The Consolation Prize

In his latest post, Ace of Spades examines the dreaded “Friend Zone.” His post focuses on one particular line from the web-comic which his post examines:

“Sorry my friendship is a crappy consolation prize!”

Ace gets right to the point:

Putting aside the childishly stated false apology (as irritating as it is), I arrive at this:

It isn’t a “crappy consolation prize”.

It simply isn’t a prize at all.

It’s an effectively useless offering.

What Ace is pointing out is something that has been pointed out in the ‘sphere many, many times- when a woman “friendzones” a man, she isn’t interested in actually being his friend about 99% (0r more) of the time. Rather, she keeps him around as a meatshield, as a mule, and as a walking ATM.

Ace asks three questions to point out the absurdity of claiming friendship in these kinds of scenarios:

What do we have in common?

What are the interests we share?

What are the tasks you can and, more importantly, will do for me when I’m in need?

It is the third question which really gets to the heart of the matter. I can have things in common, I can share interests with people who aren’t my friends. As a matter of fact I know a fair number of people with whom I share many interests and have much in common who are anything but my friends. What makes a friend a true friend is a willingness to help you when you are in need and without expectation of immediate or even long-term payback. The “Friend-Zoner” has no interest in any such thing. As Scripture warns:

There are friends who pretend to be friends,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Proverbs 18:24)

The “Friend-Zoner” is not among the latter.

Of course, Ace isn’t done. He has this to say:

…I already have a handful of men that can and will readily do those things for me.

They’ll talk with me.

Share with me.

Help me out of a jam.

I don’t need another person to do those things.

Plus, they’ll back me up in a physical altercation, should it be necessary.

They’ll also help me move heavy things.

The great irony here, is that both men and women seek male friendship for what quantifiable things men can provide.

Ace doesn’t ask the question, but he certainly implies it. And what is that question? Simple:

What benefits does a female friend provide that a male one doesn’t?

In this modern day age of empowered, strong, independent women, what does a modern women provide as a friend that a man cannot? What valuable skills does she bring to the table? What unique talents is she offering as a friend?

Do yourself a favor, and don’t spend too long on those questions.

Pretty much all of my male friends are better cooks than the women I know. Few, if any, of the women I know are able to sew. Even on those tasks which were traditionally female, women are no better than men these days. As I sit here at my desk, I am scratching my head trying to think of how a female friend is better than a male friend in the modern age (or any age, for that matter). So far the only thing I can think of is that she can offer her perspective, biased and subjective as it is, about your current dress and appearance. Otherwise I have nothing- at least for men in general. Specific men with unique circumstances might find something, but in general a female friend confers no advantages… and plenty of disadvantages.

And even for those men who find some advantage, there is always this:

Not to mention, the majority of women are miserly with their resources, emotional, financial and non-sexually physical.

They conserve them, wisely – to be fair, for the men with whom they are enamored (reciprocated or not).

I suspect that if a man were to expect little, he would not be disappointed.

As I think on it, I should note that I only have a few female friends. And they are real friends, in that they will -and have- helped me out in the past. What is shared in common between all of them is that I never had a romantic interest in any of them. Not simply that I expressed none, but had none, for a variety of reasons. The reverse is also true as near as I can tell. And I suspect that is the reason why they are actual friends. But even then, what Ace explained is correct- they are more miserly than my male friends. Not that I blame them- they are doing exactly what Ace described- conserving their resources for “the men with whom they are enamored.”

Now, before I sign off, there is another matter. One that I want to explore in this post. A concept or a theory I want to bounce off my readers.

I call it the “LJBF Drop-off.”

Now, I haven’t been the subject of many LJBF “offers” in my life- for a variety of reasons. In recent years I can only think of one or two that might qualify.

With those, and others I’ve seen/experienced in mind, I notice something: when that LJBF moment arrives, the nature of the relationship invariably changes. Even if a man accepts the “offer,” the woman doesn’t treat him the same. While she never was lavish with her “resources” before, afterwards she is even more stingy. I suspect that this is the case any time a woman rejects a man as a romance candidate. Once that rejection is made, her interest in and “support” of that man drops off. She will offer little, although still take as much as before. I’m curious if my readers have spotted that as well.

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30 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Beta, Blue Pill, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Women

30 responses to “The Consolation Prize

  1. One noticeable outcome is the speed and breadth of distancing a woman is capable of once you have binned the ljbf paradigm.

    It matters not whether the ‘support’ you offered was tangible or emotional. Once you display distancing, a woman who just wants to be friends disappears. Consistently.

