Lists, Theory & Essay

close-bus syndrome: six signs that a woman has been friend-zoned

two weeks ago, i outlined six signs that you’ve fallen into the friend zone, a detailed look at that infamous “coitus-less abyss” where women take pleasure in turning unsuspecting men into eunuchs.

it’s common knowledge that women employ this tactic, intentionally turning their jolly wetwets to janky wet blankets, to vet and hopefully discourage uninspiring and uninteresting potential mates, but whats not so common knowledge is the fact that…

…men do it too.

***please re-read this last sentence for ultimate clarity and resonance***

***done yet? ok***

thing is, while there’s one easily perceptible tell to see if a guy’s been friend zoned-ed (“are they f*cking?”), the signs of a woman being friend zoned are much more subtle, mainly because a man can sleep with and even be in a relationship with a woman he’s placed there.

with this in mind, i’ve decided to share six signs that a woman’s been friend zoned, a phenomenon i’ve coined “close bus syndrome” (cbs)

why cbs, you ask? well, it describes what happens when you’re waiting for a bus for a while, and just end up catching a bus that might deliver you somewhere close to your destination. instead of waiting on the bus you really want, you decide to take the close bus because you’re tired of standing and want to ride something…anything.

when women have been friend zoned, they represent the  “close buses”, being taken for rides by men who don’t even sit down cause they’re bracing themselves to jump off at any moment.

so, without further ado, here’s six signs you’ve been close-bused

1. you only see him when he’s ***fill in the blank***

drunk. tired. horny. sleepy. hungry. dead from clubbing. broke. dopey. sneezy. bashful.

basically, if the adjective that fills in the blank sounds like it could be the name of one of the seven dwarfs, you’ve officially been close-bused.

2. you’ve never met any of his friends. not one. you haven’t even met his neighbors, co-workers, pets, or favorite panera bread waitor. in fact, you’re not even fully convinced that you’re not the only person on the planet who knows that this dude exists.

guys like to show off women they’re interested in and in relationships with, for two reasons:

1. this is our way of saying to the world “guess who i’m f*cking?? jealous, aint you???”. crass, yeah, but its science and sh*t, and, like the champ, science is never wrong.

2. to vet

if you’ve been seeing a guy for a decent amount of time, and you still havent met any of his people, he’s either hiding you because he thinks he’d catch a beastiality charge if people knew you were sleeping together, or he figures that you’re not important enough to vet because you’ll be gone soon anyway.

3. he’s seemingly never happy to see you.

the close bus look of disgust starts at an early age

the close bus look of disgust starts early

basically, if he makes a face like an infant with gas everytime he sees you or you attempt to discuss plans, i wouldn’t start picking out the names of those grandchildren yet

4. he speaks to you with the exact same voice inflection and tone he uses when playing madden with his boys

even if its subconscious, most guys will change their tone and speech patterns a bit when speaking to a woman theyre interested in, even if its changing “niggas” to “nigras” or dropping the f-bomb once every 50 words instead of once every 10.

if you’re his close bus, you’re probably his “nigga” too, but not in the awww-inducing “she’s my road dawg, man. my nigga” sense but in the “nigga, go make me some grits, nigga!” sense.

5. you were a consolation prize

if a man makes a serious, “there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that i’m interested in this chick” play for one of your girls, sisters, cousins, co-workers, parole officers, etc…and gets thoroughly and publicily rejected, there’s no way in hell he’s going to ever look at you as anything but a consolation prize, and consolations prizes get close-bused.

i guess the only way to avoid this ever happening is to have ummm, “aesthetically belligerent” friends and sisters

6.  he doesn’t care

although we love to feign nonchalance, because it makes us seem cool and cool men get laid, we do actually care about the sh*t that ya’ll do…if we care about you, lol. if not? hmmmm…

….if  “i’m moving next week”, “i think i’m gonna cut my hair like tong po in “kickboxer”, and “i think i lost my citizenship” are all met with the same lazy shrug and half-hearted “damn…thats messed up” as he looks up from his carpet, maybe its time to re-think those joint lease plans

so, vsb…am i right, or am i right?

—the champ

Filed Under: ,
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • PrincesMo

    Wow this is crazy i’m pretty much just a lurker and i’m first–like winning the lottery

    • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

      @PrincesMo, Dang! I was only gonna comment so I could be first!

      • PrincesMo

        @Hostess,
        LOL. You still get an A for effort from me :)

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      @PrincesMo, Hahah Finally a “first” comment i can get behind. WELCOME!

      • Outrageous G.E.M.

        how is this 1st comment different than any other????

