The Friendzone: When Nice Guys Aren’t So Nice

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My awkward stage in life lasted much longer than others, to the point where I wish no pictures of me existed earlier than my senior year of high school. I didn’t know how to deal with boys once I got to college. Dating and relationships for me were like getting a new phone—you have no idea how it works but it’s exciting and fun to find out.

I knew I should be asked on a date. Check. I knew that he should pick me up for said date. Check. I knew that we should go to dinner so we could chat about what we’re majoring in and how many siblings we have. Check. I knew that if he was polite he would pay for me. Check. I knew there would be an uncomfortable walk to my door where there was potential for a kiss. Check.

I survived my first date without too many awkward silences or food in my teeth at dinner, but then came the next phase. Did I want to go out with him again? No, actually I didn’t. I really didn’t want a relationship and even though it wasn’t the ideal situation, I was sure he’d understand. So I said I would just like to be friends. I used the date as something to talk about with my friends for the next few wine nights.

What I was not expecting was the backlash. Most of us have heard a guy say, “Girls always ‘friendzone’ the nice guy and don’t appreciate what they have. What a bitch.” Since I had never denied a guy’s advances before, it was to my surprise there was sympathy everywhere for these dudes who happened to horribly exiled from someone they may have pursued. They thought it gave them permission to blame the girl for just not liking nice guys.

“So you took her to dinner, paid for her, and even opened her car door and she still doesn’t want to date you? I’m sorry, man, you don’t deserve that. Forget her.”

“You mean you give her compliments all the time and buy her drinks and she still likes this other jerk over you? She’s just ungrateful.”

“So you were nice to a girl and she didn’t want to date you? How dare she?”

I cringed at every tweet, comment, and Yak that called these girls bitches. I couldn’t believe this was how people thought of the situation, and that people encouraged those guys to blame some flaw in the girl; to blame some flaw in me. I’m here to state the unpopular opinion: Girls have the right to deny the nice guy.

What people fail to acknowledge is that there are extenuating circumstances for why a girl, including myself, is continuously out of reach.

First of all, I’d like to have a word with the guy that started the rumor that girls don’t date guys because they are too nice. That is the furthest from the truth. Maybe the girl just doesn’t think you two are compatible. Being a decent human being is not the only thing that makes us want to date you; having that kind of connection goes so much further than just having the decency to ask us on a real date. This is not to say that guys should give up asking girls out—we always appreciate having the guts to ask, but just because you didn’t act like a complete jerk the whole time doesn’t mean we’re ready to jump into your oh-so-sweet arms.

I’m not a bad person because I didn’t want a relationship at the time. Even though many people think girls like me are a myth, I don’t sit around pining for a man to come sweep me off my feet. There are plenty of girls like me out there. You know when guys say they just want to focus on school, their career, or themselves instead of having a relationship? Yeah, girls do that too.

If a guy denies a girl’s advances of love and she calls him a bad person, then she’s crazy. If a girl denies a guy’s advances of love, she’s a bitch and he has every right to be upset. If you are one of these guys that were rejected for being a perfect saint, know that using us as your scapegoat won’t get you very far. So if you’re one of the cold-hearted girls like me that has “friendzoned” a guy and received criticism for it, keep doing what you need to do for you.

Senior at Florida State University. Editing, writing, and media. Passionate sleeper and coffee drinker. Go Noles!

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