Cultural Critique / Pop Culture / Random Thoughts from an Uppity Negro

Why You Stay in The Friend Zone: A Message to my Fellow Black Men

I’ll admit it, I’m a chronic sufferer of being in the “friend zone.”  Cue the “dark and stormy night” music with a crack of thunder and bolt of lightning (and just imagine those sounds effects every time I write “friend zone.”  Look, there it is again.)  Fellas, you’ve been there at LEAST once, for some of us, we’ve lost count.  But its those dreaded words no self-respecting black male wants to hear “oh, I just want to be friends.”

Usually they send mixed signals.

These are the ones that treat you like one of their “girlfriends” calling you up and talking about they other man issues–but calling you at like booty call hour times.  So you get to thinking, well, she talking about man issues, maybe she’s feeling some kind of way, and then eventually you step to her and BOOM she says “oh, I just want to be friends.”

Or you chillin’ in their room on campus or at their apartment and you’re staying over all hours of the night, and you finally get up enough nerve to make a move.  I mean you figure if I’m over here all hours of the night, she look good, got a decent head on her shoulders why not make a move.  Or better yet, you “sneak” on to Spelman’s campus go take the broad some Popeyes chicken because she asked for some, go up stairs, hide in her room because they doing room checks, then come downstairs, post up outside by your car, and get kicked off Spelman campus by some butch who look mad at life and then they still say “oh, I just want to be friends.”

Oh. Sorry. Maybe that last part was just me.

Anyway, you get my point.  Its always the dreaded “friend zone.”

Dang. There’s that scary music again.

It’s somewhat baffled me over the last few years because we sit up and we hear all of these stories from these State of the ______ (insert college or random black female audience intended event) Woman events and believe it or not there are actually black men who listen to what these women say as far as what they’re looking for in a man.  The sad thing is that up until about that Spelman College incident, so about 23 for me, I actually believed the bullcrap that women say in public.  Let’s be hoooooonest: black women want a professional thug.  We’ve heard all kinds of formulas as to how and try and get it, but at the core they want this perfect hybrid of professionalism and hardcore thuggery that exudes this primal and unrefined image of masculinity.

That’s why we hear about the “reformed thug” image or the “former bad boy” that women try and pick up and actually wife these black men.  But, see there’s a flaw and a major flaw at that: these women get in these relationships and they don’t work out!

Shocked right?

You shouldn’t be.  You know why? Because that perfect union of professionalism being a lawyer or doctor or whatever legal six-figured salary doesn’t jibe well with a former life of being a d-boy.  The only thing I can think sadder than women chasing after the professional thug are the men striving to be the professional thug.  I’m aware of way too many black males who are in college and still trying to hold on to their d-boy ways.  Or even the weird, and I mean very weird aesthetic I observed just yesterday driving down west 79th street seeing young teen throwing up gang signs across the street at each other–but you had on fitted jeans and a bright Hollister t-shirt and rocking some Chucks.

#wheredeydodatat?

Look, fashion and standards of beauty (in the philosophical sense) change with the zeitgeist of the social climate, but it does raise a question as to what is it exactly that these black women are seriously looking for.

If I can be painfully transparent, I seriously got a self-esteem complex from the number of females who pulled the “oh I just wanna be friends” line on me.  (And no I wasn’t running around trying to holla at the alpha-females on campus who were so stuck up it was vomitable, just in case you were wondering.)  And I reasoned that if females had a certain standard of what they looked for physically in a man, then what was preventing me from doing the same.  Nonetheless, I really went through this “I’m ugly” stage just because of the rejection back in college and early grad school years.

But, men, if you find yourself in the dreaded “Friend Zone” the following may be some reasons why:

  1. Wearing fitted/skinny jeans. Now we know, by now that women have a warped view of masculinity and I might even add maturity.  It’s not enough for women to see you actually walk and talk the part, for some weird convoluted reason they actually want you to look the part.  So, because women seem to not have enough about them to get past the fitted jeans you’re wearing, just go back to the big Rocawear jeans or the old strap Girbauds you probably have buried in your closet somewhere and run to Foot Locker and stock up on some fresh white tees to impress a woman.  And I guess while you’re at it, go find some gold fronts for your teeth.
  2. Actually speaking to females and holding full conversations with them. Fellas, we know the deal, females like being holla’d at in random public places like at the mall, or at the club, or actually rolling your window down, honking your horn and hollering out ” ‘ey MA!” and holding up traffic if she shouts back a phone number.  It is more than evident that actually speaking to a female with correct syntax and grammar rules in place gets you in the “friend zone.”  How dare you come off even remotely educated
  3. Telling the truth about your sexual conquests.  Right ’nuff said. Females don’t want to know the truth–whether the truth is that you’ve had a GREAT year or the truth being that you’ve had a not so great year.  Seriously, why you try and start something based on truth.
  4. Not spreading rumors about other men. Of course this will get you in trouble.  It’s your duty as a black man to tear down your competition and just randomly talk about how some other guy can’t “put it down like you can” or just bad mouth some guy in general or pull the trump card and say in the words of Riley Freeman “Dat nigga gay!”

I know that comes off as tongue-in-cheek, but I’m dead serious.  Black women have a very interesting perception of masculinity, and one that I think results in cognitive dissonance: they say one thing, but act another way.  And even go so far as to get married and then when the marriage isn’t the cakewalk they expected, they’re ready to bail on the man as if they can do better.  And I’m not talking about in instances of verbal and physical abuse, but after the honeymoon is over and the two have been together for five years or more.

