The Science of the Friend Zone: Friendzoning Explained [Video]

In the following video, Vsauce explains the science behind the friend zone concept. Why are people getting friend-zoned? There are many factors to friendzoning, involving several “scientific” explanations, including, among other, the Scarcity Principle.

After watching the video, I can only come to one conclusion, being friend-zoned can’t be such a bad thing. Have YOU ever been friend-zoned?

Edit: I read a few article related to the post linked above on the Scarcity Effect link, and this is fantastic stuff. I you’re looking to be “more than just friend” with someone you desire, be sure to read these articles as well:

Escape The Friend Zone: From Friend to Girlfriend or Boyfriend
Make Them Love You by Taking (Not Giving)
How To Give Your Date A Cookie


11 Responses to The Science of the Friend Zone: Friendzoning Explained [Video]

  1. Women are not machines that you pump friendship coins into until sex falls out. Just because men enter into “friendship” with ulterior motives doesn’t mean we do.

      • Girls can be put into the “friend zone,” too…but it doesn’t make it any less scummy when they attempt to emotionally manipulate a friend into a romantic or sexual relationship. Being a passive aggressive dick is not gender specific.

    • Wow, that’s not creepy at all.

      If you were an “honorable” person, you would be grateful that the other person cares enough about you to keep you in their life and not act like they owe you sex just because you met the minimum standard of basic human decency.

      • While I do disagree with the whole ‘friendzone’ zone meme, why do you assume it’s just about sex? Isn’t it possible to be in love with someone who doesn’t love you back?

        • I think the two questions you have are somewhat unrelated in regards to the comment. The first can be answered with what we generally assume occurs during a romantic relationship; we assume there is a degree of intimacy between two people, often including sex. Maybe there are people out there for which that isn’t true, but it is more than likely that two people who are romantically involved engage in sex.

          The person to whom you’re responding doesn’t seem to be saying “everything boils down to sex.” At least, that’s not how I’m reading it. It seems more like “Why do you think, if you have feelings of sexual attraction to a person, that you have the right to access that activity with them if they don’t agree?” I see it as a sibling question to “Why do you think you deserve a romantic relationship with someone when they clearly don’t want one with you?”

          It’s more that, in order to be an honourable person and friend, you should willingly accept the Friendzone rather than fight it; you should be happy they still want to be close to you at all. If you cannot handle that, then it is the decision you have to make to leave that friendship. (And if they can’t handle you loving them, then it’s also up to them to do the same. But then it wouldn’t be “friendzoning” because you’d no longer be a friend.)

          That’s sort of how I’m reading the comment. The person they responded to said that you have to “do anything to leave the Friendzone,” which is just absurd. Sometimes it’s best to not do anything at all specifically related to that relationship that you want to pursue; it’s best to do things related to your own personal growth.

          The answer to the second should be yes, but it unfortunately depends on the person. For many, yes. We can love someone without them loving us back.

          Whew, sorry for being wordy~.

  2. I tend to see the friend zone as a “not feeling the chemistry” designation. Regardless of gender, there’s bound to be unreciprocated attraction and the fact that someone else thinks you’re perfect for them doesn’t mean you have to think similarly. To treat the Friendzone as a sort of punishment for not being buff/aloof/unavailable enough is really unfair to both you and the person you claim put you there. It gives you hope (“if I get buff and act like a jerk, he/she will totally be into me!”) while completely ignoring the other person’s feelings.

    I know some people will disagree, but how do you suggest someone say “no” and still preserve the other person’s feelings? Or would you rather they cut the friendship off completely?

    (I replied with this on Facebook and I’ll put it here as well. I’d really like to hear thoughts on the matter).

    • Part of the problem is that our society has this foolish notion of an absolute ranking system by which all people’s attractiveness can be measured. The truth is that what people find attractive varies wildly from person to person. (For instance, I think Megan Fox is an idiot and rather artificial looking.) I would just explain that you only care about your friend as a friend and that it really has nothing to do with him or her. Beyond that, there isn’t much you can do. The other person will have to decide what is the best way to move on.

    • To some degree, I sort of blame the popular culture for this thought process. I mean, watch the movies and TV shows. When it comes to the male side of the relationship, it’s “if you try hard enough, she’ll love you and your flaws eventually and everything will work out.” When it comes to the female side of the relationship, it’s “if you try hard enough, you’re kind of creepy unless those changes mirror everything he’s ever wanted.” While it’s not the fault of the popular culture, a lot of people sort of see those relationships and think that’s how it works out (even when, realistically, we know it’s not).

      We rarely get to see what actually happens: Person A loves Person B romantically and wants to be intimate, but Person B only loves Person A as a friend. Person B therefore attempts to deter the unwanted attention through some manner (before it’s done) or tries to diminish the actions currently being taken in a way that tries to soften the blow (during and after the admission of feelings).

      For me, I know that it depends on the person for how I handle it. There are people with whom I’ve admitted I feel a platonic love for, whereas there have been others that I’ve had to apologetically decline their advances. Sometimes it remained as friendship, other times it ended in a dramatic decline of friendship. The only way to “know” the best way to decline is to know that person; you have to know you can be honest and later give them time to recover from the situation. It’s all about paying attention.

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