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Thread: Is there really a ‘friend zone’ with men?

  1. #1
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    Is there really a ‘friend zone’ with men?

    Is there really a ‘friend zone’ in your experience? Could you fall out of attraction with someone by becoming ‘too good of friends’?

    If there is, how would you avoid this happening?

    If there isn’t, do you think there are any cons to getting to know a guy really well before dating them?

  2. #2
    This is my first response, and due to my perspective as a guy, it may be skewed compared to anything else you may here. I feel like the so called "friend zone" is a very ambiguous term that can be both positive and negative depending on a number of factors, such as the age(or more accurately maturity levels) of both people, their initial feelings and intentions from the start, and how long the relationship remains more like friends than a perspective significant other. Most replies are probably going to be highly influenced by that individuals personal experience and also how those experiences ended or continued there after. I am no relationship expert, and found this inquiry quite relevant to a turning point in my life in which I had to make a decision between a girl who was my best friend through high school and beyond(call her mags), and the girl I met in the midst of that time period, who I have now been married to for over 10 years(call her Brit). I always used to say that's mags waz my best friend for years, we not only hung out daily, but both made sacrifices to help the other and cared for each other more than most high school couples... however, we were never considered a couple. When I was 16-17, I could not get over the fact that I loved spending time with mags, she was funny, outgoing, adorable, and I would have done anything to make her smile or feel special. The problem was that I could never tell her how much I truly cared, for fear of losing one of my all time best friends. She was with a guy who treated her like and I always listened to her about the problems she dealt with, some much more extreme than some people encounter their whole life. I think she knew how I felt, but I always wondered if she pretended to be unaware, or if she sincerely cared about our friendship too much to risk it over something more intimate.... I waz a young horny teenager who had trouble separating the difference between a true feeling or emotion and an impulse that waz encouraged by the little many who resided just below the belt. I have always wonder how naive and immature I waz telling myself I waz in love with this girl at 16, when I could never fully interpret the mixed signals that I received. Thinking back, I wish I would have taken one of many opportunities to give her a slow and sensual kiss, just to see how she reacted. Maybe I would have a slightest clue now 15 yrs later, as to whether I had started off in the friend zone and if I ever had a significant chance of becoming something more. Every time we started becoming really close emotionally, within a few days she would be attempting to rekindle her past boyfriend of several years(who waz not a complete loser, but influential on her in a way that would affect her negativity for years to come(pressuring her to try harder drugs, and do completely things like break property and pick fights after drinking, something she would have never considered without his influence.

    Anyway, sorry for the long back story, but I always felt like her and I had so much fun whether we were drinking or not, aimlessly cruising to find cool hidden places in the woods, always laughing at each other's jokes, regardless of how stupid they were. I always say I thought being such a good friend showed her my true personality and intentions with her, not like her on again off again boy friend who I think may be in prison now, who took advantage of her, only wanted sex and control. I never attempted any physical or intimate and with her because I felt as though it could backfire and ruin our relationship.... Now I regret at least trying, or telling her how I felt just to see what she said. could have been life changing...or could have been what showed me that I was just being used... hard to tell at that age, but I still wander 15 years later... Maybe I am just lonely after being married since 20, wondering if I could have had a different life with a true friend as opposed to someone who you meet with intentions of a physical and emotional relationship that could last a week or in my case over 10 years.... pardon my rambling. I welcome any questions comments or concerns, because I haven't spoken freely about this in a decade until I saw this post. Thanks for listening and I hope you don't feel as though you just waisted your time here.
    JM

  3. #3
    Bronze Member WaywardKiwi's Avatar
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    Hi FirstDates,

    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    Is there really a ‘friend zone’ in your experience?
    Absolutely. In my experience, and by most definitions I think, the 'friend-zone' describes the situation where one person (the 'friendee') seeks for a romantic relationship with another person (the 'friender'), but where the friender views them only as a platonic friend. It usually occurs where:
    1. the friendee fails to communicate their intention or attraction;
    2. where the friendee does communicate interest but is rejected;

    In both cases, the friendee will usually continue to act as a 'just a friend', while actually seeking to subvert the relationship to achieve a romantic response. The friender may or may not be aware of the friendee's true feelings. In any case, in my opinion, it is an unhealthy situation.