Somewhere, the perception of black male masculinity got warped severely: gangsta life got celebrated and actually finishing high school with the diploma rather than a G.E.D. program fell to like number 39 on the list of things to do while living the hood life.  Gangsta life and its twin siblings of “being ghetto” and “keeping it real” somehow reified black urban culture in many instances, so much so that “keeping it real” as abstract as it sounds is in fact a real concept.  It translates into these not so positive images of what we see in the opposite sex: women say they want the doctor, lawyer, accountant, but they’re still attracted to the tall, basketball player looking guy waiting on the bus on 79th and South Chicago.  What they really want to do is take the guy standing on the bus, put him in the doctor’s office and put a suit on him and walk around with them: its all about status.

Don’t get me wrong, wanting a status symbol on your arm is a two way street, I can more than admit that.  But, I think a primary cause why some relationships fail is because the individuals aren’t honest with themselves. Black women want a man with status on their arm.  Status comes in many different forms, please believe, but all of them deal with outward appearances; cars, houses/condos, land, height of the man, does he work out, what kind of job does he have, what family does he come from–all of those social forces that lead one to believe you have to have that.  Honestly, if a woman makes the following statement “I don’t care about the car, or what kind of clothes he wears, just as long as he’s good-hearted and good person” SHE’S LYING THROUGH HER TEETH!!! If she believed that she wouldn’t have had to qualify the statement by even mentioning the car or the clothes.

And if you think all of this is bollocks as to why you’re still in the friend zone, maybe its because she doesn’t think you got good D-slangin skills.

And aint much you can do about that unless you get enough cohones to just whip it out on her.

What are your thoughts, both from the male and female perspective about the “friend zone.”  Have you ever been there? Have you ever put someone in the “friend zone”?  How’d you feel afterwards?  If you have been put in the “friend zone” before, did it affect how you treated others?

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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48 thoughts on “Why You Stay in The Friend Zone: A Message to my Fellow Black Men

  1. I’m surprised that nobody commented on this yet!

    Well, let me be the first!

    First thing we have to understand is that sex with a woman is not a prize or a reward.

    That is, just because you’re nice to a woman does NOT mean that she owes you the coochi!

    Far from it… you could spend all night installing her new computer, writing her term paper or assembling her new home entertainment center and she STILL ends up sleeping with that slick talking thug with a nice body who’s never done anything to help her (and who in fact has another girlfriend and at least a half dozen other girls in the mix).

    The reason?

    Simple.

    She’s attracted to him – and NOT to you.

    That’s just how it is, no it’s not fair and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Beyond that, I think a lot of young sistas LIKE BEING SINGLE.

    That’s what draws them to the married guys and the thugs – they KNOW those men will not get attached to them or commit to them. Those dudes will just “hit it and quit it” [or,to quote Beyonce "when it's all over, please get up and leave"] – there will be no hurt feelings, no attachments, no calls or texts begging to spend time with her – just sex with no strings attached.

    Quiet as it’s kept, that’s exactly what a LOT of young single sistas want.

    They may SAY they want a relationship.

    But they deliberately set unrealistically high standards that, consciously or subconsciously, they KNOW that no brotha alive can actually measure up to.

    This way, they look like ‘GOOD GIRLS” who are looking for a relationship, while they are actually out there enjoying being single – and taking full advantage that great cornucopia of male sexuality that the modern single woman gets to have her way with.

    And yes, that means they get to have the “nice guy” friend (who they are NOT attracted to) to complain about their problems to (and get a “male perspective”) AND they get to go out and fuck as many thugs as they can handle.

    That’s how the world is now, fellas – we just have to learn to live with it.

  2. You don’t wanna know how many times I’ve been put in the friend zone….. and I’m a woman. :-| It’s probably because I’m the female equivalent of the “friend”, based on your description. Points 1-4 sound like me (except I think I look decent in skinny jeans).

    So I’m sayin’….. since YOU’RE a friend and I’M a friend…..

    Never mind. I told you I’m a major s***-talker. :-|

    • @ Wizard

      Well, like i said, the “friend zone” goes both ways, but all i could do was give my male perspective

      and yes, you are a s***-talker, now just one who’s 4,000 miles away lol

  3. I could tell a guy wrote the first comment without even getting to the bottom. SMH.

    So I’m responding in the hopes of at least setting some records straight and hopefully helping you and anyone else who reads this who suffers from “remaining in the friend” zone, and I hope to not sound like one of those self-help “how to get a girl” books.