        • http://www.heyyouasked.blogspot.com PBG

          @Outrageous G.E.M.,

          You didn’t make it.

          • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

            @PBG,

            ROTF!!! U stoopid

      • PrincesMo

        @Liz,
        LOL thanks.

  • http://theyounganddisenchanted.wordpress.com/ puff

    you’re right.

    i’ll add a number 7:

    if you call him more than he calls you. and if he just happens to not be around his phone/have no service/being arrested every time you call him, it’s time to gracefully bow out.

    • miss t-lee

      @puff,
      “if you call him more than he calls you. and if he just happens to not be around his phone/have no service/being arrested every time you call him, it’s time to gracefully bow out”

      Yep…kats get three calls before I stop calling, for good.

      • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

        @miss t-lee, Damn. I only do two. Why? Cus people have been trained that they get three chances so they take for granted that after the second call, they’ll hear from you (not you per se) again.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          @Hostess,

          me too. two calls without a call back is the limit that anyone new i’ve met will get

          • Chase Whatmatters

            Ok can you please go into more detail about #5. Are you saying when a guy flirts with your friends and gets rejected then he will use you to make a point?

            • http://lizburr.com Liz

              Welcome and sh*t.

        • Princess Duvet

          @Hostess,

          “I only do two.”

          shat, two seems excessive for a woman. If he isn’t calling…Im thinking the second call probably isn’t going to turn things around.

          • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

            @Princess Duvet, I have T-Mobile. I have not gotten many messages so I give other people the second call benefit of the doubt.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              @Hostess,

              i just got a message last wednesday wishing me happy birthday.

              my birthday was dec. 30th

              • V Renee

                @The Champ

                D@mn you just now getting that text from me. My bad. But being honest, I sent it the same day you got it. Ill try to be better next year.

                I kid I kid I kid

        • Alynrochelle

          @Hostess, you know that’s a good point to only do two calls. When I was younger I used to do that crap, but now not a chance. Men’s ego get bigger when you calling seeming like you’re desparate.

          Also, the last guy I dated I fell victim to #2, and when I realized I hadn’t met his friends, I already knew why. I confronted him, he verified what I was thinking, I broke up with his dumb ass.

        • Nyki

          2 is my limit as well, your reasoning awesome. my reasoning let’s not play the game when you are interested you want to call that person back.

      • http://cornellwestside.blogspot.com/ Cornell Westside

        @miss t-lee,

        my rule is if i leave 2 voicemails and get no response/reply, then i lose your number. Then if she actually does call back afterward, convenient amnesia sets in and I start asking questions like (but not limited to) the following:

        We met where?
        …and why should I talk to you?

        • miss t-lee

          @Cornell Westside,
          I do the convenient amnesia thing as well.
          *snicker*

        • Nyki

          “oh its you, whats up” dry toast style

    • http://fyre08.blogspot.com Ro

      @puff, same goes for text messages.

  • shay-d-lady

    I dont think that shyt happens in real life…..but if it does.. I guess thats a good list..
    I did have this one dude that was hot and heavy for me for a while and then fell off but that aint the same thing…….but it sounds like the same behavior is prevalent whenever a dude aint feeling you whether its at the beginning or end of a relationship he.ll apparently regardless of if there is a “relationship”…

    • http://www.yahoo.com Lulu

      @shay-d-lady,
      But it does happen in real life. I see it all the time. I’m not trying to tell you what happened in your relationship but I know that guys don’t split hairs over details the way women do. You’re either in, in-between, on your way out or out. If it isn’t the first two (hell, the first) you can be neatly categorized as a friend. I always tell my girls: remember, you’re his friend until you’re not. To me at least, that’s all there is to it.

      PS: It sucks knowing this because I can always tell when I’m about to get played/not get what I want from the situation. But at least if I stick around, it’s intentional, not because I didn’t recognize the signs. Now why I would stick around is what makes me a woman the times when I’m not thinking like a man. Haha.

    • miss t-lee

      @shay-d-lady,
      “I dont think that shyt happens in real life…..”

      I think it happens plenty. Chicks ignore the signs, or they are so dyckmatized they don’t even realize it’s going on.

      • 8th Wonder

        Yep.

      • mssmtaylor

        @miss t-lee,

        *dykmatized* I love it!!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @shay-d-lady,

      I dont think that shyt happens in real life…..but if it does.. I guess thats a good list..

      lol…trust me, it does. it was easy to make this list because all i did was list sh*t that i did while close-busing

      • shay-d-lady

        @The Champ, I guess I should count myself privileged to never have been close bussed… LMAO

    • FiveFivewithbrowneyes

      @shay-d-lady,

      To jump on the bandwagon, this does happen. I was just “close bussed” like a muthafudger, but in my case just reaping what had been sowed.

