Met this guy on Plenty of Fish. Went for a drink in a bar. Went well enough. Not 100% sure on the spark, but he was 6’4″, pretty masculine, we got on well enough, and he seemed like a nice, relationship-minded guy. So a second date was arranged.
I asked him where he wanted to go.
“Your room but failing that, how about Purl in Marylebone?”
Wait… what?!? My room?!
Let’s give this some context. We’d had a chat in a bar for a couple of hours, drinking mostly soft drinks. Conversation was good, but no flirting. We didn’t kiss. No mention of anything sexual. I mean, if we’d already done stuff, it would make sense that he’d suggest going to my room. After all, a takeaway and a Netflix and chill session is probably more fun than a overpriced drinks in a bar. But this was a “maybe” second date.
So the fact that he’d suggested my room as a venue means either:
a) He has poor social skills and is bad at picking up signals
b) He didn’t care about the outcome enough
Neither are really qualities you want in a partner. And the fact that he didn’t respond to my text shutting him down meant perhaps… the answer was b).
It reminded me of a guy I used to talk to. He was a bit of a player, but I’m one of the few women he’s not attracted to, so he used to talk to me about women, which gave me some interesting insights into the dating world. One of the things he said was that if he likes a girl, he’ll be more cautious, but if he’s not that fussed, he’ll escalate boldly, as he “might as well get a fuck out of it” (what a charmer). So if a guy suggests going back to your room with no level of sexual interest established, basically, you’re in the fuckzone.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the fuckzone is the female equivalent of the friendzone. The friendzone is the zone of men a woman gets on with well enough… but would never get with. The fuckzone is the zone of women a man is attracted to and would get with… but wouldn’t consider a relationship with. Maybe you’ve been messaging and flirting, and you thought it was the start of a beautiful relationship… but he just wanted sex. Maybe you had a promising first date, and your idea of a second date was dinner or possibly a movie… and his was “I could come over to yours with a bottle of wine”. Maybe you already have slept together, and you were thinking this could go somewhere… and he didn’t. Maybe you were seeing each other, and you wanted to DTR… and he didn’t. Whatever the situation, no matter how great you think you’d be together, you’re relegated firmly in the fuckzone.
Being in the friendzone sucks. I can’t deny that it must be tough to absolutely fancy the pants off someone, then hear that you’re well and truly a non-sexual being in their eyes. A shoulder to cry on, but never a penis to ride on. It must dent your confidence. Particularly if it’s happened multiple times with multiple women.
But somehow, being in the fuckzone is worse. If you’re a man and you find a woman attractive, you can just ask her out and move on with your life if she says no. But relationships don’t tend to go from 0 to 100. In the early stages, you’re always navigating through the fuckzone to some extent. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t come across men I’m really attracted to on a daily basis. So when you do find someone you’ve got that spark with, and the feeling appears to be returned, it’s a great feeling. We women like to be desired. To flirt, and be flirted with. To be reminded that we are sexual beings, particularly after a long dry spell. And we want sex, but we also want the other stuff, like you know, MARRIAGE AND KIDS. So when you feel that spark and you thought they felt the same about you, then hear “sorry love- you’re a place to park my penis and nothing more”, it’s even more galling. Because the hope was there… then it wasn’t.
So what’s the solution? Well, there isn’t an easy one. If you’re in the fuckzone, you’re in the fuckzone. Just like if you’re in the friendzone, you’re in the friendzone. But you can limit the amount of time you waste there. Just like if a man fancies a woman, rather than spending months pretending to be friends, he must indicate interest right away and move on if it is not returned, it’s important to have a strong filter and cut off disinterested guys early on. It’s best to wait a while before sleeping together, and get a measure of his interest and screen for red flags (unless of course, all you want is sex). And if a guy says he’s “not looking for anything serious” (or indicates as such), do not have sex with him/ keep messaging him/ continue to date him in the hope that he’ll change his mind. When you know you know, and when it’s an “I don’t know”, is a no.