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.
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.