Escaping the Friend Zone: How to be her man, not her girlfriend

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Now fellas, picture this: new girl comes into your office, class, what-have-you, you think she’s so sexy, your mouth waters at the thought of her. So you play Mr Gentleman whenever she’s around, making sure she doesn’t see your bad habits. Then the next thing you know, she blurts out, “Oh gosh, you’re like a brother to me, giggle, giggle, giggle…”

Bam! You have just entered the void – the one place where the potential for any sort of romance comes to shrivel up, rot away and die. This place, my friends, is called the ‘Friend Zone’ (cue dramatic horror movie crescendo).

Now, don’t worry; hopefully if you have the patience and the attention span to get through this article, you may still have a chance of roping in the woman of your dreams. So let’s examine this phenomenon, shall we?

Before I go any further, know that any girl who has placed you in the ‘Friend Zone’ will never, I repeat, never fathom any romantic or sexual relationship with you. In other words, if you don’t do anything about it, you’ll be sentenced to being ‘just friends’for the rest of your life.

So, how did you get yourself into this little predicament? Here are a few common factors:

You told her a lot about yourself too quickly and too easily.

Yeah, so you used to pitch the wickedest marble in primary school, and you still faint at the sight of a drop of blood, but she doesn’t need to know all of that. TMI, fellas, TMI.

You give her a lot of time and emotional support.

So along with being the poster-boy for chivalry, you decide to become her personal therapist. And she pours out her heart and soul to you. No, that does not mean you now have the inside scoop on what makes her tick; it means you’ve become the new girlfriend.

You haven’t flirted, made any sexual advances, or dropped any innuendoes.

How on God’s green earth is she going to know that you like her? Drop a few hints here and there. Bear in mind, I never said you need to dry hump her like a dog in heat.

You’re downright clingy.

As soon as she logs onto Facebook, pop – a message box with your mug shot is the first thing she sees. Someone say, stalker?

You’re awkward around her friends, and you overtly display your sexual inexperience.

The conversation between you two is flowing, and then someone comes around. And your brain freezes, your jaw locks up and you’re like a statue, just sucking up the words coming out of everybody else’s mouths. Heaven forbid the topic changes to sex; then you’re like a parent talking to a teenager about it – you won’t even touch it with forty-five-and-a-half-foot pole.

Now that we’ve examined what you did wrong, here are a few tips to make sure you don’t make the same boo-boo…

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Be mysterious.

There’s no need for her to know everything about you from your first conversation. Let her find out over time, instead of flooding her with all your deepest, darkest, secrets all at one.

Don’t volunteer yourself emotionally unless she explicitly asks you to.

I cannot think of putting this any clearer than it is. You’re not her psychiatrist; stop trying to be.

Be subtle about your interest.

The goal here is to make sure she knows you like her, but not dying to be with her at the same time. Leave some subtle hints; let her chase you a bit.

Make yourself mildly unavailable.

We get the idea – you want to be the knight in shining armour, but being at her every beck and call implies you want to be her puppy, not her man.

Don’t be a cling-on.

No calling, texting, MSN, Facebook, and Twitter every day, every hour, on the hour. Try two or three times a week instead.

Here’s another scenario – what if you’re already in Romance Potential Hell, and you want to get out? Your best bet would be to erase your present standing with the lady in question. Start with a clean slate by either having little contact, or even maintaining radio silence for a while (say, a few months or more, depending on how dramatic you want to be).

This is very, very important, because even if you display a sudden change in attitude, there’s nothing that will change her image of you.

Now, assuming you’ve followed the guidelines above, you may have snagged your beauty. Once you’re in, it is imperative you gradually phase out of the distant, mysterious practices. They don’t make for a healthy long-term relationship. And ironically, women tend to dump men who behave the same way they did during the courting process (yes, women are complex creatures).

As you become closer, it’ll be okay to become her personal therapist, spill your guts, play Superman, and whatnot. This time, however, you would have established you’re not ‘just a friend’.

 

Joshua Ramirez Wharwood

Joshua Ramirez Wharwood is a Communications major at the University of the West Indies. Whenever he's not feeding his addiction to Skittles and Coca Cola, he immerses himself in all things digital. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joachim365.

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