    I acknowledge that blogs serve in large form as public journals so I am aware that 98% of what you wrote was based off of personal experience but I dare to say that you’ve interpreted the experiences wrong. I do not dispute your observations but want to go on record as saying what you wrote doesn’t really deal with why people keep you or others in the “friend zone”. (I’m mad I really hear the music every time I write it)

    If you are around a female long enough she has at least considered whether she would date you or not. For some guys it takes literally a glance for her to determine whether she’d date you while for others it may take a long time for her to determine you date worthy (see friends turned lovers here). As you noted each female has some internal rubric for which she grades guys to determine which category to place them in. While some of these criteria are superficial it is possible to make it back into consideration after she has gotten to know you if you didn’t make the initial physical/sexual attractiveness grade. Among the things on every woman’s list is a sense of security. This is where your observation of females wanting the reformed thug comes in at. This observation goes to say that females desire a sense of protection, security, and safety. This is not just a sense of physical protection but also a sense of financial and over-all secure wellbeing, which is where the reformed part comes in at. It is primitive and very much instinctual, but probably isn’t going to be changed any time soon. So it’s not to say that she wants someone who wears only one color for affiliation reasons but wants someone who will stand up for her and in a sense take care of her. This sense of security doesn’t necessarily have much to do with a guys fashion sense either. A woman’s interest in male attire is personal but I have noticed that specific groups prefer specific dress. I personally hate skinny jeans just as equally as I hate baggy jeans but because dress is case specific I dare not go into that. As far as financial well-being goes the older you get the more expectations a woman has in regards to her suitors financial well-being. The farther you get away from your teens the more established a woman expects you to be. This is just a fact of life.

    The topic of masculinity grows increasingly interesting as time goes on and gender roles diminish as does “traditional” marriages and relationships. I think the definition of masculinity has also become case specific and as such again I stay away from this topic. And in my staying away from this topic I have to note some things that may help you and others stay out of the “friend zone” or at least help to identify that you are headed there if you aren’t already there:

    1. Make sure she doesn’t see you as one of the girls.
    a. If she invites you to meet her friends this is drastically different than her having you chill with her friends every time there is an outing. We want our friends to like our dudes but generally don’t need/want them always with us when we are with our friends. If you are always invited on outings you may be in the friend zone. So after the initial meeting of the friends, exclude yourself from outings (but please note specific functions are not included; for example some females may want you to accompany them to birthday parties or weddings). You should be able to determine early on whether the event is a “bring your boyfriend event” or “wanna hang with me and the girls event”.
    b. The nature and tone of her conversations are indicative of how she sees you. Is she sharing her life when she talks to you or is she using you as a sounding board for conversations she needs to have in life? I might tell you about my day at work if you are my dude or interest but I definitely will not tell you about the cute guy I want to talk to at my job if we are possible relational interest. Does she talk to you like you are one of the girls or does she talk to you like you are her boo? A female may share the same information with both her friend and her lover but the conversation is had in a totally different way. It is your task to determine the tone of her conversations. (BTW I don’t gossip and don’t expect my dude to either, in fact I hate when people talk about other people… but again this is case specific)
    c. When she asks your opinion is it because she just wants to know what you think or because she wants you to approve of what she is about to do? I let a male do my eye brows because he knows what a male wants to see on a woman but I ask my man which scent he likes because I want to smell good for him and turn him on. This is a little harder to determine but can be spotted best if she goes against your choices a lot. I don’t too much care that my friend doesn’t like what I’m wearing because I’m not trying to impress him but I like when my man tells me I look nice so will wear things that he likes to see me in.

    2. Make sure she feels secure around you. This doesn’t mean you can’t have weak moments and have to fit some type of “men don’t cry” role but it does mean she needs to feel like you will provide protection. It’s a “catch her when she falls, wipe her tears when she cries, say something when someone rubs her the wrong way” type of thing. I can’t really coach you through this one. But if you don’t provide this for her you will have issues even if you make it to the boyfriend zone.

    3. Be secure in being you. Women can smell insecurity just as good as children smell insincerity. I fear that this goes hand in hand with woman’s perception of masculinity so I’ll stay away from it too but felt compelled to put it on the list.

    4. While every once in a while you may read her wrong, chances are you know if she is interested in you (leans in when you talk, touches you a lot, holds her chest when she laughs, intense eye contact, a lot attempts to hang out with you – alone). If you don’t want to be in the friend zone, don’t allow yourself to stay there. But keep in mind a woman wants to be with someone she regards as her friend. Put it on the table early. Let her know what’s up. (if you are talking to the females that I hope you are going after, she is well aware of what she is doing, she knows where she’s placed you and why she’s placed you there) Just ask her why. I promise it won’t be for any of the reasons that you listed and hopefully she will help you out.

    I hope this helps. Sorry it’s just as long as the blog.

    • @ FR Roberts

      With permission to treat you as a “hostile” commenter since I know you (lol)…

      I think everything you said makes perfect sense, but I still think that some of it truly is fueled by some weird understanding of outward appearance and machismo that isn’t the end of the world, but I just wish females–and males too for that matter–would just be honest about those proclivities. We don’t mention them because it comes off as “too shallow” and not PC.

      And yes, it kinda did come off as “how to get a girl” help book lol. But its cool.

      Btw, drop the link for your blog so everyone else can see your take.

    • FR Roberts

      It’s awesome that you put so much effort into your reply to The Uppity Negro’s column.

      Too bad that your advice isn’t very useful (and your advice also proves the maxim that a man should NEVER ask a woman’s opinion on how to get a woman!)

      Your advice seems predicated on the idea that a man who isn’t one of these ultraconfident thug brothas (a “nice guy” for want of a better word) should somehow magically change his personality to become like those guys.

      That’s not realistic – because if a man is pretending to be somebody he’s not, a woman will sense it, he will come across as creepy and weird and he’ll be worse off than before.

      It’s much more useful to tell a man to BE HIMSELF – whoever that is – and to under no circumstances ever try and change himself for a woman.

      Now, this can be a huge problem if he’s a brotha who has the kind of “friend zone” personality that many sistas do not like sexually.