  2. When a woman offers “friendship” or “let’s just be friends” to a man and then shames him for refusing the empty “offer”, one of two things is going on:

    1. She genuinely feels bad about turning him down. She offers “friendship” as a sincere consolation, in large part because she feels bad and wants to feel less bad. She shames him for rejecting “friendship” not because she wants to be his friend; but because he has not done what she wanted him to do (accept her “offer” of “friendship” and thereby help her feel less bad).

    2. She doesn’t feel the least bit bad about turning him down. But, she does not want to look like a bitch. And she does not want other people hearing about the episode and concluding she is a bitch. So she makes a meaningless, insincere offer of “friendship” to save face and to make herself look good.

    She wins either way — if he accepts, she comes out smelling like a rose. “We’re friends. No problem.” If he rejects, she can shame him for being butthurt and disgruntled. She did the right and honorable thing; he’s the villain for “rejecting” her. So, when people hear about her turning him down, she has plausible deniability — she can say “but I offered him friendship, and HE rejected ME.”

  3. Re the “LJBF Drop-off”:

    Yes, precisely. I’ve never heard it called this; but it perfectly describes what happens.

    Here’s why it happens, in my opinion.

    Most women reach varying degrees of discomfort when a man they don’t find attractive makes a romantic/sexual move, or expresses sexual interest. In that situation, LJBF is a defensive maneuver to defuse the situation and to tell the man to back off now. She wants him to “just get it” and realize that that’s why she’s saying LJBF — because she’s not interested in him and that she wants him to leave her alone so she won’t feel uncomfortable. So she will take steps to avoid him in the future. She will not look at or speak to him, won’t return texts, won’t return calls. Thus laying bare the real reason for the drop off. She doesn’t want to be his friend; she simply wants to avoid the discomfort of having to interact with an unattractive man.

  4. actually, she wants to avoid the discomfort of interacting with an unattractive man who expressed sexual interest in her.

  5. Women have boyfriends and girlfriends. If you’re not banging her, you’re her girlfriend.

    http://therationalmale.com/2011/11/30/intergender-friendship/

    Get it out of your head now that you’re even in a so called “friend zone” with any woman. There is no friend zone – there is only the limbo between you being fooled that a girl is actually a friend on an equitable level to your same sex friends, and you understanding that as soon as she becomes intimate with another guy your attentions will become a liability to any relationship she might want to have with the new sexual interest and she puts you off, or you do the same when you become so involved with another girl.

  6. If you want to judge a woman’s character, watch how she treats people who can do absolutely nothing for her. It”s never failed me.

    [DG: Quite so.]

  7. Something else which is worth mentioning is the unbridled arrogance to consider one’s friendship as a “consolation prize.” On the one hand it elevates friendship with the woman in question to an undeserved height, and on the other it denigrates just how important romantic relationships are to men. The former is easy enough to understand, the latter I think might be an example of how women cannot understand the male experience, and don’t want to.

  8. mdavid

    A woman can’t be a friend to a man. She’s property. So I don’t see the LJBF as some moral failure of women. It’s just a polite way of saying no, and if the guy wants to orbit, why should she say no again, rudely? It’s his funeral, and he’s violating the rules by not having the stones to just laugh at her. Any man who gets on the bus to orbiter hell already had the ticket in his pocket, or was at least fooling around with timetables.

    RT, …to judge a woman’s character, watch how she treats people who can do absolutely nothing for her
    Not specific to women. For men as well.

  9. Donal Graeme, you are my very own Glenn Gould.

    http://www.openculture.com/2012/10/glenn_gould_explains_the_genius_of_johann_sebastian_bach_1962.html

    And I say that with the utmost praise, gratitude and respect.

  10. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I want to make sure of something before I decide whether or not to comment, and what to comment if I end up doing so.

    Is this post *specifically* and *only* referring to situations where a man is romantically interested in a woman, but the woman is not romantically interested in him, and she says “LJBF” but has no intentions of actually continuing on as friends afterwards?

    ….and does NOT include situations where:

    ~The woman is already taken (and therefore can’t be anything more than friends), and really would like to be friends with him
    ~The woman is friend-zoned by a man she is interested in, he isn’t romantically interested in her, but they mutually agree to be friends
    ~Neither one is romantically interested in the other, but the woman really does want to be friends, and the man does too

  11. @ FBNF

    It pretty much refers only to the first scenario. Some of what is mentioned might apply to the others, but my original post aimed only at the first situation.

  12. @ Ace

    I rather doubt I am as talented or as memorable as Glenn Gould. But thank you nonetheless.

  13. feeriker

    Women have boyfriends and girlfriends. If you’re not banging her, you’re her girlfriend.

