Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Friend Zone #3: How Do You Escape Or Deal With It ?

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AND HERE WE ARE, THE FINAL article in my 3 part series on The Friend Zone. Thank you for reading thus far and whether you agree or disagree with the points I've made in the previous articles, the fact of the matter is you're open to discussion and that means a lot. Hopefully I've given you much to think about and consider and with this final article (and possibly an addendum to be posted later) I hope to bring my points home and offer a solution to both The Friend Zone'd Man and Woman as well as The Person Of Their Affection so that both parties can traverse the terrain of The Friend Zone without causing the other harm. I will note that I have passed all my articles through my wife, for a 2nd opinion as well as editing and a 2nd pair of eyes to see if I've handled both sides of the fence (Men and Women) without demonizing or victimizing either sex. Basically what I'm saying is you aren't reading anything that I haven't shown her, so if I did demonize women, she'd be the first to point it out.

This article will be gender segregated, as once again the plans of escape and dealing with the Friend Zone are different for men and women. But before we continue, I'll need to once again address the ground rules of these articles and reaffirm that you accept these 4 truths of The Friend Zone.
  1. THE FRIEND ZONE IS REAL!
  2. THE FRIEND ZONE IS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC! BOTH MEN & WOMEN HAVE BEEN AND ARE IN THE FRIEND ZONE! However there are differences between men and women in The Friend Zone and how they end up in there, that will be explained later. But Men and Women have both experienced The Friend Zone. Taylor Swift has an entire song devoted to her Friend Zone status "Teardrops On My Guitar" and Eric Clapton's "Layla" is devoted to his status in The Friend Zone. So don't feed me this bullcrap that ONLY MEN can be in The Friend Zone.
  3. THOSE IN THE FRIEND ZONE DON'T JUST SEEK TO ACQUIRE SEX! Men and Women in The Friend Zone are NOT just seeking sexual intercourse, they are seeking a solid, long lasting relationship which would eventually lead to a potential marriage. No ONE puts THIS MUCH effort into acquiring sex (especially in this day and age where a few drinks will get you laid). Those in The Friend Zone DO NOT prove themselves as upstanding people for the sole purpose of sexual conquest. Granted, sex is the apex of human relationships, so in one aspect they are in fact seeking to have sex with the person they desire BUT SEX IS NOT THE ABSOLUTE GOAL!
  4. THE FRIEND ZONE CAN BE ESCAPED but the vast majority of people CHOOSE to remain in The Friend Zone (which will be explained in a later article)!
If you disagree with those truths about The Friend Zone then please STOP WASTING your time and don't read this article. Also if you tl;dr me, I will NOT entertain your comments so please if you have a short attention span, don't bother reading or commenting. Also I'll ask you to save your comments for when you finish the article as I have a feeling this is going to be a LONG ONE but I'll try to be snappy. But for something as HOTLY debated, discussed and subject to much discourse, a FULL ON DECONSTRUCTION is at hand. I will preamble this by saying that A LOT of this is anecdotal, personal experience and psychological/biological fact. Also I will be speaking in generalities, SO if you do not fit into the category I am discussing feel free to exclude yourself BUT understand that you are in the minority. So some can be taken with a grain of salt but I have much of what I believe on good authority. I'll try to make this humorous and break up the large blocks of texts with pretty pictures to keep your attention. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you're still with me this far then strap yourselves in; it's time to get educated.

#1: ADMISSION & DISTANCE
As I've mentioned before in my previous article, The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has a fear of rejection, that fear of rejection caused them to put themselves in a position where they can't be rejected, "Friend". With the safe label as "Friend", they're able to exhibit the traits of a boy/girlfriend to The Person Of Their Affection without being rejected. This will cause The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman to be taken advantage of and The Person Of Their Affection to (either knowingly or unknowingly) take advantage of The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman.

The ONLY way to escape The Friend Zone is for The Friend Zone Man/Woman to admit their feelings. Once the bittersweet cup of rejection has been swallowed, The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has a choice and that choice is to get some distance. Once The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has been rejected, they may feel a strong sense of resentment towards The Person Of Their Affection. That resentment is really self-loathing but prolonged exposure to The Person Of Their Affection can and will cause that resentment to be transferred to them. The best way for The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman is to get some distance away from The Person Of Their Affection.