      So, what can he do that might actually work?

      1) try and find sistas who actually appreciate a nice guy (they do exist)

      2) experiment with women of other races, who often have very different ideas of masculinity than Black women do [like immigrant Black women - or Asians - or Indians - or White women, in particular Jewish women]

      3) if all else fails just use the services of strippers and escorts to take care of your carnal needs until you find Ms Right.

      That’s far more practical than your ideas, which basically boiled down to nice guys trying to pretend to be thugs – and that just does not work!

      Still, it was nice that you put so much effort into your comments and suggestions – it’s unfortunate that your hard work was for naught, because your suggestions were pretty much useless in the real world.

      • It’s funny that in that you heard “woman want a thug” because that’s not what I said, I was giving the psychological reasoning of his observations. And it is even more unfortunate that you heard “you should change who you are” because again that’s not what I said.

        But yes I will say women (I) don’t want a unconfident, low self-esteem man. I don’t want to have to come home and counsel when I’ve spent all day doing the same thing.

        I was merely trying to help guys identify when they are in the friend zone, which is clearly where The Uppity Negro didn’t want to be, and I’m assuming the other people who agreed with the blog. But if you agree with the points that were presented and really want to stick to them as a means to why men stay in the friend zone, you’re probably too far gone.
        I had no intention of being the voice of all women but seeing how I freely and intentionally put guys in the friend zone daily, was trying to offer some advice for individuals. So take it as advice on how to stay out of MY friend zone.

        The ultimate problem is – guys try to go after people who aren’t interested in them and totally ignore the females who are interested in them. If we are being honest it is a simple “stay in your lane” concept, but no one wants to say that.

        So you’re right, don’t change who you are – change who you go after. By all means go to strip clubs or wherever. I’m not one of those people who go against people dating outside of thier race so by all means do what you have to.
        But I would suggest, even if you don’t listen to me, eventually you will have to attune to what a woman wants and probably will need to hear it from a woman before you are successful – friend or relationship wise.
        But what do I know.

      • FR Roberts,

        Perhaps I misread your post – but to my eyes it sure as hell seemed like telling guys to change who they are.

        As for “staying in your lane” – I wouldn’t phrase it that way (that’s way too bruising to the male ego and most men will NOT be able to hear it if you put it like that) I do see your point.

        My point – further elaborated below – was that if you are the type of man who’s routinely friend zoned, it would pay to change your strategy.

        If a guy isn’t the type of man that women get passionately interested in (and there are men like that) using money is a good way to go.

        A lot of women like financial security, they like it so much that they will overlook a lot of physical appearance and/or personality traits that they do not like or find attractive.

        For many men, this may be an option.

        I used to teach, so I like to present my suggestions in a way that my audience (in this case, friend zone men) will

        1. hear it

        and

        2. be able to follow it.

        And if your a friend zone man, it might be time to admit that

        1. you are not and never will be the man that women catch passionate feelings for

        so you might want to

        2. focus on women who are attracted to your ability to be a provider and to take care of their financial needs.

        Rich White guys do that All The Time – why shouldn’t brothas take advantage of the same winning strategy?

      • @Gregory
        Are you willing to tell people to settle for individuals who only want you for your money? I’d prefer you tell them to enjoy friendships and learn how to be single. I don’t like the thought of allowing yourself to be used.
        Anyone who over-looks personality for a dollar symbol should be left alone. And while I don’t push changing yourself, if your personality is so horrible that no one can stand you maybe you should consider some some improvement things. As a counselor I have to believe if everyone pushes you away for personality defects there may be something deeper that needs to be addressed and worked through.

        I’m well aware of the communication difference between males and females so I am sure there’s a lot that we won’t get about this dialogue.

        I still find the topic very interesting and still hold that a “friend zone” guys should just ask why “she” has put him in the friend zone. Communication is key.

      • FR Roberts

        Yes, I am absolutely ready to tell guys that if you can’t find a woman who’s attracted to you sexually/romantically, by all means settle for a woman who is attracted to your ability to provide for her (financially and in other ways).

        Let’s keep it real, not everybody is going to find “true love” – for a lot of folks, and especially for a lot of men (particularly the type of men that often get put in the “friend zone”) relationships based on money might be their only possibility for a relationship.

        It’s not a question of being “used” – if the guy is taking care of the woman’s material/financial needs, and the woman is taking care of the guy’s sexual/intimacy needs, who’s being “used”?

        Look, for men, not having a woman is a big blow to the ego, having a partner who’s just in it for the money is a hell of a lot better than being alone and celibate! At least he’s getting companionship and sex – so what if she’s not madly in love with him? That’s better than sitting home alone downloading internet porn!

        Maybe women see it differently and maybe it’s better for a woman to be single than in a bad relationship – but I was writing advice for MEN here, and men are different.

        As far as your suggestion that a man change his personality just because women aren’t attracted to him, the fact is, it’s very hard to change your core personality

        And even if you could do that, it’s not healthy to change who you are just to please other people

        If a brotha is a serious, studious business oriented guy, and all the sistas he knows like these macho playa type guys, why should he make himself a playa just to please them?

        Wouldn’t it be far better for his self-esteem to be the best financially oriented bookworm he can be?

        And if he can’t find a woman who would be attracted to his personality sexually/romantically, what is so terrible about him finding a woman who is willing to be with him in return for his financial support?

