Avoid The Friend Zone

I have a friend who recently met a girl he was really into.  She was beautiful (ok hot) and loved Jesus. However she was somewhat uncertain about her job situation and there was a chance she would be moving.

My friend handled this well.  He basically told her that he wanted to get to know her and that he wanted to date her.  He made his intentions clear without coming off like a crazy person.  He just wanted her to know that he was hanging out with her with a purpose in mind and he wanted to be clear on that.  Good job by him.

So they went on several dates and then hit a time period where they were both traveling. They texted some etc, but they both knew they were kind of off the grid so to speak for a couple of weeks.

She got a little slower to text back which my friend recognized as a bad sign.  When the both got back to town, my friend called her and they decided to grab coffee.  As they were talking my friend basically asked her if she was into this dating relationship.  She said no. He did an incredibly brave thing and asked her why.  She said that she just didn’t see him that way.  But then she said, “But I’d really like to hang out as friends.”

Then my friend did what so many other men should do.  He said no.  That’s it.  He said that he wasn’t interested in running around as friends.  First of all he has friends. Secondly he liked her as more than that so it would be intellectually dishonest to hang out as friends when that was not his intentions.  Finally, he was looking for someone to date and eventually marry and if he is running around with her as a “friend” then that would be confusing to others.

She was pissed. She literally didn’t know what to do with it.  She said, “so this is what it feels like to be broken up with.”  This was of course hilarious since she was the one saying she didn’t want to date him.  He took her home, they shook hands and said goodbye. Best part is she texted him that night as if it had never happened.  Wisely he didn’t respond.

I share this story with you because this guy handled this exactly right.  I joked with him that he was now a true Jedi and had avoided the dark side that I call “the friend zone”.

As men, we have to avoid the friend zone.  It was no doubt tempting for this guy to think, “well if she wants to hang out with me, I can eventually win her over”.  Not so.  In fact I’m telling you right now that if there is any chance that she would like him it will be because he did what he did here.  He stood up to her.

She was mad because she was used to being in control.  Now I’m not saying here that we should be out to make girls mad.  Far from it.  What I am saying is that when we allow the friend zone to happen we give her all the power and completely kill any chance of her ever being attracted to us.  You as a guy, have to get this.  No matter how attracted you are to her, you can not “chase” her.  By walking away, you respect her lack of attraction to you. But you also increase her respect for you as a man.  And you gain confidence – which is hot.

Being “friends” with the girl that you want to date is just clobbering yourself.  I mean I hate to say it that way but it’s the truth.  It doesn’t help anybody.

Now here’s the thing, I’m not saying you can’t be friends with an attractive woman.  I have lots of friends and some of them are women.  I’m even friends at some level with a person or two that I once asked out.  But I didn’t get turned down and then become “hang out friends” with them.

The friend zone is to be avoided at all costs because it’s not real friendship.  It is when the girl uses the guy who she isn’t attracted to for the benefits.  She comes to you with stories about other guys.  She needs help with something and you rush to help her.  She has “spiritual questions” and you “minister” to her, but the whole time you want to date her.  That brother, is the friend zone and it will crush your manhood.

You are not a victim.  Don’t tell me that everyone just sees you as a friend – that’s because you let them.  You have to choose different.  It’s not up to one girl or another.  It’s up to you.

Are you always in the friend zone?  Are you ready to get out?

25 thoughts on “Avoid The Friend Zone

  1. Finally. Someone. Has. Said. It. Finally!

    And the same goes for women…when he doesn’t ask you out or rebuffs your advances (ok, quit making advances) quit appearing at the Bible study he goes to; quit joining the ministry team he’s on; quit manufacturing a group outing so you can be in the same space as him. Quit. It. Respect yourself enough to know that God isn’t going to send you a guy that doesn’t even like you. Right?!

  2. I want to affirm what Justin is saying, as a girl who has been chased and who has chased. I think the secret to not chasing is not “needing” the person. When you know someone likes you and wants to date you but doesn’t need you to make them feel complete/manly/etc, you respect that person and you don’t try to manipulate/control the relationship. Knowing that someone likes you, but can walk away and be ok is incredibly hot and makes you get your act together because you want their respect too.

