You Just Entered The Friend Zone!

Yes, a moment of silence indeed.

Yes, a moment of silence indeed.

You are about to enter a dimension that no man should dare enter especially if he is trying to get into a relationship with a woman or more importantly get laid. This is the dreaded place that is known throughout both the online world as well as the real world as a place that says “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” And guys if this has happened to you, you should know by now that there is no escape… from the Friend Zone!

For starters I have been researching today’s dating culture in my spare time for the last few years and what I have learned awakened me primarily because I am no stranger to this phenomenon. I have been friend-zoned all throughout high school and junior high not to mention my twenties and this was back in a time before the term “friend zone” even existed. The last time this happened to me was four years ago and after that and after I started learning about the dating scene and how it is rigged against men, I swore to myself in the words of Sean Connery when asked if he would ever play James Bond again: “Never again.”

So what is the Friend Zone? Well, in the dating culture (or as I should really say “the hookup culture” because everything is all about sex these days), the Friend Zone is a woman’s first line of defense against men who they feel are below what they’re looking for in terms of looks and status. Unfortunately a majority of men in America fall under this category.

This tactic is more commonly used when a woman is in her teenage years right on up until her early-thirties when her status is highest and she is at the peak of her physical attractiveness where she usually seeks out nothing but the highest-quality man in terms of both looks and status. This is also the period where women focus on having as much “fun” as possible with the bad boys and rich men with options while at the same time giving the lower-quality man hope (or more likely a false sense of hope) that he will one day have a relationship with her but for now is merely there to offer moral support, a shoulder for her to cry on whenever something bad happens with her boyfriend/husband and to buy her things, such as drinks at the bar and that expensive necklace she wanted at the jewelry store that her boyfriend/husband will not buy her.

The Friend Zone tactic used by women is so effective that many men who wind up in a woman’s Friend Zone are either forced to settle for lower quality women, relocate to another country to look for foreign women to date and marry if they can afford to travel or they end up dropping out of the dating scene altogether to focus on building their careers and their wealth (remember a majority of American Women are attracted to money above all else no matter how much they try to deny it.)

Many times the majority of men are forced to wait until their mid to late thirties to get laid, assuming they get laid at all. Others just simply opt out of the dating scene altogether because they know the game is rigged against them and end up with some degree of hidden resentment toward women. And when it comes to these men’s attitude towards the dating game, they realize that the only way to win the dating game is not to play at all.

And I am aware that men do this to women that are not attractive to them but for the purposes of this article we are just focusing on when women do this to men since that is the most common form of the Friend Zone practice.

So what prompted me to do this piece on the Friend Zone? Well not too long ago, I found a status update on my Facebook feed from my local radio station 97.9 KISS-FM in Utica, New York which had to do with a woman who friend-zoned a guy and suddenly decided she had feelings for him just as she found out that he was about to get involved with another girl. The status went something like this: “Saw a tweet yesterday: ‘A guy in the friend zone almost got a girlfriend today so I told him I like him so he wouldn’t. I don’t… but I need him just in case. He’s my backup plan.’ This is from a girl in her late-twenties, too old to be playing these games. Have you ever had or do you have a backup plan? I just don’t get why people in this day and age continue to string people along.”

Yep. Sounds about right.

Here’s my spin on this: First up, if the girl actually straight up liked him, she would not have friend-zoned him in the first place so she could focus on hooking up with the bad boys. But sadly that is what society and the media teaches them to do. I think what happened here was a simple case of a guy seeing a girl he could have a relationship with therefore finding a way out of the other girl’s Friend Zone and the girl who imprisoned him in the Friend Zone could not handle the fact that the guy found someone he can possibly do better with so she decides to come between him and this other girl by making up that line about how she liked him so that he could not pursue the other girl.

Make sense? If not, that’s okay. Neither does anything else in today’s dating society.

