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6 Ways to Stay Out of the Friendzone

Fellas, once you’re categorized in the “friendzone” category, chances are, you’re never going to get out of it. Here are some tips...

Amy C Written by Amy C · 4 min read >

Fellas, once you’re categorized in the “friendzone” category, chances are, you’re never going to get out of it. While attraction boils down to a mixture of pheromones, chemistry, energy and confidence, and no  book or list of tips can teach you that -there are a few things you can do (and avoid) to minimize being labeled as her new “gay best friend”.

1. Ask her out on a date… properly

You may be afraid of “rejection” – but that looming fear of “what if” will hinder you from getting a date. Take a chance and ask a girl out on a date. But do note – there is a way about asking. “We should grab a coffee sometime,” is not asking someone out on a date. The ask is important because it implies intention. If you’re interested romantically, asking something along the lines of “Would you like to go for dinner next Friday? I know a great place <insert suggestion> that I’d like to take you to.” Why is this a winning ask? First, unless it’s business networking, typically people who have just met and want to only be buddies do not ask to take you out for dinner. Second, you are showing consideration by recommending a venue and third, you are being assertive in your ask and have provided a date in the near future. Overall, position the ask so it makes it very easy for a woman to say “yes”.

2. Ask her for a drink, not for coffee

The time and place of the first date matters. You may think that dinner is too much of a commitment and want to test the waters first. That’s understandable, but then choose the venue accordingly. Coffee on a Tuesday afternoon = friend / business meeting. Drinks on a Friday night = date. Also, studies show that the location matters due to “transference”. For example, choosing a high-end restaurant/bar transfers the emotions evoked by the atmosphere over to the person (sophistication, wealth, etc). Choose the venue according to the type of experience and emotions you want to inspire.

3. Go in for the first kiss

There is no one “rule” on the perfect timing to go in for the first kiss. You have to be conscious of body language and pick up signs of interest. If a few dates have passed, there’s a chance she’s likely in to you – because she is choosing to continue spending time with you. If you’re deathly afraid of how she’ll react, then warm the waters by engaging in subtle body contact. A light touch on her arm or behind her back. If she’s squeamish and uncomfortable, then it’s likely not going to end very well if you kiss her. But if she’s responsive and reciprocating with her body language, then, make a first move. If you’re deathly afraid of that awkward go-in-for-the-kiss-and-she-ducks-or-gives-you-the-cheek possibility, start by a peck on the lips.

4. Make eye contact and hold her gaze

Studies show that a factor of your attractiveness to others  is influenced simply if you are making direct eye contact and smiling simultaneously. Eye contact has shown to cause intimate bonds and physical arousal. Also, research suggests that when you want to build rapport with someone,  you need to meet that person’s gaze between 60–70 per cent of the time. Authors Brett and Kate McKay share some signs to determine what her eyes are telling you:

  • If she looks down and then looks back at you less than 45 seconds later, she is almost definitely interested. This sign is so nearly fail-proof that you don’t need any smooth pick-up lines when you approach her—just offer your hand and introduce yourself.
  • If she looks away horizontally, she’s not sure if she’s interested in you or not yet. Smile and make eye contact again to see how she reacts.
  • If she averts her gaze by looking up, she’s not interested. Basically, she just rolled her eyes at you.

When you are on a date,  look her in the eyes, focus and keep her gaze. Breaking gaze is natural, but if you do, look to the side, not down. Now, you need to know the difference between being romantic versus being creepy. If you overdo the eye gazing it turns into staring and you can come across too intense and intimidating.

5. Be conscious of the vibe you are (or not) exuding

Depending on experience and intuition, a woman will have varying degrees of being able to sense the energy of a man to know if he’s interested. Some men are natural at flirting and showing interest. I’ve noticed that alpha males are generally better at doing this than beta males. But, beta males don’t fret! You can give off a vibe, still be a nice guy and get the girl. The first part is confidence. You cannot fake confidence, and no book can teach you that. Being comfortable in your own skin means knowing your value and worth. If you have an underlying insecurity of feeling the need to be liked or approved by everyone, and you base your worth on the acceptance of others – this will come across in your energy. Know your value and don’t regard yourself as “less-than” anyone else. If you can’t feel and know your own value and worth, how can you expect others to see it?

