The Friend Zone: The Purgatory of Dating

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In the classic film, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, Billy Crystal said, “Men and women can’t be friends because the sex thing always gets in the way!” It may have just been a clever line from an otherwise brilliant screenplay, if it didn’t also happen to be true.


I don’t know about you guys, but I hate the friend zone. It’s like a woman telling you, “You’re cute enough for me to talk to and maybe be seen with, but not enough for you to see me naked!” It’s being relegated to the position of the gay best friend who isn’t actually gay. Believe me, I know whereof I speak.


I have TONS of hot women friends who adore me, and I can’t date any of them. Well… it’s not precisely that I can’t – it’s more like I don’t want to. I’m kind of at a point in my life where I like being alone and nag-free. I’m sure I’ll get to the point where I’ll want somebody to annoy me until my dying day, but that’s a ways off for now.


But I digress.


Women like to think that they have male friends who would never try to cross the highly imaginary boundary of friendship, but ladies, as much as it pains me to disappoint you, you’re quite mistaken. If you gave any male friend the go-ahead, he’d be on you faster than a swarm of piranha on a side of beef. And those of you who read that and thought of your one sweet guy friend who treats you like a sister? YES – HIM TOO. You may not want to think so, but yeah – he would. We all would.


It’s the inner Cro-Magnon part of the male brain. We see a hot chick, and our first impulse is to mount her. The only reason we don’t give in to it is evolution and civilized manners, barely. Just so you don’t have to live in fear of men or run screaming for the convent, I’ll let you in on a little secret – men and women can be friends. We don’t all have a secret agenda to seduce you. All I’m saying is that the sexual impulse is always hovering over us like a little devil squatting on our shoulder. Not every guy will give the devil his due, though. I never have. Its called having scruples.


Then there’s the fact that it isn’t just about sex. Most guys do sincerely care about you and want more than friendship. The problem is, very few women are open to the possibility of friendship being something more because she either doesn’t want to screw up the friendship or doesn’t see you as ‘boyfriend material’, which is complete bullshit. Let’s be honest, ladies – on some level, you are attracted to your guy friends because there’s at least ONE thing about them you like. If that weren’t the case, then you wouldn’t have them in your life to begin with. You can deny it all you want, but you know it’s the truth.


The worst part of being in the friend zone is when the girl you like is already in a relationship. Now, a real douchebag would say, “Screw that – all is fair in love and war!” and go after what they want with no regard for hurting anyone, but what does that say about them and their motives? You don’t care for your girlfriend – she’s only a conquest, nothing more. But if you really do love them, you’ll want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you.


But that’s not to say you can’t do anything about it.


As I said before – if a girl wants you in her life, there’s a reason why. If she’s in a relationship and still wants you as a friend, it’s because (and start taking notes here, fellas) there’s something missing from it. Otherwise she’d drift away from the friendship and only look you up years later on Facebook after she’s been cheated on, dumped, depressed, and gained twenty-five pounds from eating a gallon of ice cream straight out of the carton.


So I’m going to give you a few useful tips on how to get the girl of your dreams who doesn’t know you exist. Break out your notepads and try to keep up, okay?


Tip #1: PLAY THE LONG GAME


You’re going to have to settle in. Getting your friend is NOT going to happen overnight and you must be patient, young Padawan. You’re actually going to have to BE her friend. If you think this is going to be the greatest acting job of your life, then you’re already done before you start, and I’ll tell you why – women can always smell a phony a mile off, and if you start acting cute with her or overly affectionate, you will blow up your game and she’ll back away from you and eventually kick you to the curb. Be smart – bury your feelings and treat her like a dude. Who happens to have a great rack.


Tip #2: FOLLOW HER LEAD


This part is tricky. Women like to test and probe. She may well test your intentions by flirting with you playfully. If this happens, treat it like banter or a joke. If you can make her laugh, then you’re golden. If you take it too far, then the jig is up. ALWAYS keep things light, NO MATTER WHAT. Even if she’s serious, you have to be cool. Let her come to you. NEVER make the first move. You want her to think that being more than friends is her idea. Don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big head. You feel me?