    I would note, there are situations where the friendee communicates their interest and is rejected, and then genuinely seeks to remain friends and move on from their interest, however I don't think that friendee would describe themselves as 'in the friendzone'.

    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    Could you fall out of attraction with someone by becoming ‘too good of friends’?
    I don't know if you fall out of attraction purely by virtue of becoming 'too good of friends', however as you do get to know someone better you may discover that your feelings for them are more platonic than romantic. I think this can happen regardless of whether you start out as friends or in a romantic relationship. I also think that there is a genuine, but misguided, idea that romantic relationships can 'ruin friendships'. I believe that if a friendship evolves into a romantic relationship in a healthy way (i.e. not where one side has secretly sought to subvert the relationship over a period of time from the 'friend-zone') then that basis in the pre-existing friendship will be strong enough to survive the end of the romance. I think the issue arises where the pre-existing friendship was illusory on one side (i.e. the friendee was never really interested in friendship, so once the romantic relationship ends they are actually not interested in the friender at all).

    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    If there is, how would you avoid this happening?
    Honesty. If you are interested in someone, let them know. If you want to get to know someone before dating them, let them know. If you are only interested in friendship with someone, let them know. If you change your mind, let them know.

    Furthermore, be honest with yourself. Don't continue with a friendship where you know deep down you want more. Analyse you actions - do you reply a little faster, get a little thrill when they give you attention, go out of your way to include them in activities where you don't with other friends? If you are not genuinely okay with being just friends, don't be just friends. It is dishonest and destructive.

    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    If there isn’t, do you think there are any cons to getting to know a guy really well before dating them?
    The cons would be that you cannot expect him not to find someone else in that time, especially if you have not made it clear you may be interested in dating in the future. I would suggest being upfront and say you may want to date, but you'd like to get to know them as a friend first. If they are okay with this, no problem.

    However, I also think it is kind of spurious - 'dating' is equally an opportunity to get to know someone. You can always take it slow, communicate that you want to get to know them, have more casual 'friendly' type dates. There is no need to say 'let's just be friends, but maybe one day let's date'. That just seems to be hedging, which I personally would not do.

    Just a few thoughts, hopefully it helps.

    T

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    Not at all thanks for sharing. It sounds like really powerful friendship would or could hold a romantic relationship at bay, if the risk was too great. Good to know.

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    Originally Posted by WaywardKiwi
    Hi FirstDates,



    Absolutely. In my experience, and by most definitions I think, the 'friend-zone' describes the situation where one person (the 'friendee') seeks for a romantic relationship with another person (the 'friender'), but where the friender views them only as a platonic friend. It usually occurs where:
    1. the friendee fails to communicate their intention or attraction;
    2. where the friendee does communicate interest but is rejected;

    In both cases, the friendee will usually continue to act as a 'just a friend', while actually seeking to subvert the relationship to achieve a romantic response. The friender may or may not be aware of the friendee's true feelings. In any case, in my opinion, it is an unhealthy situation.

    I would note, there are situations where the friendee communicates their interest and is rejected, and then genuinely seeks to remain friends and move on from their interest, however I don't think that friendee would describe themselves as 'in the friendzone'.



    I don't know if you fall out of attraction purely by virtue of becoming 'too good of friends', however as you do get to know someone better you may discover that your feelings for them are more platonic than romantic. I think this can happen regardless of whether you start out as friends or in a romantic relationship. I also think that there is a genuine, but misguided, idea that romantic relationships can 'ruin friendships'. I believe that if a friendship evolves into a romantic relationship in a healthy way (i.e. not where one side has secretly sought to subvert the relationship over a period of time from the 'friend-zone') then that basis in the pre-existing friendship will be strong enough to survive the end of the romance. I think the issue arises where the pre-existing friendship was illusory on one side (i.e. the friendee was never really interested in friendship, so once the romantic relationship ends they are actually not interested in the friender at all).



