How to Always Avoid the “Friend Zone”

For those not familiar, the “friend zone” is the unfortunate state where a man finds himself when the object of his affection only has platonic feelings for him. The reason I’m writing this article is actually because of a question raised recently in the forums, more specifically the wording he used to ask his question. I believe that his choice of words really highlights where guys go wrong in all of this and gives clues on how to never end up in the friend zone. The part of his wording in question:

“Girls, once they friend-zone you never think of you in a sexual or even a relationship material kinda way, and that bugs me cause 90% of the girls miss out on the great guys just cause they don’t wanna date their friends… “

Do you ever feel or think this way? If so then I hate to tell you, but it’s your fault you’re getting in these situations.

Friendzone Level 99

Let’s look a little closer: “once they friend-zone you”“cause they don’t want to date their friends”. Do you notice what I notice here? This guy is putting all of the decision making power in her hands: ‘she did this’, ‘it’s her choice’. He takes zero responsibility for the unfortunate situation he finds himself in and instead blames it all on her and plays the victim card. I’m not beating up on this gentleman, because I find this type of thinking regarding the friend zone to be more common than not. Women make the choice on whether your friends or more and all you can do is try to be as attractive as possible so she picks the latter. It may be pervasive thinking but it’s bullshit.

Regardless of what you may have been led to believe, the decision whether or not you’re friends with a girl is completely in your hands. Why? Because it’s your job as a man to make a (sexual) move, and if you’re just sitting around for her to give you some obvious sign (read: for her to make the first move) then 99%* of the time you’ll end up as “just friends”. Why? Because you made the decision by not making a move. (*the girls who do make the move for you usually aren’t the girls you really want, but rather the girls you ‘settle’ for)

The vast majority of times a guy ends up in the “friend zone”, it started with a woman being genuinely attracted to him, and she’s wondering whether he likes her as well, of if he’s not attracted and just wants to be friends. Then, probably because he’s afraid to “mess things up”, he doesn’t make a move and she assumes one of two things: 1. He’s not into me, he just wants to be friends; or 2. He’s not confident in expressing his sexuality.

I don’t have to tell you how a lack of confidence is the most unattractive thing in the world to a woman, and if a girl feels “rejected” because you didn’t make a move, you better believe she’s going to protect any feelings of attraction she may have had from being hurt by you again. Like my inspiration for this article said, “once they friendzone you (girls) never think of you in a sexual way” – and it’s usually because they’re afraid to put their feelings out there and get rejected by you again.

Let’s say though that she really was never attracted to me in the first place. For starters, I’ll never go through some long, drawn out, painful process to figure that out. If I’m attracted to a woman, I’m making my feelings known within the first one or two times of us hanging out. Sometimes, believe it or not, women just aren’t attracted to me – that’s just the way it works. I’m okay with that because I know there’s plenty more who are – it’s just science. Sometimes women aren’t ready for a more intimate relationship so they keep any and all guys at a platonic distance – it’s just the way it is.

When a woman isn’t attracted to me, or just isn’t ready for a more intimate relationship, I now have a decision to make: Do I just want to be friends with this person or not? Keep in mind the point though, that it’s still MY decision – every step of the way. If you’re thinking or acting like she has the power in these situations you couldn’t be any more wrong.

To take it back to what started this in the first place, “that bugs me cause 90% of the girls miss out on the great guys just cause they don’t wanna date their friends…”. Now we both know that this is bullshit. 90% of girls may or may not miss out on great guys, but it isn’t because they just don’t want to date their friends. It’s because those guys were too afraid to accept the power – and responsibility that comes with it – that was theirs all along, and instead tried to pass that responsibility on to her. The only question now that you know better is – are you going to let it happen again?

32 thoughts on “How to Always Avoid the “Friend Zone”

  1. i did help girls to put on her high heels like this guy in the picture did but that doesnt mean i’m friend-zoned.. i get bjs and all kind of fun and sex with girls every day..

    if u wanna talk about friend-zoned, please defined it properly..