  3. I disagree. Here’s why.

    Fact is, as a girl with a very close friend who is a guy, we are just friends, even though we BOTH want more from the relationship, we’ve both agreed to wait until he committs to Christ. He has said to me specifically that if he can’t committ to Christ, he can’t commit in marriage. He’s an older guy, and I respect him a lot over the boys that I know in my singles group. He’s currently one of the only guys I know who I would date, if he was a Christian, if he was a non-smoker, and if he had a job. He treats me like a lady, he acts as a gentleman around me, but he doesn’t know Jesus as an intimate Savior yet. However, he is always taking smoke breaks during the altar call… I’m not sure about how the friendship will progress, but if we both want more, should I wait for it to be God’s timing for both of us, or should I try to move on/meet other guys I’m interested in?

    I do have a couple people who are interesting guys, but I don’t know if one is even interested, and the other, I’m not sure if it will progress beyond friends, but he and I seem to get along, and he seems to like me.

    • It’s not God’s timing for me specifically because I’m barely organized in life skills.. something where I want to court someone, but I’m not ready as a person. Though I’m willing to wait on God, and if waiting on God means letting Him have control over my friends and this guy in particular, then I will.

    • honestly, I know for a fact that I need someone who is emotionally strong and can lead in the relationship, but I don’t see this guy even really doing that, even though he does some stuff, he’s also autistic, as I am, we are both kinda the “social misfit” type people. I don’t think he’ll ever be the kind of person I need in a relationship, but other guys I know through a friend or church aren’t interested at all.

      • Keli:
        You need to move on! Like right now. He is not a Christian, he is a smoker, and unemployed! What more do you need to decide this guy is all wrong for you? You need to put this man out of your life. God can change him, of course, but that has nothing to do with you. You have to consider the person “as-is” – where he is at right now. You can’t hope or expect or wait around for him to change. It sounds like he is playing around with God and playing around with you. That shows a serious lack of integrity. He is not what you need or want. Do yourself a favor and walk away.

      • really appreciate this, truly.

        Thing is, while I’m not in a relationship with that guy, we’re ONLY ever going to be friends. I kinda recognize some of the wisdom in having him as a friend because he’s older, AND has been through the same struggles I have already, which is why I know he’s good as a friend and as someone whom I can get some advice through.

        I’m currently however, in a relationship with a guy that does go to church, but has almost zero passion for anything, no goals, no nothing, doesn’t have a job and doesn’t take responsibility for actions. Trying to be nice to him by choosing to wait a while to see if it goes anywhere, but I doubt I’m doing either of us a favor.

  4. Anna,

    Thank you for that. Still don’t want to hurt him, though it seems like he is seeking on his own. I kind of got mad at God because I thought, if Chris wants God so much, and the Holy Spirit isn’t responding, why would He hurt someone… But honestly, I don’t believe he is the right person anyway, even if he did come to God, I don’t want him thinking we could then get together, this isn’t to say that we can’t be friends, but that that’s all it’ll ever be, and I can, and am free to be around other guys freely without being worried about what will happen to him.

    Honestly, it’d just hurt him to be involved with him when I know full well that he has feelings for me, I don’t truly want to take it any further than it is, which is friends. But, I don’t really know how to break it off completely, because of my own nature and experiences throughout life of rejection from being an Asperger’s Autistic, I’ve learned to be a friend forever once I have a good friend like him. Mostly because I never know when I’ll make that kind of connection again. But I do have my close girl friends.

    He is also one of the only Aspies that I know and get along with, he understands that POV where most NT’s, normal thinkers/non-disabled even, wouldn’t know.
    I have another friend who is stuck at home due to her parents “over-protecting” her and effectively crippling her in a disability. I hate that. I hate it that so many people who are capable disabled adults, end up in homes where they are not encouraged to pursue dreams and end up, often, just existing, not living.

    That said, I will keep him at some form of distance, as we aren’t in dating/courting mode, but I do believe I have had some impact on him as a friend, and I’m certainly not going to abandon that kind of friend, not when I was helped at my lowest by a close Christian girlfriend. I believe honestly, that he has had some form of inspirational impact on me, particularly because he has expressed feelings for me, one of the only people to do that outside of family. It’s rather inspiring, as a girl, to be seen as beautiful. But, that doesn’t end in necessarily marriage, so I think I need to keep more distance and watch how I am around him.

