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Thread: "Unrequited Love" vs "Friend Zone"

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    Gold Member BritterSweet's Avatar
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    "Unrequited Love" vs "Friend Zone"

    While browsing around, I came across a quote from Amanda Marcotte regarding the Friend Zone, a concept that I am not exactly a stranger to. It intrigued me.

    Why is the term "friend zone" so popular when the term "unrequited love" already exists and is more accurate?

    I suspect it's because it shifts the locus of responsibility. "Unrequited love" focuses on the person who has the crush. The feelings being discussed are the crushing person's, thus the responsibility in on them to get over their crush and move on. "Friend zone", on the other hand, focuses on the crush object's choices. The phrase erases the agency of the crushing person. All blame for their pain is put on the crush object. "Unrequited love" is something that can happen to both sexes, but "friend zone" is a sexist concept that implies that women are solely responsible for men's happiness, and not men themselves.
    Certainly the gender dynamic goes more than just one way, but the main idea struck a cord in my brain, for lack of a better way to phrase it.

    What are your thoughts on this?
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    I think the main difference remains in the fact, that the friendzoned person is "strung along" while the one whose love is unrequited is usually aware of the fact that the whole relationship thing isn't going to happen. I think it's about the crush's attitude after all.

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    Platinum Member savignon's Avatar
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    It's popular culture. My students say "oh, man, he got friendzoned". Sounds cooler than "his love is unrequited". Lol
    Also since you can friendzone someone, it's a verb. Unrequited love is a noun ...so they can't be used the same way. "The friendzone" is a noun but it's a place and unrequited love isn't a place so they are used in different contexts.
    I totally disagree with the article's description. I have never understood either expression to be gender specific nor placing blame/responsibility on anybody for someone else's happiness. It follows the concept of saying "I don't like you like that. We're just friends". That person isn't responsible for how the other person feels about that. Nor does it have anything to do with men vs women. Everyone's subject to the friendzone!
    Last edited by savignon; 03-23-2013 at 07:53 AM.

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    Platinum Member Firiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by savignon View Post
    It's popular culture. My students say "oh, man, he got friendzoned". Sounds cooler than "his love is unrequited". Lol
    Also since you can friendzone someone, it's a verb. Unrequited love is a noun ...so they can't be used the same way. "The friendzone" is a noun but it's a place and unrequited love isn't a place so they are used in different contexts.
    But see, even this supports the quote found by the OP. "He GOT friendzoned." The woman friendzoned him-- it is her responsibility, her fault, so to say. "His love is unrequited" or "He's got an unrequited love" puts more responsibility on him for his feelings (though, of course, these examples could easily switch gender). Plus, you see it all the time here-- people complaining about being in the friendzone, almost as if the other person owes them a relationship and the other person is not holding up his/her end of the bargain by not being romantically interested. I don't think the friendzoned person is necessarily strung along. It's called the friendzone because s/he says, "I just want to be friends." That's not the promise of a future relationship. Sometimes, stringing along does happen, but it's far from in every case.

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    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    What does it matter? It's the responsibility of the one crushing to distance themselves from their crush in order to squelsh the unrequieted/non-reciprocated extent of the love. Friendship is a form of love afterall.. just not the extent of it that the one zoned wants.

    I totally disagree that this is a gender issue and a I disagree to the label being 'sexest.' Being "friendzoned" can happen to either sex so why the assertion that the label implies that men's happiness solely relies on women... Hogwash on him and his need to blame females in some manner when it's not a gender thing at all.

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    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    "AHh, I got friendzoned?! How do I get out of it?!"

    translation:

    "I got rejected but am not letting this go! I'll squirm my way into her/his heart somehow!".



    It's just people not being able to swallow the idea of being rejected romantically.
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    Gold Member BritterSweet's Avatar
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    I've heard some people compare the Friend Zone to abuse. Basically implying that by being my friend and only my friend, you are using me for your own selfish gains. Your friendship doesn't have worth on its own.
    Last edited by BritterSweet; 03-23-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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    Bronze Member lizzie2011's Avatar
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    This is quite an interesting way to look at the shift in nomenclature. I don't agree that the person has to be actively strung along. i think that there is often a person who can't accept rejection; who places a lower value on friendship than a relationship; who think that reciprocity of affections is an arithmetic exercise; who string themselves along by interpreting each act of kindness and friendship as sexual interest notwithstanding clear words to the contrary. It is very rare for the person to actually mislead the person

    I also think it may be a spinoff from the terrible rom-com's ... so if your friend does something extraordinary then you must fall in love with him because all the romantic comedies say so.

    i agree that there is also a culture of feeling like the person owes you something and they become quite angry when its not paid over.

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    Platinum Member Sportster2005's Avatar
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    If I ask a woman out I'm interested in and she says not but would like friendship, I've been friend -zoned. That is not unrequited love, because I don't love her.

    If I date a woman for months and love her and she doesn't love me, that's unrequited love.

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