    • The picture was a joke johnny – did you read the article? I defined it “properly” in the very first sentence

  2. Hey Nick…Great article..I’m sure that guy because of whom you wrote this must have realized what a dud he was ..:P
    What you say here is very true and I finally realized how to play this game ..:)

    But a friend of mine asked this and i wondering if you could give a better answer …

    “What if the girl you like is far away from you and you guys can’t go out that often, so there’s no chance of escalating the situation while you guys hangout… the only way you communicate is through calls, texts etc… how do you
    1) escalate the situation from friends to more.?
    2) know whether she likes you too ?”

    I’m sure you can answer this Nick, at least better than i did ..:D

    • Thanks Rohit – although I wouldn’t say he was a “dud” at all, it’s something we’ve all been through.

      To answer your question, first of all it’s difficult – long distance relationships usually don’t work out. As I like to say though, it’s still always worth a shot. I would be patient and try to wait until we were together, but if that’s not an option for another year or so then I’d just put my feelings out there verbally (or over text if that’s how they communicate) and say something like, “so, I have to admit, I kinda like you”, see what she says, and accept her response either way.

      Hope this helps!

  3. I know, long distance is always a gamble… and requires a lot more effort than other relations… I told him that if there’s an option then take the one that’s closer to you ..;)
    But the thing he keeps telling me is that their friendship is more than 10 years old and there’s a huge social circle around them so if things go haywire, he’ll lose a lot more than just her..So he keeps asking for tell-tail signs to whether he can be for sure that she likes him too… (I told him all the signs to look out for if they were hanging out but he wants the signs to know if she likes him through the texts she sends and the way they communicate?..) and that’s were I’m stuck ..
    and that’s why I turned to U 🙂

    Cheers Rohit

    • By “tell tale signs”, it sounds like your friend wants her to make the first move – to do the hard part for him. Sorry, but that’s usually not the way it works and most women don’t want a guy who’s too afraid to do the hard part himself and instead puts it on her.

      He has to make a decision – if it’s worth risking the circle of friends, go for it, if not, don’t. But if he continues to leave the decision up to her he’ll end up disappointed no matter what.

  4. You do make a point .. What’s love without a few risks .. 😀
    Thanks Nick … I’ll be sure to pass on your wisdom to him …
    Cheers Rohit

  5. “He takes zero responsibility for the unfortunate situation he finds himself in and instead blames it all on her and plays the victim card”

    Could have ended the post right there. I’m not sure whether watching guys with this mentality fail with women repeatedly (mainly because they refuse to acknowledge that they’re the problem) is mildly entertaining or just tragic.

    Probably a little of both, yeah?

      • It’s also funny because the tragedy is self-imposed. You and I are among roughly 6,000 sources of readily available information that men who have challenges in relating to women can reach out to – to a large extent for FREE.

        So if “guys are hurting”, it’s only that rare moment of acceptance in which they understand that they’re the ones hurting themselves that they’ll finally “wake”.

        P.S. – Loving the blog posts you and Hudson are penning these days, Nick.

      • Really appreciate it. And reaching that moment you talk about sounds so easy, but is often the toughest step of them all. Thanks again!

  6. Hi Nick
    Now I’m aware am being friend zoned by a girl who I really like, and who still gives me a lot of admiration signs.
    How can I get out the friend zone now, except the kiss on cheek I get when we meet, we don’t touch each other at all.
    Every time I try to hold her hand I can feel she’s panicking, so I let go before she does.
    Every time I hold her shoulder or touch her hair even if I didn’t mean it, she giggles and get away of me.
    I had plently of girls in my life, and I know how to flirt and get sexual, but thish girl is an exception and it’s killing me.

    Can u help?!

    • It sounds like you’re both at fault here. You’re at fault for ignoring the signals that she’s just not interested. She’s at fault for ignoring the signals that you are.

      As mentioned though, you can only control your own actions. It’s time to accept that this girl isn’t into you and either decide to be her friend and get her to hook you up with her female friends or break off the relationship.

      Sorry, I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I’d be willing to bet that if you were really honest with yourself you’d say that there are certain things about her that you don’t want in a relationship either.

