any action in return.

      • Getting a woman is a feat. It requires the right combination of what one can call “game” to have enough social saavy, confidence, success, to attract women. It takes absolutely no talent from women to simply say yes or no to a man and not risk the rejection from society. Women are the choosers (99%) and men are the ones chasing.

        • Once again MD, a powerful statement. Everything you’d said I agree with and I’m well aware of. Men are the chasers. It kills me when I come across posts online where women are seeking advice on how to approach men. I’m like WTF! It isn’t a woman’s natural role to pursue men. Men are the pursuers. Women know this but due to men in society being so wussy and Beta, women are now contemplating to approach men. But as you said: women are the choosers.

          • Over half of the men I have dated have been because I initiated a flirtation in some way. Growing up, I was less than average looking and shy as hell. No guys were approaching me because they were too busy looking at the girls with the huge racks and loud personalities. I had to learn how to snag my own man. I didn’t grow into my looks until I was about 20, then guys started asking me out, even a few of the same individuals who ignored the shit out of me in high school were trying to get with me in college.

            Since then, I have chased a few more men just for fun. It can get boring always being the one to be pursued.

            • Well this goes back to a point that MD and I had made which is that women are the choosers. What I mean by that is, they send out subtle cues to men in order for the men to chase. Just as you did. But a woman will rarely even approach a man and blatantly try to hook up with him and chase. That isn’t her role which is why women don’t do it. The most she does is send non-verbal signals and it’s up to the guy to be smart enough to see it.

      • If you want some scientific insight into the idea that women do all the choosing and men have to pursue look at this pdf file on Google. Search the title. Its not too technical but it claims that Mutual Choice is an important factor and that it isn’t all – Men Compete/Women Choose.

        Mutual Mate Choice Models as the Red Pill in Evolutionary Psychology – Geoffrey F. Miller 2013

        The PUA crowd has a distorted view of things yet they pretend their beliefs are scientific. Scientists disagree. Geoffrey Miller has also commented on how his work is popular with some in the PUA world.

    • Absolutely true link. Women compete with other women for the highest status male. They peacock for attention. They dress to impress other females, not dress to impress men.

      • Lol so true I had to laugh! Let’s take it a bit further: women compete to steal men from other women. This is well known and accepted. They always want the higher status male or the Alpha as we’d say in pickup. If her BF is (too) low valued; she will upgrade by dumping him or cheat on him with an Alpha whom she’s looking to take from another girl.

        Stuff like this women will say is the exception but that’s bullshit.

    • Basically, when you enter in a relationship with a women, you enter in what I like to call a human biological contract to reproduce, continue and assure the survival of the human specie .

      A woman behavior is what is needed to continue the human race forward. For example, It means that when a women cheating with a alpha is way to improve the human race. She just does not know what is happening. Another example, most women are liar and good at deception. This is another way to gain access to man resources.

      Man need to see women as biological unit that are obeying Darwin principles, not as long term life companion.

      • Hello celetra. I will answer here because I cannot reply directly to your comment since I am a complete dumbass who has terrible English.

        I am probably a cunt for asking such a question. It is OK, I am cunt. We, whiny lil bitch men, know that we are not that bright and we are fine with it .

        Can you gladly put some more knowledge into my Little cunty brain?

        I am so narcissist and entitle. I can see why women are fed up with this attitude.

      • Nice edit, Ashley. You are such a smart ass. I love it.

        And justeunperdant, get a vasectomy. Those genes of yours need not to be passed on.

  10. I keep hearing about guys who get mad after being friendzoned. So far this has not happened to me. All the guys I FZ’ed were somewhat disappointed, but moved on (they weren’t really in love or anything). I don’t think a guy should get mad at the girl for friendzoning him, even if I can think of understandable reasons why he might (the whole situation, IMO, can confuse both sexes and make them think the other has an evil agenda of some sort). It can be hurtful to see someone you thought was a friend, and someone who presented themselves as such, get mad at you for taking the friendship seriously.

    • Depends how much investment the man made. Either due to high expectations (friend zone is disappointment) or some other factors. Basically the more you put into something, the harder it is or higher level of “being mad” you will be about the loss. Getting friend zone is a loss for men, but it is a gain for females.

  11. I started dating my boyfriend after 4 years of being just friends with him. I don’t really believe in the window that people talk about. We started off as friends and one day, I saw something more in him. He didn’t even do anything to cause that reaction. I can’t really explain it. I just happened one day. What I loved even more was that he was so accepting of being just my friend for so long, which made me realize he was worthy more than just a platonic friendship. Now if he would have gotten mad and refused to stick around, I would have felt justified in not dating him right away. Patience wins.

    • A lot of times, yes. With most men I meet, I am not the least bit attracted to them and I know that there will never be anything between me and that particular guy.

