You’ve heard it before. Some guy, usually shy, quiet, a little (or a lot) geeky, definitely not an alpha male. He talks about a girl he’s interested in. He says that he did everything he could for her, that he was a “nice guy”, but then she “friendzoned him”. Usually this ends up with him saying nasty things about her, questioning her taste in men, quoting that old cliche about nice guys and finishing last. Of course none of it is his fault, he’s a nice guy, he treated her nice, she should have chosen him.
I’ll be the first to admit that I used to be this guy. Plenty of times I saw girls that I was interested in decline to see me as a romantic interest, rather seeing me as someone to talk to and have a meaningful platonic relationship with. I’d get down about myself seeing these girls going off on dates with guys that I would then deem to be assholes, all the while convincing myself that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, and that it was all because the girls I was interested in were masochists, and that it was their own fault when they started seeing a guy who wasn’t great because they’d turned me down.
Shit, it’s not really that long ago that I was that guy. But I got better.
What I had to realise is that I don’t automatically have a right to assume what a girl wants due to my being the (sometimes not-so-)proud owner of a penis. Just because Michael Cera always seems to get the girl in the end in his movies doesn’t mean that I can be this gawky awkward fool and come out tops. And the guys who do get the girl aren’t assholes; they simply have the confidence to up and tell a girl that they’re into them and act on it. I only thought they were an asshole because they had what I wanted. A relationship with a woman wasn’t something to be earned and cherished, it was a commodity or status symbol. I might as well have been jealous of someone who’d worked to get themselves a new iPhone (or whatever).
On the flip side, I also had to learn not to blame myself for a lack of attraction. I would drive myself crazy asking myself “what if…”, when instead of trying to change myself I should have looked elsewhere. It’s not a matter of me not being good enough, or someone being better, it’s just down to me needing to find someone who does like guys like me.
It’s not a girl’s fault she’s not into me. It’s not my fault I don’t like mushrooms, it’s just that I’ve never been able to acquire the taste for them. Because I don’t like the mushrooms doesn’t mean they’re less of a valid choice of foodstuff, it just means that personally I’m not into them.
In the same vein, it’s not the mushroom’s fault I don’t like it. It can’t change its texture or its flavour. All it can do is sit there and wait in the dish until someone comes along who likes mushrooms to gobble them up.
Bad analogies aside, it is far better for your own mental health and your current and future relationships (both romantic and friendly) if you learn to just get the fuck over yourself and move on. Cherish a girl saying she just wants to be friends. She’s still giving you something that she doesn’t have to with her friendship, and if you thought she was good enough to be a romantic interest, then she’s sure as hell good enough to be a chum/buddy/pal/compadre.
Guys, if you’ve ever felt this way, like you’ve been hard done by after giving a woman your attention, or buying her things, and she has declined to allow you access to her heart or her nether regions, take a good hard look at yourself. Assuming that you deserve a woman because you’re a “nice guy” is just another way of being an entitled douchebag. Openly using your “nice guy” status is being passively agressive, and blaming a girl for not choosing you is just as abusive as any “asshole” treating her badly.
TL;DR, Assuming the ‘friendzone’ is a thing makes you a jerk. Ladies don’t like jerks. It’s self sustaining.