It’s the age-old debate: Can you get out of the friend zone? And more importantly, how do you stay out of the friend zone?
I could write an entire novel on this subject, but I’ll try to keep it short and proactive for those of you stuck in the eternal hell that we call the “friend zone.”
Here are my tips on how to stay out of this zone, as it’s much easier to stay out of it than leave it (unless, of course, you’re Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally).
Make your intentions clear.
If you meet someone you’re interested in romantically, then make it known. I’m not saying that upon your first meeting you should pull them aside and say, “Hey, I think you’re attractive and we should start dating ASAP,” but you should get your flirt on within the first or second meeting/hangout. Give her a compliment. Make physical contact. Just do something to make sure that she knows you like her as more than just a buddy.
Invite her to dinner or an upscale bar.
Asking a girl to dinner is a sure-fire to make sure she knows it’s a date. It may seem archaic (and expensive), but it’s really the only obvious date option there is unless you make it dinner and a movie. I know a lot of guys will fight me on this one because most don’t want to shelve out the money for a nice steak when they just met the girl, but trust me on this. If you still don’t want to fork over the money for a nice meal, then I suggest you invite her for a drink at a nice bar (a.k.a. not your local hole in the wall). Nothing screams friend zone more than inviting someone to have some Bud Lights at your local watering hole. The reason being, if it’s your local hang out, then she might assume you’d be there with or without her company, and therefore she can’t be sure it’s a date.
Kiss her by the second or third date.
Some guys can pull off a kiss on the first date and some can’t. Some girls will kiss you on a first date and some girls won’t (even if they like you). You have to gage the situation, but if you haven’t even attempted to kiss me by the third date, then she’s thinking you’re in the friend zone. At that point, regardless of if she likes you, she probably thinks you don’t like her because you haven’t made any moves. Even if you get rejected, at least you know sooner rather than later.
Don’t bring your buddies to the hangouts.
After you’ve gone on a few dates and have made sure that you’re not just friends who grab dinner or coffee sometimes, it’s okay to bring along your friends. It’s crucial that you wait until the right time to do this because otherwise she’ll just think she’s part of the gang and not your love interest. If the buddies are involved too soon, it can definitely turn off a certain type of girl. Make sure you’re established as a romantic couple before you invite her to a football game with all of your dudes.
Know when to cut your losses.
Most guys end up in the friend zone or stay in the friend zone too long because they simply don’t know when to cut their losses. If you just met the girl and you’ve hung out a few times and she hasn’t reciprocated the feelings you put out there, move on. At this point, you’re not overly invested in the friendship, and you can easily leave the situation without getting your feelings too hurt. If you continue to be her friend thinking you’ll one day get out of the friend zone (even though she’s made it clear that’s where you are), then you are just tormenting yourself. Most likely, she isn’t going to wake up one day and magically become attracted to you (this isn’t Dawson’s Creek).
Look, we’ve all been friend zoned, and it sucks. A lot. But I’m a big believer that guys and girls can be friends, and sometimes being friend zoned is a blessing in disguise.