  12. How to approach a woman if a man doesn’t want to get ‘zoned’ is pretty tricky. Men can make a mistake by coming on to a girl too early. He’ll come off as a creep who just wants in her pants if the attention he’s giving her is going to be mostly sexual. If he acts more friendly and occasionally flirty, she isn’t likely to see him as a creep and it will run across her mind about dating him. The key is, act friendly but show signs of interest.

    • Any guy can get rejected though. PUAs will try to pitch their advice for avoiding it by showing sexual interest right at first but it still may not be successful. Having a good approach is important, but there is no perfect way. There is a certain element that isn’t within a man’s control and they need to understand that.

      • It may not be successful but at least the PUA won’t get friendzoned. We’re not saying to come off as sexual, at least not all the time. We’re saying to at least make sexual interest discernible through flirting, touching, body language, insinuations, etc. The mistake the average guy makes it coming off too friendly. It’s quite simple; you come off as a friend, she will see you as a friend. To counter this: the guy should come off as if he has sexual interest or is physically attracted

  13. The concept of the friend zone was actually popularized by Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends

    “See when a girl decides that you’re her friend, you’re no longer a dating option. You become this complete non-sexual entity in her eyes, like her brother, or a lamp.”

  14. This is SUCH a good point! It always seems that the “friend zone” only exists for me. Women aren’t placed in the “friend zone,” and if they are, they don’t call it that. The fact that there is a ticking clock on how long men have until their friend zoned. I really do just think it’s an excuse for laziness on the part of men. Great read!

    xo Maria
    elephant in the room

    • Maria raised a good point.

      The friendzone doesn’t exist for women.

      Men don’t put women into friendzones. It kills me whenever I come across posts online of women asking how can they get out of the friendzone. I’m like, “You’re a woman! Men don’t friendzone women”! If we aren’t interested in a woman, we don’t string them on by having them as platonic friends”.

    • Yeah, if women get placed into anything, it’s the “friends with benefits zone.” Maybe I should just coin that now, but I’m sure someone else already has.

  15. Your post made me think of a couple other things. Like don’t women get friend-zoned too? Maybe it’s just not so obvious since typically it’s men who have to make a move. And then there’s your point about guys feeling like they have to move in quickly before they become friend-zoned. A lot of us like to get to know the guy first before pursuing something romantic. So as you seem to apply, he might have better luck not trying to avoid the friend zone.

    • I think women can be friend zoned too. I’m sure it does happen, where a guy will find a female companion that he doesn’t see in a romantic way, but maybe they have many similar interests and enjoy talking about the same things.

  16. I have to say all these pick-up “artists” here with their talk of alpha males and “game” and similar have been an amusing read. No wonder they can’t form an actual adult relationship with women; they’re apparently incapable of seeing other humans as anything but objects.

    I can see your future, fellas: you’re sixty-five, alone in a cheap hotel room, pissing yourself and watching 24 hour football. Gonna be hard to keep calling yourself an alpha male then.

    • I don’t buy into the whole alpha male attraction mentality. I mean, I have dated a couple of them, but having them always trying to compete and one-up everyone, including myself, is just a turn off. I don’t need a leader or protector. I need a team mate that is willing to work on equal playing grounds.

  17. You know, it’s interesting that our society has a name for it. Past societies were more focus on survival, or war, or agriculture. I’m not sure if it’s our focus on physical relationships or the excess of ledger time we have in comparison, but it does leave one food for thought, eh?

  18. Of course, when someone isn’t attracted to me but still likes me as a person, or is not looking for an intimate relationship, it is completely okay to only want to be friends. That is not quite my definition of the friend zone, though. That is when someone is initially attracted to me and interested in an intimate relationship, but as we get to know each other, no intimacy starts taking place, as none of us is initiating it. At some point, we have started to be close and trust each other enough for me to tell them that I am sexually attracted to them, but they reply that they find me really attractive and were initially interested in me, but now they don’t want to risk the friendship by taking it to a next level.

    The reason why a person does not express their sexual interest and doesn’t attempt to initiate initimacy might be that they are too shy, or that they grew up as girls and were told that it is not socially acceptable for women to express sexual interest, or, in case the other person is male, that it will turn men off and confuse them, or that they don’t have to make this effort because men will initiate the intimacy anyways. One other possible reason is that someone is too careful about the interest being mutual, and interpret the other person’s lack of expressing interest (because of the above reasons) as a lack of interest.

    The problem with the friend zone from a feminist perspective is what society tells men who end up in the friend zone quite regularly (because they are rather shy or rather careful about mutuality) to get out of their frustrating situation: They should express sexual interest and initiate intimacy more often. Following the examples given to them in the media of how to do that, these guys often end up sexually assaulting women.¹

    I think as feminists, we should acknowledge the frustration that people feel when they get friend-zoned on a regular basis, and provide them a better explanation and solution for it than the mainstream media and pick-up artists do: That they need to learn to express sexual interest in a consensual and non-abusive way.

    ¹ To clarify this, I am in no way excusing that behaviour and blaming the friend zone for it; obviously it is the fault of those men themselves and of the media and people who tell them that it is acceptable and recommendable to do so.

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