The Plight of the Homegirl

by Jamilah Lemieux

Guys often talk about ‘the friend zone’: a dreaded mythical place where they end up when a woman who’d they like to date (or, at the very least, sleep with) has only platonic eyes for them. However, many of us ladies have found ourselves in similar situations: pegged as ‘the homegirl’. As in “Man, Tasha, you’re like one of the guys. You’re cooler than most of the girls I know. I can talk to you about anything and you get it!”  Great if you have no romantic inclinations towards the dude in question, sucky if he’s your crush, and out-and-out depressing if it’s a recurrent theme in your life.

I’ve known a lot of guys who have praised the ‘cool’ girls in their circles for their relatability, for being down-to-earth and a refreshing alternative to the pretentious, superficial women of the world…only to run out and lavish their romantic attentions on those same villainesses! For shame. And then they come back  around and complain to the down chicks when it all goes awry. A vicious cycle, is it not? But to be entirely fair, this is much like the plight of the “nice” guy who feels that he is put on the platonic pedestal in lieu of the “bad” boy who gets all the lovin’.  Same script, different cast.

My personal bad experience came during the time in which I could talk about Hip-Hop with the same passion and knowledge as the dudes, yet got passed over for the girls who’d much sooner listen to Destiny’s Child than A Tribe Called Quest. Many of these dudes were also very serious about being ‘righteous, Asiatic Black kings,’ but when it came girlfriend choosing time, they had the same Eurocentric influences in their tastes as the other guys–opting for long, straight hair over locs that looked like their own. The chicks they put on a pedestal often represented the values/aesthetics they claimed to oppose.

Why is it that men (and women) so often look past that dope ass friend with whom they have everything in common when it comes time to pick a boo? How can you complain about girls who complain about basketball, yet be willing to knock down a girl who loves sports to get to one of the ones who don’t? Well, to be fair, what we are looking for in a buddy is not always the same as what we are looking for in a partner. And as much as we may adore our opposite sex best friend’s sense of humor and superior wit, that doesn’t always come with a side of physical attraction. Beyond that, life isn’t fair and people just aren’t always great at realizing a great thing, even when it’s right in front of their faces.

So, what does the homegirl do when she’s feeling passed by like a Pharcyde song? If she changes some of her habits/dress to suit what the fellas want (or seem to), then she runs the risk of being inauthentic; but if she keeps doing what she’s been doing, then she may continue to feel neglected. The best answer may often be somewhere in the middle: remain true to your personal steez, without being afraid to switch it up a little bit on occasion, like for special events. But never feel like you have to become something or someone else, because ultimately, it isn’t going to do anyone any favors in the long run.

The woman of one man’s ‘friend zone’ is the ideal candidate for another’s ‘girlfriend lane.’ As frustrating as it may be to see your homeboys wanting to hang with you constantly, yet love all over someone else, you can’t become an entirely different woman in order to garner the affection of others. If anyone will see through this facade, its gonna be the guys who love you like a sister. And regardless of who notices your switch up, who wants to be the chick who changed up who she is just to get a man? Nothing admirable about that. Make the best of your role as a fly on the wall; learn what you can from your close connection with the guys and use that info to your advantage when pursuing relationships with men outside your inner circle. Allow these male friends to serve as your confidants and advisers as you navigate the dating scene and you might find that someone even more compatible sees you as far more than just ‘a friend’.

  • Moe

    I’m still not seeing what’s so special about male friends over female friends for women. 98% of my friends are girls and we are down to earth, drama free, sports loving people. Maybe it’s because we are not boy obsessed, so being on good terms with the opposite sex isn’t important. Anyway, I think SOME women pretend to be one of the guys just to get guys. Ladies should just be true to themselves.

  • IQ

    Good post, but you unwittingly contributed to the homegirl plight by naming said homegirl “Tasha.” As in those black/white resume studies, a name is not just a name.

  • http://twitter.com/Shamrockoff Shamrock Robinson (@Shamrockoff)

    The gripe that I have with the so-called “friend-zone” is that the folks who claim to be in such a situation, or the crushers, have often failed to tell the crushees that they are indeed crushing, and would like to go out with him/her. And hanging around after being rejected isn’t going to ease the pain, either. Sometimes, you just have to cut loose for your own sanity – even if you DO have a lot in common. Even if you really like a person, and you guys click, that person still isn’t obligated to date you.