Tip #3: PLAN PLATONIC DATES – NOTHING ROMANTIC


She’s a friend, so treat her like one. Take her out to a friendly dinner, or maybe a drink or a hike. Take her to a movie she wants to see that her boyfriend wouldn’t be caught dead at. Get to know her as well as you can, because if you get to where you want to be, it will be like you guys have been dating the whole time you’ve been friends. Why would she start dating some clown that has to bother getting to know her when she can turn to someone who knows her inside and out?


Tip #4: GET FRIENDLY WITH HER BOYFRIEND, BUT DON’T BE HIS FRIEND


This should be a no-brainer, but I’ll explain it anyway. The boyfriend is ALWAYS going to see you as a threat because he knows you fill a void he can’t. Sex can’t plug every hole in a woman, so to speak. The best way to keep him from seeing you as a threat is to keep things friendly. Build up a connection; find things you have in common. Just remember – he ain’t your friend. You can’t stab a friend in the back. Keep in mind – he will probably screw up at some point, so let him. Be patient. If he comes to you for advice, be like, “Listen, man – I understand you guys are having problems, but I think I should stay out of it.”


Tip #5: LET HER SEE A DIFFERENT SIDE OF YOU


Are you a closet poet? Share it with her. Do you volunteer to feed the homeless? Ask her to help out one time. If you’re going to hang with co-workers or a different set of friends she doesn’t know? Let her tag along. Show her as many sides of you as you can. Bring her to a family gathering and let your cousins tell every embarrassing story of you they can think of. Let your Mom gush about how proud she is of you. The object is for her to look at you from different points of view. You WANT her to see you as something other than her dorky friend. Which brings me to this next important point –


Tip #6: DATE OTHER WOMEN


I’m aware this sounds counter-productive, but it isn’t. It serves two vital functions, that of throwing you off the boyfriend’s radar, and making your female friend jealous. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway – whether they will admit it or not, women are possessive creatures. You’re her turf, even if she doesn’t want to acknowledge it. It’ll be even worse if the girl you’re with is prettier, smarter, and funnier, kinda like an Indian burn to her vagina. I know it will be hard because you’ll feel like it’s cheating, but remember – you’re a free agent and not beholden to her. If she can date some mouth-breathing meathead who isn’t you, then you can polish your knob with any chick that’s holding a can of wax. Bottom line.


I forgot – her friends and siblings are OFF-LIMITS. If your penis touches familiar territory, then I hope she was worth it because you’ll have blown it. BIG TIME.


Tip #7: BE READY WHEN YOUR DAY COMES


Because it will, believe me. The thing of it is, it’s a delicate balance. When it happens, you need to keep everything in perspective. You can’t be aloof, but then you can’t vomit up every single emotion you’ve been choking down, either. The best thing to do is to let her do the talking. If she’s traumatized from breaking up with her boyfriend, then you have to sit there and listen to her. Don’t make a move, because then she’ll think you were just waiting for an opportunity. Let her make the move. If she realizes how she feels about you, that’s when you tell her you feel the same. BUT, don’t put it all out there. Say something like, ‘I know how you feel. I always felt something, but I was conflicted about it. I didn’t want to hurt you or screw things up between us. It’s been so hard not to let you get into my heart. Now that you are, I don’t know if I can let you out.”


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Now that I’ve given up all this vital information, some women will be on the lookout, but don’t sweat it – all it means is that you’ll have to be a bit subtler. I mean, women actually think we don’t look at them sexually even through the heavy veil of friendship. Please.


As Larry Miller once joked, “Ladies, if you really knew how we looked at you, you would NEVER stop slapping us!”


At the end of the day, you know she’s the best thing that ever happened to you. All you have to do is make her realize that you’re the best thing that ever happened to her.

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Gregory B. Gonzalez

Writer at MadMikesAmerica and Anne Cohen Writes
Gregory B. Gonzalez has a column on MadMikesAmerica and is a regular Contributor on Anne Cohen Writes.

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