14 Terrible Signs You're Deep in the Friend Zone
But you’ve asked for more.
You’ve asked for clear signs you can look for that are undeniable proof you’ve careened off the Road to Sexytimes and into the Bog of Asexuality. Irrefutable sign posts that the good times of dreaming about lovingly gazing into one another’s eyes are long behind you, and you now exist solely to stroke her ego as proof that she is so charming, so wonderful, and so hypnotically mesmerizing that great guys like you will just hang around in awe of her... all while she samples her fill of sexy bad boys.
Well, never fear. While the greatest danger of the friend zone is your own denial, all the rest we will solve with this enlightening post.
So, provided you can handle the healthy dose of cognitive dissonance you’ll receive from discovering that the girl you were so certain you were just one more funny text message away from talking onto your johnston really doesn’t think of you “that way" and probably never will, let’s dive in...
... and arm you with the 14 Terrible Signs You’re Deep in the Friend Zone.
First, we’ll start with seven (7) pretty clear signs that you’re well into the friend zone.
These signs are “pretty clear" because if you’re young, inexperienced with women, or wrapped in a cloak of infatuated denial, it’s still easy to explain these away as her being “hard to get."
But trust, she isn’t hard to get if she’s doing these things.
She just doesn’t want you to get her (ouch).
Here they are...
#1: She Asks You to Go Shopping with Her
“Shopping – great!" you might think at first. “I know it’s good to keep dates cheap – to keep the pressure off – and that you want dates you can have plenty of conversation during. Well, what else is there to do during shopping besides chat?"
Don’t be fooled by the superficial appeal this one holds – an invitation to go shopping with her or, worse still, you actually taking her up on such an invitation, spells disaster for your romantic aspirations.
Well, what do you know of what a gal’s looking for in a fellow? She’s looking for a strong guy... an attractive guy... a cool guy... and a guy who doesn’t expend unnecessary effort running around doing silly things that he doesn’t enjoy doing, just for her, to spend time with her, because she wants to do them. Especially when she and said guy are not lovers yet.
And what guy wants to go flit about the mall from store to store for four-and-a-half hours watching her try on dresses and stare at shoes? Not any kind of guy she’s desperately lusting over in the midnight hours, you should know that much.
“Oh Fernando," she said lustily, in a breathless, heaving voice, “hand me another pair of shoes to try on to see if they match this dress."
Nope. Doesn’t fit.
When a girl actually respects you as a man, she will never in a
million years ask you to go shopping with her when you are not her
boyfriend yet. She will wait for you to propose a proper date idea, or
she will suggest something that respects your time as well as hers, and
will be something the two of you will enjoy equally.
If you need any further convincing on this one, just check out this article, but be warned, there’s no happy ending for our hero here: “The Sad Tale of “Shopping Guy"."
#2: She Only Agrees to See You in Public
You’ve been chasing her for weeks, but she won’t agree to go on a hike in the mountains with you, come over to cook dinner with you, or just hang out and watch a movie?
Surely she just needs more time, right?
If you’ve been on 3+ dates with a girl (and often, fewer than that), and she will only agree to meet you in public venues, you should read that as a loud and clear sign that she is working overtime to prevent your relationship from progressing beyond the ass-out hug stage.
“Keeping it public" is an age-old strategy women have employed since cavemen started getting their own caves to prevent men they valued most as shoulders to cry on and for the gifts, homework help, workplace promotions, party access, and other favors those men shower on them in the hopes of said gifts somehow switching on these women’s sex drives from “making a move" and ruining that whole parade of benefits.
So long as she keeps it in public, you
can’t make a move, and are forced to keep chasing her.
After all, you’re wearing her down, right?
#3: She Keeps Inviting You to Group Events
Ah, the group event. Her invitation surely means she likes you!
But how come when you show up, she spends all of five minutes with you, then runs off and socializes with so many other people? Who even invited all of them anyway?
In case you haven’t realized it yet, she did, and that’s the same reason you’re there. She likes a big party, she likes to socialize, and everyone in her Rolodex got an invite.
You thought it meant something special; it just meant she thought you wouldn’t totally ruin the occasion by showing up.
It’s amazing how many men show up to parties and events thrown by hot women just because the girl invited them all. Every single one of them who is there is certain she likes him, and hoping that this will be the night he gets in her pants.
Instead, all the men end up mingling with each other, none of them realizing the only reason all the other men are there is because the same girl texted each of them to come, and all of them are kind of sort of wondering why there aren’t really too many other women there, but are mostly all just busy rubbernecking to see what guy their girl (that is, the one who invited them all) is talking to now, instead of talking to them.
