It’s no secret that I hate the whole “Nice Guy” thing. I’m a big hater of the idea that women have this supposed “Friend Zone” or “Friend Ladder” and once you’re there, there’s no escaping.
However, I can relate.
Recently, I was reminiscing about Miss K. There was an ad on TV that they were going to show that 101 Dalmatians movie that came out in the 90’s. I recalled watching it one long afternoon after school.
In high school I was pretty out as being bisexual. I was sexually inexperienced, and even less relationship-ally experienced. I desperately wanted to be in a relationship, but I also desperately wanted to be in a sexual relationship. I tried asking boys out, but got rejected a couple of times. I wanted them to ask me out, but NONE of them did. I went out with a friend for a bit, (how’s that for this friend zone thing?) but it didn’t work because after spending a lot of time with him, I realised I just wasn’t as into him as I hoped I’d be. I’d hooked up with another friend and it did work, until he decided we should stop. I hadn’t really gone out with any girls yet, but I was keen to give it a go.
Enter Miss K. Miss K was adorable. She was a high achieving academic student who was suddenly really into the punk scene and hanging out with my particular set of weirdos. She was a year ahead of me and bisexual. She talked openly about how frequently she masturbated and about her vibrator ‘the Silver Bullet’. I was completely smitten. And she lived close by. One day she asked if I wanted to come have lunch at her house, and, of course, I went. She made amazing ramen for me which I could hardly eat, I was so excited. We hung out at school, but this was one on one. Then she invited me to hang out after school and watch a movie. Of course, I went, hoping I’d find my moment, read her signals somehow and she and I would have hours of fun with the Silver Bullet.
Then we sat on the couch and watched 101 Dalmatians. And nothing happened.
I chalked it up to reading the signal wrong. She wasn’t actually into me. Or maybe I just needed to hang out with her more and build up a relationship. Yeah, that’s it…
Several weeks later and she came back from a weekend talking about her new boyfriend. He was from out of town. Or something. Basically, my hopes were dashed.
So, she wasn’t into girls really. I was totally reading her signals wrong and really just holding out false hope. Oh well. That sucked. And I moved on.
It was only in thinking about it again recently that I realised my situation fit the usual pattern of getting ‘friendzoned’. I had interest in a girl, she was probably interested in me too, but instead of telling her I was interested, I relied on this magic of ‘signals’ and waiting for the ‘right moment’ to come along (you know, like in pornos). Instead of putting my interests out there, and risk being rejected (and lose the right to hang out with her), I held back and waited for some sign from above (or for her to make an obvious move). Then when she went for someone else, I wrote it off as some flaw of hers (“she’s just not really into girls” = “girls always go for jerks”) instead of looking to see what I might have done differently.
So yeah, I have a tiny bit of sympathy for these ‘nice guys’ after my revelation. But really they just need to grow up. If you keep placing the burden on external factors and don’t take responsibility for the outcome, you’re not going to get anywhere. Yes, it means risking making the girl you like feel weird around you. And then you deal with it and move on.
I didn’t learn how to ask a girl out until last year. And I got to have a real relationship with her before she dumped me for a guy. What could I have done differently? Well, I did everything I could and tried my best. She met someone she was more into and who could give her what she needed (which was more time and support). So, short of not being married and not having a kid, there was little I could do. And while it hurt to be rejected, I’m happy she found someone she is into.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to help any of these PUA guys who spew this nonsense, but maybe my story offers a different perspective. And maybe if they stop seeing this whole ‘friendzone’ thing as a ‘guy’ problem, then maybe they’ll stop being such whiny dickbags about it.