Unfortunately, A LOT of Friend Zone'd Men and Women mistake this distance and choose to act coldly to The Person Of Their Affection or rather avoid them completely. This isn't healthy behavior. Rather getting distance isn't an attitude adjustment nor a locational arrangement, getting distance is the re-focus of attention. The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has spent a lot of time, effort and energy into The Person Of Their Affection at the expense of themselves. Now that The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has been rejected, the option to think of The Person Of Their Affection is no longer viable, therefore The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman MUST re-focus their time, effort and energy on themselves.

Granted, interaction with The Person Of Their Affection won't be easy at first, but the sooner acceptance of rejection settles in, The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman will start to see flaws that they overlooked and decide they were indeed better off. Furthermore the re-focusing of time, effort and energy will enable them to feel positive about themselves without seeking accolades from The Person Of Their Affection, and a sense of self-worth will return. All of this can be achieved by admitting the feelings and dealing with the outcome. Rejection of Acceptance, either way both outcomes have a positive end, just one takes a little longer to get there. Let's talk about rejection.

#2: YOU'RE NOT ATTRACTIVE
 I didn't want to put this on this list because this is a no-brainer for why someone wouldn't want to date anyone. I shouldn't have to put this on the list BUT part 3 is running with the ideology that The Person Of Their Affection does indeed affirm the attractiveness of The Friend Zone'd Man, part 3 is a gender segregated section, applying to mostly women. Before we touch on Part 3, let's discuss attractiveness and Male & Female perceptions of attractive. It's obvious that men are attracted to large breasts, a nice ass, pretty hair, smooth skin, full lips, nice eyes, nice figure, short stature, soft voice and so on, you'll notice that all of these are physical. Women are attracted to broad shoulders, muscular physique, deep voices, tall in stature, hard body, the list goes on and on.

However it has been scientifically proven that women are more attracted to the emotional aspects of a man and that men are more attracted to the physical aspects of a woman. This is NOT SAYING that men aren't attracted to the emotional aspect of women and women aren't attracted to the physical aspects of a man. It's just saying that one side appeals more to a man than a woman and vice versa. Why is this? Men have a psychological and biological drive to pass along their genes, therefore male's reproductive cognition is wired to find the most likely candidate to pass along their genes attractive. Therefore a man looks for physical aspects of a woman that communicates to him that she's a good candidate. Large Breasts (she's healthy), Nice ass/Wide hips (she's fertile), Pretty Hair (I forgot what this symbolizes but hair sheen oddly enough has something to do with body odor I do believe), smooth skin (she's healthy), nice figure (not too petite, not too fat, it means once again she's healthy and able to physically bare the burden of baring children).

Women seek out men who would make good providers, therefore broad shoulders and a muscular physique means he's healthy and has provided for himself, tall stature means he's physically imposing to other males and therefore good for protection and a hard body means he can withstand physical assaults and hard labor. Oddly enough, the vast majority of men fit this profile, however women aren't clamoring over each other for every muscular, tall guy they see...why is that? Well this is because women are more invested in their own emotions as opposed to the physical attributes of a man. If a woman doesn't feel safe around a man who fits this criteria, she won't find him attractive. Furthermore women are attracted to status, therefore the man with the most wealth and power will win over the muscular tall guy every time at the end of the day, this is how harems are created, and how Mick Jagger and Lil'Wayne will have more sex than most guys will in 2 lifetimes.

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Drink it in ladies...drink it in...

This is NOT to say that women are gold-diggers! Ladies please don't think I'm calling you gold-diggers as the difference between Gold-Diggers and Women is very clear. With a Gold-Digger when the money is gone, so are they. Furthermore women aren't attracted to Money exactly, Women are attracted to Safety. In primitive times, safety meant finding the strongest, most agile man to hunt down dinner and bring it home. A woman had to find a guy tall and in shape to ensure than he could survive engaging deadly animals, and if a man was tall and in shape that'd be all the proof she'd need as she can clearly see by his physique that he's done it enough time for himself successfully. In modern times where dinner is no longer to be hunted and killed, safety takes on a different meaning. Women either seek financial safety, emotional safety or physical safety.

