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’.

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  • 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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