Some say that it all starts with a woman, who out of depression and low self-esteem surrounds herself with male queers just so she can hear nonintrusive accolades of “girl, I don’t think you know how beautiful you really are!” Shortly after gaining some of her confidence back, she practices how to walk down the wedding aisle by strolling through the hood with a cutoff top and skintight leggings, mistakenly interpreting all the flirtatious whispers from male connoisseurs playing the block as the applause from guests at the marriage ceremony. Scholars will say that her unbreakable focus on a future mate has created an imaginary archetype and incubus that will prevent her from finding true love at the end of the fairy tale. Others will lament that all the men she ignored along the way are emotionally quarantined into a plantation called the Friends Zone. Whatever the outcome may be this heroine’s conversation will always allude to how she was manipulated by men.
What is the Friends Zone (sometimes spelled Friends’ Zone)? The Friends Zone is a mythical emotional dimension that either a man or woman is placed into after their romantic aspirations are rejected by those that they admire. Usually, this form of rejection is simply stated as; “let’s be friends,” giving birth to the term friends zone. In modern times, this power to put potential lovers into the Friends Zone is said to be exercised by women more than men. Though there exists no evidence to support such claims, assumptions of this nature seem to stem from the idea that men are sexual predators and women must reject their advances by putting them into the Friends Zone. Yet, the question arises do men and women have the right to reject being put into the Friends Zone and are such actions a form of sexual bullying?
Although men erroneously think of women as the gatekeepers with the power and authority to put them in the Friends Zone, history reveals otherwise. Everything from chastity belts to religious doctrines claiming that women should be subservient to men was created by men to keep women on several psychological plantations of a man’s choosing. Sadly, in a time of new age dating, we see many examples of politicians making laws that would give rapists lighter sentences or no penalty at all. Being put in the Friends Zone is not a pleasant experience, but it is a far cry from the pain that women have experienced. This is not to say that the Friends Zone is a necessary path to reparations for women, but men should really lighten up if they find themselves in this dimension.
The other thing that we have to consider is the growth and expansion of technology. Sometimes being put in the Friends Zone is not a bad thing but a sign that an individual could be in a committed relationship while still appreciating and valuing you as a person and the friendship you have to offer. Circumstances of this nature will happen more readily as technology has made the world a much smaller place.
Men and women may often use the Friends Zone as a preliminary to dating. Some people that we find attractive have experienced the pains and heartache of coupling with someone who is emotionally, mentally, and physically abusive. Unfortunately, after seeing the harsh realities of this side of life, a man or woman may choose to put their admirer into the Friends Zone as a safe way of seeing their personality and if they have abusive traits before moving forward. This is one of the benefits of choosing to date friends instead of total strangers.
Finally, if we are to be friends or lovers, then communication must be a priority before moving forward. If you feel that your being put into the Friends Zone is unwarranted, then file a grievance by sending the person you admirer a letter or open up dialogue and state your case. While there is no guarantee in either regard, respect for the decisions of everyone involved is paramount.