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Pointing fingers, playing games in the friend zone

By Catherine Ricciardi SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl doesn’t fall and says, “No, lets just be friends.” Then what?

Then you have the “friendzone.” The friend zone occurs when one person has romantic interest in another person, but the feelings are not mutual. If the other person still wants to be friends then, according to pop culture, they have put them in the friendzone.

The idea is widely known; most Hofstra students would give a similar definition. But the term is offensive, often vilifying the women that just want to be friends.

The friend zone is mainly used to describe friendships in which a guy is interested in a girl who just wants to be friends, rather than girls who are interested in a guy who wants to keep things platonic. Often, the word is used by men who can’t get laid. Let’s face it – saying, “I’ve been friendzoned,” is a lot easier than saying, “She didn’t like anything about me and shut it down.”

If a woman isn’t interested, she simply isn’t interested. She doesn’t owe a guy anything just because he is nice. Women are scrutinized when they don’t give a man what he wants, but women should be able to say “no” without feeling bad about it.

The friend zone is degrading for men too. Women tend to think that a guy who is nice to them expects sex or a relationship, but this isn’t always true. Men don’t always expect something when they are charming.

Contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible for men and women to be friends without romantic feelings. Sometimes people just click. Everyone should be able to just be friends without the fear of being called out for them out for putting someone in the friend zone.

The idea of the friend zone, however, is entirely different than leading someone on. Intentionally leading someone on is not friendzoning, it’s just playing with another person’s emotions. Friendship is about trust and clear communication. Leading someone on is just mixing up the signals. If you don’t know what you want, whether it be friendship or a relationship,  you could end up hurting the other person.

The term friend zone needs to be retired. If two people don’t share the same feelings, don’t label it friendzoning. A person can’t force something that isn’t there. So, don’t give those who are in this awkward situation a degrading label. Just accept it, move on, and find something new. Remember, good things happen to those who wait.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors. 

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