“I don’t like you like that, but I still want to be friends.”

This is the oft repeated sentence that precedes the dreaded utterance of “you’ve been friendzoned.”

The friendzone, however, does not actually exist.

The use of the term “friendzone” betrays a person who has an inability to accept that another person has rejected them. It is understandable – the feeling of being unwanted is unpleasant, so it is much easier to say that a person has put one in the friendzone.

This word is nothing more than a cushion.

Rather than thinking “What is wrong with me?” when a person blames rejection on the friendzone, they are saying “What is wrong with them?” The blame is shifted, and recovery is made easier.

In addition to being a term that merely serves as a shield, the term itself is sexist and one-sided. There is a huge gender gap when it comes to accountability – for example, if a woman friendzones, or doesn’t want to date, a man who has shown her kindness and courted her, then she is cold-hearted and mean. However, if a man tells a woman he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, then she wonders what she did wrong. If the stereotypes are to be believed, the place known as the friendzone is purely existent for men who have been put there by women.

The term friendzone demeans both women and men. When a person uses it, it makes the person on the other end of it seem cruel and heartless, while it makes the user sound like someone who cannot process rejection.

Being “friendzoned” is a crutch of an excuse and a cushion for soft egoes by saying that the person being rejected is unwanted because of the object of their affection, not because of anything the person might have done.

Worst of all, if one views this from the perspective of “women friendzone men,” then the word promotes the dangerous idea that if a man graces a woman with his affections, then he deserves a relationship, or in other words, a “reward” for being a nice guy and putting in effort to woo a partner. It is this mentality that promotes male aggression toward feminine figures.

People do not have to put up with a term that demeans their reasoning.

If you subscribe to the “friendzone,” you perpetuate an outdated mode of thinking that is holding society back from gender equality progress.