Women seeking financial safety will seek men who have wealth and power, foregoing the need for a strong muscular tall guy for a man who at least looks decent and has a nice sized bank account. NOT because she's a gold-digger but because finances are something that's important to her and she probably feels secure in the areas of her emotional and physical well being. Women seeking emotional safety are attracted to men who are more sensitive, artistic in nature, therefore women forego the search for a muscular tall man for a decent looking man she can communicate with on a personal level. Women seeking physical safety will be attracted to men who are tall and muscular for protection. Again, all of these guys only have to look somewhat decent as their safety they provide for the woman who seeks them will mend any lacking physical feature. Women are able to over look physical short comings in appearance if that guy can provide for her the safety she needs.

As I've mentioned in the 1st article, "Chicks dig a man in uniform.". Why is that an adage that as been restated for time immemorial ? Although it's a more of a anecdotal statement, there is some truth to this adage. A Uniform symbolizes power and authority (depending on the uniform form that is). Women like the idea of exclusivity, they see a man with a uniform and realize that "those aren't given just to anybody." ergo there must be something special about this man that isn't visible. AGAIN! I AM NOT saying women are drawn to Power and Status because they don't care about the man actually. What I'm saying is that a man in uniform will receive more looks from a woman than a man not in uniform, because a man in uniform carries with him a certain mystique.

Furthermore, depending on what uniform it is, will send a certain message to a woman. Business suit, professional man, career driven, ambitious, successful. Military, Police, Paramedic, Fireman uniform, courageous, faithful, strong, supportive. Lab Coat, intelligent, thinker, perceptive, a problem solver. Pilot's uniform, adventurous, risk-taker, spontaneous, active. Despite how attractive women find Drake & Brad Pitt, put either them behind the counter of a fast food place and neither of them will get a second look from women. Men however have no real perception of female status and don't exactly care. Hence why men hardly ever ask about a woman's job or transportation when seeking to engage them in courtship. Women ask these questions NOT because they ONLY want rich men, but because women are psychologically wired to seek men who can provide certain things for them.

Anecdotal Addendum: (5/25/2013) While cruising the internet I found a picture that helps illustrate the point I made above. The follow is an image and women's response to it. Here is the image:
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And here are the replies:
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Women are also attracted to confidence. Confidence plays a big role in attraction. Women are attracted to wealthy men NOT because of their money persay but because of the things the money has done. Money equals power, power equals confidence. Therefore the more money a man has the more confidence he has, the more confidence he has the women he attracts. Men aren't exactly attracted to confident women in the same regard. Don't get me wrong, men love a confident woman, but we aren't exactly attracted to powerful women.

Anecdotal side note: This is how Henry Kissinger is able to have sex with Marylin Monroe but you don't see a group of guys clamoring over each other to have sex with Margret Thatcher.

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These 2 had sex...let that marinate for awhile...


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Every man's dream woman...

My point is that Men and Women seek different things and women are far more feeling based than men are when it comes to looking for a potential mate. With women, looking good isn't enough there has to be something else. Women are immediately in tuned with how a guy makes them feel therefore the better and comfortable a woman feels around a man, the more she'll over look his physical flaws.

ANECDOTAL EXAMPLES:
For the record, I am NOT stating that the following men are unattractive. What I'm saying is, in the realm of other men, these men would be the least threatening in terms of acquiring more women than say the muscular tall guy. What I'm saying is men would dismiss them as a potential challenge.
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Kevin James, clearly a big guy. A LOT of people rip on "The King Of  Queens" for being unrealistic in terms of Doug (The character Kevin James plays) and his wife Carrie being together, as she is "out of his league". Note that this complaint often comes from women, as the character of Doug is The Lovable Oaf Stereotype. However his REAL wife is MUCH hotter than Carrie. Men are baffled by this because they fail to see that Women aren't solely attracted to men for their looks. Another example.