    Honesty. If you are interested in someone, let them know. If you want to get to know someone before dating them, let them know. If you are only interested in friendship with someone, let them know. If you change your mind, let them know.

    Furthermore, be honest with yourself. Don't continue with a friendship where you know deep down you want more. Analyse you actions - do you reply a little faster, get a little thrill when they give you attention, go out of your way to include them in activities where you don't with other friends? If you are not genuinely okay with being just friends, don't be just friends. It is dishonest and destructive.



    The cons would be that you cannot expect him not to find someone else in that time, especially if you have not made it clear you may be interested in dating in the future. I would suggest being upfront and say you may want to date, but you'd like to get to know them as a friend first. If they are okay with this, no problem.

    However, I also think it is kind of spurious - 'dating' is equally an opportunity to get to know someone. You can always take it slow, communicate that you want to get to know them, have more casual 'friendly' type dates. There is no need to say 'let's just be friends, but maybe one day let's date'. That just seems to be hedging, which I personally would not do.

    Just a few thoughts, hopefully it helps.

    T
    Wow T thank you!
    I think this is the greatest post I’ve ever been given! Thank you for taking the time to write it and think about my questions so thoughtfully! I really appreciate your advice and perspective.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I have some male friends that are just that, friends. Good friends. Two I was really attracted to, but it never went beyond that. I wondered how I'd survive by having them as friends only, but that's what they are. I never had a real chance with either of them, they were fantasy people to me. It's hard to turn them into friends from someone you have a major attraction to, but it can certainly be done. I'd rather have them as friends than not in my life at all.

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    Originally Posted by melancholy123
    I have some male friends that are just that, friends. Good friends. Two I was really attracted to, but it never went beyond that. I wondered how I'd survive by having them as friends only, but that's what they are. I never had a real chance with either of them, they were fantasy people to me. It's hard to turn them into friends from someone you have a major attraction to, but it can certainly be done. I'd rather have them as friends than not in my life at all.
    Thanks for the input melancholy!

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Either someone is attracted...or not. That's it. Dating IS about getting to know someone, so the question makes no sense. As far as waiting for physical things until you're exclusive know someone well enough, that's fine. But...if you start out with "let's be friends first" expect a lot of guys to pass, since it's code for "entertain me while I reject you"
    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    If there isn’t, do you think there are any cons to getting to know a guy really well before dating them?

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    But...if you start out with "let's be friends first" expect a lot of guys to pass, since it's code for "entertain me while I reject you"
    Totally! Yes, I have seen a few girls go that road before! another popular one is “entertain me while I wait for something better to come along”
    Horrific!

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by FirstDates
    Is there really a ‘friend zone’ in your experience? Could you fall out of attraction with someone by becoming ‘too good of friends’?

    If there is, how would you avoid this happening?

    If there isn’t, do you think there are any cons to getting to know a guy really well before dating them?
    No but there is a situation where if a person -man or woman - doesn't get a sense after a certain amount of time that the other person is romantically interested too, she/he might move on or decide just to interact as friends. And even if the other person changes his mind later, the one who was interested might then be with someone else. I think if a person has romantic interest he/she should get to know the person by dating them if at all possible. Sometimes it is not because of context. I dated someone for 5 months and we were friends/friendly for over a year prior to that and I had no romantic interest in him and was involved with someone else. I only knew I was the first time we had dinner one on one and then the second time we met for a movie I knew for sure -meaning it was completely obvious. He was not my physical type at all (extremely obese). But in general I don't like the notion of "friends first" if the thought is that dating is all about sex. I think it's best to get to know each other in every way in the context of dating -on all the levels -friends, etc - so that you're both on the same page and there's less risk of misunderstanding and one person deciding to move on.

    When my husband and i got back together his friend had suggested he wait longer to ask me to get back together (he asked on our third time hanging out) - and I am glad my husband did not wait-he was about to leave town, I was actively dating/looking to date, and had he not said anything or made a move and left town I'm not sure if I would have put in the effort to travel to see him or see him without knowing if he felt the same (yes, I guess eventually I may have told him but I also wanted to get married and was dating up a storm, so who knows).

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