Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Friend Zone Part 1

Everyone knows the Nice Guy, right? That guy who seems to always be the one you can call on after your boyfriend dumps you. The one who will pick up your bar tab even though there's not a shot in hell that you'd go home with him. The guy who you can totally be your worst self around and he'll still adore you. He's just so nice. He compliments you and might even shower you with gifts on your birthday. He treats your friends nicely. He's just...Nice. And in the words of Ryan Reynolds, if you're the Nice Guy, you've just become the "non-sexual entity to her and she'll never see you as more than a friend."

Have you every put someone in the Friend Zone before? I came across an article today in Men's Health Magazine (yes I read Men's Health for research purposes, don't judge. It's actually quite interesting to hear some of the things that men get advice about when it comes to women, and how totally off some of it is) about The Friend Zone and I couldn't help but be reminded of my favorite movie Just Friends with the yummy Ryan Reynolds who plays Chris Brander. Chris is in love with Jamie Pallamino (played by Amy Smart), and Samantha James (Anna Farris - LOVE) is the icing on the cake to this Rom Com who time and time again keeps mucking up his opportunities with his first love, Jamie. Samantha is completely obnoxious but utterly hilarious. Anyway, I'm getting off-subject here - As I read the Men's Health article today I couldn't help but think the author was totally on point about a lot of it! I've always kind of thought the Nice Guy was really just that, super nice, but kind of easy to walk all over. But in some cases I think he can be extremely manipulative. If he knows you're going through a tough break-up, of course he's there to be your shoulder to cry on. In hopes that the emotions you're feeling about your ex will turn into feelings for him because he's the one there to pick you up when you fall, right? I've never really thought about it before but there are some Nice Guys that I firmly believe are just waiting and waiting and waiting for you to change your beliefs about love and settle for them. They don't actually ever tell you how they feel about you but they just hope that things will naturally progress with you eventually. See, this cartoon illustrates it perfectly!

I think this cartoon does a pretty good job of summing it up. You cannot force the friendship into a relationship. I don't remember who said it but I know HIMYM has quoted it before. By the time a woman sees you, you have less than 7 minutes before she determines whether she'll ever sleep with you or not. Granted, that can change in very specific situations (i.e., she's drunk, she's vulnerable, the rare situation that a friend actually turns into a boyfriend/dating prospect), but it's not the norm. So if you're a Nice Guy, the only chance you are really going to have is if you're devastatingly handsome or if you make a really good non-friendly but flirty impression with us in the first 7 minutes. It's as simple as that. We know right of the bat if we can see ourselves in sexual situations with you and if we can't, your odds of ending up in the Friend Zone are pretty high.

Getting out of the Friend Zone though once you're already in it? I think there's truly only one way to do this and there are some stipulations involved:
  • First of all, you can't have already spent too much time in the Friend Zone with us to begin with. The longer you stick around in that arena, the harder it will become to get out of the Friend Zone.
  • Secondly, you've got to take care of your appearance. This is not to say you have to be the most handsome guy in the room, but a guy who is polished and looks his best (i.e., keeps his facial hair trimmed or clean-shaven, knows when it's time to get a hair cut, wears clothes that flatter and fit his body, doesn't look like a bum) has a better chance of catching his girl's attention. So basically, if you're always goofy and casual and the girl you desire usually sees you in your gym shorts and un-shaven or whatnot, clean yourself up on the night that you want to move out of the Friend Zone. And continue to dress and behave this way until you get out (and after you get out). If you actually dress to impress, you'll make an impression you might not have made before. But you've got to own it. If you've never worn a suit in your life, your girl will probably think something's up if you immediately start dressing in only suits. But a nice pair of jeans/slacks that make your ass look cute and an ironed shirt as opposed to something that you just pulled out of the dirty clothes can do wonders.  
  • Third, be confident in yourself and get up the guts to ask her out on a date. If you don't take her on a date and call it a date, she won't think it's a date. She'll think she's hanging out with a friend and thus, no progress will be made. But if you're clear about your intentions and she actually does say yes then you're that much closer.
  • If she says yes: make it an evening date. The lunch date is the kiss of death. And be sure to kiss her at the end of the date. As Ryan Reynolds says in Just Friends "My point is, call Sheila. Call her right now, change your day-date to tonight, play the whole thing aloof, and no matter what you do, kiss her at the end. Because "friends" don't kiss."
  • If she says no, you can ask her why not (in a polite tone). She'll likely say that she thought you two were friends and that she doesn't think of you that way. If/When that happens, you've got a decision to make. Stand your ground in a charming and endearing way. Or accept it and move on and actually BE her friend without an alterior motive of trying to win her over. You might have to have a cool-off period before you continue your friendship with her but I think if you give it a week or two that should be plenty unless you can't shake those feelings for her. If you do decide to stand your ground in a charming manner, you need to let her know that you're not going anywhere. Don't just start smothering her. You've gotta say something like "I know you might think that we're just friends, but I think we could be more than that. So next week, I'm going to ask you out again. I hope you'll change your mind by then and give me a shot." If she's extremely persistent in saying no, you may have to let it go. And if she says there's someone else, then you definitely have to let it go and respect that relationship that she's already trying to cultivate for herself. If that other relationship doesn't work out, then of course you can always try again at a later date.
So there's my 2 cents on the Friend Zone and the Nice Guy. Anyone else have any advice for these guys??


  1. You know a loooonggg time ago the Bert show had this discussion about how all these guys sit in the friend zone like puppies waiting for a treat. The truth is, I think a lot of women do the same damn thing. I can personally think of at least two guys that I would readily get with should they ever look my way. Since they are in relationships or whoring it up, I am a friend of theirs. So it definitely goes both ways.

  2. I went on a first date last week and within the first seven minutes I think I immediately put him in the friend zone. I mean I had a great time, he was really cool & "nice" but there was just something that didn't do it for me. It really does happen all the time. And yep - Berryfine is right...it can totally go both ways! Sooo true!

  3. I agree, there's something to be said for girls who are in the Friend Zone. But I don't think it's quite the same necessarily because as old-fashioned/justin-long-he's-just-not-that-into-you-esque this sounds, the guy should make the first move. So B - you should be the one waiting patiently for those guys. But I wouldn't keep my sights set on them for eternity (which I know you won't because you're cultivating your gaggle) because if they're into you, they'll find a way to make a move. Baring that they're not nice-guys, haha.

    Ash - I'm sorry your date wasn't someone sexing-up-worthy. But I can attest that out of all the guys I went on dates with over the last 2 months, 3 were non-sexual to me, and 3 were. And I figured that out pretty much as soon as we met in person. ::sigh::