Man’s real best friend

Why the “Friend-zone” is the best place to be
Pete Helms
Campus Life Editor
[email protected]
Gents, we need to talk. All this friend-zone nonsense needs to stop. Women are sick of hearing it, I am sick of hearing it, and I am sure all your friends are sick of the whining, too. There is a secret you learn as you get older: being a woman’s friend is one of the best strategic opportunities a young man can have.
Before anyone starts with me, I get that being in the friend-zone can be a painful experience. I have been madly in love with women who had little interest in me beyond my company. It hurts when your feelings are not reciprocated. The trap most young men fall into, unfortunately, is the false assumption that feelings should translate into a more physical or romantic relationship. It is nice when they do, but it is not really the norm. Enough with what everyone knows, on to the good.
When I graduated high school almost ten years ago, my mother’s best friend gave me the best present I have ever received; a book by a man named H. Jackson Brown, Jr. entitled “The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book.” It is fantastic. The book contains 1,560 separate instructions for living a happy life, including things like “Call your mother” and “Forget the Joneses.” The one that has stuck with me the longest (and has been most useful) is “Choose a partner you love to talk to. The older you get, the more important conversation will be to your relationship.” In short, you need to find your best friend first and then move on to romance, because the physical element of your relationship will eventually cool down.
So how do you become best friends with a woman? Well first, you have to become her friend. I’m not talking you meet at the bar a few times a month or hang out to watch sports (though you certainly can)—I am talking about truly being a friend; a loyal companion who gives without thought of reward, who is supportive but unaccepting of self-destructive behavior, and who truly treats the other as an equal. If you are only spending time with a woman in the hopes she will one day confess her undying love and/or sleep with you, then you are not being a friend, you are being a jerk.
The friend-zone is great because it gives you the opportunity to actually grow to love a person for whom they are rather than lusting after them. Also, it may be hard to understand in a world where the media equates love with sex, but love is so much more than that. Love is about finding the complement of one’s soul in another’s being—sex is simply the physical manifestation of a chemical urge. You are far more likely to create a lasting bond with a woman (which should be the goal in the long run) by getting to know her personally rather than carnally, which of course brings me to my next point.
To find the right person for you, you have to be the right person for them. Though college is a great place to meet your future spouse, it is an even better place to transform yourself into a man worthy of being loved. Our modern entitlement culture spawns the idea that we are automatically eligible bachelors, but it is not true.  To be loved by another, you have to build trust with another person, and friendship is the first step along that path. Even if the girl you are trying to woo doesn’t respond to your charms, by becoming her friend, you begin to earn the trust of other women.
The absolute best thing about being friends with a woman is the fact that you now have a friend who can actually help you in your romantic pursuits. Remember gents, women talk to one another. If you are a jerk to one the rest will know, but the opposite holds true too. Treat your female friends with respect and (appropriate) affection, and you have just gained the best wingmen possible. It is not really a difficult concept to grasp.
It is important, however, that you remain a good friend to the women who reject you. Just because they are not interested in romance or cannot help you does not mean you should move on or ignore them. Be a good friend and reciprocate; if your friend is trying to find a decent guy, help her out. Remember, women can be friend-zoned, too. Be supportive of their relationships even if you aren’t the one she loves. It’s not just common sense; it is what being a friend is all about.