I’ve written a couple posts in the past about the infamous problem of the friend zone.
While I didn’t really see a solution to this conundrum at the time, I’ve since come to understand the solution. I want to share it with you now to save you a lot of grief.
Are you ready for the answer?
Okay. Here goes…
The answer to the friend zone problem is that there is no friend zone problem.
What? There is no problem?
What could I possibly mean by that?
You’ve experienced it over and over. There is obviously a problem.
Before I explain what I mean I need to tell you what led to this revelation.
One of my commenters hinted at this solution by saying there wasn’t a problem. “It just is what it is.”
I disagreed at the time saying I was still hopeful I could find a way to get a girl to let me know her as a person first, before getting physical with her, and still not end up “just friends.”
I suggested then that flirting might be the answer.
But the real answer finally clicked while I was reading Matthew Hussey’s book Get The Guy.
As the title suggests Hussey is providing dating advice to girls. It’s a pretty good book though I’ll have a few things to say about where I disagree with him in future blog posts.
My first disagreement is his advice to girls on how to avoid being friend zoned.
Why do I disagree with him?
Because his advice isn’t that different from the “get to sex quickly” advice given to guys by the pick up artists.
While Hussey doesn’t tell you girls to have sex with guys quickly, he does tell you to make sure you build sexual tension from the beginning, so a guy will see you as a potential romantic option right from the start.
As I mentioned above, I’ve toyed with this idea myself.
I’ve considered always flirting to give a girl the sense of a mild sexual dynamic.
To convey from the beginning of our interactions that there is a possibility we could be more than just friends.
This is one potential way to avoid getting physical too early while still giving the impression of interest.
The problem though is flirting is still essentially becoming sexual before you really know the person.
Though playful and non-physical, it is still about creating sexual tension, as Hussey emphasizes.
I’ve spoken before about the problem of addiction in reference to attraction, with the recommendation you not proceed to be sexual, even begin kissing, before you are ready to be in a relationship with someone.
Since at the beginning of your interactions you are not yet sure you want a relationship with this person, this means you don’t know yet if you’ll want to be sexual with them. Why then would you start acting like you do want that, even in the way you speak with them?
I can’t emphasize this enough.
You can experience attraction for someone you don’t even know.
This often is what makes you interested in seeking to get to know someone in the first place.
And that is fine. If you don’t have at least baseline attraction for a person you will probably never come to be romantically interested in them at all.
But this doesn’t mean you should fuel this attraction prematurely.
Until you actually know them as a person you have no basis for a real relationship with them, and no business being sexual toward them yet.
Intimacy means “into me you see” and this simply cannot happen without genuine interaction, conversation, and time spent together.
Attraction alone is not enough. Flirting only builds more attraction without adding any true substance to your interaction.
Only when you come to value someone for who they truly are and they come to value you for who you truly are too, can you experience the kind of emotional connection that leads to true romantic love.
But you’re probably thinking, “Yeah but you’ve already shown this plan of getting to know someone first before getting sexual is a dead end, because it guarantees you’ll get friend zoned.”
Okay in fairness I did think this was the case. But I’ve now realized I was mistaken.
Because while reading Matthew Hussey’s book, I realized he is trying to help girls prevent themselves from getting friend zoned too. Just like I’ve been trying to help the guys avoid this.
But if it is true that both guys and girls experience the friend zone problem, this means there are both guys and girls who believe in taking time to get to know someone before becoming sexual.
That’s why they’re getting friend zoned. Because they’re taking the time to be friends first.
That’s actually exciting!
Because it means if you are a guy, there are indeed girls out there who just like you want to take the time to truly get to know you first and let a romantic connection grow out of that experience.
And if you are a girl the same is true about the guys you’re dating. Some of them will want the same thing you do!
All you need to do is find the ones who share this goal. And recognize the ones who don’t.
The ones who don’t are easy to spot.
The guys who don’t will try to escalate with you physically way too soon.
The girls who don’t will become bored with you because you don’t escalate physically with them way too soon.
When you encounter these types, take a pass and move on.
If you’ve been friend zoned, that just means this particular person is not one of the people who are capable of taking time to build a real connection first.
Or if they are, they just didn’t end up developing romantic desire for you when they did come to know you.
There is nothing wrong with that either.
Not everybody experiences romantic love for everybody.
So the friend zone “problem” doesn’t indicate you’re doing anything wrong.
There really isn’t a problem at all.
Okay let me qualify that.
If there is a friend zone problem, the problem is you. You just haven’t sufficiently “worked the numbers” yet in your dating experience.
To run across someone with whom you experience the kind of connection you’re looking for takes meeting a lot of people.
This is the biggest problem you encounter.
You become fixated on “this one guy” or “this one girl” and feel like they are the only one for you.
Or you feel like there is something wrong with dating other people while you’re seeing a particilar person.
But dating a lot of people is the best way to prevent yourself from becoming fixated on any one person before you’ve really come to know them.
It also gives you a much better chance of meeting someone you really connect with.
Until you experience this deeper kind of connection, you should approach each relationship as what it actually is…a potential friendship.
Of course I think having more than one romantic relationship makes just as much sense as having more than one friendship.
But even if you don’t feel that way about romance, there is nothing wrong with having more than one friend right?
Until you develop a true connection based on knowing the person, all your date is right now is a potential friend.
So get to know lots of people as potential friends, with an openness to “something more,” and see where things go.
If you don’t take this approach you’ll become too focused on this one person and too easily slip into the addictive patterns of attraction.
If the other person doesn’t share this attraction, you’ll end up feeling friend zoned.
If the other person shares your attraction you’ll end up with a relationship based solely on attraction, which will hit the rocks hard when the attraction fades.
And it always fades.
Quite frankly, if someone cannot come to love you for who you are by taking the time to get to know you, that person is not worthy of your time.
So don’t give it to them.
In your dating life just keep seeking to get to know people for who they really are.
Eventually you’ll come across someone who shares your desire for deep romantic intimacy because they’ve come to know who you really are too.
What do you think? Do you still think there’s a friend zone problem?
Like what you’re reading? Sign up!