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Sex & Dating: How to Negotiate Being in the Friend Zone

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The Friend Zone. I have put many men in this category. They are amazing, funny, smart and nice. They’re even fairly good looking. So what’s the hold up???

I don’t want to get naked with them. Why? No idea. The sexytime urge just didn’t happen from the start. You can like someone, have a great time talking, eating and hanging out with them…but if you don’t want to have sexy time with them there’s no making the move past The Friend Zone. Can you get out of The Friend Zone? Possibly. It doesn’t ever happen with me. Or when it did there was a LOT of booze and morning aspirin that also happened. Each with a Regret Chaser.



The only way you’ll ever get out of The Friend Zone is to make a move and ask. Go balls out and tell her/him that you want to start something romantic. There’s no other way to know. You don’t live in a Rom-Com and there’s not going to be that emotional climactic moment when the sun shines through the fog and the love of your life comes running into your arms to live happily ever after with you at the precise moment you’re getting into a cab to move to Siberia. You have to be honest and straightforward with what you want.

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Be prepared for rejection. If they didn’t want to have sexytime with you when you met there’s a good chance they still don’t want to. You might end up losing that friend. There can be a lot of awkwardness once you approach your “friend” with sexytime love notions and they don’t want to reciprocate. It will officially become “weird” and you won’t get the ping asking to meet up for happy hour or go to brunch. Pick your poison. Will you jump into the deep end? Or keep your safe but neutral position in their lives?

So, how did you get into the The Friend Zone? Well, dear…

1)  You didn’t make a move in the beginning. Ask her out on an actual date…not just “hanging out”. Yes, I know it’s not the social norm these days but if you want something substantial you have to make substantial moves. Waiting around and ‘hanging out’ until the other person brings up the bf/gf topic will almost always lead you into the Friend Zone.  On the date, break the personal bubble and touch the person. Guide her through a door with a very gentle hand on her back, touch his arm to initiate closeness and affection. Observe closely and pick up on how they respond to your touch. Do they move away? Do they go with it? Don’t be a chicken shit, go for the kiss but don’t be creepy about it.



2)  You’re the ear to their problems. Congratulations! In an attempt to get closer to them you are now the unpaid therapist for all their problems! You’ll end up being the one who they go to for comfort but never sexytime. Agreeing with everything he says and being available anytime he calls is tragic. Don’t be that girl. You’re done once they bring up other people they actually want to get naked with. If they’re asking for advice about dating other people? Oh, honey. You’re in the Friend Zone Black Hole. When you’re starting the “getting to know you phase” don’t get too deep with the topics. Definitely don’t talk about their or your exes. Talk about their interests, plans, or MAKE plans with them! Talk about concerts, restaurants, embarrassing moments. Happy and funny things! Don’t bring up emo, whiny crap or ex-drama. That can come after you’ve seen each other naked.

One will happen.

One day….it will happen. I hope.

3)  You convince yourself the love is there. Are you friends with someone who has tons of friends everywhere? Do they pretty much flirt with everyone? There are no deep seeded emotions attached to that kind of behavior so don’t read too much into it. Ask yourself…Are you special? Are you treated differently than others? No? Yeah, so…you’re not special. “But when he hugs me I feel like it means something!” No, it doesn’t. Don’t waste your time suffering from Unrequited Love Syndrome. Use your love vibes and direct them to another person who is actually available and may be receptive to you.  Other fish, ya’ll.

4)  Pity Party, Party of One! Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Are you always telling anyone that will hear that no one is good enough? That the people suck and everything and everyone is stupid? Quit yer’ bitchin’ and be happy. Ever heard of fake it till you make it? I’m not saying act like a grinning moron in public but smile, be friendly and engage others. People respond to smiling faces and cheerful demeanors. Love is supposed to be a warm and fuzzy feeling. Don’t cock block yourself by frowning. You’ll end up being that person who is “cool person but always angry or grumpy.”  I’m sure somewhere there are people who love negativity and aggression in a partner. Hell, no doubt there’s a dating site for that on the internets somewhere!

One thing can be a benefit to being put in The Friend Zone. You get to meet their other friends. If you make the right moves from the start and begin dating someone you’ll have a built in mutual friend who will attest to your amazingness!

Good luck, folks. Go forth and make a move. Many moves.

Images couresy of flikr, Friendship Lagoon,

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Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Bay Area native. Oldest girl in a very large extended Mexican family. Studied Art History at UC Berkeley and of course I became a Nonprofit Marketing Consultant! Never married. No kids. Serial dater and and expert at the 'hang out' version of dating. Moved out of crazy expensive SF to Oakland and LOVING it! Loves sports. All of them. Except golf. Oh, and rhythmic gymnastics.

1 Comment

  1. Smiling in SF
    August 18, 2014 at 7:05 am

    A few weeks ago, I went out on a first date with a woman I’d been talking to online for two weeks. An hour into the date she came right out and said that she could see us being friends but not in a relationship. Until that time, I had mixed feelings about her: on paper we seemed great for each other, and I found her attractive, but we didn’t seem to be clicking. I was chalking it up to nerves on both sides, and knew that we needed more time to relax before we should draw any conclusions. I have a policy of not being “friends” with the opposite sex, and told her so (in my experience, a man and woman can only be friends if one of them is romantically interested in the other, even if they never acknowledge or act upon it).

    As the date was winding down, I excused myself to the restroom, joked “promise you’ll still be here when i get back,” and touched her waist as I walked around her. As we were saying goodbye, I knew that I could not be “just friends” with her; no matter where things go, we have to start out on a romantic path. I told her to kiss me, and she did.

    “Goodbye” lasted about thirty more minutes, with a lot more kissing in the process!

    It’s too soon to say where things are headed, but at least they’re going in the right direction, all because I bit the bullet and took control of the situation from the start. On our second dare, she told me that she needs to take it slowly, but the passion is in her kisses, and we’ve planned two more dates ahead.

    The bottom line is, the easiest way out of the friend zone is to refuse to enter in the first place. If you want something, take the initiative to go for it. If the other person responds negatively, then back off and find love elsewhere–you will! Whatever mediocre happiness the friend zone gives you, it will never equal the heartache and frustration that comes along with it.