        Look, FR Roberts, from a male perspective, it’s better to have a woman (even if she’s not in love with you and she’s just with you for financial reasons) than to be alone and sexless.

  4. I think part of what makes the difference between a guy you’re into versus the guy you put in the “friend zone” is how in tune a guy is with you (real or not, as long a you believe it). While it’s true a girl can appreciate someone who listens to what they have on their mind, it’s even nicer when someone can read their thoughts and speak them before she says them herself…that’s something that can take you from being a friend to something friendlier.

    Of course, it’s probably that the type guy who can actually do something like this, just understands women in general, more than he understands any particular woman as an individual. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because men like this also tend to be the type that only put up a charade until they get what they want. And they usually get what they want before the girl realizes that it’s not real.

    These men know if they can get a woman to think “wow, he just gets me” or “he really sees me” he’s got her. And it doesn’t matter whether he plays the thug role, the business role, or the artistic role, because after all, she’s finally found someone who understands her in this cold, lonely, little world.

    But I don’t think this is something that only applies to black women, and i also don’t think that’s something that only women want; I mean deep down, doesn’t everyone want someone that just seems to “get them”? Its just that some men are better at exploiting this fact more than others.

    • @ Just Dropping In…

      Usually I put up the “black women” or “black men” thing just because that’s the context I’m most familiar with and feel more comfortable writing about. However, I’m sure much of this article are universal across the board, black, Latino, white or Asian given similar social contexts.

  5. I wasn’t trying to be hostile, only helpful. And I agree there is a lot at stake that niether side is talking about but I think it mainly has to do with people’s ability and readiness to hear what is behind it all. Like I said, whoever has put you in the friend zone should just be approached. I don’t wish to be the voice of all black females, or females period. Just wanted to give my perspective.
    I know why I put people in the friend zone and would openly discuss it with any one who wanted to talk about it. I find that people are too afriad to ask so…
    As far as my blog goes, I put my comment on your blog because of the nature of my blog. I intentionally write my blog in an opposing voice just to show how upside down the world is… so I won’t be sharing my blog on here. Thanks for the attempt at promoting me though.

    And I’m not sure I agree with “just dropping in”. My real friends know what I’m thinking without me saying it. This means you know me well not that you’re more romatically inclined. Someone in the “friend zone” my very well have the ability to read what I’m thinking and it not spark anything for me. *kanye shrug*
    There’s more to it than that and I guess like The Uppity Negro says there’s a lot that we aren’t talking about but there’s also an allure to guys just not getting it.

  6. I found this blog to be thought provoking and as a first time reader I applaud the work that went into it. Now with that being said I have suffered from the dreaded friend zone myself and I have been told oh you just seem like a brother to me or you are too nice! WTF? Too nice so what you want a dude who is gonna go Ike Turner on you? No I’m not gonna hit you but push the right button and you will get cussed out bay area style! Anyway but I do recognize that we all have what we are attracted to and what we will and won’t put up with. My suggestion is to be upfront and honest about your intentions and see what happens if they place you in the friend zone keep it moving and become friendly with someone who can become friends lovers and life partners. Peace.

  7. I have come to the same conclusion, black women want the dumb thugs, so the educated money making brothers go snow bunny hunting.

  8. This article was pretty funny, especially the part about Spelman and fried chicken. But, the solution to the friend zone problem is easy. It’s common knowledge that there are more women out there then men. Most brothas have the game all wrong. Stop chasing and let the women choose!!!

    • Actually, it’s a commonly held but absolutely FALSE view that there “are more women than men”.

      In fact, in every American ethnic group – including ours – men slightly outnumber women. Go to the Census Bureau’s website to confirm this http://www.census.gov/

      Allowing for the many women who are lesbian, or celibate, the number of sexually available men exceeds the number of sexually available women.

      Then you add in attraction to the mix, and that makes it even worse for the fellas.

      As far as your suggestion that brothas “Stop chasing and let the women choose!!” that’s just not going to work.

      Most women PREFER to be chased, and WILL not do the chasing or the choosing on their own – if you are a guy and you do not actively pursue women, YOU WILL NOT GET A WOMAN. Period.

      • @Gregory

        That’s kinda what I was thinking. I don’t know of any woman who doesn’t like being chased. Yes, men sit around and wish that women would chase them, but honestly, no man would take a woman seriously if she started chasing him.

      • “Chased” sounds so cavemen-ish. Like you are going to club us over the end, and drag us off by our hair (Well some girls like their pulled…that’s another story! LOL). Anywho…how about pursued? Some women like to be pursued. And there is a difference between that and being chased.

      • TB_BT,

        The last time I checked (and I’m speaking as a person who is the author of two published books) “Chased” and “pursued” are synonyms. So pursuing a woman and chasing her are the same thing.

      • @ Gregory…
        You’re pretty funny (sarcasm off). I don’t quite care if the words are synonyms from a dictionary definition standpoint. In action, in my experience, they are different. Chasing to me implies being hounded, whereas pursuing (IMO) has a boundary element.

        @Uppity…You said you don’t know of any woman who doesn’t want to be chased…I’m raising my hand.

      • @TB_BT

        Chased in the general sense that women want to sit around and let the man make the first move. Not being no bugaboo borderline being a stalker. Of course not!

      • @Uppity
        I don’t know brotha re: your thoughts on “chased.” Some would view the man making the first move as “chivalrous”…definitely something society has built up to being ‘right” (whatever that means).