    If you have a penis and a pair of testicles and she is not sexually attracted to you, you are much less than a girlfriend. A girlfriend is someone she feels a certain empathy with, whom she can relate to as a fellow human being (as long as they’re not both attracted sexually to the same man, anyway).

    You, on the other hand, are merely a convenient utility, a tool, an appliance, to be used when needed and put away and forgotten about when not needed. To her, you have no human qualities or value at all.

    Heterosexual men and heterosexual women CANNOT be “just friends.” Just as no heterosexual man, instinctively knowing the vast differences between men and women, would ever think of confiding in or relying on a woman as he would a fellow man, no heterosexual woman has any need for a male “friend.” She certainly has a man she’s sexually attracted to (and who’s also sexually attracted to her) to provide pack mule services for her on demand and one or more friends of her own sex for companionship. A male orbiter is superfluous except as an ego booster. Don’t be “that guy.”

  14. Pingback: Excessively Useless Friendships | Things that We have Heard and Known

  15. mdavid

    RT, Women have boyfriends and girlfriends. If you’re not banging her, you’re her girlfriend.

    This isn’t a good analogy. Because a woman rarely dares to use her girlfriends like she will her male “friend” (asking favors without thought of repayment). Girlfriends don’t tolerate this. But I don’t see it as malicious, merely reflexive (like a guy checking out a girl). It’s the guy’s job apply hs resources to the right girl, not the girl’s job to stop seeking them. Just like it’s the girl’s job to cover up and restrict her sexuality, not the guy’s job to stop pursuing her.

    Also, in strong marriage cultures that eshew premarital sex (they still exist) guys and girls will spend a fair amount of time in the courtship phase (say 18-23 yo for girls, 20-30 yo for guys) and a lot of that courtship is indirect with groups just doing things together leaving both parties time to get to know each other without the stress of “dating” as they meet new people. So what do they call each other during this time? Friends. But these “friends” clearly are more than friends. And that’s ok.

    FBNF, The woman is friend-zoned by a man she is interested in, he isn’t romantically interested in her, but they mutually agree to be friends

    The trouble for this is that the woman will usually abuse the friendship. it’s in her nature to do so, and it puts the man in an uncomfortable orbiter position of doing chores for her, even if he has no desire to be there. it’s fine to help people out, but women do tend to abuse this and so a man would do well to avoid the whole thing, or be very strict in helping out before it gets out of control.

  16. Novaseeker

    I think that LJBF in that circumstance (said when declining a romantic “pass”) is really just a polite contemporary expression which the man is supposed to understand as “thanks for the compliment, but I’m not interested in you”. It’s unfortunate that a decent number of guys don’t take it that way, but that’s because they are confused about male/female friendships in general (most of them are cases of orbiting or situations where one or the other is with someone else but wants a Plan B or wants to keep the pole in the fire for the time being (work spouses often fall into this category), and the number of true platonic male/female “friendships” where there is zilch/zero attraction on the part of both is very, very small).

    It’s akin to the expression “let’s do lunch”. Everyone knows that this doesn’t mean that a lunch invitation is in the offing — it’s just a polite expression which fills an awkward moment — in this case saying goodbye to people you probably don’t want to spend much time with again, but want to still say goodbye in a polite way.

  17. Nova:

    So few men truly understand the nature of male-female “friendships” anyway, and because there are so few such relationships where there truly is no attraction between the man and woman.

    Of course, the nature of male-female friendships is usually that the woman wants the man for friendship, which really means she wants and expects him to do things for her. She wants him to serve as valet, chauffeur, concierge, emotional tampon, white knight, cockblocker and bodyguard. Of course, she wants these things only on her timetable and when she wants them. She does not view herself as having to do anything for him, give anything to him, or be anything for him. The man wants to befriend the woman as a precursor to a romantic connection because that’s what he’s been taught is the “right” way to get those romantic connections.

    To me the solution is for men to understand the dynamics underpinning LJBF. Men simply shouldn’t orbit; shouldn’t offer up friendship to women; shouldn’t volunteer their services to women. And a man shouldn’t befriend a woman unless he truly has no attraction for her (this last situation is so rare that a man will probably have at most one, perhaps two truly platonic friends, if he has any at all).

  18. The only “platonic” male/female relationship I have ever had that lasted any amount of time was in cases where she was interested in getting out of MY friend zone (and makes it pretty obvious). The other way never lasts.

  19. Novaseeker

    Scott —

    Right, and in that case she had attraction for you (wanted out of the friendzone), so from her perspective it wasn’t strictly platonic.