So what should you do when you get a party, networking, gallery opening, charity event, or other hoopla invitation from a girl you want to nail like a piece of birch wood? Nothing. Don’t do party dates. Politely decline, and follow up a few days later to see if she’d like to meet you in person.
If you get some vague excuse about how she’s too busy this week, but there’s another awesome event coming up next weekend and you should totally come out for it, it’s time to press your “delete contact" button (and, if you have that functionality, block her number, to prevent your phone from getting constant event spam rolling in from her).
#4: She Compliments You in Patronizing Ways
If she’s complimenting you, that’s got to be a good thing... or so you’d think.
That means she likes you... doesn’t it? Don’t you have to like someone to compliment them?
Well, let’s play spot the difference. Here are two compliments from two different girls – see if you can tell which girl likes you as a pal, and which girl goes to bed at night dreaming of what your wedding will be like.
Girl A: [in a matter-of-fact tone, with a pleasant, friendly smile] You’re a super cool guy. I’m glad we hang out.
Girl B: [in a nervous, trembling tone, with an infatuated smile] It’s amazing that you know how to draw like that.
No contest, right?
Girls who are enamored with you compliment you less, are more nervous and girly around you, and when they do compliment you, compliment you in impressed, awestruck, spur-of-the-moment ways on things you’ve just said or done.
Girls who just like you as a friend are friendly or platonic in voice tone, are more neutral than they are girly/romantic around you, and compliment you not in impressed, awestruck tones and ways, but usually in patronizing, almost condescending ways, much the way you’d compliment a really precocious kindergartener who said and did neat things. “Hey, that’s a neat-o finger painting; you’re going to be a great artist someday, just keep at it, kid."
Keep an eye on her voice tone, inflection, and facial expressions as she says it, most of all. These are where the real tip-offs lie. However, anytime you get a compliment that remotely sounds like she is passing judgment on you, it’s pretty safe to say that you were friend-zoned somewhere along the lines and you’re only just realizing it now.
#5: She Offers to be Your Wingwoman
This one should be commonsense, but it’s amazing how often guys secretly hope to shack up with their wingwomen... and think said wingwomen want to shack up with them.
Sometimes they do. If you have a very sexually open wingwoman, she may be open to the idea of spending a night with you, in addition to helping you find other women to spend your days and nights with.
And it’s possible that if you’re good with girls, and she ends up
watching you pick up and sleep with women who are prettier and higher
status than her, preselection kicks in and makes
her decide she wants you now after all.
But most of the time, for most guys, she probably doesn’t want to be your girlfriend. And there’s a good chance she may only want to help you meet other girls because she gets a kick out of it, and not because she’s secretly hoping you’ll take her home instead.
The reason why? Women who want to date you don’t try to hook you up with other women.
They want less competition for your heart... not more.
If she’s offered to be your wingwoman, chances are it isn’t to get closer to you.
It’s just for kicks.
#6: She’s Always Busy When You Propose a Date
There are genuinely very busy women out there. There are some women
who work 80 hours a week, and fly out every other day for business, and
not to mention have their new art exhibits opening up at the gallery
downtown, and oh by the way, they’re hosting a wine tasting at the new
underground wine bar over on Y Street this Thursday. And then they’re
traveling down to Cabo for a weekend with the girls.
But let’s be realistic. If you’ve been trying to set up a date with her for weeks, and she’s always busy, even that girl with the crazy schedule we just talked about will find a slot to schedule you in sometime if she genuinely has interest in you.
And she probably isn’t actually that busy.
In all likelihood, she spends at least a couple of nights a week sitting around in her underwear watching Grey’s Anatomy. You’ve almost certainly seen her on Facebook chat some of those times when she was “too busy" to meet you for an iced chocolate, and the odds are good she hasn’t totally cut herself off from all her friends and social life simply because she is so, so busy.
Nope. She’s not too busy for the rest of her life.
She’s just too busy for YOU.
And the part that stings the most is, she almost certainly isn’t too busy for some other men out there... the ones who hit it off with her right.
Take it as a blatant, blaring sign: if she’s been too busy to meet you for quite a while, it isn’t because she’s off saving the world from super villains and has no time for a 30-minute coffee date.
It’s because she’s decided that as great a guy as you are, you just aren’t someone she’s willing to invest the time in to get dressed up and walk to a little café to go talk about her life story to and pursue a potential romance with.
#7: You Mostly Interact with Her from Afar
Related to #6: if you predominantly interact with her over phone, text, chat, social media, smoke signal, passenger pigeon, messages in bottles, or love letters, she isn’t interested.
Not in this day and age.
You mean, being a girl’s texting buddy isn’t the road to hugs, kisses, and passionate nights beneath the stars?
