Chances are, you already know what the ‘Friendzone’ is because it’s been made popular by sites like 9gag and TV shows, but if you don’t, here’s a simple  breakdown:

If you’re a guy with a bad history with women, you’re familiar with the concept. You remember buying her the perfect birthday present (the one you spent a week thinking of/saving up for), only to have her spend the night with her boyfriend. Or you remember spending an hour or more driving her from her home to the mall, even though it wasn’t convenient for you at the time, but she desperately needed to get there and her car was broken.

Why do you do it? Because you LOVE her goddammit. That’s what people in love do for others, they put the people they love first before themselves.  They sacrifice time, effort and money. What else would you do for them?

Yet, despite all these repeated sacrifices on your part, she never seems to show any physical interest in you. Both of you do all the platonic things that couples do, you hang out, read books together, watch movies, have dinner, but it never escalates from there. All your hugs are strictly 3 seconds, shoulder-level hugs, and the most action you get is that peck on the cheeks when you say hello or goodbye.

Eventually you get frustrated and bitter. She gets a new boyfriend, a total douchebag that mistreats her. Why the fuck did she choose him? He doesn’t know her like YOU do. He hasn’t sacrificed as much time or money on her as you have. He’s an asshole! And the fact that she’s with him proves that nice guys do end up last. You know what, fuck women. They’re fucking stupid. Let’s bro-hug with other friendzoned people.

I know what it feels like, because until several years ago, I was the proverbial nice guy too. I drove girls around. Bought them stuff. Helped them with their homework. I was convinced that doing nice things for them would eventually instill that flaming desire in them to touch my dick. 

I was wrong.

But before I continue, let’s imagine a reverse scenario for a while. Imagine a girl you have completely no interest in. We’ll call her ‘Girl A’. Whatever it is that turns you off, that’s what she is. She’s out of shape and secretly thinks she should do something about it, but she’s too invested in you to care about herself right now. Her personality is as bland as oatmeal, because she’s too occupied with you instead of thinking what it is that she feels strongly about.

Still, one thing’s for sure – she loves you. She spends every waking minute thinking about you, and does a LOT to show you she cares. She bakes cakes and writes letters and cards for you even when there’s no occasion for it. You could call her anytime, and no matter what she’s doing at the moment, she will drop it to come to your aid. She buys you great birthday presents, and doesn’t mind driving you around. She agrees with everything you say, and your conversations with her are peppered with off-handed compliments on how awesome and hot you are.

As a guy, you’re probably thinking “Fuck yeah that’s awesome! Why would I not want that?”

Okay, but now think of this – there’s this other hot chick who’s interested.  Let’s call her ‘Girl B’. She doesn’t baby you, and she’s  independent and self-assured. She’s busy with her life and her own things, but when she does make time for you, it’s wonderful. You’re engrossed in your conversations with her, not because she agrees with you and thinks you’re awesome, but because she challenges you and forces you to rethink your principles without being overbearing. She inspires you to do things you’ve never done.

Now let’s bring back ‘Girl A’. Both of them want to spend time with you this Friday night. Who would you pick?

Let’s not kid ourselves, you’d pick ‘Girl B’ in a heartbeat. So you blow off ‘Girl A’, and now, she’s offended. Why won’t you spend time with her, she asks. She’s done much more for you than the other girl. ‘Girl B’ will never love you as much as she does. You try to calm her down. You tell her you still appreciate everything she’s done. You explain that you like her a lot, but only as a friend.

Right. You’re a superficial asshole she says. She then goes online and makes a meme about being friendzoned.

Okay, realistically, most girls probably won’t act that way. But imagine it being played by a guy, and it starts to make a lot of sense. The fact is, we give girls a fucking hard time. We do nice things for them and automatically expect sex and romance in return. It doesn’t matter what her preference for a partner is, or what her emotional needs are, or how much chemistry she has with us – if she rejects us, we’re automatically the victim of the friendzone and she’s an idiot for not choosing us. It’s an incredibly condescending and sexist view on things.

The fact is, most people (not just girls) fall in love with something that challenges and inspires them. We are attracted to people with strong personalities and boundaries, because these people have something to offer us. These people don’t just earn our affection – they also earn our respect, by firstly respecting themselves.

Someone who goes around running errands for you at the expense of himself/ herself, is someone you can like and feel appreciative of, but they’re very rarely someone you can respect. That’s why you’re just her friend. She likes having you around, but only when it’s convenient for her. She can’t respect your boundaries, because hey, you’ve never set them.

So stop whining about the friendzone. It’s not some trap that you slipped into and can’t get out of. Take responsibility for yourself, and start investing in yourself instead of her. If she’s not interested in being romantic or intimate with you, move on. Join a gym instead. Protest against gerrymandering. Write a book. Learn about financial investments.

After all, she can take care of herself. Can you?