(Part six of my series on dating. My last entry, on why not to obsess over your crushes, was last week)
You see it all the time on dating advice websites. The ones targeted at men anyway. A guy writes in, agonizing over this one girl he knows. He dresses well, he says things to make her laugh. But every time he tries to get her alone, she rebuffs him. What am I doing wrong?, he asks.
Uh-oh, the advice-giver replies. You’ve ended up in The Friend Zone.
The Friend Zone is the most terrible place in the world. It’s a damp landscape full of guys with nervous smiles. Thirty-foot tall girls with pixie haircuts tower over the men, crushing them with errant kicks of their spike heels. They laugh, twirl their hair, and scour the land with lightning.
Why is the Friend Zone so awful? Well, once a girl puts you in the Friend Zone, that’s the end of everything. You thought you were getting a smart, funny, warm, interesting girl to have sex with. But instead, you’re getting all that, minus the sex. This is worse than waterboarding!
If you’ve been paying attention to the series so far, you’ll realize what’s going on. If not, let me make it clear: I’m being sarcastic. This notion of “The Friend Zone” arises from the same twisted views of women, sex and dating that so many other problems come from.
If you find yourself searching the Internet for advice on “how to get out of the friend zone,” you already have more problems than a list of tips can solve. Here’s what your problems are:
* You’re obsessing over a specific woman, convinced she’s The One. She’s not.
* You’re being phony with your approach. All but the most sheltered women can tell when a guy is flirting with them. And most women can tell when a guy is interested in them, but is not flirting. A guy who tries to pass himself off as a friend to a girl, when he really wants to get in her pants, is creepy. And once a girl realizes what sort of creep you are, she’ll want nothing to do with you.
* You’re only interested in sex. As I said above, when you’re friends with a smart, funny, compassionate girl, you’re getting everything but the sex. Three out of four ain’t bad, as Jim Steinman (almost) said. So why the whining? Because you’re a needy horndog, not a romantic catch?
So. You find yourself in The Friend Zone. Here’s some advice on dealing with it that you won’t find on most other dating advice blogs:
(1) Get out more.
(2) Tell her you’re having a hard time meeting girls. If she really is a friend of yours – as opposed to some girl you’re creeping out – she’ll offer advice, or maybe bring you some place to meet friends of hers. This isn’t a reverse-psychology ploy to get her to consider you in a different light. This is you asking for help. Trust me, you need it.
(3) Quit reading dating columns or websites that give you tips on how to get out of the Friend Zone. They put all the onus on you. The Friend Zone, if you believe these guys, exists only as a result of your actions (you came on too strong! you were a doormat! you didn’t lock eye contact and work your game on the approach!), never as a result of any decision the woman might have made. Women are apparently lumps of moist plastic, not thinking creatures.
Why am I so skeptical of the notion of the “Friend Zone”? Because some of my most successful relationships have come from women I was friends with first. And it wasn’t any special patter I had that turned things around.