The Myth of the Friend Zone

Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show where a guy complains that he’s “in the friend zone?” How about in real life? Have you ever heard someone complain that they were put in the friend zone. We have seen it in the media and we’ve seen it in real life.

Unfortunately, this term has grown in popularity and we don’t like it. There are a lot of reasons why the friend zone is a myth, which we explain below.

This post is here to explain what the friend zone is, where the term came from and the reasons why you should stop using the term. The main reason: it’s a myth. Seriously, the friend zone as we know it isn’t real.

This blog post is all about understanding the myth of the friend zone and why it’s problematic.

What is the Friend Zone?

Before we explain the problems associated with the term the friend zone, we need to define it.

The friend zone is a term used by people, typically guys, to explain why someone doesn’t want to be with them. It means that they are interested in someone. However, that person only sees them as a friend. Basically, becoming friends with someone makes it impossible to start a relationship with them in the future.

Where Did the Term Come From?

While we’re not sure who first said the term the friend zone, it did become popularized in the 1990s because of Friends. Joey Tribbiani uses the term in season one to talk about Ross’s crush on Rachel. Joey explains to Ross that Rachel will never see him as more than just a friend. Well, Friends fans know that isn’t true.

It also became popular again in the 2000s because of the movie Just Friends, where a former high school geek goes back to his hometown a decade later to try to win back his former best friend/crush. He tells one of his old friends that you can’t be friends with a girl because she’ll only see you like a brother. Well, he ends up being wrong, just like Joey was about Ross and Rachel.

However, people didn’t seem to get the point that both Friends and Just Friends made. Being friends first is undervalued because the term the friend zone is still used today.

The Myth and Reasons to Stop Using the Term

1. The Friend Zone Doesn’t Exist

At least not based on the definition above. When we say the friend zone doesn’t exist, we mean that people don’t befriend you as a way to avoid or as an alternative to a relationship. Being friends probably won’t ruin your chances of ever having a relationship with your crush. Becoming friends with someone and really getting to know them is actually a great foundation for a relationship.

Nobody is going to say that because you already became friends, they can’t view you as a romantic prospect. They either see you as significant other material or they don’t, regardless of your friendship status.

2. People Use it as an Excuse

The friend zone became a popular term because it’s easy to use as an excuse for why someone isn’t interested in dating you. Say that you have a crush on someone, it’s easy to claim that your friendship is the reason why you’re not together. It’s hard to admit that the other person doesn’t see you as a potential love interest, regardless of your friendship.

Typically, insecure people use this as an excuse when they feel they’ve been rejected too many times. However, the reason you need in excuse is because you don’t come across as genuine when you meet new people. If you do have feelings for someone, put in the effort to get to them. Don’t just be abrupt and claim they should want to date you and if they don’t, they must have problems.

This excuse might work once or twice, but when it becomes a habit, believe us, people around you take notice. They realize that you’re the problematic person, not every crush you’ve ever had.

3. It Makes the Person Seem Sympathetic

Again, this seems to be used by guys mostly, who try to appear sympathetic because their feelings aren’t reciprocated. It’s not the person’s fault if they don’t have feelings for you, yet guys love using this excuse, while also claiming to be the “nice guy.” They behave this way, because it’s easy to say I’m the nice guy, they should want to date me.

It makes women feel like we owe men something and that’s not okay. And it perpetuates the stereotype that women prefer “bad boys” and the nice guys always lose. Therefore, if someone isn’t interested in you, you’re obviously the victim because the women you like only date jerks. News flash: you’re not the victim and if you have this mindset, you’re actually the jerk.

An example of this is in Friends, where Ross, the most problematic character on the show in our opinion, has feelings for Rachel while she dates Paolo, the attractive jerk. Even though Rachel eventually has feelings for Ross, Ross treats her like an object in season one because she showed no interest in him. He’s very whiny about being the guy for her, so in our opinion, he’s the jerk. Yes, we’re aware that Paolo wasn’t a good guy, but that’s the writers playing into the stereotype.

4. Friendship is the Foundation for a Strong Relationship

Being friends with your significant other is recommended, especially if you want to make it past the honeymoon phase of a relationship. If you have nothing in common, once the newness/excitement of the relationship wears off, it ends.

The best and strongest relationships we’ve seen started as friendships. Starting out as two people who have fun together and building a foundation will lead to a more fulfilling relationship. There’s also not the pressure associated with dating right away. You get to know each other, while growing your connection. Eventually, if it turns romantic, you’re going to already be ready to give it a try, instead of being unsure about the person because you don’t know them well enough yet.

While not all successful relationships start out as friendships, a lot of them do. It’s not a requirement, yet the truth goes against the stereotype that friendships prevent romance.

5. It Makes Some Friendships Ingenuine

If you’re around someone because you want a date/a relationship and don’t like them enough as a person to continue a friendship, you’re ingenuine. This is something we’ve witnessed before. Two people start a surface-level friendship, which began because the man was interested and the woman had no idea. The woman wasn’t looking for a relationship and turned him down, which led him to cutting off all contact with her.

How would you feel if you met someone you got along with well, but just because you don’t want to date them, they decide they don’t want you in their life. The only type of relationship that’s acceptable is a physical and romantic one.

People do lose friends this way and because of the “friend zone,” some people feel justified in treating people this way because they think they have a better chance at getting a date by being the jerk instead of being the friend. Don’t do this to someone because it makes people feel like objects.

13 thoughts on “The Myth of the Friend Zone”

  1. What a great post that takes a deeper look at the way the ‘friend zone’ is used as an excuse and to paint certain people in a certain light. I especially love your thought on how, ultimately, friendship is the foundation for a strong relationship. 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this post. I just read the book, The Friend Zone by Abbey Jimenez last week. I agree with all your points and being a friend first is such a great foundation for a couple.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a really interesting post discussing this subject. I think a friendship is definitely a great way to build upon for a further relationship. Thank you for sharing.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s