In some ways, the Friend Zone concept harkens back to the review I did of the 80’s teen sex comedy The Last American Virgin earlier in the year. In that movie, Gary was trying to get with Karen but kept blowing his chances at every turn. Besides it was obvious that she would rather hook up with Gary’s bad boy best friend Rick thus putting Gary in the Friend Zone. And to further add to his torment, Karen attempted to pair Gary up with her geeky and weird-looking best friend who genuinely liked him. Even when it looked like Gary was finally going to end up with Karen after he helped her get an abortion after Rick knocked her up, the movie threw us a curve and Karen ended up taking the bad boy boyfriend back thereby forcing Gary back into the Friend Zone and he goes home crying, hence probably the most realistic ending in the history of movies. Plus I still stand by what I said in the review about how I believe that The Last American Virgin predicted today’s dating culture, even though the classic symbol of a man in the Friend Zone remains the character of Duckie from Pretty in Pink which I have not seen.

And I’m just going to say for the record I think that line “He’s my backup plan” is kind of disturbing.

Well to answer KISS-FM’s question, have I ever used a girl as a “backup plan?” No, I have not. In fact personally I have never had the chance to break a woman’s heart. However, I know of a girl on Facebook who attempted to get with me while she was still in a relationship with another guy, which I guess qualifies as her trying to make me her “backup plan.” I did not go through with that primarily because that girl was drama-central, not to mention she had kids. Then after her boyfriend cheated on her, she tried to get with me again. I refused and she ended up taking her ex back.

So in conclusion, what do I think about the concept of the Friend Zone? It’s real, folks and it’s not spectacular. Sorry. Seinfeld joke, couldn’t resist. I’m sure many of you guys are reading this article know what I’m talking about and I’m sure a lot of you have been there. I know I have and if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have saved myself a whole lot of grief in high school and everything else beyond that.

And this is coming from a guy who as The Who’s theme song from CSI: Miami says, “won’t get fooled again.”

I also did a video version of this blog: https://blackcatloner.com/2015/07/30/you-just-entered-the-friend-zone-vlog/

A Thing About Introverts

I am going to talk about an issue that is prevalent in today’s society and it is something that matters to me because I fall into this category and yes it is based on a project I did for school. What I am going to talk about now is the concepts of introverts and how they can survive in a world that is predominately extroverted. 

Picture this for a moment. You are at a party surrounded by hundreds of people looking as though they are having a good time. For every one of those partygoers, there will always be that one person who feels out of place. This is a person that feels as though he or she does not belong there and would rather be at home than out in public surrounded by happy people. If you see such a person, chances are that person may be an introvert.

Introverts are people who normally keep to themselves and who usually direct their social energy inwards as opposed to their counterpart, the extrovert who usually direct their social energy outwards. The extrovert enjoys being around people and thrives off of being around them while the introvert on the other hand feels more comfortable not being in social situations too long. According to the book Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D., the introvert makes up more than half of the population and yet we assume that introverts are an occasional deviation—the geeks in the shadows.

In short, America has become a land of extroverts.

In order to compare how introverts and extroverts fare in today’s world, we would have to take a look inside the minds of both parties. According to an article on livescience.com, scientific research has led to the conclusion that certain neural differences in people’s brains can determine a person’s characteristics. Study researcher Inna Fishman of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California observed that the study was just another piece of evidence to support the theory that personality is more than just a psychological concept.

To support their theory, Fishman and her colleagues recruited twenty-eight participants between the ages of eighteen to forty years old who varied from introverted to somewhat extroverted to very extroverted.  Using electroencephalography, or EEG as it is more commonly known, the researchers studied a change in the brain’s electrical activity known as P300. P300 refers to the amount of time in which a person reacts to a change in their environment. In this case, the reaction occurred within 300 milliseconds.

In the experiment, the subjects saw a series of photographs featuring human faces and were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with pictures of yellow ones. As a result, the higher the subjects scored on a test for extroversion, the greater their P300 response was to human faces. In other words, extroverts pay more attention to human faces than the introverts did.

