If you're a youth growing up in the twenty-first century, chances are you have been accused of "Friend zoning" someone or you have accused someone of “Friend Zoning” you. It's gotten to a point that I cannot go to any social media without seeing the word friend zone. But before I go any further, what is the friend zone?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, The Friend Zone is a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other. So it's basically two friends, with one friend having a crush on the other. Therefore, the term friend zoning is simply regarding someone as your friend despite his or her romantic interest in you.
The term friend zone is quite problematic and the fact that it is an accusatory term does not make it better. Usually, when persons say they're being friend-zoned, most likely (whether or not they realise it) they imply that they are entitled to receive another person’s affections as a reward for being a nice person or a friend. For instance, their thought process might be along the following lines; Last year I asked Mark out, but he refused, this year I've been to all his soccer games, I've brought him a ton of gifts, there's no way he'll say no now. Keep in mind that mark never asked for any of this and this person is doing all of this voluntarily. Now, let's say Mark still says no, and that he is not interested in a romantic relationship. Their thought process would now be like this: "Mark is such a loser, how dare he friend zone me after all I've done for him." Mark the victim has now turned into a bad person.
Friend zoning has opened the door to victim blaming and bullying. Victims are usually shamed for not wanting to pursue a romantic relationship with someone who they don't like romantically. They are made to look like users or cold-hearted persons. The truth of the matter is, being nice to someone does not make him or her obligated to be interested in you. You having an interest in someone does not mean they should do the same. As it related to bullying, victims are often labelled and called names such as 'tease' and 'gold-digger', and in extreme cases, they can be attacked psychically.
Respecting other persons right to say no.
If one respect another person's right say no, then the term friend zone would not exist. Saying no is a right. If you express a romantic interest in someone and they say no, please accept and respect their decision. Trying to manipulate persons to change their mind is not healthy. People are not machines that if you feed them "niceness" they will fall in love with you. Claiming someone friend-zoned you is childish and will not give your desired outcome.
Nice Person Finish Last Narrative
If you claim you're a nice person who got friend zoned, chances are you may not be nice as you thought. As mentioned before, being nice does not make you obligated to get anything. If you are doing something from the kindness of your heart, then you wouldn’t expect anything in return.
So the question is, does the friend zone really exist?
Frankly, I don’t think that it exists. The friend zone is a made up place that persons place themselves in upon rejection. If a person does not like you romantically, then they don’t. If a person wants to be friends with you after they've rejected you, you can either accept or decline the friendship. Just as they are not obligated to like you romantically, you are not obligated to be their friend. Accepting the friendship and hoping to gain something more, is not friendship. So the next time you find yourself in the so-called "friend zone", sit down and ask yourself, is this made up the place the problem, or is it me? You’d be surprised by the answer.