This was a question one of my Facebook friends posted to her feed a little while back.
Wow did she get a response!
Within minutes the comment thread was filled with memes her Facebook friends had posted.
Each one showing a particular flirting style.
There were images of girls being coy.
Guys playing aloof.
The usual fare.
What did I post to this thread? I posted this simple statement that pretty well sums up the efforts I make to create attraction with girls: “I just flash my intelligence and wait until I meet somebody who values that.”
Is this the pinnacle of male mating strategy or what?
I can just see all you girls lining up for your chance to meet me now!
Like I’ve said.
Dating me is a bit…different.
That’s why I don’t really date.
I just seek to hang out with a girl I’m interested in, to see whether we develop a meaningful connection.
Initially I enjoy long conversations where a girl and I share ourselves with each other, without getting physical at all.
They’re too busy bouncing off the walls with their “bad boy” friends.
When I do meet a girl willing to talk?
It’s pretty tough not to get on to the subject of relationships.
Girls always want to know what I do.
Once they find out I consult and blog about relationships, their curiosity is usually peeked.
But this always creates a bit of an odd dynamic for me. Because I’m interested in creating a real connection.
Not diagnosing this latest girl’s love life woes.
Not that I don’t care about that.
And I enjoy hearing about what she’s experienced.
How she thinks about these things.
After all if I we end up in a relationship, how she looks at these things is going to be somewhat relevant, yes?
Still, history has shown me that when a girl gets sharing like this, it is very easy for me to fall into that dreaded friend zone with her.
She starts looking at me as the guy who will help her understand what’s going wrong.
How can she get that “other guy” she’s ACTUALLY interested in, interested in her too?
She can’t quite understand how she’s using me.
And other guys she does this with.
I wrote quite a while back about being friend zoned by three different girls in one week.
Each of those scenarios had its own unique characteristics.
The common denominator is I took the time to get to know each of them before I proceeded in any way to get physical with them.
Most of you girls are addicted to that.
A guy getting physical is your cue he’s interested in more than “just friends.”
Death knell for Kel and his crazy idea.
That romance should be based on really KNOWING and VALUING you for who you are.
Which means taking the time to get to know you BEFORE I escalate physically with you.
I had a third friend zone blog post.
In it I talked about how I toyed with the idea of flirting.
Like Matthew Hussey suggests you girls do.
To prevent being similarly romantically defused by guys you like.
While flirting is a step in the right direction, I concluded it still doesn’t quite make sense. By flirting I’m still getting sexual with you.
Why would I do that when I don’t even know you yet?
When I don’t know if we’re going to have that kind of connection?
So where does this leave me?
I came to conclude in that post that there simply is no friend zone problem.
There are just people who are incapable of putting the horse before the cart.
Of really taking the time to develop a connection before moving in a “romantic” direction.
My recommendation then was just keep moving.
Until you find someone who can actually be friends first.
But is that it? Is there nothing you can do to circumvent the misunderstanding that in seeking to develop a friendship first, that’s really all you’ll ever want?
Yes physically escalating says otherwise, but it says it much too soon.
It creates emotions that are inappropriate, to the level of connection you have just yet.
But so does flirting.
Yet again it sends a sexual message.
One you may not ultimately make good on.
But clearly unless I’m just out to collect friends, I DO know whether I’d be open to more than just friends with a girl before I pursue getting to know her right?
What’s wrong with communicating THAT?
As long as I do it in a way that doesn’t imply romantic attraction is already FULLY in place?
So lately I’ve been modifying my approach when I start to get to know a girl.
I still see my intelligence as my main calling card.
If you don’t find me attractive for that, we’re not going to be much of a match in the long run.
So I still seek to get together with you and have a conversation.
But while I’m getting to know you?
If it is clear from what I’m experiencing so far, that you really are special?
If I really can see the potential for a deeper connection developing between us?
Here is what I say:
“You really are amazing (or wonderful or some variation I honestly feel from our interaction). I would really enjoy exploring a connection with you.”
“Connection” is a positive term.
But it can leave you wondering what I mean.
So I’ll often qualify this further.
“I don’t know yet if our connection will develop into something more romantic, but I’d really like to find out.”
So what have I done here that is different than physical escalation or flirting?
I’ve made it clear that I’m not YET romantically interested in you.
I’m open to that possibility though.
I’m recognizing that for real romantic love to develop between us, we need to explore our connection more deeply.
Right up front I’m nipping attraction in the bud. But I’m not denying it is present either. Clearly I wouldn’t be interested in pursuing this exploration if it wasn’t there at all.
This short circuits you brain’s tendency.
The on that says friendship and romance just don’t mix.
But I’m denying attraction is enough.
Because I know if we run down that track, we’ll get sidetracked from really coming to love each other.
Of course attraction is what it is.
I can’t turn it off if I have it for a girl.
I don’t suppress or deny it.
I just keep it in its place.
And I’m setting up the dynamic right from the start, that real romantic love means so much more than that.
I’m indicating I’m not “in love” with you yet.
But I’m also indicating clearly I’m open to that trajectory.
The friend zone problem is really just a symptom of Nature’s plan.
It’s designed to get you way off track.
To believe something other than real friendship is the foundation of love.
I’ve said it many times before.
You need to be smarter than your DNA.
Let me know what you think? Is expressing the desire to explore a connection together, a better way to circumvent the friend zone problem while keeping things on track?
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