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Christina Hendricks is well known for her full figure and large breasts and is pretty much a sex icon of our modern era WITHOUT sexualizing herself in ways that'd make her appear slutty or anything of the sort. Many men hail her as having the ideal shape for a woman. With a woman as high in demand sexually as Christina Hendricks, general male logic would assume that she'd go for a man with an equal amount of attraction...instead she's married to the nervous, sweaty guy from the movie "Devil". Men would NEVER assume that such a man would be able to get a woman like Christina Hendricks, and they are wrong! He didn't get her, SHE got him.

With men however, they'll only care about how a woman makes him feel if it disengages him from her physical features. Men will be attracted to a woman but if she presents herself as a complete and total bitch, men will be put off by her.

HOWEVER! The interesting thing to note is that Women have what I call an "Active Denial System", I've seen this in action several times over. Men have this as well but ours only function in extreme cases. The Active Denial System is when a woman is SO OFF PUT by a man that she is able to disengage ALL physical and emotional attraction to him IMMEDIATELY.

Anecdotal Story: I knew a girl, let's call her "Roz", "Roz" was very interested in this guy named "Patrick". "Roz" expressed to me a desire to have oral sex with "Patrick" and noted as to how cute he was and even gushed about potential children with "Patrick", ect. ect. When "Roz" finally asked "Patrick" about his relationship status to test the waters, "Patrick's" reaction was SO off putting that "Roz" immediately declared him gross, disgusting and found all the previous quirks that she once found cute to be annoying. "Patrick" went from being Cute and Charming to Gross and Disgusting in a matter of 5 minutes, and expressed no further desire to have sex with him.

While men will openly admit a woman is a bitch if she is, Men still won't be able to deny a physical attraction to said "Bitch". Hence why guys will still express a desire to have sex with Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and so on so forth, despite the fact that these women have proven themselves skanks.

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"I ain't sayin' she a gold-digger..."

Long story short men will say "That chick was a bitch, but she was fine though.". This is because Men don't equate physical attraction to emotional feelings.  Men are psychologically programmed to seek out 95% of the women in the world, while women are only programmed to seek 75% of men. Therefore men are in a game to out perform the other man and get the aforementioned "Edge", while women...not so much.

The rough task for women however is that men are unable to overlook flaws as women can for the sake of safety. If a man can't get an erection looking at you, nothing will happen. Men are vision based and if they're put off by you visually, unfortunately The Friend Zone'd Woman has NO chance until she becomes visually pleasing. NO! This is NOT shallow!

If someone doesn't find that person physically attractive, we CAN'T just call them shallow right off the bat. Shallow is to be concerned with ONLY the physical and nothing more. And as I've said before Men and Women are NOT ONLY concerned with the physical or emotional. Just one more so than the other. We ALL have to understand that the Physical is the FIRST thing that's noticeable! Men can't fall in love with a personality any more than women can, they must FIRST enjoy what they see to engage what's there and if they don't like what they see, then that's the end of the discussion.

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This'll never happen...

I got a little off topic, but basically what I'm saying is physical attraction is VERY important, and if The Person Of Their Affection doesn't find The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman physically attractive or in a woman's case emotionally attractive, nothing's gonna happen. But let's say for the sake of The Friend Zone'd Man that The Woman does find them physically attractive, what happens then?

#3: RUIN A GOOD FRIENDSHIP
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THIS, is the ONE aspect of The Friend Zone I actually believe to be 100% valid. Granted, most of the time when The Person Of Their Affection rejects them, it's because they don't find them attractive, either physically or emotionally. But when it comes to "I don't want to ruin a good friendship." or as the image states "I'm not good enough for you." I believe this completely. This one is for YOU LADIES!

