You Weren't "Nice," You Idiot, You Were BORING

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“I was nice to girls. They all used and ignored me. Then I became a bad boy, insulting and abusing them, and oh how the poon did flow.”
That’s one of a thousand generic, whiny essays decrying “The Friend Zone,” where a man who is Too Nice For His Own Good finally learns to Be Mean and tells you all the lesson that Stupid Women Don’t Like Nice Guys Be A Dick Hurr Hurr Hurr.
Except you were never a nice guy.
Because hey, did you tell her when you met her, “Hey, I’d like to date you?”, even though you secretly went back home and masturbated so furiously you could have used your smoking dick to start a fire? No. You instead hung around her, pretending to be her friend when friendship was actually the last thing you wanted.
Hey, if you really wanted to be her friend, you wouldn’t be sitting here decades later, spilling tawdry confessions of how awful it was not to fuck her, right? I mean, I’ve had friends who were just friends, and I don’t weep bitter tears about how “Oh, what I wanted was friendship, and that’s all I got?”
No. You started right off by lying. You figured hey, I’ll sneak in the friendship door, and then once I’ve fluffed the cushions in the friendship lobby I’ll mash that glowing button to Love Tower!
And it didn’t work out for you, did it?
Well, that’s because you were a crappy friend. And not just because you lied.
Because you sucked at being a person.
See, “friends” bring interesting shit to the table. When I get together with my friends, male or female or somewhere in-between, they tell me about the interesting things that happened to them. They recommend television shows I haven’t seen, talk about restaurants, have great stories that make me laugh. They go, “Ugh, that’s not for me” and they contradict me and we tussle and it’s fucking awesome.
What you did was to sit there, rabbitlike, and nod your head to everything she said.
I know you think you were a friend, but probably you were more like an unpaid valet; agreeing to everything she said no matter how stupid it seemed, doing all of her chores because that’s what friends do, contributing precisely nothing to her life except as a rug to walk on.
I mean, you couldn’t have offered any real useful advice, because your hidden agenda was “Sleep with me, sleep with me, sleep with me” and everything got filtered through that straining urge. And you probably didn’t bring up your interests, going, “Hey, let’s watch The Avengers,” because introducing your tastes might have hinted that you were incompatible, and we can’t have her disagreeing with you, can we? Just… stick to common ground.
So you ran all her errands, and went to those awful girl movies that nobody but you wanted to watch (and you hated), and listened to all her terrible music, and went shopping with her even though you fucking hated the mall…
And then you have the gall to get astonished when she got bored with you?
No, buddy. You weren’t a nice guy: you were a boring sack of Silly Putty, pressing yourself up against her and coming away as a warped reflection of her image. You were an empty space, a computer program that said “yes yes yes” no matter how stupid the question was, as predictable as a faucet: turn you on, and bullshit spilled out.
And when that awful plan collapsed, instead of concluding, “Say, suppressing my entire personality to try to appeal to someone else is a mug’s game,” you instead blamed it all on them and went, “THEY ONLY LIKE BAD BOYS!”
Cue the Barney Stinson transformation.
No. I know a lot of nice guys who date, and date well. They have opinions. They have their own agendas, new activities they can bring dates to and have them go, “Oh, I’ve never tried this!” They have things they won’t do, because sure, they’d love to help you move, but they have enough of a life outside of their date that they’ve promised to babysit or have a party they’ve committed to or something.
And they tell their partners what they want. Because they’re not ashamed of having wants.
What you were, son, was a box with a mirror in it. She kept opening you up and finding her reflection, something she’d seen a hundred times before. And chances are she secretly pitied you, inviting you along on these mall-expeditions not because you were her friend, but because she sensed your crushing loneliness and was hoping you might accrete an actual goddamned personality at some point.
The lesson here is not that “Women want bad boys,” but rather, “When presented with a choice between a cringing sack of suet and an asshole who can carry on his half of the conversation,” she’ll reluctantly choose the asshole. But there is a middle path, one I know many men have trod successfully, where they somehow manage not to treat women like shit and somehow still get laid.
Look, it hurts to be in the friend zone. No denying. I’ve had plenty of people I wanted to sleep with who found me unattractive, and it sucks. But when you went so far out of your way to make yourself soulless, uninteresting, and dispensable, you can’t complain about being placed in the friend zone when you did everything you could to put yourself there. You didn’t tell her you wanted to date right away, you didn’t stand up for yourself, and you didn’t tell her that if you can’t sleep with her, you don’t really want the friendship, you’ll just take it as some limp consolation prize.
And you never respected those women the way you claim. If you did, you wouldn’t be writing vitriolic essays years later on what stupid whores they were.
Sorry, buddy. You were the stupid whore. You sacrificed your self-esteem, your opinions, and your labor, masquerading as someone you weren’t in a vain attempt to entice a client into your boudoir… and you couldn’t even manage to do that.
Really, who’s the stupid one here?