6. Don’t be over eager

This goes back to confidence. It’s great to be assertive, take initiative and ask a woman out but if you come across as desperate or over-eager, it will be a turn off. There is a difference between trying and putting in effort, versus being desperate for her attention. You never want to come across that the apple of your eye is “better” than you. Do not put anyone on a pedestal and instead, see the person as an equal, no matter how amazing you think she is. Know that you have options, and if she’s not in to you, you’ll eventually meet someone else who will reciprocate your feelings. Also, people can come across as desperate when they approach relationships in a rush. There is no mad hurry for love. Timing is everything. A woman may not go on a date with you today or continue dating you not because of anything personal, but because of something happening in her life during that time. Just because she’s not pursuing something doesn’t equate to  there being something wrong with you. So make an effort, try and if it doesn’t work, be patient and relaxed about it. If it’s not now it could be later. If it’s not her then eventually it will be someone else.

friendzone forever

Who we are attracted to on an immediate level has been wired in our brains before we are even aware of making a conscious decision about the person. Anthropologist Helen Fisher calls this our “love maps” – which are built at a very young age and set the pattern in the “type” of person we will be drawn to in our adult years. Then there’s the theory of pheromones – how each person has a certain smell, and we are naturally attracted to or repulsed by someone’s scent. Regardless of which theory is most accurate, sometimes you are just attracted to someone for no rational rhyme or reason. Attraction is a fickle thing – and it can go just as easily as it comes. It can also bloom over time or, never launch at all.

I do not suggest you alter your personality or character or engage in mind games to try to falsely attract someone. And remember, there is no one way or right way. However, if you’re want to build romantic rapport with someone, be conscious of your energy, your confidence and body language. Be attentive to how people respond and don’t respond to you. Most importantly, remember,  that if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

 

Photo Credit: Anna Hollow

Written by Amy C
Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to healing the heart. Marie Claire calls her "A relationship expert whose work is like that of a scientific Carrie Bradshaw" and her company has been featured across national media including Good Morning America, Vogue, Glamour, Nightline along with the front page of The New York Times. Her book, Breakup Bootcamp - The Science of Rewiring Your Heart, published by Harper Collins, will be released Fall 2020. Profile

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36 Replies to “6 Ways to Stay Out of the Friendzone”

  1. So many men on the Internet complaining that women are not attracted to them. The thing is, sometimes they don’t even like-like the women who reject them. They just want the validation. I’ve been on lonely dates with keen men who like me for being female and single. That’s not enough to sustain a relationship. So if a man doesn’t have the movie-star charisma to command a room – and that’s most men – he has to work on actually liking a woman for who she is in addition to being attracted to her. And I say this as a woman who is mostly invisible to men, too.

    1. Hi Dara – there really is no point in guys like me approaching any woman (by any definition of beauty) because rejection is guaranteed every time – and no woman ever approaches me either. There has never been one piece of evidence in my whole life that even one woman has been interested in me at all – women just aren’t attracted to me. Given that there is 100% chance that rejection (or worse) will happen if I so much as say hi, I don’t do it. The fact is, other guys are much more attractive than I ever could be – they can attract women but I can’t – so any woman will by default pick them and ignore me. This is how it is.

  2. Point 1 and 2 seem very dogmatic and biased. Even if you bring a girl out just for coffee, it doesn’t mean that would be a major factor to contribute to friendzone. For all we know, the girl really likes him so regardless where the guy takes her to or whatever he does, the girl will still like him. The author herself agrees that attraction is what is important and within time the attraction builds up to which point 3-6 are nicely written.

  3. The fact is, it’s not worth asking any woman out at all, given that some (not all) women will accuse a man of harassment for just smiling at her and saying a friendly ‘Hi’ – even in a public place. As such, any guy doing points 1 – 4 is really asking for trouble; the piece also needs a point 7: forget about the “friend zone” – a guy shouldn’t bother asking any woman out at all if he doesn’t want to risk legal action against him.

  4. My answer to each of your 6 points:
    1 – No. I hate dating. The cost always greatly exceeds the benefit.
    2 – I don’t drink coffee or alcohol. Next? And I’m going to do activities that I enjoy. If I invite you along, you are free to come or not, but I’m still going. I really don’t care what you choose.
    3 – Absolutely not. In this day and age? Are you sure you aren’t an attorney looking for men to slap with a harassment lawsuit?
    4 – Absolutely not. See #3 above. This is the very definition of creepy.
    5 – My vibe is my vibe. Take it or leave it. Personally, I hope you leave it.
    6 – Believe me, I’m not.

    Guys – don’t ever take a woman’s relationship advice for guys. They don’t even know what they want, and if they did they wouldn’t tell you. Do what makes you happy; chances are being with a woman is not going to be on that list.

  5. Well, asking her out for a drink or coffee seems futile.
    There was a girl in my office. Every time I asked her out, she insisted to bring a friend along with her. I could not figure out, how to proceed from there.

  6. I’m 48 and never asked a woman out in my life – no woman could be interested in me so I’d have to pay someone by the hour for basic human intimacy and that isn’t the kind of person I am. Either a guy is attractive enough for a woman to want to be with him or he isn’t, and for those like me who are not, it really is just too bad. This has nothing to do with looks, but it pains me that there is no point in me even trying to approach any woman – I’m certain to be called creepy no matter where, when, how I approach – of which the court of public opinion would find me automatically guilty.

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