    • fact is, this girl I know, the one at home, her parents tried to arrange a marriage for her, because she needs to be taken care of. She and I got to know one another in college, and through church, so she goes to church/stores, but she is trapped at home because she can’t walk far, is paranoid to do so, and has epilepsy, she cant’ drive. It’s hard seeing her trying to live, but not being able to get out from under her parents’ control/insurance. her parents are not Christ followers. She is. I’m just unsure how to help her, other than to continue to be friends and take her to church. It’s just a strain because she is unable to work. She’s still a college age person, 23-24. What I think may end up happening, is that she’ll end up at home all her life.

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  9. I made this mistake all too frequently in college, grad school and out in the real world. I took it in stride when I was younger because I thought “Okay, she was honest…..yeah we can hang out, we can be friends….she doesn’t find me ugly or a creep. Cool. She has friends, she may even set me up with one of her friends.”

    As I got older I realized I was a man that was friends with a lot of women (and many of them were attractive and yeah, nice) but they just didn’t feel a spark in that way and just wanted friendship. One woman I liked even asked me once in 1998 or thereabouts “I thought you and Elaine were dating, you always hang out with her. Don’t you think its strange Jason that you hang out with a woman a lot and she won’t date you? You do like her, I can tell…it’s obvious. Why are you wasting time hanging out with her?”

    I became the guy who picked up the woman from a party cause she was drunk at 4am. I was “that guy” who had quite a few women crying on my shoulder about the boyfriend who cheated / broke up with her for no reason / won’t get married to her. I helped women move to new apartments for no pay or lunch. I even helped a female co-worker catch up on and complete a very large and important project at work. I watched her get a promotion because of that project (for the work I did) and then have to be all “friend zone” about the “most awesome guy she met while on a business trip” and then be the guy to come over to her apartment one evening because he “used her for sex only”. I heard over and over that there was this “amazing, awesome girl out there for me” by all these women who friend-zoned me.

    Did I catch on? Nope. I enlisted eagerly for more of this thinking / behavior and that I would be the rescue and be the “real guy” who was perfect for her and was “right in front of her the whole time”.

    Still nothing. No dates. No set-ups, no nothing. I was now over thirty. It’s strange to say this….but behaving like this in “the friend zone” it was slowly giving me a very bad and low opinion about women in general….strange isn’t it…….something a “nice guy” would never do right?????

    I won’t blame the drinking and drug problem I developed on this, but it def was a piece to the puzzle. I got better life went on.

    Flash forward to my mid forties…….when a woman tells me she wants to be “friends” I accept it for what it is. Friendship requires a give and take. It’s not just one way. Not just me being nice to her, and doing things for her because she is a friend. I am polite and genuine. That’s it.

    No, I don’t have women wanting to date me or thinking my attitude and self-respect for myself is “hot” but my resentment / anger has cooled because of this proactive stance (and conforming myself in a Christ-like manner).

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  11. There is an extra factor involved here, albeit only effecting some men. If your parents were emotionally abusive, particularly your mother, you are possibly already trained to be a doormat and be friend-zoned by women you like, because you essentially fear people, especially women. This is a serious issue and you won’t be able to solve it on your own, you will just repeat patterns unknowingly and waste your adult life. In this instance, you really need counseling to break out of the fear factory and learn assertiveness and boundaries of behavior, because you won’t have learnt any of this vital stuff from your primary carers who actually dis-empowered you.
    This is not about usual ‘victim culture’ attitude, this is real thing based in psychology.

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  16. I confess, I am put off somewhat by the assumption that my interest in a girl must be either purely romantic OR purely platonic – can it not be both? Can I somehow not see her as both a worthy friend and an attractive prospect? Myself, I have several girl-friends that, were any of them to confess romantic inclination towards me, I should probably explore the possibility; that said, I am not set upon forcing the issue, demanding a date on pain of rejecting her friendship in its entirety. Then what would I have – two hurt people, for what? Where is the benefit?

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