As I've said before in my previous article, women have stronger friendships than men simply because women are more prone to allow access in their personal lives, often with other women and men that they feel safe enough to do so with. Because of this, women value friendship much more than a romantic relationship, because a woman's friends can be a determining factor on the man she chooses to be with. When The Friend Zone'd Man makes a play for a The Woman Of His Affections and she tells you "I don't want to ruin a good friendship." what she's actually thinking is "Oh no, this is the only guy I haven't screwed over and hasn't screwed me over. I can't ruin this because if I do I'll feel terrible and so will he and I don't want that for him.". YES! Women CAN AND DO admit that sometimes THEY'RE the problem with the relationship. And when it comes to The Friend Zone'd Man in here life, she's more than willing to admit that she could potentially destroy him.

This self-examination is only bestowed on The Friend Zone'd Man because she sees him as being Too Good for her, and because of that, she has a genuine fear of taking advantage of that nature. This is a good thing. Because her honesty means that she understands and acknowledges their affection, but is unable to engage it due to her own issues. She'd rather not put you through having to witness the other side of her that previous male suitors have dealt with. In this regard The Friend Zone'd Man is dodging a bullet but gaining a very powerful ally, because she genuinely wants The Friend Zone'd Man to be happy and to find someone who can be what they need and will treat them how they deserve to be treated. The Friend Zone'd Man may think it's her but she know it's not. More often than not they'll alert The Friend Zone'd Man to when he's being taken advantage of.

In truth, she feels just as bad about it as they do. Because she can acknowledge the admirable traits The Friend Zone'd Man has and can clearly see why he'd be a good boyfriend to her but she is at a loss on how to be a good girlfriend to him, this is because she's going through a deep process of self-examination that causes her to reflect on her actions with previous boyfriends to see if what went wrong with those relationships and if it was indeed "All of those guys were jerks." but she's thinking "Maybe I actually was a bitch at times.". This will cause her to feel self-rejection. In her mind she didn't reject The Friend Zone'd Man, she rejected herself from finding a (from all viewpoints) stable relationship, that maybe destroyed if she were to be more involved than she is now. Therefore she keeps you in The Friend Zone, all the while questioning why she can't be with you herself and considering that maybe she is the problem in her previous relationships.

#3: DODGING A BULLET
This one is only made clear in retrospect, if The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman made their intentions clear to The Person Of Their Affection and get rejected, after they gain some distance, they might see every flaw that was previous invisible to them, such as annoying quirks or certain behaviors that aren't appealing at all. Me, personally, I don't like women who smoke. I couldn't deal with my wife if she was smoker. But more over, dodging a bullet is when The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman come to their senses and realize they can do MUCH better than The Person Of Their Affection. This can happen by intervention from friends, personal revelation or realization of being taken advantage of. Regardless of how it comes, this is a GREAT way to escape The Friend Zone.

Dodging a Bullet comes from an evaluation of the situation at hand. The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman has to ask themselves a few questions to realize if they're dodging a bullet.

#1: Do I actually like this person or just the idea of them?
#2: Does this person appreciate my company?
#3: Do I have a chance with this person?
#4: Are we even compatible?
#5: How will this person treat me? (A good foreshadow for this would be how they treat you now)

If all of those questions are answered in the negative than you're dodging a bullet. Dodging a bullet is The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman rejecting The Person Of Their Affection without letting that person know they're being rejected. This is a hard step to get to when in The Friend Zone because so many of them are fed False Hope, so many won't come to the realization that they could do much better than The Person Of Their Affection. As mentioned before, Women are really good at helping their friends dodge bullets, as women will notice flaws that their girlfriend would miss and monitor The Person Of Their Friend's Affection for any behavior they deem suspect. Men on the other hand, don't have such support and unfortunately get hit with quite a few bullets. So for you Dear Friend Zone Dweller, ask yourself those questions above and if those questions are answered in the negative, get some distance from The Person Of Your Affection and re-evaluate what you like about them. If all of those features are idealized and not accurate, you might be dodging a bullet by re-focusing your attention elsewhere.

#4: THE TRIAL
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This is for you Dear Person Of Their Affection. This entire time I wrote to the general public and to The Friend Zone Dweller, but for you Oh adored Person Of Their Affection, this section is for you. So by now you should be able to notice the behavior of someone in The Friend Zone. You know that guy who's always asking if he can help you, you know that girl who's always fascinated by what you say? Yeah, them. They're in your Friend Zone, unfortunately you're gonna have to do something, otherwise the knowledge of having someone at your beck and call WILL eventually cause you to subconsciously take advantage of them (as they subconsciously desire to be), whether it's calling them to get a ride from work or asking them to help you move (because you know they're not doing anything and would jump at the chance to help you).

