I am sitting on the couch, sipping a cup of tea. A blanket is wrapped around my legs and my feet are being warmed by something I call a ‘hot water bottle’ though in actual fact is a sack filled with beans that I heated in the microwave.

And I am extremely confused.

You see, my (male) friend is trying to explain to me that boys and girls cannot be friends. Go figure.

‘Why not?’ I wail in a voice that could rival Sansa Stark for whininess.

‘Because Bells, 90% of guys you meet will want to fuck you. Like, most of them won’t pursue it, but, you know, if they got the option, they would love to bang you’. (Charming, isn’t he).

I then hmmphed for a while and tried to defend my romantic view of non-romantic relationships, but I was continually shut down.

(Please note that I didn’t mention the fact that he and I are platonic friends because I didn’t want it to get awwwwwwkwarrrd…I am just assuming that he is part of the 10%…)

‘N-I-N-E-T-Y  P-E-R-C-E-N-T?’ I kept saying. Hectic.

I thought that boys and girls could be friends. Completely non-sexual friends.

You know, the kind of friends who get coffee and go dancing and see movies and talk about their lives, and not have the slightest interest in ripping each other’s clothes off and engaging in bed/couch/floor/table/shower activities.

I thought I could be friends with a boy who has a penis but keeps it in his pants – as opposed to on his head.

A man who gives you advice about boys, girls and families. And how to dress sexy without looking too provocative.

One you can get changed in front of and not worry about him replaying it later, erm, alone.

That guy.

When I was informed that, in fact, ‘that guy’ did not exist, I proceeded to do some research. And my mate was right.

Apparently, that guy is very rare.

According to the thesis, Benefit or Burden: Attraction in Cross-Sex Friendship, April Bleske-Rechek and her team of researchers found that men are much more likely to be sexually attracted to their female friends than vice-versa.

The study also says “the problem that destroys a friendship isn’t the physiological reality of sexual attraction, but rather the inability (or refusal) of so many straight men to believe that their female buddies aren’t secretly crushing on them.

In other words, the problem isn’t that guys are totally overwhelmed by the hornies whenever they get in close proximity to a female friend. The problem is that men misunderstand women’s intentions for wanting friendship, falsely assuming that ladies only want ‘one thing.'”

The ideology that men and women can’t be friends is completely outdated in 2013. If we judge our own experiences and relationships, it is clear that we can connect with members of the opposite sex on a platonic level.

But it appears that men and women may have a different understanding of platonic friendship. For many women, myself included, flirting, sexual attraction and physical contact does not necessarily equate to wanting sex. It is different for men.

So what has emerged?

The Friend Zone.

I have a bit of a problem with this so-called ‘friendzone’ (aside from how it reinforces the point that our generation likes to create stupid names for phenomena that have existed for pretty much all of time).

Firstly, it has a connotation that the original zone of a male-female relationship is a ‘letsfuckzone’, which I put in the ‘kindaoffensivezone’.

Secondly, it always seems to be girls ‘friendzoning’ boys, making the girl seem like a bitch and the boy seem like an innocent little puppy, when in fact he is just a horny little shit.

For example, THIS is what Urban Dictionary says of The Friend Zone:

What is quite possibly one of the worst places a guy could ever be in if you like someone. It doesn’t matter the situation, once you’re in, you feel like you’re in a cage.

It consists of a multitude of possible emotions that you will succumb to. Mostly jealousy, defeat, hopelessness and a strange sense of knowing that your aspirations are an impossibility. You’ll constantly know that the person you like will not like you in the same way. But for some reason, you’re still friends with her. You feel like you can get her back, but it’s not gonna happen.

And it’s worse when they tell you about their significant other/crush/boyfriend. You might see them walk further away from you every day. You become a cushion, having to watch them with the person they THINK is perfect for them. But deep down, you know it’s not true. But they think they are, and you have to acknowledge it as a reality.

It’s hell on earth, guys.

Dudes. That isn’t The Friend Zone. That is called ‘likingsomeonewhodoesntlikeyouback’. Also known as ‘Life’.

It seems to me that the problem isn’t a physical one, but a social conflict where boysies and girlies have a different idea of how to treat a ‘friend’.

And considering I am a girl, I am going to try and help out all you gorgeous boys by giving you…

BELLA’S TIPS FOR AVOIDING THE FRIENDZONE.

Be so sexy that the girl cannot possibly refuse you. Also known as ‘Become Ryan Gosling’.

Okay, that was a little mean.

Here are some serious things to remember, as to not get into that situation of thinking a girl likes you when she doesn’t.

  1. When a girl says ‘Let’s get coffee’, this is not code for ‘I like you’, ‘I want to date you’ or ‘I want to sleep with you’. It means she wants to have coffee with you. Same for ‘Let’s see a movie’, ‘Let’s catch up’ etc.
  2. Girls like attention. They like to flirt, play and tease. This does not mean they want to see your Star Wars sheets or what is underneath them.
  3. If a girl has a boyfriend, she thinks it is okay to say you are ‘hot’, ‘sexy’, ‘cute’, ‘gorgeous’ ‘insertnicewordhere’, without it being in a sexual way. Because, obviously, she has a boyfriend and is therefore not interested in you. (Although, if she breaks up with said boyfriend, asks you for coffee and tells you you’re gorgeous, it’s probably safe to kiss her. Maybe).
  4. Same goes for ‘I loveeeee youuuu <3 <3 xxx’ texts. She doesn’t really mean she loves you.
  5. Just because you find a girl attractive, doesn’t mean she finds you attractive. And even if she does find you attractive, it doesn’t mean she wants to get hot and heavy on the bonnet of a car. Mostly.

Now that’s settled, can we please be friends?