A little while ago, I ran into an old friend who I introduced to a new friend and to my surprise my old friend jokingly asked him if he had been ‘friend zoned’ as well.

My new friend, replied that yes indeed, he had been friend zoned!  They turned to me in unison and accused me of ‘friend zoning’ them and said that I was taking advantage of them. I stood there, unable to defend myself but we laughed it off and I assured them that it was all in their heads, and that I loved them anyway.

When I got home, I found myself wondering why girls are always held accountable for the perceived injustices of the friend zone.

So that we are on the same page, let me shed a little light on what the ‘friend zone’ is. According to the Urban Dictionary, the go-to place to discover all of the urban terminologies young folk are coming out with these days, a friend zone is, ‘a state of being where a male inadvertently becomes a ‘platonic friend’ of an attractive female who he was trying to initiate a romantic relationship. Females have been rumoured to arrive in the Friend Zone, but reports are unsubstantiated.’ Chris Rock, the African American comedian explained this phenomenon to his audience in one of his stand-up shows.

In short, it is a place where guys feel forced to be just friends with a girl they like.

What I find particularly interesting is the turn of events from being called ‘Just friends” to ‘Friend Zone’.

So it seems like there are two types of friends, your genuine friends who aren’t waiting for you to wake up one day and fall in love with them. Then you have those few guys sitting around in the friend zone, waiting to make their move and have made it impossible to just be ‘platonic’ friends.

To give an examples, one morning a  guy wakes up and has an epiphany, a ‘EUREKA!’ moment and he realises that  being ‘just friends’ with a girl is not a death sentence after all. He would rather use this opportunity to make her realise that she is barking up the wrong tree. He has the key to that world she so often speaks about when they are having ‘platonic’ drinks in a ‘platonic’ bar. He sees the friend zone as a place of possibilities, where he will wait for the right moment to show her that he is what she has been missing all along. Didn’t Rihanna say that love can be found in hopeless places?

Next thing you know the ‘Friend-Zone Free Mission’ kicks off and the guy becomes that non-gay friend that every girl dreams of having. He will be there at the drop of a hat to pick you up from the station at the wee hours of the morning when you run out of taxi fare, he will pretend he is not turned on when he watches you try figure-hugging dress after hot pant in Forever 21. He will gossip with you, give you a shoulder to cry on and will gladly become a third wheel on your pathetic dates without a single ounce of judgement. Trust me all of this, is just him building up a case against you – you need to become wary of that guy who three months ago could not stand hearing girls talk lipsticks and high heels suddenly behaving like he could not be anywhere but there with you.

All is well until a few months go by and he realises that it will never happen. He is still ‘just a friend’ and he will most likely remain that. And so he acquires a new strategy, a dumb one at that. He begins to feel entitled to you, because well, he has put in all this time and you owe him that. He tells you how absurd it is that you won’t go out with him and that if you are not careful, you will wake up one day and he will be gone. And there it is an ultimatum! Reverse psychology works sometimes!

So now the friend zone has become a war zone. He will take it personal and gradually starts beefing you. Some will still talk to you but every now and then, a little phrase filled with bitterness and resentment will pop out to make you feel guilty. And if this guy has never been rejected before, just be aware that you have bruised his ego and he will prove to you that you are replaceable. Do these lyrics mean something to you, ‘I can have another you in a minute, matter fact s/he be here in a minute, baby’ — Mrs Beyoncé Carter sang it for us! And you go from being just friends to nothing. So you move on, sad that you’ve lost a good friend but what can you do? What is done is done.

Guys do not stop saying that girls are complicated which is perhaps true, but what happens when guys start acting like this? What does a girl do? Should we sign a contract agreeing to the terms and condition of the friend zone? Terms like, if I’m your friend for six months and you fail to get a good guy, I will be your boyfriend, if not we shall cease to be friends.

Should we subscribe to this madness and be held responsible for the injustice in the friend zone?

The answer is no, I will not be held accountable for such delusions and I refuse to be manipulated into a relationship I do not want, just because we’ve known each other for ages. Until some guys grow up and realize that they cannot be with every girl, let’s focus on real problems like world peace because there are actual war zones out there.