  7. Mr. Sparks:

    I was over on http://www.goodmenproject.com and they had a post
    http://goodmenproject.com/noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz/nice-guys-again/

    PLEASE, PLEASE go over there write some guest posts on this subject. I still get ‘friended’ from time to time but with some help from the community I no longer blame women. Many young men, have no idea how to avoid the friend zone, they are VERY angry at women and the comments get intense.

    Thanks for putting this up

    • Thanks for sharing that link, definitely some guys hurting over there. I emailed the editor, so I suppose we’ll see either way.

      Glad you enjoyed, and thanks again!

  8. ABSOLUTELY true, Nick! I realised all of this on my own, but it took a loooong time (I’m in my early 30’s). Women follow your lead and it’s up to you what to do with (to use an all-encompassing word) ‘the stuff’.

    The classic move of not leading the relationship to a physical level and instead leaving the burden of risk and responsibility on her shoulders is something I’ve been guilty of for a long time.

    If you’re not sure if you want to make a move on her (you may have very sound reasons not to), do her and the world a favour, don’t lead her on or mess her around, keeping her hanging on ‘just in case’.

  9. Hey Nick, I want to thank you for your words, i have heard this many times in different ways but you put it in a way that sunk in, finally. I am in limbo with a girl right now and i know i put her there myself and i know she’s in agony too. She still gives me signs but seems afraid of what i’ll do at this point. We touch all the time but sometimes she get nervous and moves away. She gets jealous of girls i went out with 4 years ago but mentions a guy she’s “kind of seeing”. Well, now she moved in as sort of my part time room mate, she loves my attention she cant go more than a day without calling me but i rejected her so much in the past that things are all messed up for me. I thought she was too young for me (19) im 31, but recently ive become really attracted to her. How do i show her that i want her with out scaring her away?

    • Anytime Paul, and man, that’s a tough situation. It sounds like quite a bit of mistrust has creeped in between the two of you, and that’s sure to poison any relationship.

      As far as how to fix it? Well, a good way to think about it is that right now your relationship is sick – based on both of your actions. Yeah, you messed up in pushing her away, but it doesn’t sound like she was perfect either. As with any sickness, it’ll take some time to heal – roughly the same amount of time as you’ve been pushing each other away.

      What it takes for the healing to happen is both of you making a concerted effort to show the other person that you can be trusted – that they can count on you to not hurt each other like you did in the past. As we all know, it’s not easy to regain trust – sometimes it’s impossible – but I believe that if you both give it everything you have you can be successful.

      Keep in mind, if you give everything you have and she doesn’t you’ll fail – so you have to make sure she’s in it just as much as you. If she’s been too hurt to make that commitment, or if she’s just not ready for that in her life, then it’s time to move on – with her as a friend or without.

      Tough situation – good luck!

  10. Nick, I’m kind of really happy and surprised at the same time that, after several years of reading many different online ‘dating advisors (for want of a better phrase), I’m reading your writing and feel like I’m talking to a person and someone I feel a natural and genuine human connection with. I might just have finally found the guy that I can converse with, share thoughts with and make progress with. I really think it’s very subjective i.e. many guys out there won’t feel the same way, but it seems to me that you’ve got a very real talent for writing and you’re coming from a really good place. I’ll be engaging with your mission from now on and, basically, thanks dude, because you’re doing some really good shit and I’ll help out whatever way I can.

    • Thanks so much Andy. And I built this place for the sole purpose of great conversation and ideas to be exchanged and for progress for all of us.

      It’s really great to have you, looking forward to seeing you more.

  11. Hi Nick, I have this “friendzone” problem right now, There’s a girl I feel really attracted to, and she seems to kinda like me back, but here’s the problem. I don’t know what should I do to express my interest and sexuallity, whatever it is, (and here’s another problem) I feel it’s gonna be very difficult because I don’t feel confident enough to take things further.
    I’m just starting my life with women, so I’m totally a noob haha.

    • Hey Juan, first of all I completely cosign everything that Andy said.

      Just to add, as far as the fear of not wanting to mess anything up by not making a wrong move is completely normal – but it should be overshadowed by a much bigger and more realistic fear – the fear of losing her by not making a move. It’s the guy’s job to make a move – sometimes women will make the move for us but it’s typically not the women we really want.

