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...

Written by Amy C · 5 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

To learn more about how to change old relationship patterns, and how to create healthy ones, join my 2-hour Live Workshop on Sunday, April 25 where I’ll guide you step by step on how to become more secure in your attachment, manage emotions and our reactions to pain and create healthy relationships. Get your ticket here.

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

  1. There really needs to be a woman’s version of this. Boys friend zone good girls too! I’ve lived there all my life.

  2. I find nothing more annoying than when people are encouraged to “be confident”.

    Confidence is a result of success. If I’ve jumped off a diving board and not been hurt, I’m confident I can do it again. If I belly flop and it hurts, I’m not going to be “confident” again.

    There is no way you can make people “confident” if they are not.

    All you can do is tell them to accept failure more gracefully.

    Working from the other end, women should stop expecting every guy to act like a James Bond type character. Men can be shy and awkward and still be decent MEN. Give the average reluctant guy signals you like him. He may not run over an rip off your bodice (like in a romance novel), but he may turn out to be a decent husband.

    1. Typical definition of beta male.
      Ain’t happening, it’s like preaching to deaf. Females are too much into sense of entitlement and they care not for feelings of guys.

  3. There really needs to be a woman’s version of this. Boys friend zone good girls too! I’ve lived there all my life.

  4. You don’t need to be perfect, but you can’t be fearful. You have a better chance of being successful regardless of what your intentions are with the opposite sex if you talk to members of that sex frequently enough. You may not be the most confident or charming, but someone will be attracted to you.

    1. I talk to women every day but they’re just not attracted to me – no woman ever could be – so there is no point in asking for a date when rejection is guaranteed every time.

  5. Since some of us are guaranteed outright rejection by every woman every time, there is no point in asking any woman out in the first place. Responding to Lavel, although it might be nice to think a woman somewhere will be attracted to me, I’d be deluding myself to believe it – fact: no woman has ever, is, or will ever be attracted to me. I don’t fear rejection because I know that it’s guaranteed – I accept that every time I approach a woman, no matter who she is, it is 100% assured to happen – so I just don’t open myself to it. If there was even a tiny chance that a woman would find me attractive and say yes, I’d enthusiastically ask her out – but there is zero chance of that, so I never say anything.

  6. “Attraction boils down to a mixture of […] chemistry […] and confidence, and no book or list of tips can teach you that…” This is basically a death sentence for guys like me. We can’t create chemistry with any woman no matter what we do, and knowing this is s fact, we can’t be confident around women. As such we remain invisible and stay alone forever. The only way for a guy like me to ever experience intimacy (even a hug) of any sort is to pay for it by the hour. Since I won’t exploit women (I have to pay women not to reject me), I’ll have to accept that I’ll be alone forever.

  7. You only need one guaranteed way to stay out of the friend zone: Don’t ever approach or talk to a woman for any reason. They bring nothing positive to your life.

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way John. I hope that you have some positive experiences in the future that will shift your perspective.

  8. I’m with John on this and never talk to women except in completely professional situations. Not only do they not bring anything but upset into my life, just saying hi could get me accused of harassment. No thanks – unless you’re an incredibly good looking and or very confident guy around women (I’m not) and therefore not invisible / utterly repulsive to them, it’s not worth it.

  9. Women want a man to be respectful. You can say hello and be friendly without being creepy. Be sincere. It’s hard for a woman to find a good man to trust. Also, all women are NOT out to hurt you. You could miss out on getting to know a good woman due to your own insecurity. Life is too short to be a gutless chicken. Say hello. It could change your life.

    1. There is no way to tell who the ‘good’ women are. I totally agree with Zelda that all women are not out to get guys – far from it – and also that it’s only a minority who might respond in this way. But I’m not a gutless chicken. A friend lost his job because a woman accused him… it was groundless (the company investigation completely cleared him and ordered a psych evaluation and demotion for her), but he couldn’t work for the same company again regardless, because his social reputation was destroyed no matter what. He’s still recovering 3 years later – all because he tried to be friendly to a colleague.

      The fact is, a woman’s accusation of harassment can be enough to significantly set a guy back at the very least. The fact is, I’m extremely introverted and not attractive to women and that in itself is sufficient to categorize me as a creeper to many women, no matter how I say hello or try to be friendly. No thanks.

    2. It’s so easy for a woman to give this sort of ‘advice’. “Say hello” you suggest. Really? Why would any guy risk losing everything because a woman to whom he just said a courteous “hello” took it the wrong way and accused him of a crime, the repercussions of which are often irreparable? Saying “hello” could change (destroy) a guy’s life – but you don’t mention that – you just say “Don’t be a gutless chicken” and then speak of male insecurity instead of acknowledging that men are also hurt by women (not physically but emotionally, professionally, etc.). I know 2 good men who have tried introducing themselves to women (saying “hello”) and been rudely rejected and accused of harassment just for doing so.

      No – not all women are out to hurt me. But just as you – a woman – don’t know which men are out to hurt you, I – a man – don’t know which women will accuse me of a crime just for saying “hi”. It is not insecure to protect oneself and ones life from hurt or destruction – it’s just common sense. Btw, it’s also very hard for a good man to find a good woman to trust – so it goes both ways.

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