5 Comments

  1. Mitchell
    Apr 24, 2014

    This is a wonderful piece.
    Two nitpicks: first, my impression is that when people refer to the “friend zone”, they aren’t referring to a situation where someone just isn’t attracted to them, they are referring to a situation in which a woman “could” be attracted to them or be in a relationship with them or some such but decides not to because they don’t fit the usual/appropriate/popular boyfriend stereotypes.
    If the friend zone just means someone isn’t attracted to you and wants to have you as a friend, then I agree that it’s a real and common thing, but I don’t think that’s how most people who lament about the “friend zone” are using it. I think they’re using it in this weird “you could be attracted to me if you would just stop not letting yourself be attracted to me” way.
    Second, sex workers are people. I get using “She was a whore” as an accurate characterization of the kinds of things people who write the screeds you’re talking about say, but I think reflecting it back at them in kind reinforces the idea that it’s actually an insult, and not just something that shitty people use as one.
    I really do like the piece, though. It’s just easier to talk at length about nitpicks than two talk at length about “I really liked this”. So. I’ll just awkwardly see myself out now.

    • Nathan Hevenstone
      Apr 26, 2014

      first, my impression is that when people refer to the “friend zone”, they aren’t referring to a situation where someone just isn’t attracted to them, they are referring to a situation in which a woman “could” be attracted to them or be in a relationship with them or some such but decides not to because they don’t fit the usual/appropriate/popular boyfriend stereotypes.
      If the friend zone just means someone isn’t attracted to you and wants to have you as a friend, then I agree that it’s a real and common thing, but I don’t think that’s how most people who lament about the “friend zone” are using it. I think they’re using it in this weird “you could be attracted to me if you would just stop not letting yourself be attracted to me” way.

      As someone who used to be one of these Nice Guys(TM) and who complained about being “friend zoned” a lot, I can tell you from personal experience… you’re wrong.
      The friend zone is very simply this: “I want to fuck her but she just wants to be friends with me! Oh the humanity! My life is ruined! Wahhhhhh!!!!”
      So TheFerrett’s got it right.

      Second, sex workers are people. I get using “She was a whore” as an accurate characterization of the kinds of things people who write the screeds you’re talking about say, but I think reflecting it back at them in kind reinforces the idea that it’s actually an insult, and not just something that shitty people use as one.

      I actually agree with you in general, especially as a supporter of Sex Worker’s rights. But I think in this case it’s at least somewhat forgivable because it’s not so much using the word itself as a pejorative as it is turning their own prejudice on them. I probably wouldn’t do it myself, but I can appreciate why it was done.
      Of course, I’m not Ferrett, so I can’t speak for him. But that’s my take.
      Also… Ferrett… I found your cross-post on this blog on another site. Great stuff.

  2. Melody Byrne
    Apr 24, 2014

    I have to agree. Lack of initiative is just not sexy or attractive.
    Also, while we might not be mind readers, most of us figure out when someone is interested in sex above all else. For those of us who value friendship and enjoying each other’s company above all else (and where sex comes in where friendship meets attraction) that’s a huge turn-off.
    Frankly I don’t “friend zone” these “nice men”, I cut off contact with them altogether.

  3. Alan
    Apr 25, 2014

    I can’t find a single thing to disagree with! Perhaps I can add something from my perspective.
    I was a nice guy for a long time. In hindsight, damn, I was a dick. Who would be attracted to someone being so passive aggressive? Happily, it’s possible to get over it, even I managed to get married.
    I think the key to why “bad boys” are successful is 1) they’re up-front and honest, and 2) they move on from rejection quickly; while the nice guy is obsessing over one woman, the “bad boy” has propositioned several dozen women. While many assholes are “bad boys,” you don’t need to be. After all, I wouldn’t be offended if a woman propositioned me, I’d be flattered.
    Our culture teaches us that being assertive and moving on are “bad”. Our media tells us that romance and sex are things you’re coy about, and that hyper-focusing on a single person is romantic. I think that’s a big part of how we ended up with frustrated nice guys.

  4. Jacob
    Apr 27, 2014

    As a man who fits into your category of “boring sack of Silly Putty” I can tell you this isn’t really about being “nice.” I have serious social issues with everyone. Relationships are just difficult. Now I don’t rant about it or blame women for this. Some men do because they are projecting to make themselves feel better. Men who treat submissive women badly stand out, and some people mistake that for evidence that all women want to be treated that way. Combine that assumption with someone who cannot properly express his feelings and you can get a very bitter, confused person.
    I think being able to be friendly with someone you’re going to have sex with is important. Just my opinion. I can tell you that I have had relationships I wished were more, but couldn’t do anything about it. I just couldn’t bring myself to say or do anything that would express my feelings. That’s my fault, and I wish it could be otherwise, but like a blind man stubbing his toe I can’t just open my eyes. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t work. That’s not your fault but pointing out my disability doesn’t help me. I’m well aware of it.
    There is also the case where someone might just be trolling because they didn’t get the date they wanted. No sense in writing an article for those people because they don’t care. They just want to make you angry.

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