You know, besides it being generally sucky for whoever's stuck in it. A friend of mine who shall remain anonymous wrote this and i'm sharing it not because i agree wholeheartedly with it, but because although i am familiar with the concept of The Friend Zone, just as i'm sure all of you are as well, i'd never considered this before. My friend would like to note that this was written from discussions with their female friends, not experience or large, detailed research. I'm reminded of a somewhat-related XKCD.
TL;DR: Skip to the last paragraph.
Guest writers and anonymous contributions are always welcome! Please feel free to contact me if you have something you'd like to share here.
Although I knew this in the past, it was truly solidified for me today. While I have long heard of "The Friend Zone," a proverbial place a man finds himself in after befriending a lady, I did not truly believe that real, decent womenfolk participated in this kind of -- friendly castration. Essentially, it works like this. You are a nice guy, perhaps a bit low on confidence, and you meet someone. A girl, in fact. She's quite pretty, but you didn't notice that -- the first thing you truly noticed about her was that she was talking about XKCD. Math. Your favorite band. Really, whatever floats your boat. Love at first... overheard conversation? Yes. Anyhow, you summon up your courage and approach her. You understand her. She understands you. Before long, you're confiding in each other, letting each other in on your deepest secrets... you realize that whenever you think about her, your heart skips a beat... you go out of your way to run into her... and when you look into your heart, you realize that truly, this must be love.
The problem here is that by waiting long enough after meeting her to truly fall in love with her... you have sealed your fate. By initiating your interaction with the thought of friendship rather than the subtext of seduction, you've forever locked yourself in a part of her heart known as... the Friend Zone. The Friend Zone is a place that is all well and good, if you really just want to be friends. However, once in, you can't back out. The closer you become to her, paradoxically, the less room you have to maneuver the relationship into something Bigger.
Recently, after having a philosophical conversation with a certain female confidante who I believed to be, well, rather sane, I discovered that she too suffers from this strange disorder. I started realizing that every female friend I had was one less fish in the sea -- one more person I could never hope to date. By being the man that I am, I've found myself the subject of the adoration of many people I might, at some point, be interested in dating. But, alas, this adoration is the wrong kind... I have become, perhaps not "just" a friend, as that would dilute the value of friendship, but, well, solely a friend. No longer am I a "man," possessed of the equipment and accessories that make me a suitable suitor, but some sort of psychological eunuch. A creature not quite capable of sex. Not a man, but a sexless companion.
I truly do not understand how the female mind can possibly justify this. It encourages the kind of behavior that women claim to despise -- approaching them with the intent to get to know them better, but only in the biblical sense. If a man truly wants to get to know a woman for who she is -- there is no chance for him. He shall be a Friend, nothing more. If in the course of friendship, he realizes that he has met someone he finds truly special, it's too late. The very fact that he's discovered who she is, at her core, makes him unsuitable. In my experience, getting to discover a personality can only make me feel more strongly -- however, in the fairer sex, this process works backwards. It goes beyond rational desire to maintain a friendship without complications. If it were only that, the feelings would still be there. But it is beyond that -- not only is there no logical desire for a relationship, there is no capacity for romantic love when companionate love already exists. The sum is not commutative -- in order for a man to be successful, he has to enter a situation first with his penis, then with his heart.
What. The. Fuck?