The dreaded friendzone. It’s what happens to an individual when they aren’t considered a viable romantic option. It can happen to men and women, but since men seem to suffer from it more, this article addresses the challenges a man might face in dating, when trying to avoid being seen as “just a friend”.
Before we can think about getting out of the friendzone, let’s first consider how men get into the friendzone when dating. Typically, a woman has a slight connection with you and there’s an opportunity there to get to know each other better.
As you begin to spend time together, you may develop romantic feelings for her, that are sexual in nature. You want to be affectionate and engage in physical touch but she doesn’t feel the same. It could be that there is some physical contact but she abruptly puts an end to it, or gives you signals that it won’t go any further than it has.
Being in the friendzone doesn’t mean that a woman doesn’t find you attractive, or that she isn’t interested in you as a person, but it means that she isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with you. One that would require her to invest more than she is currently investing. Men find themselves in this position for a variety of reasons but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
Once you find yourself in the friendzone, you might be think that the woman of interest is gone for good but not the case. If a woman is truly willing to be your friend, and continue to spend time with you, there is a chance to transform the relationship from friends to more. The brain likes what is familiar, and once you become a fixture in her life, in a positive way, she will let her guard down and see you as more than a friend. But this has to be done carefully overtime.
Assess The Friendship
Even when a woman decides that she wants to be your friend, you have to assess what type of friend she wants to be. If a woman is using you, then inviting her out, or making plans with her will make it pretty apparent. Especially if you always pay, or she seems on the fence until the very last minute.
Chances are her original plans fell through. Anyone who has an interest in you is willing to spend time with you without pretense. If you have a woman who is readily willing to spend time with you, and doesn’t expect anything from you then you have the foundation of a healthy relationship.
Set the standard early on for the type of friendship that you’re going to have. What makes it hard to get out of the friendzone is a man who is willing to accept any time at all with the woman he desires. He is so eager to be with her that he doesn’t set a standard for what type of friendship he wants to have. He invests more in her than she does in him, and that comes across desperate.
When a woman reveals either verbally, or through her behavior that she is interested in a friendship, your response should be neutral. The next step to winning her over is asking her to continue to invest by making plans, and once you are satisfied with her level of investment even as a friend, you can continue to see and eventual change her mind.
Women are very suspicious of a man’s intention. Most women don’t know whether a man’s interest stems from a genuine desire for her or just out of convenience. Maybe she is the only woman showing him attention, maybe he is lonely, or bored. Despite his attention, she might not yet believe that his interest in her is real, and solely allegiant to her. If you have a genuine interest in a woman, and you want to be more than a friend then you have to choose her and not waiver in your decision.
What might seem as weak is actually the opposite. A woman can say no, to test you. If you are not deterred by the no but respectfully patient, she will be impressed by your determination. What does this look like in action?
A man tells a woman that he is interested in her. This is a confident and bold move. She might reply that she is only interested in a friendship. This is normal. She may not know what she wants, or trust you enough yet to make a decision.
Your response should be simple: I know that you don’t know what you want, but I know what I want, and I can wait until you figure it out.
This works because the woman looks at you as a meek little puppy, who will shrink with her rejection, and feel slighted by her rebuff. You however are not shaken. Women want to be chosen, and they will doubt your allegiance for a long time. Most men aren’t loyal, so this pays off for women time and time again. If you can be more than loyal, but sure, a woman will eventually come around.
Know Clearly What She Wants
Most men who find themselves in the friendzone have no idea what the woman of their affection actually wants. Typically men are blinded by their own desire. They believe that their wanting of her attention is enough to prove compatibility. They believe that every woman should be equally interested in them as they are in her. But it doesn’t work like that. Women are dynamic. They want many things from a man, not just someone to show them attention.
Knowing what a woman wants is attractive and sets you apart in her eyes. When you are paying attention to her in a thoughtful way, she will in turn take your affection seriously. Can you honestly conclude that you are her type on a fundamental level?
Looks aside, are you by definition her type of man? Do you share the same standards? Do you respect the same cultural norms? Do you have a similar vision of the future? Do you understand her perspective on life?
Most men who find themselves in the friendzone lack the self-awareness to realize that they are not the type of man the woman of their interest is looking. They do not match her requirements. And don’t even know what they are. What does she value in a man, and are you the embodiment of those values?
If you know what she wants, then displaying that you are exactly that should be easy. So how is it done?
- You have meaningful conversations about your desires, and goals. Showing her that you are on the same with what she envisions for her future is important.
- You thoughtfully invite her events that match her interest. Experiencing something together that you both find pleasurable makes a huge difference.
- You ask her. Avoiding the truth because you might not fit what she says she wants won’t change the facts. In order to know that you can be who she is looking for, you have to be willing to hear it for yourself.
The friendzone is not the end of a relationship but the beginning. When you want to emerge from the quagmire of friendship, it just takes a clear decision and a focused effort. In a very short time, you can prevail.