  • Blue

    I have many guy friends & I don’t mind being the “home girl”..Why? Because they are my friends & we don’t have any intentions of dating each other. Now if you never put it out there that you are interested, don’t get mad if you are stuck in the friend zone. This goes for men & women.

  • TMITS

    There is no such thing as the friend zone.

  • P

    I love, love hanging out with men. Even though I prefer hanging out with the opposite sex, the sad part is I’ve only had one true guy friend. And he eventually developed feelings. I really couldn’t see it –He was just too young and I always considered him as a lil brother. I honestly think if you are attractive and if the man/woman is attracted to you – “just friends” is impossible. One or the other is crushing. It just hasn’t surfaced yet. To have more guy friends would be nice. However, I haven’t met too many men who are able to remain in a “friend zone”. Could any nowadays? College, Yes!

    Also, I think the busier a person is, the more you designate your QT to the most important people in your life. In other words, if you are spending time with the opposite sex, 9 times out of 10 – he or she is not just a friend. It’s not impossible, but it is uncommon..

  • http://gravatar.com/oshanae oshanae

    I have my homegirls that are cool and down to earth. But it nice to have that male perspective at times and some guys are just mad cool to hang out with.

  • bob

    I have a home girl who is my best female friend. We have known each other since the third grade and I consider her a cousin. She real ass hell and thats all I need.

  • Emy

    Growing up, I would always hang out with my brother. He was my partner in crime. We played soccer, games and everything together. So I guess I try to replicate this with guys that I think are cool. What I like most about having male friends is that they give you a different perspective on some issues. But yeah, I realized that I can’t be friends with all guys because some may see me in a different way. I’ve been the homegirl a couple of times when I actually wanted more. And yes, I did tell the guy I was interested in him and he’d say he just saw me as a friend. I’d be like ok but I knew we could not go back to being friends after that. So I’d just cut ties for some time. I definitely have that feeling of not being true to myself when I try to change the way I interact with guys.

  • dbsm

    Why not? I’m curious to hear you elaborate.

    I’ve never been in a friend zone though. Maybe it depends on what you look like in combination with what you have to offer.

    I would say that if you stay in a friend zone, then that person is not attracted to you–no matter how many sports plays you can recount. Time to move on. Don’t you want someone to want you as much as you want them? Go get it!

  • The Moon in the Sky

    “I’ve never been in a friend zone though. Maybe it depends on what you look like in combination with what you have to offer.”

    What?

  • dbsm

    what? what?

  • Pingback: When Men Put You in the Homegirl Zone | TheJusticeTeam

  • Not So Nice NiceGuy

    I have a more unique issue. There have been women who i tried to date but who threw me in the friend zone, yet down the line they grew feelings for me and suggested that we sleep together. That makes no sense to me. I was once willing to give you all of me but you reject me, friend me, then go after me sexually? What do you ladies think?

    Regarding the article, i think its necessary to have friends of the opposite sex for the reasons stated. However, i notice women attempting to make any and every guy she doesn’t like her friend. Stop that please lol. Because not every man is cut out to be your true friend. Some will use that as a way to get to you.

  • lol

    this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://parentingbytheseatofmypants.wordpress.com greendoondoon

    I don’t agree with you it’s necessary to have friends of the opposite sex. It’s nice but not necessary. I prefer women to men, and I really don’t care if I have male friends. It’s not a knock against men, I just feel that the older I get, the less I have in common with them or need their perspective on anything. It could be too because I am married so I have a male I could speak to at all times. I certainly wouldn’t speak to another man other than my father about my husband. It’s easier to have male friends if you are married though; none of that friendzone stuff,IMO.

  • southerngirl

    And what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

  • http://succulentwomenfindlove.com Trenia

    The difficulty of being in the friend zone depends on the feelings that one person might have for the other. If the relationship is truly platonic (no sexual chemistry) then it’s not a problem for the most part. The challenge is to not allow yourself to be the other person’s emotional dumping ground, and sadly, this happens a lot with people in the friend zone. The person in the relationship gets all of the lovin’ and attention from their partner, but gets their emotional support from the friend. If you’re in the friend zone with someone you like, try a little experiment: ease off listening to their problems and see how they react. Many people get stuck in the friend zone when they don’t want to be, because they don’t require anything from the other person, they believe just having their crush around is enough when they clearly want more.