    I think there *can* be friendships between men and women that are strictly platonic (i.e., no attraction by either side), but they are rare. Most often they come about because of constrained circumstances (shared and isolated experience/crisis/stress, forced shared living arrangements, etc.). Most of the male/female friendships that do exist have one (most common) or both (like work spouse, Plan B type relationships) with some degree of attraction for the other.

  20. feeriker

    And a man shouldn’t befriend a woman unless he truly has no attraction for her.

    Even then it’s not a good idea. The woman will very likely either 1) misconstrue the man’s intentions, and/or 2) treat him the same way she treats every other man she’s not sexually attracted to (i.e., as a handyman/walking wallet/emotional tampon).

  21. theshadowedknight

    In regards to the traditionally feminine skills, I used to tell people that I am a better woman than nine tenths of actual women, and that none of them are a better man than I am. I am probably being charitable, but it is a good way to make a point. If a woman is not a romantic prospect, her presence is extraneous; she has made herself obsolete, waiting to be replaced.

    The Shadowed Knight

  22. You’re a man and you want a female best friend? Get a dog.

  23. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ mdavid

    The trouble for this is that the woman will usually abuse the friendship. it’s in her nature to do so, and it puts the man in an uncomfortable orbiter position of doing chores for her, even if he has no desire to be there. it’s fine to help people out, but women do tend to abuse this and so a man would do well to avoid the whole thing, or be very strict in helping out before it gets out of control.

    You say this as if it’s not possible that the woman would actually seek to be a good friend to the man and help him out however she can as well. But it IS possible for a woman to do this. I’ve seen it done, and I’ve done it myself. A woman might be useless in helping move heavy things, or helping you work on your car, or other such guy things. But it doesn’t mean we can’t do things for a guy friend that we are capable of doing. Just because so many women behave narcissisticly towards their friends doesn’t mean it’s not possible to do things right and actually be a good friend to a guy. Unless you guys expect things from your friends that only males are possibly capable of doing (like lifting heavy things, for example)…

  24. mdavid

    FBNF, But it IS possible for a woman to do this

    I agree with you as usual. However, in our modern era, I’ve never seen a woman carry her own weight. Not once. As TSK said, most romantically desireable men are better women than nine tenths of actual women. Men do women’s work today from young ages, and are mocked if they don’t. Yet few women fix cars, plumbing, fix household goods, windows, doors, computers, etc. So for a man, women are nearly always a lose-lose.

    Sewing is the only exception I’ve seen (mostly because he lacks the machine). And sewing is valuable if she knows how to tailor and can work with leather/hard materials. But how many women can (or will) do this? Plus, few men will ask, especially from a woman he’s not romantic with out of fear it will be misconstrued. Meanwhile women usually won’t hesitate to plunder his skills and resouces without qualms. And why shouldn’t she? It’s a win-win for her, society tells her she’s a queen who deserves it, and then he might come around over time. All this is just my personal experience and observations, so YMMV.

  25. feeriker

    You’re a man and you want a female best friend?

    Only if you’re gay.

  26. 1. Generally, you get to know a girl as a particular mate prospect.

    2. If you and her aren’t a fit then you amicably part ways.

    3. You find another girl you are interested in an talk to her. She needs to spend her time finding more potential suitors if she is interested in marriage as well.

    4. Therefore, it follows that “friends” is just a diversion that prevents actual marriage formation.

    If we’re being ruthlessly utilitarian in this particular iteration of culture which discourages marriage formation then it is a sigifnicant waste of time trying to play friends when you should be spending your time more wisely.

    I do not think there is anything bad about being friends as long as there are proper boundaries. However, it’s still not a particularly good way to spend time. If you want good friends they should be of the same sex.

  27. Outstanding comments, mdavid.

    Very well said.

  28. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/05/31) | The Reactivity Place

  29. someone who thinks you're an idiot

    Friendship is valuable and is not a consolation prize, and to expect and feel entitled to sexual favors is absurd. If you can not rightly justify their value as a friend because you have no good answers to any of the following:

    “What do we have in common?, What are the interests we share? What are the tasks you can and, more importantly, will do for me when I’m in need?”

    Why are they a candidate for a sexual partner anyways? If they have nothing in common, why would they ever accept your proposition of more than friends if you clearly have nothing in common?

    IF NONE of these questions need to be answered positively for this person to be a sexual partner? YOUR desire is shallow and based only on sexual gratification, not based on any female’s common interests.

    Complaining about being offered a friendship you don’t deserve, by a female you are clearly trying to take advantage sexually of is laughable. I’m actually laughing. Whining about how women won’t sleep with you when you have no regard for them as people deserves zero pity.

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