When they were tested, the introverted subjects were revealed to have very similar responses to the images that the extroverts had. However as Fishman observed, the introverts regarded the human faces with indifference. In the end, Fishman concluded that extroverts held more importance with social interactions than introverted people did.

According to the article “The Science of What Makes an Introvert and an Extrovert,” personality is part of what makes us who we are, so it’s not surprising that introversion and extroversion have wide-ranging effects on our lives which also includes engaging in risky behavior. Extroverts are more prone to engage in risky behavior as opposed to their introverted counterparts, most notably in drinking, unprotected sex, and high-risk sports to name a few.

The article also goes on to say that extroverted traits are more highly valued in today’s society, and this can make introverts feel like something is wrong with them. However, author Susan Cain noted that schools and workplaces are designed to work in favor of extroverts, explaining that collaboration is key to creativity and productivity, which is the opposite of the introvert’s need for solitude. The article ended with the statement that Cain was calling for a new educational and workplace system that allows introverts the freedom and solitude they need to thrive and be successful.

For many, the real test over how introverts and extroverts interact with the world around them is in the workplace. A place of employment many times require people to interact with people more often than not. The workplace is where extroverts really tend to shine and depending on the job, this is where the introvert tends to feel out of place. When it comes to work, introverts prefer to concentrate on one task at a time, and observe a situation before deciding to get involved.

Careers that promote the strengths of introverts include scientists, writers, and artists while extroverts tend to be politicians, teachers, and salespeople where quick-thinking, problem-solving and the ability to multitask brings out the extrovert’s abilities really well as opposed to the fact that the introvert tends to desire the need to complete the task on their own.

However as it is on the streets, extroverts still try to force the introverts to “come out of their shells” and try to be more socially interactive. Hence the misconceptions that both parties face on a regular basis come out. For example the introvert is seen as shy or withdrawn while the introvert could see the extrovert as too bossy and too loud. The article goes even further to point out that in order to be a successful employee, it is crucial to understand not only yourself, but also the personalities of those around you in the workplace.

Even to this day, introverts are misunderstood by their extroverted counterparts as far as their quiet demeanor goes. The only way for the misconceptions to end is for the extroverts to give the introverts the space they need to thrive. In return the introverts also need to learn that the extroverts mean well when they say that they are trying to bring them out of their shells and that they are not trying to offend them.

While extroverts have the advantage when it comes to traditional social interactions, introverts have found a place where they can socially interact on their terms: The Internet. It was found that introverted and neurotic people were able to locate their “real me” on the Internet, most notably in today’s social media-dominated world.  Thanks to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even dating sites, introverts have the ability to interact without fear of becoming too overwhelmed which tends to take place whenever they go out in public. Therefore, they have the right to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable enough to meet a person in public. They also have the right to rewrite what they say online whereas in the real world, if an introvert says the wrong thing then they run the risk of being rejected by the person or people that they are trying to connect to.

However the introvert’s concept of living in a virtual world can be a dangerous one primarily because of the fact that they tend to view the Internet as a replacement for real-life interactions. It has also been said that people who cannot express themselves are prone to suffer from serious psychological disorders. And that thought in itself is as good a reason as any to continue looking into this phenomenon about the social interaction between the user and the Internet and its impact on said person’s well-being.

It has been proven that extroverts hold more importance on the world of social interactions than the introverts do. After all as was mentioned before at the beginning of this report, America is the land of extroverts and they have more advantages as far as traditional social interactions go as opposed to the introverts. Extroverts also take the most risks while the introverts are more quiet, thoughtful and more likely to go it alone on various tasks. Of course in recent years, introverts have discovered the newest phase of social interaction offered by the Internet. On the Internet, those who cannot interact socially in the real world routinely run the risk of having the world offered by the use of social media and the Internet replace the real world.

