Marc from the UK responds to my last post:
I have to be honest, the "friend zone" concept that seems to be prevalent in today's culture (particularly American culture) is a little strange to me. Perhaps it's just a cultural thing.. But I don't find it useful to look at things in that way, this is why:
I agree that believing you can win a girls' affection by being a good girlfriend is a myth, and I've often witnessed a "nice guy" who's chasing a girl that isn't into him, the more he does for her the more she loses respect for him.
However, I believe that developing a friendship with someone you're interested in is a good thing. It seems that in US culture (I've never lived in the US but I went to an American school in Germany for a year) when a guy is interested, he'll often make his intention known straight away and ask the girl out on a "date". The issue I see with this is that often an individual will form romantic relationships very quickly with a person they barely know, most of the time it will end just as quick. Sometimes this causes a lot of heartache and hurt.
I think that by getting to know someone before you jump into a relationship can most often tell you whether the relationship is worth pursuing. Sometimes you will realize there just isn't that much chemistry, the attraction will wane. Or you realize the person is simply not someone you can really picture yourself with in the long run after seeing a little more of them.
Furthermore, as you mentioned "In high school, I found out how easy it is for attraction to develop between a guy and girl who share a lot with each other." Often attraction doesn't happen for both parties simultaneously, feelings can develop over time and rushing the friendship step by putting someone under pressure with an advance very early on and then walking away when they say no can sometimes ruin a potentially good thing. Of course, if you do develop a friendship in someone that you are interested in they might turn you down eventually. They may simply not be attracted to you in that way. I'm not sure you have put yourself in the "friend zone". It just means she's just not that into you.
I completely agree that "Being a man means not being casual, flippant, or covert about building emotional intimacy with a woman." But like you said, if ultimately rejection can result in a good friendship that can be a great thing. I don't think there's anything covert about first building a friendship with someone you may be interested in- if you do eventually clearly demonstrate to her how you feel. And with any relationship, if you avoid losing the other persons respect by becoming a "lil' bitch" by waiting on her hand and foot but rather develop a friendship that is reciprocal, I don't believe you are playing with fire in developing a friendship..
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this.I agree with everything Marc writes. My issue is that he misunderstands what the friend zone is. Just because a guy has female friends does not mean he's being friend zoned. The determining factor is if he wants and is content with friendship. Making female friends as a means of determining mate potential is NOT the friend zone. Certainly friendship can result in something more significant but the friend zone means nurturing an unexpressed and unfulfilled desire for a romantic relationship. Because you're insecure about expressing your sexual desire, the friend zone devalues your friendship and emasculates you.
So of course it's a good thing to be friends with a girl you're interested in. Observing a woman in a variety of social contexts is the most effective way to get to know her. It's also the best way for her to get to know you. But the point of being friend zoned is that you're discontent with the friendship. You want something more but it's not happening and it upsets you. You only see the friendship as a vehicle to romance and if it doesn't happen, you keep hoping the ship will read your mind and alter its course.