  • Leila

    “a man can sleep with and even be in a relationship with a woman he’s placed there”

    If a man’s placed a woman in the friendship category, why would he be in a relationship with her? Just thinking about myself, I would never be in a relationship with a man who I placed in the friendship category cuz that would be a waste of time…Funny pic by the way….

    • sisanda

      @Leila,

      “I would never be in a relationship with a man who I placed in the friendship category cuz that would be a waste of time”

      and that’s why you’re a woman…i don’t think in terms of waste of time, it’s more like “Do i have anything/anyone better to do right now?”, simple logic

      • http://www.yahoo.com Lulu

        @sisanda, exactly! sometimes I feel like I am the only woman amongst my friends who understand men. sigh

      • Suga&Spice

        @sisanda, Is it a problem that I am a woman who uses this same logic?

        • ladyb

          @Suga&Spice,
          for what it’s worth, I’m a woman who uses this logic, too. I don’t think it’s a problem. Man, I’m just glad there’s finally a name for this condition: “Close bus”

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @sisanda,

        it’s more like “Do i have anything/anyone better to do right now?”, simple logic

        good point

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        @sisanda,

        I dig ur point, cuz its true. Hell, I’ve employed the same logic myself before

    • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

      @Leila, It’s called SETTLING FOR THE MOMENT. Women do this too.

    • WestIndianArchie

      @Leila,

      Men and women both view the concept of a relationship romantically. Even the most jadest amongst us believe that there’s someone out there that will make us feel brand new every day.

      So you could be with a girl for YEARS. She cooks, she cleans, handles her bed room duties – but at no point do you actually get emotionally involved with her.

      Dude can be right next to you every day, and still so distant that you’re never sure if you know him.

      • miss t-lee

        @WestIndianArchie,
        “Dude can be right next to you every day, and still so distant that you’re never sure if you know him.”

        Sad, but true.

      • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

        @WestIndianArchie,

        Dude can be right next to you every day, and still so distant that you’re never sure if you know him.

        This is true. Why would a man want to live like that? What does it benefit him?

        • Leila

          @pgh muse, “This is true. Why would a man want to live like that? What does it benefit him?”

          That’s what I’m wondering. I’d rather be single than settle and be miserable.

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com SuperSula

          @pgh muse,

          He has companionship and that very interesting and often all-encompassing thing: s3x-on-demand with no effort to put in.

          Men (and some women) are very simple creatures. They can fulfill emotional needs using other ways or not fulfill them at all.

          I can relate to this because I’ve done it. I didn’t go through with the wedding because after all I’m a woman (and my emotions are very important to me) but I am thinking men can do this much more often. H3ll, I even know women who marry someone while loving someone else. Because the groom is a “better fit” than the other guy. I know because I almost did.

          • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

            @SuperSula,

            hmmmm… I don’t understand living like this, now a better fit being one thing, and I know that in relationship, love may be the last thing on the agenda… because some people marry for comfort, some for positon… whatever. But personally, I can’t see opening my life and body everyday to someone that I can take or leave. That’s crazy to me

            • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com SuperSula

              @pgh muse,

              Yup, I agree with you. Reason why I bolted. It’s hard for me to live without being able to share my intimacy and be accepted in someone’s as well.

              But it’s done. Over and over again. It also might be slightly cultural. *wet blanket alert* African women (in general) were not necessarily taught to look for love in a marriage. It always had more of a connotation of doing the right thing (by society’s standards). It’s only with recent generations that Love has started factoring in.

              I have a girlfriend who married a man 15 years her senior because he helped her and her family through a very big crisis (her mother died from Cancer and he cared for the mother from day one and even brought her corpse back etc…). I told her that I think she was brave but was that the right thing to do? She told me and I quote: ” What do you want me to tell my father when he tells me that we can never repay the debt we have with this fellow, and besides he’s a good party“. I understood where she was coming from. Now 8 years and 4 kids later, they are still married (although IMHO it’s very obvious they can stand each other). But to most people, it’s still better than “being single and looking for love”… which I find ludicrous… and ridiculous.

              C’est la vie, I guess.

              • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

                @SuperSula,

                That’s a great story, madam. Human beings are something else. it’s funny to me that the world over it’s the womenfolk who are called upon to do the right thing and up hold tradition…

              • http://www.heyyouasked.blogspot.com PBG

                @SuperSula, She had 4 kids in 8 years??

                Uterus says: “I’se tired, boss!”

