Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 5.21

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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15 Comments

  1. Every time I read about a “friend zone”, it makes me go “GAH!” in a loud voice that my colleagues mistake for a choking sound.
    Dude, did you fail to notice that the women in question has given you no signs of physical attraction? Why did you make this awkward, all or nothing move?
    If it were actually the case that he couldn’t tell, I can’t even blame the guy. He just, literally, doesn’t know how to proceed. He had no healthy role model, no explanation, no guide. No one showed him a way to unambiguously tell if a woman is interested.
    That doesn’t excuse being a jackass about it, or going around insulting her for turning him down. But it does explain the guys who walk away depressed – they know they’ve messed up and they’re embarrassed.

    1. Also, the idea that being romantically rejected is THE WORST THING EVER. Okay, maybe if you’ve already been romantically involved, sure. Being dumped sucks. But having someone turn you down at the very beginning? It’s more like an emotional paper cut than the emotional nuclear bomb that supporters of “the friend zone” would have you believe.

      If you really care about someone, you want them to be happy. And if they’re happiest *not dating you* then suck it up and deal.

      1. The source of the problem is *mostly* cowardice, so of course romantic rejection is the worst thing ever. That’s why he put the possibility off for so long by putting himself in the friend zone.
        There’s also ignorance, though. Lots and lots of ignorance.

        1. As somebody who lived in the “friendzone”, I’ve found the road to it is paved with cowardice. You can come up with all sorts of reasons not to ask somebody out, but it all comes down to fear and procrastination. What I find disturbing is this tendency to blame the woman as if she did something wrong. I never blamed any of the women I was too scared to ask out because I knew it was my own fault for not asking her out sooner. I may have been angry at her, but I never felt she owed me anything. As for not wanting to be her friend after she rejects you, I can empathize. It’s tough hanging out with somebody who you have romantic feelings for that doesn’t return them.
          Unfortunately, the author of this piece is about to find out what happens to women on the internet who dare to criticize a man who asks her out. Hate comes from fear and she’s about to reap a whirlwind of hate.

      2. Agreed. And this is coming from someone who has gone somewhat off the other end. I seem to have an irrational fear of actually asking someone out. Not really for a fear of being rejected, but for a fear that I may eventually lose a good friend.
        I’m a not very socially active introvert, so it always takes me a while to actually build up a circle of friends when I move somewhere. Having friends is to me a precious thing.
        Which is the reason I am always weirded out by the “friend-zone” thing: It’s the world I’d like to live in. The world where you can be in a relationship for a while, break up, and maybe continue to be friends. _All of the alternatives_ seem much, much worse to me, and those are the ones I fear.
        I’ve managed to broach the question a few times, and though the answer was a rejection, it never seems to have hurt the friendship. Emotional paper cut is a good term for it.
        I wouldn’t know about relationships though. I’ve always had the impression from people (and perhaps the culture) around me that relationships must necessarily end in a nuclear explosion of anger and disappointment, completely severing any bonds you may have had.
        In theory at least, I think I know how to prevent that. But still, my desire to be in a relationship is rarely strong enough to actually take the perceived potential risk of losing a friend.

        I’m pretty sure there is a lot of irrationality and stupidity going on here, but my hindbrain refuses to listen to reason :P

        Signed,
        A monumental coward

  2. Regarding the women scientists, there were a couple of good comments. For instance, it would be good to have some more recent examples. I feel particularly outraged about Meitner since seing a TV documentary on the story.

  3. Ah, the Friend Zone/Girlfriend Zone (cue Twilight Zone music).

    Most of my friends have always been women, going all the way back to 1st grade which started in 1970, thank you very much). So yeah, there have been a few times where I felt something, wondered if there was a possibility of something with someone and so started a conversation. Or light comment. Never a “move” (except maaaaybe a really nice birthday dinner which I’ve been told is still her favorite birthday), never anything physical, just a query.

    Nope, nothing ever developed with any of them (and I repeat, only a few of the many women who’ve been my friends). All still friends! (Or at least for long times – there have been many years and many relocations.) Yeesh, if the only reason you hang out with a woman is because she’s a potential date (i.e., TARGET), that’s the problem.

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