It's unfortunate but you have one of three options. The first option is the most obvious, The Rejection. As much as people don't like being rejected, being the rejector is just as difficult. You don't want to be responsible for someone feeling pain at your expense, so you try to be kind with your rejection, and that's admirable. They'll resent you for awhile but eventually they'll get over it and you will too. The second option is go ahead and date them, which may or may not turn out great, but that's another story and another series of articles (BUT I can say from experience that it worked out GREAT for me). The 3rd option is The Trial.

The Trial is simply and would mostly employed by Women since women are more attracted to the emotional aspect of men than the physical. I can say that I employed this tactic as well and will elaborate on that later. The Trial is way to date The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman WITHOUT actually dating them. Basically, invite The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman to hang out, just the two of you as friends. See how they act, see their behavior, see how you feel with them, if you have anything in common and if you enjoy their company. Do this a few times and make sure you put The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman in a position of power. What I mean is make sure they're in an area where they feel comfortable. Break the ice, find out what they're passionate about, what they like to do. Who they are as people, you may find that you enjoy their company.

Anecdotal Story: My wife doesn't know (and she'll be finding out after she reads this) that I employed this tactic upon her. As mentioned before, I dated a girl named Amanda, while I was with Amanda, I was friends with Kim. She and I had a tradition of pretending to be an EXTREME Goth Couple akin to Gomez and Morticia. We had GREAT fun with that, but ultimately it was a tactic to see if she and I could work together as a team and if I enjoyed her company. Which I knew from previous experience that I do enjoy her company, but I didn't know if we'd work as a couple and Goth day confirmed that we would. (I love you Kimmy, shut up reader.)

As I've said before, Women would be more apt to use this tactic as I've mentioned above, women are more able to ignore physical flaws, Men aren't as much as women and therefore this tactic would only work if the man found the woman physically attractive enough to consider dating her. But please don't use this tactic out of pity. Nothing is worse than a pity date. ONLY use this tactic if you genuinely are willing to give it a shot and see what happens. Again NO real commitment has to be made.

Anyway, if you and Friend Zone'd Man/Woman can get pass the awkwardness of the rejection or dating and finding out things just don't work out, then congratulations to you both for stepping outside your comfort zones and trying something new for a change. At the end of the day, The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman must realizes that sometimes they're not going to get what they want and The Person Of Their Affection needs to realizes that people will inexplicably take a liking to them, and unfortunately it's their responsibility (if they see this person on a daily bases) to engage those feelings. Because ultimately if you have some guy/girl around you 24/7 and you're aware they like you, it's going to be PAINFULLY awkward unless someone says something and usually that won't be The Friend Zone'd Man/Woman. Understand that people in The Friend Zone aren't looking for a "Yes.", they're looking for a solid definitive answer. If you've given them that answer, then it's on them with what they choose to do with it, and if they persist in Friend Zone behavior, tell them to get out of Your Friend Zone and take care of themselves, OR you can direct them to these articles (shameless plug, I know).

I hope you've all learned something and enjoyed these articles as much as I've enjoyed writing them. This is the BIGGEST project I've ever taken on and I welcome any and all comments. Thanks for Reading...

1 comment:

  1. Not a ban article, but I disagree on a couple of counts. First, the 'trial' method sounds pretty clearly like you are inviting your friendzoned potential romantic interest on a date, except without calling it that, which I think is simply wrong. Either reject them or go on a date with them and see how it goes. You don't have to continue with the relationship if it goes poorly, just as if the 'trial' went poorly you would then reject them. More or less the same thing but without being ambiguous or misleading. The big issue for me is that once the friendzoned reveals his/her feelings the friendship is OVER. Either he/she gets rejected or accepted for a date / romantic relationship, whichever happens the friend relationship has ended.

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