Well, that's officially the first I've ever heard of that among a friendzoner before. Forgive me for mistaking your argument for the overwhelming most common argument. You never specified you were referring to people who had already been dating. The vast overwhelming majority of times this argument comes up, it's because a guy asks a friend out on a date, then gets rejected by a girl who is not interested, and thus had never dated in the first place.
I never referred to anyone, or myself, as a "friendzoner," nor have I once invoked the term "friend zone" (other than perhaps discussing its comedic use in a season 1 episode of Scrubs
) In fact, neither did Randall, in the comic. He only cites "nice guys."
Whatever you call it, I am arguing that it is generally unhealthy and unproductive to remain close friends with someone to whom you are strongly romantically attracted. It clouds your judgment and makes you feel lousy, so my answer to that was always "Get away from the situation."
First off: Dating someone is not a promise of moving onto engagement and marriage. Dating is testing the waters. It's seeing how things work out. It's a no strings-attached, no-harm no-foul, end at any time thing. Until you are seeing each other steady or exclusively, it's just fucking dating, nothing more, nothing less. And no I don't owe you sex while we're dating.
I still never said any of those things. I said that if you're dating someone and they would rather be friends than seek something more serious, and you don't feel the same way, it's better to move on from them, rather than try to be friends while still harboring romantic feelings for them.
I will note this: Of the people I've gone steady with, but broke up with later (a much more serious stage than dating then breaking up), two of them I'm still friends with. Both of which are in the 8+ years category of friendship category. We just didn't fucking have compatibility, and yet their still my oldest friends. That's not an inferior friendship.
Presumably, though, you BOTH feel this way - and after a prolonged period of being exclusive, and both realizing it wasn't going to work. And if you can handle that, great. But as you point out, some people can't. And that's OK, too. But it's not an inferior friendship if you BOTH have the same perspective on the situation -- which isn't the case I'm describing at all.
An "inferior friendship" arises out of a rejection when:
(a) The "friend" never accepts your invitations, and rarely, if ever, extends any to you; and/or
(b) The "friend" constantly complains about their romantic life to someone they've rejected, and/or
(c) The rejected party does other favors for the "friend" (rides, networking, whatever), but this is rarely, if ever, reciprocated.
Dude, I'm actually engaged and happy, but I remember these days, and I'm just trying to give folks some unsolicited advice to, in fact, not
be bitter about it and to just man up and move on entirely
from people who aren't interested in them. And the best way for them to do that is to stay far, far away from a situation that's just going to make them miserable.
You can only be "just friends" once the desire is gone. Like I said, I have plenty of female friends (still more than men, actually, although it's getting about even these days) -- but they were never a dating pool. Hell, they were never even dating prospects.
But at some point I concluded that I was simply never going to seek out friendship with someone if I was interested in them romantically. And when I did that, I felt a LOT better. Rejections still happened, and they still sucked, but at least I didn't have a reason to dwell