        • WestIndianArchie

          @pgh muse,

          If you want to do the cost benefit analysis here
          - the (emotional) cost of a faux relationship is nil
          - the benefits are great

          The only downside is the carnage when you want to leave.

          • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

            @WestIndianArchie,

            Right…. and if you actually marry the person that you’re in a faux relationship with, then you have all of the debts you’ve accrued together to situate when you divorce (because you will). And then there are the children to consider. And the whole mess you’ve made of your life… when you could have just been honest in the first place. And then you want to go blame everyone else… but you did it. I know men do this, but it’s INSANE. Men want to avoid commitment and emotional bonding that much? Why?

            • WestIndianArchie

              @pgh muse,

              You’re not getting me.

              We (typically) don’t value the commitment and emotional bonding for commitment/emotional bonding’s sake.

              • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

                @WestIndianArchie,

                So why not just be an eternal batchelor? Why live a lie?

              • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

                @WestIndianArchie,

                The reason I asked that is because I’m really trying to understand. And all that trying to understand this phenomenon brings me to is two points) 1 – a man can say he doesn’t value bonding, but he always does it… most times with multiple partners. This doesn’t provide evidence of a lack of desire to bond (or a lack of value for the bonding process). It’s evidence of a desire to bond, just superficially. Bonding between people is all we have whether those interactions be between males and females, females and females, males and females and so on. Men do this so that they feel like they have some kind of autonomy, I guess. Always wanting their cake and to eat it to… it’s called selfishness.

              • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

                @WestIndianArchie,

                And… We (typically) don’t value the commitment and emotional bonding for commitment/emotional bonding’s sake.

                What else is there besides the bonds and relationships that we build, really?? You can work, you can party, but aside from relationships with other people and with the world around us… there really is nothing else. So cultivating a relationship is never just for the “sake” of commitment or bonding. Cultivating relationships IS living.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            @WestIndianArchie,

            The only downside is the carnage when you want to leave.

            yeah, that carnage can be a b*tch (pun intended)

    • mssmtaylor

      @Leila,

      yeah i feel the same way you do.. unfortunately some men dont think emotionally

  • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

    you said ‘janky’…this made me chuckle. i’ll be back…

  • http://www.regularpeoplefashion.blogspot.com Amber J

    All of this hits so close to home but I think each man & situation has its own set of rules. In most instances, we know when we’re on the bus with a guy, however, some rides are a little more scenic and longer than others. I just jumped off a moving bus and have road rash… :(

    • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

      @Amber J, Women want each situation to have its own special nuances. But they don’t really. It’s all the same. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s not Aflac!! It’s just a duck.

      • http://www.regularpeoplefashion.blogspot.com Amber J

        @Hostess, ducks are not friends…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @Amber J,

      road rash? that doesnt sound very cute

    • From Da Hip Peyso

      @Amber J, O thats what we callin it these days….

  • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

    ok, i’m back. i think there is a special group of friends even for close-busing. like have you ever been a date with your guy and realized you were double dating with his friend and the girl he was cheating with? (yeah, neither have i) i think when a guy is really diggin’ you, he likes to show you off to the friends as well as the acquaintances. seriously, just cuz you met his boy Tyrone does not mean you won his heart.

    • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

      …and furthermore if he takes you to the obscure mall like south hills mall instead of monroeville mall (where everybody hangs out) to go to the movies…know that you are sooooooooo NOT special. (lol)

      • Leila

        @Miss Patterson, haha. Same with restaurants. If it’s away from everyone, then it’s a sign…

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Miss Patterson,

        and furthermore if he takes you to the obscure mall like south hills mall instead of monroeville mall (where everybody hangs out) to go to the movies

        lol…damn. someone obviously hasnt lived in the burgh in a while

        • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

          @The Champ, so monroeville mall isn’t the popular mall among high schoolers anymore, i take it?

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            @Miss Patterson,

            lol…you know what, actually it still is. i was gonna dispute this, until i remembered how i was engulfed by a sea of 15 year old hoochies, snizzles, wiggers, and young kanyes the last time i went there on a friday. i felt like i was on 106 and park

            • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

              @The Champ, i don’t think i fell into any of those categories. i was just a big eyed ingenue in an ellis uniform. this explains why i didn’t have a chance with y’all close-busin’ kind. it’s not easy being innocent and pure, the world just takes advantage of you. *cue in saxophone* (in my head i keep saying close-busting…i’m funny. carry on)

    • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

      @Miss Patterson, have you ever been a date with your guy and realized you were double dating with his friend and the girl he was cheating with?

      LOL yes…..but I knew my status at that point.. me and my ex were on one of our..we just friends kick…and the movie was he got game…so you know what was going down!

    • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com SuperSula

      @Miss Patterson,

      just cuz you met his boy Tyrone does not mean you won his heart.

      But the contrary is true. If you have never met anyone, even Tyrone means that he’s not digging you like that.

      • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

        @SuperSula, i definitely agree. meeting no one is a bad sign as well.

  • superwoman

    if he’s saved your name on his phone as a guys name – suspect the worst. this happened to a girl i know – she’s misplaced her phone somewhere in the house, and grabbed her ‘boyfriends’ phone to call herself and locate it…

    so she dialed her number, and on the screen, up popped the word ‘Thabo, ‘ one of the commonest boys names in the southern african hemisphere….

    and she’s like… ‘whaaaa??’

    shady, shady, yet slick that man…

    • http://www.myspace.com/shay_d_lady79 Shay-d-lady

      @superwoman, I had a friend..we were visiting her so called “man’s” dorm room..we kickin it and shyt joking and laughing..the phone ring.. she joking pretends to reach for it.. dude dayum near took her wrist off trying to knock her hand out the way… I would say that was a sign

    • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/01/naturally-alises-blog-poetry-slam_27.html Extra-Strength Alise, PM

      @superwoman,

      I changed all my phone number names to women bc my psycho ex would take my phone and call any male name he saw, family or otherwise, so I saved them all as girl derivatives of male names, i.e. Carla, Michelle, Alexis, ‘Champ’aletta, etc…..

      *I was young and stupid, I have since gotten my lifespace in order, lol

      • superwoman

        @Extra-Strength Alise, PM,

        *I was young and stupid, I have since gotten my lifespace in order, lol

        i’m glad that you issued that disclaimer…. cell phones can bring the drama, for sure!!

        • mssmtaylor

          @superwoman,

          “cell phones can bring the drama, for sure”!!

          fo sho

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73903598 Dom

        @Extra-Strength Alise, PM,

        Is your name Toya? My college roomate used to do the same thing.

      • http://theyounganddisenchanted.wordpress.com/ puff

        @Extra-Strength Alise, PM,

        ‘Champ’aletta made me giggle. I think the Champ should consider it for any female children he has.

        • Intellectual Hedonist

          @puff,
          ” ‘Champ’aletta” sounds like a homely girl

          • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

            @Intellectual Hedonist, good, she’ll take after her father. lol

            • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com SuperSula

              @Miss Patterson,

              Zing! Shot fired.

              *chuckles*

    • From Da Hip Peyso

      @superwoman, I want everyone to know that the new Treo has an auto purge option where it can automatically delete texts and phone calls from certain numbers after a certain time. A serious investment for the serial cheater

      • Elle Bella, the ATLella

        @From Da Hip Peyso,

        WHAT?! That is the bizness. Do all Treo’s have this feature???

        • From Da Hip Peyso

          @Elle Bella, the ATLella, just the 800 i heard

      • superwoman

        @From Da Hip Peyso, oh lordy, more tools for the shadies!!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @superwoman,

      “…so she dialed her number, and on the screen, up popped the word ‘Thabo, ‘ one of the commonest boys names in the southern african hemisphere….

      and she’s like… ‘whaaaa??’

      shady, shady, yet slick that man…”

      vsb.com: where south africans say different south african things every week

      • superwoman

        @The Champ, i live to amuse you, champie. although i’m not sure what’s so south african about my post….

  • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/01/naturally-alises-blog-poetry-slam_27.html Extra-Strength Alise, PM

    If everytime you are with them they answer every call, BUT when you call this person they rarely answer. It’s like, “uh-ruh, you tell me you are not a phone person but you stayed on the phone the ENTIRE time when we were together” ….

    • http://myspace.com/goldiilocs goldiilocs

      @Extra-Strength Alise, PM,

      That’s so true.

      • miss t-lee

        @goldiilocs,
        I agree…true stuff.

      • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. fabuloussince1982….

        @goldiilocs,
        definitely true…I almost became a close-bus behind this…but as Ms. Norwood said, almost doesn’t count.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @goldiilocs,

        welcome and sh*t

      • SouthernGirl

        @goldiilocs, welcome!!! *shooting gold stars*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @Extra-Strength Alise, PM,

      good addition and sh8t

  • http://www.heyyouasked.blogspot.com PBG

    This seems strangely similar to “jump-off” status. But not quite.

    Either way, “No thank you, sir. I don’t want none!”

    The Cats, (Sampson, Delilah and Rufus) and I will be just fine up on the porch.

    • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

      @PBG,

      Co-sign. I’d be rockin’ next to you knittin’ a hat b4 i’d accept that.