She led you on. She isn’t into nice guys. She doesn’t appreciate you. She doesn’t know what’s best for her.
Boys. Listen. I’m sure you have good intentions, but the fact of the matter is that she isn’t doing anything wrong. This mythical ‘Friendzone’ you all complain about? It’s not a thing.
A large portion of popular culture has a tendency to romanticize this issue, depicting the Slighted Male as the protagonist, a constantly dismissed source of comfort to a shallow girl incapable of seeing what’s right in front of her. Most of the time, the girl has an ‘Aha!’ moment, runs into the arms of our hero, and the audience rejoices. On the rare occasion that he doesn’t get what he wants (see: Severus Snape), the girl is branded as despicable and heartless for spurning him.
Here’s a little known secret: being kind to someone and offering your friendship doesn’t entitle you to a romantic relationship. In fact, it doesn’t entitle you to anything at all other than basic human decency.
Women aren’t vending machines. You can’t pop in a few nice favors and compliments in exchange for a kiss. Because, just like you can’t help wanting to be with her, she can’t help not wanting to be with you. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories – girls having to turn down a best friend, someone they genuinely cared about, only to have that same “friend” stab them in the back. Most of you “nice guys” complaining about finishing last are only nice until you get a no.
Let me walk you through this.
You like this girl. She’s smart and cute and everything you’d want in a girlfriend, so you befriend her. Maybe if you get closer to her, she’ll reciprocate.
Fast forward a bit, now. You’ve been acting as emotional support to this girl for months. You’ve been her shoulder to cry on, a pair of ears for her to vent to – whatever she wants. She likes you – and you gather the nerves to confess. And she turns you down. You have a right to feel upset, but that right doesn’t extend to taking it out on her. Because if all it took for that friendship to crumble was a rejection of your confession, you were probably never really friends with her. Playing nice with someone because you want them to be your significant other isn’t friendship – it’s an ulterior motive. And if you’ve tricked this girl into thinking you’re her real friend, only to rip that bond apart because of feelings she can’t help, is she really the one in the wrong?
The thing is, if you’ve been told “yes” your whole life, being told “no” is going to feel like theft – just like if you’ve been privileged your whole life, equality is going to feel like oppression. So, yeah, I’m sure a lot of you don’t mean to be insensitive, but when you demand a romantic relationship and play victim at the expense of someone else’s emotion…you are being insensitive. And the sooner you acknowledge that, the sooner you can remedy it and build new relationships – relationships that are a little less self-serving and a little more real.