        How do you view women who approach you first? Too aggressive?

      • @TB_BT

        I personally don’t have a problem with that. In fact, i’m used to it being from Chicago. I was slight “over” them southern women being so passive. And the women down south, young and old fully believed in being chased. I made a suggestion to one of my friends that she should just ask the guy out and she just flat out said no. And yes, some of my female friends up north would blanche similarly, but I could easily see them eventually suggesting that she and the guy go out for coffee or a lunch date.

      • I’m not too certain that you can use the 2010 cenus data as valid: it only has a 72% completion rate and it’s not complete. If you go by the 2000 census data, which is complete you will find that there were: 34,361,740 black (black alone) folks counted in the cenus (12.2% of the population); of that, 16,284,366 were men (identified as black alone) and 18,077,374 were women (identified as black alone). 16 million vs 18 million…about 2 million apart. This was published in 2005 (average time it takes to ‘crunch the numbers’ for practical purposes). This work is called We the People: Blacks in the United States By Jesse D. McKinnon and Claudette E. Bennett. It’s a public work so you can get it at Census.gov as publication: CENSR-25.

        I had a good chuckle at this article. On one hand, I feel what some of the black men have been saying. I’ve seen young women go for the sorriest kind of men who offer them nothing but heartache and/or an STD or two. On the other hand, I have to shake my head as an older woman. I married young so my 20′s (prime dating years) were spent being a wife (out of the market) and the thug never appealed to me or to most of my friends. A 40 something year old man wearing skinny jeans?!? Oh yes, I am laughing at you! So I am going to chalk this up to a young man’s issue. I’m 39 and any man who approaches me like I’ve seen some men approach my niece would quickly get checked.

        My message to the young man, go for the woman who has the qualities that YOU want in a woman. If she’s not it, then cut it off and move on to the next. Believe me, there are women competing this in their later years. Some women have learned this early on and act accordingly. If you are seeking the chick on Vibe, Smooth or some such magazine, expect her to be full of drama and deal with it.

      • Vicki M

        Thanks for the insightful comments on census data – it’s good to see some serious thinking and research here.

        However, isn’t that gap due to the fact that Black men die younger than Black women?

        If that’s the case, then aren’t most of those 2 million extra Black women ladies who are in their 60′s and 70′s who’s husbands died in their 50′s?

        That’s not very relevant for singles in their 20′s and 30′s.

        Also, how do we define “single”?

        Considering how rare marriage is becoming among African Americans, the term “single” needs to be redefined. If a person is technically unmarried but in fact is in a long term relationship, they may legally be “single” but in fact they are in a committed relationship.

        Even with the women who are not in a relationship, how many of them are actually looking for a partner? And even if they are looking for a partner, are we going to automatically assume they are looking for a MALE partner (there are lesbians out there, you know).

        Add to that the fact that at least one cultural rule prevails – the man is still expected to go out and pursue the woman.

        This makes the task of finding a partner far harder and far more emotionally punishing for a man than it is for a woman, because if he’s at all actively looking, he’s constantly being bombarded with rejection.

        In my experience, most women don’t seem to grasp just how difficult that is.

        That’s why my advice to young men in the friend zone still stands – if they don’t like you because you don’t have the “thug” persona, change your game.

        That is, if you can’t find a woman who likes you for your personality, find one who likes you for your bank balance.

        Hey, it beats celibacy!

  9. There is one thing that levels the sexual playing field for men M O N E Y

    While young women like the excitement and raw sexuality of the thug, once a woman has sown her wild oats and is ready for a family, she wants the real security that can only come from having a well off man (remember, even the toughest thug can’t protect you from foreclosure or the bill collectors!)

    This is the only advantage that the nice guys have over the thugs – all those years of studying and carefully planning your business will pay off in the end – and while the thug is sleeping on a couch in his mama’s spare room, you’ll be styling and profiling in your fully paid for house with a couple of nice late model cars in the driveway.

    Yes, young women may say guys like that are “boring” and “not sexy” – but trust me, fellas – when they get older, they smarten up as to what’s really important.

    Let’s keep it real – she still might fuck the pool boy or the auto mechanic who fixes the Jaguar you brought her – but, just like when she was younger, she’s just looking for a quick thrill with him, YOU are the one who provides for her – he’s just a play toy, a human vibrator.

    So, “friend zone” brothas, concentrate on getting your paper right, let these young sistas enjoy their thugs – your day will come.

    And until then, there’s always strip clubs (and – let’s keep it 100% real here – there’s still escorts too) – maybe you can’t buy love…but you can hire “paid adult companions” by the hour! [it's pricey but worth every penny!]

    And, remember, Black women aren’t the only women on the planet!

    If the sistas aren’t showing you any love, there’s always immigrant Black women, and Latinas, and Asian women, and Indian women …and hey, let’s keep it 100%, White women are always an option too! So do not limit yourself.

    And always remember, when you get older, and richer, it will be better – and add a little power to the mix along with the wealth and you’ll get more women than even the most macho thug!

  10. @ Gregory,

    The point that you make proves exactly what I was saying about having the game all wrong. I clicked on the census link you provided and it confirms that black females make up a larger portion of the US population than black males do, and these numbers remain constant in the 18-64 age group also. See Table 5 and Table 6: http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t9/index.html

    I suppose the MONEY approach you suggested works if you look forward to being someone’s meal ticket. You’re advocating paying for something you can get for free. It doesn’t make sense to me, but to each his own I suppose.