      When a girl is showing you interest, which it sounds like your girl very well could be, then if you don’t make a move you’re rejecting her, you’re telling her “thanks but no thanks” – and this is how most guys get into the friendzone – by rejecting the girl as you’re doing right now as long as you don’t put your interest out there. So, how do you do it?

      First of all, as I mention here, it’s more important that you do anything poorly vs not doing anything at all – doing things poorly and awkwardly is the only way you’ll ever get good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q1-S89jEyg

      Then yeah, simple stuff, looking at her strongly in the eyes and feeling the sexual tension as you do it, just getting closer to her and touching her more, telling her she looks sexy, asking her to hang out alone – when you’re alone and close to her, going for the kiss.

      There’s no “perfect moment”, and if you wait for it it’ll never happen. It’s up for you to force that moment. Just do it, the worst she can say is, sorry, I don’t like you like that – and once again the decision of where to go next is yours. The best she can say is she likes you too. There’s nothing you can do now to give you better odds of her liking you – but every moment you don’t make a move makes it more likely she won’t.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks Nick and Andy! I will work on this, and hope to see great results! 😉
        Thanks again for such an incredible posts and responses.

  12. Hi Juan. Well, I can fully identify with what you’re going through and I can pretty-much GUARANTEE that EVERY single guy on the fucking planet has gone through what you’re going through right now. You like the girl, you’re physically attracted to her, you feel a bit of chemistry with her at times. Your lack of sexual experience is creating a ‘fear’ that you might ‘mess-up’ if you guys got sexual, or she might be ‘unimpressed’ with you. Perhaps you’re even scared that she’ll tell all her friends how ‘terrible you were’ etc etc etc.

    This is something I’ve been through before. The first I would say is that if she’s a decent person she’s not going to go and ridicule you to other people. Second, when it really comes down to it and you guys are getting physical, if she likes you as a person and is interested in a relationship with you, she’s not going to care if it takes a bit of time for the sex to be really good. Girls are really forgiving about this and it really does take two to tango so the responsibility in this area is not entirely your’s. Plus, girls don’t really think in the same way as guys about physical intimacy. Guys think that unless you’re having sex like a pornstar then the sex is no good. Girls feel the connection between the two of you as human beings and it’s fucking beautiful man. That’s where you should focus your attention. Fuck all your worries about ‘not being able to please her’ etc etc. Just dive in and be a fucking man and look into her eyes and feel that connection with her. ‘Being a fucking man’ doesn’t mean bending her over backwards and piledriving her like a pornstar, it means holding her gaze, listening to what she has to say, responding attentively and being comfortable with whatever comes up. And if you’re not comfortable with something, being comfortable with the fact that you’re not comfortable with it. That’s what it means to be a man.

    Taking a step back, concentrate on your own life and your social life and if she fits into it then great, it might be worth pursuing.

    If you’re thinking alot about it FUCK IT man! Just forget about it and get on with your own life. However, there’s one caveat to that, if you’re thinking about it alot and having doubts that are valid and not based on fear (i.e. she’s just not a good fit for you) then fine, stop pracastinating about it and get on with having a good time, if it happens it happens, if not no worries. If you’re thinking about alot because you’re reacting to fear about lack of experience, then FUCK IT man! There’s only one way to get experience and that’s EXPERIENCE. Apply what I said above and get the fuck in there. Don’t force anything on the girl, but just pay attention to her, hold her gaze, listen to her and feel that connection, IF IT ARISES and apply what I said earlier.

    Andy

  13. As a woman who just came across this page, I’d like to respond because I think there’s a bitter pill that’s not being sufficiently recognized.

    The reason “women don’t want to date their friends” is because they are not sexually attracted to their friends and, in most cases, never were and never will be. That men see it differently – that they want to believe if given the opportunity to demonstrate what a great guy they are, something might develop, means too many men are traveling down a frustrating and disappointing road. And, after a few times starting down this road and the girl starts to talk to you about other guys – and you know she will because you’re in the friend zone – it can be painful, frustrating, and somehow seem unfair. Too many guys go through this time and time again and it’s not fair to anyone since often the woman feels like he never was really her friend, but a conquest, and when he drops out of her life she grieves as she would any loss.

