Columnists suggest friend zone exit: start being a friend

Columnists Alexis Sachdev and Meghan White reflect on the myth of the “friend” zone. Meghan once worked with a boy named George. He was perfectly sweet and nice – a great guy – however, she

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 8.34.26 PMColumnists Alexis Sachdev and Meghan White reflect on the myth of the “friend” zone.

Meghan once worked with a boy named George. He was perfectly sweet and nice – a great guy – however, she was not romantically interested in him. He proceeded to tell her best friend about his feelings for Meghan in hopes of reciprocity. But if there was any potential of her having romantic feelings for him, they were null after he didn’t have the courage to declare his feelings to her at the risk of “ruining our friendship,” or whatever the excuse is.

This probably sounds familiar.

To all the “nice guys” out there like George, you’re not a nice guy. You exalt yourselves above your fellow men as the shoulders for women to cry on and praise yourselves for listening to our often-incessant talking. When the object of your affections says she wants someone funny, sexy, smart, successful or well-dressed, you automatically believe you fit the bill. And if you have to say you’re a nice guy, you’re not fooling anyone.

You seek rewards for the so-called labors of your friendship. But this is not friendship, this is a villifying game rather than something built off mutual trust and respect. You treat the relationship as an arcade game, seeking kindness points as tickets in return for sex.

This is the friend zone, and it’s bollocks.

Some months ago, someone Alexis had considered a friend claimed she had friend-zoned him after she showed the hots for another man in his presence. However, this “friend” had never previously – or at least soberly – told her that he had romantic feelings for her, but had the expectation that his actions under the guise of friendship would lead to something more.

You are not owed anything for your friendship. Claiming that you’ve been “friend-zoned” voids our right to feelings. You are one of the worst offenders of misogyny, believing you are entitled to sex and/or romantic feelings as some form of payment for your time and energy.

If we have not reciprocated your feelings, have we then wasted your time? This mentality suggests that you only pursued our friendship in hopes of getting what you desire, but it begs the question: If you receive sex or romantic affection in return, was our friendship valueless to you?

A double-standard of heteronormative dating patterns enters the consciousness at the acknowledgement that there is no female version of the “friend zone.” Generally, women do not hold similar expectations for their friendships. If a man were to reject his female friend’s advances, she would either deal with it in the friendship, or leave. But nowhere in this situation does the average woman disparage her male friend, claiming he “owes” her anything in return for her friendship.

Nice guys don’t finish last. They don’t finish first. They don’t lose to the jerks or come out winning as the underdogs in the end. Sure, every woman appreciates having a strong group of supportive friends surrounding her, but if you’re in it for the wrong reasons, you’re anything but the nice guy. You’re a wanker.

So instead of complaining that you’ve been friend-zoned, accept the fact that maybe this woman is just not that into you. It doesn’t mean you’re not right for someone else, but you can’t force yourself upon someone who doesn’t reciprocate the feelings. A real friend would respect her interests and stop giving the genuinely nice guys a bad rep.

Alexis Sachdev and Meghan White can be reached at


  1. I enjoyed this article immensely. That said, I have to take issue with its protest against that awkward, self-inflicted social condition, accurately described by the authors as an inaccurately labelled romantic dead-end, known colloquially as the “friend zone”. Not the whole article, mind; just the third paragraph from the bottom, where our authors–attractive young women, to be sure–lose my confidence in their analysis by talking in generalities about the nature of the friend zone created by a female’s unrequited attraction to a man.

    Women, as many men can attest, are just as capable and just as likely to have subversive goals in a seemingly platonic relationship. For the authors to assert that women either “deal with it in the friendship, or leave” is to say that women are somehow blessed with a greater sense of self-awareness, and are less likely to create that vacuous, unpleasant “friend zone” in their relationships. That they have a predisposition towards emotional equilibrium that us rutting, sex-hungry men lack.

    This is gender stereotyping, and it’s bollocks.

    Though there is something good to be gleaned from the authors’ assumption that the feminine collective is more astutely aware of its expectations in a relationship than men. Should I ever decide to ask either author to go out on a date and they accept, I can do so with the confidence that, should I find nothing interesting about them other than a strong writing voice and a pretty face, I needn’t worry about even the possibility that they might assault my text inbox, voicemail, or facebook page with smiley faces or sweet nothings (or at its worst downright stalking me), because their assumption that the rest of the female population is rational and emotionally well-adjusted must be an indication of their own rationale and self-awareness.

    So, should the opportunity arise that I am both single and in the Temple area, I will make it a point to have our mutual acquaintance, Valerie Rubinsky, introduce me to the both of you, because there is very little more attractive in my book than a woman with a snarky and adamant writing voice.

  2. Wow, Jacob, you are totally creepy. In the process of calling out one generalization this article makes, you perpetuate so much other male B.S. like mansplaining, typing like a wannabe academic windbag, stalkerishly inserting the fact that you have a mutual friend with the writers, and unnecessarily voicing your opinion of the way they look. Dude, no one asked you. That em-dash

  3. Joe:

    …I am an academic windbag. I’ve never heard of mansplaining, but based off Urban Dictionary’s definition, I think you may have been better off using the word patronizing. Either way, I’m not sure how this perpetuates Male B.S, on account that men and women are equally capable of condescension (another, more effective word than mansplaining, for future reference), writing like an academic windbag, and name-dropping mutual acquaintances. I will agree that commenting on the authors’ appearance was a bit risque, but it had a purpose: both of these women are physically attractive (or if it makes you feel more comfortable, I could say something less direct, like “not-ugly”), and they’re writing about the implications of being attractive to men they aren’t attracted to. My intent was to point out that the authors are approaching this topic as attractive women who have been accused of “friend-zoning” men. They use their own experiences as credentials to reinforce their argument (a sound rhetorical strategy), then use generalizations to assume that their experiences and resultant observations are somehow representative of the entire female population. That is a logical fallacy, and it should be corrected.

    As for nobody asking me: I don’t recall anyone asking you to write anything. Nor do we know if anyone asked the authors to write about the friend-zone. Luckily, nobody really has to wait for permission to express their opinion.

  4. I agree with a lot of the ideas in this article, but it is written in an overly hostile tone. It would have been more helpful and I would take it more seriously if both sides of the argument were discussed; I believe the article would also have more credibility if it was joint authored by a male and a female, instead. Don’t get me wrong, this column makes interesting and important claims, but honestly it sounds more like a bitter response to past experience (that even may have been misconstrued, considering how one-sided this article is), rather than a useful piece of writing that all Temple students can apply to their own individual lives.

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