In the article How to Thrive in an Extroverted/Introverted Workplace, a list of three simple rules that extroverts need to know about their introverted colleagues. For example , if an introvert needs alone time, the extrovert should respect it and not take it personally; that they should wait patiently for an introvert’s opinion because they are not in a rush to speak up; and that extroverts should not try to turn an introvert into an extrovert.

The article also explains in turn of what introverts should know about their extroverted colleagues: That the extroverts actually mean well and are not trying to be annoying; that they can help with small talk; and that there are extroverts who also have a quiet side to them as well.

In the end it is little things like this that can help bridge the long-term gap between the introverts and the extroverts to a state where both can find harmony.

Now I have pretty much always been an introvert so you can tell that this segment as well as its original incarnation as a project for school is very important to me because I truly found out I was an introvert when I took a Sales and Promo course during my last semester as a Radio/TV major at Herkimer College and we had to take a simple psychology test to determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert and my results revealed that I was an ISTP which stands for Introvert Sensing Thinking Perception. And as a result that was kind of unnerving to me because the Radio/TV industry is predominately extrovert. That was probably why I wasn’t really doing well in that class and as a result that’s what actually led me to drop the course and change my major to Communication Arts New Media where I probably should have been since my work has been mainly on the Internet.

In the end, I should really be thankful for that test because I’m in a place where I truly belong and I have the option to thrive in a medium where I can act on my own terms and practically be myself. Besides being an introvert is not that bad. There are a lot of cool people who are introverts. In fact, my top 2 favorite superheroes Spider-Man and Batman are introverts as well. So yeah. I’m in good company.

RIP Leonard Nimoy

Today we lost an iconic legend whose career has impacted the lives of people all over the world and I am saddened beyond words so I figure I’d take some time out of my busy schedule at school to post this really quick blog to pay my respects to Leonard Nimoy. RIP Spock and live long and prosper. 🙁

To Russia/Ukraine/Asia/Etc. For Love

For today’s vlog, which is based on a project I did for Voice and Diction class, we’ve got a little hard-hitting story for you, because today we are going to ask the question: Why do American men go for foreign women for lasting relationships? I am sure the answer will shock you immensely.

If you have been involved in the dating game in America, you will almost certainly have heard the terms, “Nice guys finish last,” “All girls want jerks,” and “Girls only want the nice guys when they’ve already wasted the best years of their lives with bad boys and when they’ve hit their late 20’s and 30’s and their looks are gone and they have five kids with five different men” and so on and so forth. And the dating game in today’s society is clearly stacked against men especially those in their early 20’s. Women in their early 20’s have their pick from any guy as long as they’re exciting, good-looking, rich, and basically an all-around jerk because women like a challenge as they try to reform the bad boy and failing horribly. Then after they’ve gone through the roller coaster ride with every bad boy they can find, then they say that they want to settle down and marry the nice guy.

However, they don’t marry the nice guy for love. They do it because they want a provider and a savior for her and whatever kids she may have as a result of her past. And if that doesn’t work, there is a thing called no-fault divorces where the woman takes the guy to court and takes half his earnings and anything else she takes goes for child support, even if the child is not his to begin with.

And in the end, the women who have routinely rejected and ignored the nice guys while they were in their prime now ask the question: “Where have all the good guys gone?” Well, I’ll tell you where they’ve gone. For those who haven’t given in to a life of forced loneliness or given up and taken one of these bad women, they’ve gone to Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Asia, South America… You see a pattern emerging here? That’s right, folks. Men have decided to leave the US to find foreign women for lasting relationships and marriage.

Now what is the attraction between American men and foreign women? Well, according to a blog site I came across called LovedByHer.com, the reasons why men go for foreign women are mainly based on their exotic beauty, intelligence, class, dedication to family, loyalty to their spouses and their desire to look their best for their mates. That along with the fact that in many of the countries that American men are flocking to, the ratio of eligible women to men is significantly higher due to wars and civil unrest. And foreign women do not care about wealth and they don’t care if the men are American or not.