  • Cocochanel31

    I love my platonic male friends and the insight and energy they possess that females just don’t have. I have found though that most of them have been “friend zoned” because I am just not attracted to them in that way as the author stated

    . I sometimes lament it and beat myself up about it, because some are reallly really nice guys and I say I want a nice guy, but don’t want the “Friend” in front of me who is soooo great BUT he is five feet tall.SMH

    Ehhh such is life I suppose! Throws hands in the air!

  • http://gravatar.com/desibjorn DesiBjorn

    I have never heard of a woman being placed in the friend zone. Men don’t do that, women do. If a man considers you a homegirl it’s because you’re unattractive to him. It doesn’t make you a bad person or mean that he dislikes you. He just doesn’t see you as a romantic partner.

    Part of the dynamic between men and women is that they are different. And they should be. And they want to be. No man wants a woman who acts like or continuously measures herself against a man. Be a WOMAN.

  • Not So Nice NiceGuy

    I can see where your difference in opinion falls because you are married, so i agree with you from that point of view

  • dbsm

    “I’ve never been in a friend zone though. Maybe it depends on what you look like in combination with what you have to offer.

    I would say that if you stay in a friend zone, then that person is not attracted to you–no matter how many sports plays you can recount. Time to move on. Don’t you want someone to want you as much as you want them? Go get it!”

    this was my original comment–which was thumbed down. lol. which is why i agree with you completely in your first paragraph.

    why no one else seems to understand it is beyond me but im rotflmao

  • dbsm

    a man considers you a homegirl it’s because you’re unattractive to him

    a man considers you a homegirl it’s because you’re unattractive to him

    a man considers you a homegirl it’s because you’re unattractive to him

    a man considers you a homegirl it’s because you’re unattractive to him

    maybe that will sink in

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    So I’m a female and I never get put in the “friend zone,” and trust me I’ve tried. I think the reality is that if a guy is attracted to you, he never really puts you in the friend zone, even if he pretends to be “just a friend.” And truthfully, if he does like you, it’s only going to be a matter of time before he makes that clear in some way, shape or form. And it’s usually going to be sooner rather than later. I know I’m not the only one who has had this experience? Ladies, how do you deal with not having any/many guy friends who are just platonic friends, and nothing more? I would like at least one good guy friend. I mean I won’t lie. I would rather be on this side than the other side, but I would also like to develop meaningful friendships with the opposite sex.

  • Eduardo

    I’ve been in the “friend zone” only a few times, and that only works if you’re there willingly. If you’re interested and the other person is not then you REALLY have to move on, fast -try seeing your crush less often. My wife had a lot of experience being friend-zoned before I met her, but I just want to say that there’s someone right for you out there. You don’t have to waste your time and energy convincing anyone.

  • RenJennM

    To the fellas on here that have said that “a man only puts you in the friend zone if he finds you unattractive”… um, EXACTLY! It doesn’t matter what the REASON is as to why a man friend-zones a woman; the point is is that he DOES it.

    I’m a woman, and I’ve been friend-zoned. I’m very physically attractive, but I’m also very petite (think Jada Pinkett-Smith’s size), so I’ve accepted that I’m not every guy’s cup of tea. Often times, guys won’t notice me at first because their eyes are on the tall, big-booty girls. But if they so happen to strike up a conversation with me, half-way through the conversation, it’ll be almost like they just noticed me for the first time, and then they’ll be like, “Oh wow, you’re really pretty!” Um, thanks?

    That’s how it often was with guys I was “just friends” with. I’d be the one with the crush, and they would just see me as a friend… until one day, they’ll see me and be like, “Wow, I just realized how pretty you are!” Uh, dude, where’ve you been? But even if they became attracted to me in that moment, it’d be too late because they’d already have a girlfriend who’s nothing like me.

    I do have to admit… I’ve friend-zoned guys. But… I’ve recently defied the odds: the man I’m in a relationship with and am currently in love with used to be a guy I saw as just a friend. He was friend-zoned because he met me at a time when I was already head-over-heels for another guy. The other guy was TERRIBLE to me and for me, but I was lost in him, so you couldn’t tell me nothing back then. My man now lived his own life and dated women, but he always stayed my friend and had my back throughout it all. Over a year after I broke up with the other guy, my man and I were both single, and we began talking on ‘that level’. We already had an incredible bond, an amazing friendship, and a lot in common. So, the chemistry was easy. He’s not really physically ‘my type’, but my love for him is so strong, I don’t care about that. He’s amazing. So, not every woman keeps men she friend-zoned in the friend zone. Some of the best relationships (and even marriages) started off as friends.

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