Most guys have found themselves hurtling towards an attractive woman like a meteor through space, only to find that they’ve miscalculated their entry; suddenly, instead of touching down in a blaze of glory, they’re missing contact completely and settling into orbit. It sounds like a cheesy metaphor, but it highlights the reality of the dreaded “friend zone”; you’re more than a friend, but you’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell for any intimacy. If you’ve ever been stuck there, you know how hard it is to move in a new direction and break out of that slow rotation around a heavenly body. Have you ever heard, “You’re just like a brother to me!” or “I could never sleep with you, we’re just waaaaay too good friends for that!” ? My condolences- you’re so in the zone you should be doing some sort of depressed touchdown dance. I’ve had a couple readers asking if it’s even possible- the answer is yes, but it’s as difficult as the plot line of Armageddon. If you’re willing to give it a shot, read on, and god speed.
If you’re already in the friend zone, it’s pretty likely that you’re a Nice Guy- if so, you’re probably worried about “ruining a great friendship.” Before we go any further, we have to clear up this thinking. If you are that worried about this fabulous friendship continuing above all else, then you need to realize that it has to be an actual friendship – this means moving on, and pursuing other women. If you actually want a shot at getting with your friend romantically, or even only sexually, then you need to stop looking at your relationship as a friendship. This is probably the hardest thing on the planet for a man to understand, accept, and achieve. This is not to say that you can’t be friends with a girl before you date her- it means that for you and this particular girl, that ship has sailed. It most likely came back to port three or four times to refuel, and you still missed it.
This change in your thinking is critical to your success, no matter what you choose to do. You can’t hover on the edges of her galaxy basking in the occasional solar flare- the idea that you desperately love someone so much that you’d accept friendship just to be near them is going to wreck you. You don’t like hearing about who she slept with or who she’s dating, and you can’t have your attraction hanging over the friendship waiting to plummet like the Hindenburg the next time you get a little too drunk together. The normal interactions of a friendship make this moment a certainty. Don’t think you are the exception. You are not. Even if you were, do you really want to live your life like that? You’re missing out on the fun of dating, hot one night stands, and a meaningful relationship with someone who will be innately attracted to you immediately. You need to be mentally healthy before you can really enjoy all the happiness soft, squishy lady parts have to offer.
If you’re ready to make your move, don’t jump the gun! Manly men sneer at the idea of the Nice Guy, imagining that he’s a spineless pushover; you’ll hear a lot of “Nice Guys finish last.” There is definitely some truth to the adage, but it doesn’t mean that the answer is to start being a jerk. The problem with being in the friend zone is that you’ve already established that you’re nice, and it’s part of the reason she likes you so much. If you start down the asshole bad boy path, you will ruin your chances; you’ll either come off as fake (“Why was I ever friends with you!”) or even more unattractive (“I could never date someone who does that!”). Yes, I realize this isn’t fair, and that guys who are honest about their douchebaggery up front get a better shot. They’re less likely to maintain an awesome relationship, so stop whining and focus on what you have to do. All hope is not lost: we do actually want a nice guy. The key is to modify some of the more unattractive behaviors that you may think are “nice”, but that girls perceive as undesirable.
You’re too available. It’s hard to not want to spend every second you can with someone you dream about sleeping with. The problem with taking every opportunity that arises is that it paints you as someone with a lot of time on their hands. Even if you’re crazily rearranging your schedule to pick up her homework or meet her for lunch at her job, what she sees is a guy who really doesn’t have anything better to do. Instead of perceiving this as a genuine desire to be with her and an effort to work around the other things in your life, the impression you make is that you are probably not very interesting. You need to counter this by, well, living. Turn her down apologetically, and tell her why- you can’t actually drop off that movie tonight because you’re going to be biking with a couple of friends. Turning down the occasional invite isn’t being rude- its something you should do anyways because you do have a life, and something that will show her there’s a lot more to you than a shoulder to cry on. It will make the times you hang out a little fresher, with more to talk about, and less chance that she’s feeling a bit tired of you. The bonus to this is that she’ll probably get a little bit jealous, and a lot of girls operate on a different frequency with a sense of competition.
You don’t spend time with other girls. Making yourself out to be some sort of ridiculous caricature of a playboy is going to crash and burn, as is trying to drive her crazy by fucking around with other girls. Not only will she resent the head games you’re playing, you’re not going to enjoy any of it because you’re too worried about whether or not they’re working. You need to show her that the friendship you have with her, while awesome, is something you can have with any girl. Often, the guy in the friend zone performs all the duties of a boyfriend with none of the payoffs; making her feel good about herself is one of them. If you let her think that you are such a good friend because you don’t treat anyone else as amazing as you do her, what incentive is there to date you? The idea that there is another level that she hasn’t explored yet is key to sparking the interest that could lead her into a relationship (or bed) with you. The easiest way to do this without being a dick, is to show her that all your friends get the great treatment that she thought was only for her. You’re still being a nice guy, you’re making other strong friendships, you’re becoming less available, and you’re recreating an air of mystery around yourself, without ever treating her poorly. In fact, pretty much everyone is going to think you’re the coolest, best friend ever. (This is probably because you are– well done, grasshopper.)
If you’re able to get this far, there’s a good chance that there’s something in the back of her brain that’s thinking about what it would be like to fall into bed with you. Eventually, it comes down to you getting up enough balls to declare your intent. This is scary as hell, I know, but if you aren’t going to do it, you need to head back to the first paragraph and choose the blue pill. There is always the outside chance that part of the reason that you got friend zoned in the first place is because she never knew you were interested. No matter how it came about, there’s a good chance any compliments you give or suggestions you make get laughed off. You’re eventually going to have to show her that you seriously want more. The next time you tell her she looks nice, or that you want to take her to a movie, and she starts laughing, it’s time to take the plunge. Touch her hand or her cheek, look straight into her eyes (being bashful now is going to hurt your chances) and tell her she’s amazing. Don’t get all sappy and don’t try to explain a whole bunch of crap that you’re just going to mess up anyways. You’ll know pretty quickly how she feels about that, but this is your best- and possibly only chance- to kiss her, so provided she doesn’t vomit on you or anything, give her a gentle peck.
There are only three options here: she’s going to wrap her arms around your neck, she’s going to want to “talk” about it, or she’s going to let you down gently. All of these provide you with some closure, and potentially some very sexy times- and you’re out of the friend zone! The day a man learns that hearing “no” is not a personal slight is the day he becomes an unstoppable sex machine, so look at this as what it is: a guarantee for bigger, better things, no matter what.