Is the friendzone real?

‘I have friendzoned many a woman in my time’

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Rejection is something most will experience – whether it’s from university, a job, or your cat.

But there is one type of rejection which is apparently ever-present at uni and beyond: the ‘friendzone’.

It’s the situation where you’re seen as just a friend, and no feelings, sexual or otherwise, are reciprocated in any shape or form. So you’re stuck in friendship purgatory, day dreaming about the incredible sex you could’ve had.

But is it real? Is the friendzone a device girls use to get out of dating someone? Or is it just a way for ego-damaged males to deal with rejection? We headed onto campus to find out.

Harry, first year, Environment and Business 

“I think it’s a way for someone to deliberately push another person away if they’re not interested, in a subtle way. Whether it’s called the ‘friendzone’ or not, it’s still a thing.

“It doesn’t just apply to men, I mean I have friendzoned many a woman in my time. But for me, once you’re in the friendzone there’s no way it’s going to change. But it just depends on the person – you do hear about best friends that end up getting together.”

Joely, second year, Maths

“I used to think it was real – I had guy friends that I thought when I first met them, if it went in that direction, I could go with it. But after a certain point they just become friends and I knew they were going to stay there. It’s just a thing that happens.

“But then I was with the school of thought that it’s a thing guys say to placate themselves if they hit on someone and it’s doesn’t really go well. And it’s a way of saying ‘it’s something to do with her, it’s nothing to do with me’. So sort of putting the blame somewhere else.”

Hana, second year, Biology and Maths 

“I’m not saying that the feelings aren’t real, but I think that that the friendzone is a weird blame tactic. Where it’s not a sad passive thing that happens to you, it’s more like someone’s doing something to you. They put you in the friendzone.

“Feelings-wise it can happen to anyone, but in terms of popular culture, obviously it’s always used more in the ‘That girl just put that ‘Nice Guy’ in the friendzone’, and that’s what’s gendered.

“We should talk about the people who have been demonised for not liking someone. What about the crush zone?”

Marco and Edie, second year, Italian and Philosophy, and Biology and History of Philosophy of Science

Marco: “I do believe as a concept it is real. But I think that relationships are constantly changing, and hence there’s a constant movement of people in and out of the friendzone. If you think the friendzone just applies to men or use it as a way to blame someone, then you’re just a bitter person.”

Edie: “I agree. I think once you’re out of the friendzone, you can’t go back in. You get together, break up and that’s it. We are proof that the friendzone does exist, but you can leave it.”

Becky, first year, Criminology

“I don’t think the friendzone is real. I think it’s a social construct used to protect egos and protect the feelings of the other person so you turn it into a friendship instead of disregarding them entirely.”

First years Jack and Leo, Geography and Civil and Structural Engineering

“Yeah I definitely think the friendzone is real. It goes both ways. It’ll take a lot of time and effort to move out of it, and a lot of the time you can just get nowhere.”

“I agree, I’ve been in the friendzone.”

“To all the guys out there in the friendzone, keep fighting. I’ve done it once before, I’ve made it. You can get there.”