    Fellas, I think some of us are forgetting that women have opinions and wants also. Women hold professional jobs and are able to support themselves, they don’t need men to do this for them anymore, unless they are lazy or just gold diggers. Most modern women have wants and desires (just like us) and they DO choose. When they’re messing with that pool boy or “thug”, they are choosing that.

    • Sam,

      Assuming that your even interpreting that data correctly, do those statistics tell you how many of those Black women are lesbian?

      Or celibate?

      Or in a polygamous relationship?

      [I live in Harlem - there are a LOT of Muslim immigrants from Africa here - it's legal for a man to have 4 wives in their countries... and they carry on the same cultural/religious practices here, even though it's not legal in America]

      So that still doesn’t add up to there being a surplus of Black women who are ACTUALLY AVAILABLE.

      My admittedly anecdotal experience tells me that the pool of Black men who want a woman far exceeds the available supply of sexually active single heterosexual Black women who actually want a relationship.

      Also, in what universe do women pursue men?

      Maybe if you are an NBA ballplayer or a Wall Street broker or a rapper.

      But for an average guy with an average job That Just Does Not Happen in the normal course of events.

      For regular guys, the choice is simple and stark.

      Either chase after women to the best of your ability or you will not get a woman.

      Period.

      • Gregory, I think you’re misunderstanding my point. none of my posts say that women chase men. My posts say that women CHOOSE. There is a difference. Of course women aren’t actively chasing men. But, they are CHOOSING who they want to make that “connection” with. Women do have opinions, wants and desires that we should listen to. As men we have to make that initial move and let the women know we are interested, but after that I let them choose. Like TB_BT said, there is a difference between being pursued and hounded. I never hound women, but a lot of brothas seem to do that. Then, they end up wondering why the women put them in the friend zone. Instead of talking with them, these brothas are talking at the them. If they would have read the signs early then they woulda seen that she wasn’t interested. They could of saved all that time and effort and spent it on someone who was interested. I dunno, maybe it doesn’t make sense to anyone on this board, but this method works fine for me.

      • Sam,

        I believe I was misunderstanding your point – and you weren’t hearing mine.

        In other words, we were talking AT each other instead of TO each other.

        My point was there are men out there who few if any women will find attractive – physically or personality wise.

        These guys need love too.

        So, what to do?

        If you can’t be the man that a woman would (to use your words) CHOOSE based on personality and sex appeal, be the brotha she settles down with for brutally practical reasons.

        Yes, it sucks that you will never know the intense animal passion that women reserve for men they feel genuine chemistry with.

        But, does that really matter when you can get a dime because you are a millionaire?

        Just ask all those old rich White guys on the Upper East Side of Manhattan – balding men with pot bellies who spend all their time thinking about business.

        They are corny, they are boring, many of them are ugly – but they are rich as hell, so they can wife up drop dead gorgeous model quality women.

        It works for them – so why shouldn’t friend zone brothas give that a shot?

        You don’t have to be a hedge fund manager or a CEO either – you can get a lot of mileage out of a good high salary professional job or a reasonably viable business.

        Bottom line, you have to work with the tools that you have.

        If you don’t have sex appeal but you have education, intelligence and earning capacity, then make that work for you.

        What’s wrong with that?

    • Sam,

      Harsh realities need to be faced.

      If a man has a stark choice between being with a woman who only wants him for his money and being with no woman at all, he has to face that fact.

      Yes, it’s all kinds of awful to not be loved, cherished and lusted after – but it’s even worse to have nothing at all.

      In other words, sometimes, you have to take what you can get.

      • Just curious – I get the sense that you think there’s something wrong with being alone & celibate. Do you, and if so, why? “Sometimes you have to take what you can get”?

        Can’t get with that.

      • wizardofoz321,

        In our society, it’s acceptable for a woman to be alone and celibate – since women are supposed to have low sexual appetites, it’s perfectly OK for a woman to totally renounce sex.

        On the other hand, men are defined by our sexuality – to be a MAN is to be sexually aggressive by definition.

        If a man is alone and celibate, it will be interpreted as a sign that he failed to get a woman and, therefore, is a failed man.

        Consequently, being celibate and alone is a huge blow to the fragile male ego.

        That’s why it’s important for a man to either be in a relationship with a woman or be the type of guy who has a whole lot of women – being alone and sexless just is not an acceptable option, even if it means that he has to be with an incompatible woman just to be able to say he has somebody.

  11. I’ve learned from bitter experience that what women say they want and what they actually want are often two completely different things. There are also women that have no problem letting a man THINK he means one thing to them while in actuality they really have zero romantic or sexual interest in him.

    One can not blame women for what they’re attracted to any more than one can blame men. That said I think it’s important for men to be pretty upfront and respect themselves enough to make their intentions clear if they are interested in a woman. This will quite often lead to rejection , which is crappy. But it’s far easier on the ego and wastes less time and energy to make a move immediately and find out where you stand than to be used emotionally, financially or otherwise for a period of time and be pushed aside with nothing to show for it.