My experiences with foreign women who have come to America have been fairly good. I found that I can relate to them a lot more than I can American women. In fact, I brought up a story about how I almost went out with a Ukrainian woman who was part of a subcontract group that did maintenance at my job during my early days there. I’m not sure what happened to her because I haven’t seen her in years, but my experiences with her have been positive.

And a lot of the Ukrainian women that have contacted me on the Internet, most recently on a dating site I discovered called Anastasiadate.com, I got more letters from women on that site (many of whom are from Ukraine) than I ever have from an American woman on okcupid.com and the many other dating sites I belong to. It’s refreshing that the only problem I have to encounter on that site (apart from the usual fees for certain services and you know how I feel about that) is who to reply to first because they’re all so beautiful, very sincere and of all the women that have ever messaged me on the Internet, they have the best pickup lines I have ever heard.

The fact that American men, most notably nice guys who have been rejected repeatedly by American women are finding true love with foreign women is causing American women to freak out. They start saying that “Oh, you can’t get with foreign women. They only want to use you so they can get a green card;” “Oh, they’re gold diggers;” and “You’re just looking in the wrong places. You should date us regardless of our past.” As far as to whether American women are right or not, that while there are some foreign women who actually are out to scam men to get a green card, that population is decidedly minor. The truth is that American women will say just about anything to prevent their alleged “future disposable providers” from leaving to go to another country to find true love somewhere else. The truth is the reason that American men are leaving the country is because American women let us go with their rejection of us for being too nice, treating women with respect and other good traits that American women find reprehensible in good guys that they don’t find reprehensible in jerks. And now American women have to live with it.

So in conclusion, as long as American men can find happiness and not limit it to America then more power to them. In fact, I think I might jump on the bandwagon and get a foreign girl myself. Sorry, American ladies. That’s the way it is. See what you reduced us to?

I Will Not Pay to Online Date!

That pretty much sums it up.

That pretty much sums it up.

I figure I’d now take the opportunity to do a little dating rant based on both a paper I wrote in Creative Writing class last semester at HCCC and also based on actual experience. Okay, here we go.

Here’s the situation. You’re on a dating site looking for someone who could easily become your significant other. Then one day, he or she decides to send you a message. You go online and check your inbox to see his or her message. You go to click on the message and next thing you know, the site’s asking you for your credit card information because they want you to pay a membership fee before you can talk to the person trying to message you.

Has this ever happened to you? Well, being a man of the Internet myself, it has happened to me several times. And no folks, I did not give the site my credit card. But still, I am sort of mad about this. I mean, we’re talking about the major dating sites like Match.com, Cupid.com, eHarmony.com and countless others. Match.com takes it a step further and asks for the credit card just to see who viewed your profile. They’re the ones who advertise that they have a very high success ratio in matching people up and yet they sneak in that “free trial membership” deal just to get you to pay. This is absolute crap.

Now I know that there are free sites out there that people can go to (and I belong to a couple of them) such as OKCupid.com, DateHookup.com or you can even use the social networking sites like Facebook and other sites. I have had slightly better luck on the social networking sites than I have had on either the dating sites or offline. Although none of the potential dates I met on the social networking sites led to anything lasting, at least I didn’t have to be prompted to whip out the ol’ credit card to talk to someone.

However, I still think that paying money to talk to someone on a dating site is just too much. Probably the only valid reason I would accept as far as people paying to talk to a potential significant other is that the site is trying to curb creepers and scammers that would otherwise have a field day on the free sites. However, it also has the potential to keep out people who are sincere about finding someone and who may not even have a credit card to use to pay to talk to someone.

And in that case, I just think that’s wrong. But that’s just me.

In conclusion, I just think that if the main dating sites did away with their fees and their “free trial membership” tactics, people would actually have better luck meeting people without having to shell out the credit card to pay unnecessary money just to talk to someone who may or may not be interested in them. That way, more people would actually use the site to hopefully find the happiness they deserve without having to reach for the wallet.

The reaching for the wallet part should be reserved for the date itself.