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There's No Real Difference Between Being Friend-Zoned And Booty-Called

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The "friend zone" is to guys as the "booty call" is to girls.

Girls: "You used me for sex!"

Guys: "You used me for friendship!"

This may not be true for everyone, but I think it speaks to a lot of us. These two labels may seem like they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality, they are simply different manifestations of the same problem. Both leave us feeling used, just for different reasons.

I've never heard anyone speak about either of these things positively because what's inherent in both is the fact that one person always loses.

You either failed to speak up, or are still attempting to delude yourself into thinking you are okay with it, justified by the fact that it could eventually turn into the relationship you want with that person.

You Probably Did It To Yourself

Harsh, I know, but the truth hurts. People will treat you how you let them, and they will take what you give them.

Guys, if you offer to come over and set up her printer, or hold her bags while you go shopping, what girl wouldn't take advantage of that? Ladies, if you offer up your sexual services at 3 am, what guy is going to turn that down?

I'm sick of hearing guys complain about girls "friend-zoning" them like it's some sort of relationship purgatory. Whenever I hear guys complaining, there is a palpable bitterness, like they are owed something for all of their dedication: "I helped her move and she didn't even give me a hand job!" 

Not that you would actually want a hand job... because it's 2014. But you get what I'm trying to say.

And ladies, I'm sick of hearing you complain about getting booty-called like guys are consciously seeking you out just to use you for sex and then shatter your self-esteem. If a guy is just looking for sex and that's what you're giving him, he doesn't owe you anything.

It's the same bitterness: "I mean we had sex three times already; why isn't he checking in and asking how I am?!"

While it's much easier to call the other person an assh*le, what we really need to do is to start taking accountability for ourselves. We need to take a harsh look at what we are doing (or not doing) to allow ourselves to be treated that way.

You can't offer your services, and then get mad at the other person for taking you up on that. That would be like your Uber driver saying, "You were just using me for a ride!" Well, yes; it's a car service, so that makes sense.

If you don't speak up about what you want, you end up as a passenger in someone else's relationship. You give and give and give, and then get resentful when you get nothing in return.

You do things you don't necessarily want to do because you think, maybe, at some point in the distant future, it might possibly turn into what you really want.

If you just hold out long enough, show her how caring you are as a boyfriend or how "chill" you are as a girlfriend, he or she will grow to want you as something more.

It's important to note that if you truly do just want friendship, or if you genuinely are looking for casual sex, this doesn't apply. But those aren't the people who end up unhappy in these situations.

If you're like me, you've been on both ends: deep down knowing you want something more or less, and you don't know how to say it. You can sit there in bitterness and say, "So and so strung me along," and while that may be true, the only person you have to blame is yourself.

So here are some tips to avoid ending up in this situation in the first place:

1. Be Honest With Yourself

Ask yourself what you are looking for in a relationship, and with this person. Place emphasis on what you want, not what you think you should want, or what you think the other person wants.

2. Speak Up

This is the hardest one -- for me at least. But most people either fall into the friend zone or the ambiguous random sex scenario because they don't pick a zone.

So many guys end up in the friend zone because they never actually make a move. Yes, it can be scary, especially if you are unsure how the other person feels. There are ways to test this: sit closer to her, put your hand on her back, etc. If she gets uncomfortable, take that as a signal.

But there is also something to be said for just making a bold move. I once had a guy friend at a party just look at me and say, "I'm going to kiss you now." I had never thought of him like that until that moment. If he had been wishy washy about it I probably never would have.

You don't know unless you try, and at the end of the day, what are you really losing? Nothing. You're actually saving time by not investing yourself in a relationship that isn't really what you want.

Same goes for the booty call. It took more mental preparation than I'd like to admit, but I've had to say to a guy, "If this is just about sex, I can't continue." While he explained that he had feelings for me, but was simply in a "very selfish place in his life," the message was received.

It was just about sex, and I wasn't cool with that. At least not with him. So I walked away. It hurt, but not as much as it would have if I had hung in there, only to be disappointed when things didn't change.

3. Set Boundaries

This is similar to the concept of speaking up in that it's much easier said than done. But it's relatively simple. If you secretly get annoyed when she calls you to complain about her coworkers or talk to you about another guy, don't be her sounding board.

If you really are just her friend, it wouldn't be frustrating to you. You are frustrated because you know you're going to spend an hour on the phone with her just so she can take your advice to pursue things with a guy who "doesn't deserve her." Sorry to be blunt, but if he's making a move and you aren't, he does deserve her.

And ladies, if you haven't heard from him in two weeks and he randomly texts you out of the blue asking what you're up to, especially if it's late at night, don't respond.

Or respond, but say, "I'm actually out with my friends tonight but let me know if you want to do something next weekend."

His response, or lack thereof will be telling. Guys who only want sex at their convenience will give you a half-assed, noncommittal response. If he can't set aside time when it's convenient for you, don't drop what you're doing when it's convenient for him.

Have more respect for yourself than that. This is true for everyone; people respect those who respect themselves. If he cares about you, he will step up. If he doesn't, then that will show, and all you lost as a guy who wasn't right for you.

4. Know The Difference Between Being Nice And Being A Doormat

There is being nice, and there is being too nice, too agreeable or too available. This speaks to the common misperception that "women only like assh*les."

That isn't true. I've never been turned off by a guy being thoughtful or polite. I have been turned off by a guy canceling his plans to hang out with me.

From his perspective, he might have thought, "If I show her she is more important than what I was doing, it will show her how caring I am!"

Instead, it made me think, this guy has no backbone. Trust me, I have also lacked a backbone at times and revolved my night around a guy who could barely answer a text in a timely manner.

It didn't work out in my favor. It communicated to him, "Oh, okay. I can just answer her whenever I feel like it."

It doesn't make you rude or crazy to demand someone to treat you with respect. If someone blows you off, you don't need to freak out.

But politely letting him know you are not okay with him ignoring you for three days and then sending a "sorry been so busy" bullsh*t response is not overly demanding.

5. Don't Rely On The Other Person To Take The Hint

Some people pick up on subtle cues more than others. If you suspect that someone wants more but isn't picking up on your hints, just be honest.

I have always appreciated this, even if it isn't what I wanted to hear. No one wants to hurt anyone, but if you look at it from the perspective that you are actually preventing him or her from getting even more hurt in the long run, it makes you feel like less of an assh*le.

It sucks. Sometimes your guy friend, upon realizing there is no potential, might suddenly change. Or sometimes the girl you actually do like, but won't commit to, will walk away.

While I do stress the importance of everyone taking responsibility for his or her actions, it's idealistic to think this is a reality.

The best relationship advice I have ever been given is to know what you want, and be strong enough to walk away if you don't get it.

If you don't want to be in the friend zone, get out of it. And by get out of it, I don't mean do something drastic to get her to like you. I mean, realize it's not going to be what you want, and move on. The same goes for the booty call, ladies. If you don't want to be booty-called, don't pick up the phone.

Also, I feel like the term "booty call" is outdated. If someone is actually CALLING you, pretty sure that means you're in a relationship.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It