“First find the man in yourself if you will inspire manliness in others.”
— Amos Bronson Alcott
This post will be closer to a rant. I hear men talking about the so-called “friendzone” way too much. It came up on the 93X morning show today. On the verge of pursuing a new paramour, men advise each other, “Careful not to get friendzoned!” Elaborate conversations take place where men try to figure out if it’s even theoretically possible to escape this Venusian Alcatraz.
When men talk about being friendzoned, they mean one of two things. The first is that the woman refuses to act on her romantic feelings because she doesn’t want to lose their friendship. I have seen this in movies and in television, but in the dozens (hundreds?) of conversations I have had with people in relationships, hoping for relationships, getting out of relationships, I have never encountered this scenario. I’ll allow for the possibility that it happens, but I think it’s relatively rare. (And ladies, if you ever actually feel that way, I have a rude awakening for you: you are going to lose that friendship out of your desire to preserve it.)
No, what men really mean when they say they’ve been friendzoned is that they failed to generate a spark of attraction in the woman they desired. Rather than owning up to this fact, they push blame onto that woman. Perhaps this is so they won’t have to address their shortcomings. Perhaps it’s too difficult to turn a critical eye on ourselves and ask, “What could I have done differently?” I’m not sure. But I do know there is nothing attractive about petulance. And there is nothing sexy about blaming someone else for your inability to turn your desires into reality.
Maybe this trend is part of the greater one where men act less and less manly. I think a big part of manliness is owning up to the things you could have done better. This may be easier said than done, but haven’t you gotten tired of making excuses for yourself yet?