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I know I’m late for the party but let me chime in on the pervasive ‘Friend Zone’ conversation.

You see ‘attraction’ and ‘liking’ someone are two different things. Liking someone does not always mean you are attracted to him. Attraction is a physical thing that happens within people, and at the heart of it, it’s a chemical process.
People who talk about the friend zone believe that time spent with a woman is an investment, and when that investment doesn’t pay off, you’re not only in the Friend Zone, but you were obviously not man enough for the job. To some degree, the assumption of every guy claiming to be friend-zoned is that if they indicate an interest in one of their friends, she is in some way obligated to return the interest, and reward it with a relationship or sex. This assumption is problematic for a whole host of reasons, but most in that it ignores choice.

Everyone has the right to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to someone’s romantic or sexual interest. There is no obligation to return interest, and if a person rejects you, it does not make them an awful person.No person is ever obligated to return romantic interest. That we penalise and antagonise women who reject men interested in them is sexist, and, to beat a dead horse, stands against the idea that women and men are equal. The friend zone mentality highlights the fact that friend-zoning is based on the idea that men are owed sex and women are the people who have to give it to them. Beyond that, friend-zoning suggests that all women are good for is sex. When a man laments the three years he wasted as a friend of a woman, only to be romantically rejected at the end of it all, he invalidates the idea that this woman might have any other worth beyond sex. The reward of being someone’s friend is not sex, it is friendship.

People who think like this are confused. They think that there’s this window of opportunity with a woman, and that if they miss it, friendship will set in like an infection and all hope is lost. There are so many things wrong with this philosophy - it assumes that once a man and woman are friends, there is no longer potential for a relationship. That is patently false. Yes, there are women who take advantage of good men just like there are men who take advantage of good women. When a woman takes advantage of a man, it’s not very nice and you’re not being very nice to yourself by letting her do that to you. But that’s about inconsiderate individuals with low self-esteem who take advantage of people, not some global phenomenon of women mistreating men.

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