    I completely disagree with the assertion that, “in the vast majority of times guys wind up in the “friend zone”, it started with the woman being genuinely attracted to him” and wondering how he sees her – as just a friend or not. C’mon. That’s just wrong.

    The vast majority of times guys wind up in the “friend zone” is because the woman isn’t physically attracted to him. (Of course there are exceptions, for example: the guy is their friend’s ex or brother, is a mental case, lives far away, etc.)

    ALL women know that, generally, men don’t expend energy to really get to know a woman if he doesn’t find her physically attractive. When a man is interested in a woman, even if his behavior is indistinguishable from that of a friend, that interest is still conveyed. We don’t need overt signals like compliments, staring, the subject of sex coming up in conversation repeatedly, etc. We can tell because there’s a spark in your eye and a slight but palpable current of enthusiasm/excitement you bring to encounters that aren’t present in standard, platonic relationships. This is one of the few scenarios in which women do not find men confusing, but men seem to be bewildered by women. …Which is why I agree with the advice that you should make an overt move EARLY in the relationship – so YOU know where you stand. If she’s not into it, she’s just not into you that way. No amount of self-sacrifice is going to change that.

    Despite what this article says, women don’t scratch their heads wondering if a man sees her as more than a friend, and, if it takes too long for him to make a move, suppress their attraction and permanently categorize him as a friend.

    The truth is, It’s the holy grail for a woman to find a man who turns her on and is an awesome friend. I can’t imagine that if a woman found that, she wouldn’t jump at the chance to see where the relationship goes. Unfortunately for everyone, attractive women find a lot of great guys they WISH they could be attracted to but just aren’t. In a weird way, women feel pretty powerless too in this dynamic because chemistry is chemistry and we can’t control who we’re physically attracted to; life would be so much easier if we could.

    So, I agree with the point that men are not victims and it is well within their power to communicate their desires and then make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with a platonic friendship. It is NO DIFFERENT than when a man tells a woman he’s not looking to settle down. She could accept what’s being communicated and adjust her expectations, or she could make the mistake of telling herself that he’s just saying that now, but he’ll change his mind once they ease into a relationship. Now she’s the one traveling down that road of disappointment and pain.

    This all boils down to one piece of advice: listen to what members of the opposite sex are really saying to you. Don’t filter it through your own hopes and desires. Quite often, it won’t be what you want to hear, but better to hear it and be a little bummed than to live it and be crushed.

    I realize this site is for men. I hope it’s okay that I commented and I truly hope it it’s of some value.

    • Hey Lauren,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are incredibly valuable and welcome here.

      I agree with just about everything you said, and I believe that our differences of opinion amount to nothing more than differences of linguistics.

      The only real are I see any difference in what we’re saying is the point I make that when guys end up in the friendzone, it’s usually because they didn’t make a move and the woman just assumes a friendly relationship.

      Now, in the grand scheme of things, do women see guys as a friend moreso because she just isn’t attracted to him than any other reason? Sure. However, when I’m talking about the friendzone in this article, I’m not talking about a place where men and women are just friends, which is wonderful and something I encourage, but rather the frustrating place men I work with often find themselves in because they’ve been too afraid to make their intentions known. In the vast majority of those instances, said man could have avoided this frustrating ‘limbo’ by being more forward with his feelings.

      Also, (and correct me if I’m wrong) you’re not taking into account the fact that whether or not a man is forward and courageous with his desire will affect the level of attraction a woman feels for him. If a man (or woman) is fearless in expressing his feelings, this is universally attractive. If he’s afraid to because of a lack of self confidence, this is universally unattractive. So yes, while natural chemistry is always the ultimate driving factor behind romantic relationships, an individual’s propensity to fearless express their feelings can ‘make or break’ plenty of borderline cases.

      Thanks again for your contribution, and I look forward to seeing more of your thoughts around here.

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