    I thought this site pretty humorously and accurately portrayed the issues about being in the Friend Zone and how not to get there.

    http://www.laddertheory.com/ladderconstruction.htm

  12. It sucks chiming in so late on the subject. BUT…

    Fellas and Ladies lets “keep it real”. The things we are taught as young men, to be that “nice guy” to women is just is obsolete now-a-days. Let’s think back to high school days…..no matter how painful go back. Remember the guy who was a total jerk/douche but all the ladies wanted him? You ever wondered why? “I can treat her like a queen, this guy treats her like shit and he gets her?!” Remember that thought process? Since it was only high school maybe its just the female/male maturity level at that point huh?…

    Paradoxically the same immature thing goes on now just on a more mature and discrete scale. For the guys saying what women say and want don’t line up, you are absolutely correct. Even to the extent I find when I have a girl or am dating a few women my stock goes up, and I become more desirable to women. Times i have been single or not dating I get the opposite effect. Its sort of like women need a “validation” to be with you. Also there is something about the aspect of being a challenge to women. That is something most guys put in the friend zone aren’t because you have made yourself to easy to be wooed and not earned.

    The thug/gangsta persona has already been given validity by our culture as the guy who is cool enough to be that prize/status guy. He is also a challenge to conquer. The guy with a great gpa hasnt been declared more desirable. Fortunantly for the “friend zone” guys (cue music) this distorted way of thinking decreases as you get older especially because of how hard it is for the middle age professional sista to get a black man that are in the same tax bracket, haven’t been to jail, and are straight.

    BTW i wear fitted jeans and have no problem getting women, so cut it out fellas…….

    • @Trill

      I really think the fitted jeans is an age thing. Oddly enough, I’m on the LAST end of that age. Women my age and older aren’t used to seeing the fitted jean look on dudes, so the whole new trend is very “WTF??!?” to them. To the dudes 18-25 its normal to just flow with the times and young women that age don’t really look at it any differently.

      But I’ll always use Lil’ Wayne as an example in his “A Milli” video, dude was a lil past fitted jeans to skinny jeans—no one said anything or seriously questioned his masculinity. I guess its really just a preference thing.

  13. women who just want fun and sex,like men, choose partners based on pure sexual attraction. if you are looking for a woman to date, she knows immediately if she wants to be with you sexually or not. the way to avoid being in the friend zone is to immediately indicate that your interest is romantic/sexual and see how she responds. dont wait weeks and months, when men do that it feels like a trick. as if they have decided to pretend to be our friends and then really are just like all the other men who want only one thing. it feels like a bait and switch.

    while you may feel hurt that a woman who is a friend does not think “enough” of you to want to bed you. often women who are your friends feel hurt to find that you do not think enough of them to want to be friends without sex. you feel rejected as a sexual being, we feel rejected as a human being.

    if you meet a woman and your interest is romantic, tell her immediately. yes, you will get a lot of rejections. but they would have rejected you if you waited anyway,because they weren’t attracted. and at least she hasn’t wasted her time being friends with a man who will be disappointed,pout and lose interest when he realizes she doesnt want to be his woman, and he wont waste his time courting a woman who will ultimately decline to be his woman

    a lot of time the “thug” men or “bad boys” get more play because they are bold enough to state their intentions upfront. and trust me,a lot of them get turned down. but because they waste little time getting to the crux of the matter, they move on quickly. many men think it is rude or not nice to be upfront about what they want, so spend/waste a lot of time on women they have no chance with.

    its like buying a house- don’t go to houses,look around, admire them , sit on the couch and watch tv and later ask- is this for sale. ask upfront -”is this house for sale, i’m looking to buy one” if it isn’t, you move to the next on the list.

    also, i told a friend of mine who complained that all the women he liked liked thugs- then you are picking the wrong women to pursue.not all women like thugs, hoodlums and bad boys. if you are drawn to the sort of woman who wants that thing, you perhaps need to see what is wrong with what you are looking for and attracted to.

    • Nina,

      What your saying makes a hell of a lot of sense!

      It’s actually very simple the way you break it down – basically, if you want a woman, let her know right away, do NOT become friends with her, either she agrees to date you or you just drop her and move on to the next.

      It’s kind of hard for a certain type of man to actually be that bold and blunt about it, but if you are correct about how quickly woman decide they are attracted, and how offended they get if a friend zone man tries to step to them later on (and I have every reason to think that you are right), then that’s the only way to go.

      In other words, don’t bother being nice to or making friends with women – be like the bad boys, let your interests be known as quickly as possible – if she’s not down, move on to the next.

  14. Gregory – my apologies for the late response. I think that’s a cop-out. If anything, I’d view a man who is alone and celibate as a man with self-discipline & self-control.

    Men are defined by so much more than sexuality. So much more. Too bad that many don’t realize it.

    • Well, maybe YOU would view a man who is alone and celibate as “a man with self discipline and self control”.

      But he’d probably view himself as a failure, compared to men who actually manage to get laid on a regular basis.

      Other guys probably wouldn’t view him so harshly – but I doubt that he’d be praised for his inability to get a woman.

      They might feel sorry for him that he doesn’t have enough game to pull a woman, but they sure as hell wouldn’t admire him for that shortcoming.

      • View himself as a failure? Inability to get a woman? Those are big generalizations to make. Not ALL men think that way.

      • I can’t speak for the entire male gender. Indeed there may be guys who think it’s OK to be alone and celibate. However, I suspect that very few men think that way. Considering how society constructs masculinity (in particular BLACK masculinity) I suspect that most Black men who can’t get a woman would feel inadequate as men because of that.

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