Sadly, yes. You may someday hear a tale of someone who managed to Snapchat his way into some girl’s heart... but if you ever do hear a tale like that, it’s probably just an urban legend.
Connections are formed in-person, not via correspondence.
And you will never make up for a poorly-made first impression over text message, no matter how incredibly witty and interesting you are in that medium.
Your best shot here if you flubbed your first impression (or your last date) is to make a phone call and recover there... but if that’s not enough, and she still keeps giving you the runaround, well, it isn’t because she’s a homebody who only interacts with people via computer and smart phone.
It’s because, like the girl in #6, she just doesn’t want to take the time to meet you.
She likes you better as her pen pal, and as her pen pal you shall stay.
Don’t upset the status quo of being her long-distance chatting friend. You’re good for her in that role.
Moving on, we arrive at our next 7 signs: the signs that you’re so far friend zoned you have to really be flying blind not to see these.
Even if you didn’t recognize them before, don’t be too hard on yourself; love is blind, they say, and a guy in the friend zone is a blind, deaf quadriplegic with completely numb skin.
That is to say, you may be forgiven for mistaking the sucking quicksand of the friend zone for a warm, caring embrace... but not anymore after reading these 7 signs.
After these, you’ve got no excuse – so clamp your teeth onto your lifeline and let’s yank you out of there.
#8: You’ve Been “Working on Her" for Months
You didn’t get her phone number the first time you met her in acting class, but you’ll get it the next time? Okay, it happens.
That new girl who just started at your office has been out the door before you’ve had a chance to really talk to her after work the past couple of days, so you’re going to try running into her after lunch next time for an extended chat session instead? Sometimes your strategy just needs a little tweaking; that’s understandable.
You’ve gone out with her three times over the past two weeks and still haven’t sealed the deal, but you’ll get it wrapped up next time? All right; you’re stretching it a little, but she likes you, you’re a champ, go get her.
You’ve been talking to her off-and-on for the past four months, and you’re pretty sure you’re gradually getting her to the place where she might be ready to trade emails? No. NOT acceptable.
Attraction is not something that develops over the course of months or years. It’s something that happens instantaneously; and it expires fast.
If you do not close things out within a relatively rapid window of encountering a girl you like who likes you back, rather than dial up your efforts and turn winning her affection into some kind of multi-stage love-military campaign, with reinforcements called in from the gift division and strategic planning sessions with all your best mates, it’s time to cut your losses and move on.
At absolute most, give yourself two (2) months to take a girl as your lover if you are a pure beginner. Pure. No one else gets this much leeway. If you have some idea what you’re doing with women, it’s a month; and if you’re pretty good, it’s two weeks.
Anything more than that, and you’re just chasing phantoms... and disinterested women.
#9: She Asks You to Help Her Meet Other Men
If you’re deeply, desperately in denial, it’s possible you might see this as some sort of ploy to get you to chase after her... or something.
But it’s not. If she asks you to help her meet other men, it really, honestly is because she wants you to help her meet other men.
Which also means she feels you are so far friend-zoned that:
You won’t be offended an ounce that she’s asked you for your help in aiding her to secure a mate, and
You’re the kind of guy who would willingly sacrifice his time to enable a pretty girl to mate with some other man than himself
If you’ve made it this far, bravo; you’ve achieved Friend Zone Level 99, an honor few men have had the pleasure of attaining.
Get out now before she consumes your soul.
#10: She Tries to Hook You Up with Ugly Friends
Truth be told, you’re probably pretty friend zoned too if she’s trying to hook you up with her cute friends.
But if she’s trying to hook you up with her plain or ugly friends? You’re so utterly friend zoned that she doesn’t even view you as worthy of her better-looking friends.
Hang your head in shame, friend; you have subjected yourself to this abuse for far too long.
Girls who respect you at least a little bit will deem you worthy of their cuter friends, or at least will intuit that your standards will not allow you to end up with any plain or below-average girls, and won’t even try to set you up with them.
For a girl to try to fix you up with Plain Jane or Ugly Judy, she needs to view your worth as a mate as about equal to their level, which is... none at all, really.
Not so enviable a place to be.
#11: She Cries to You About How Bad Her Man Is
... or, worse still, her crush, whom she isn’t even sleeping with; or, some fling she had where the guy won’t even see her again.
If you’re here, you’re in some pretty dire straits.
Oh, sure; very occasionally, you can get some rebound action by playing the “shoulder to cry on" role for a sufficiently wounded girl coming out of a sufficiently damaging affair. Chances are, she goes back to the bad boy boyfriend anyway, and ends up returning you to the friend pile as soon as she does.
And most of the time, you won’t even get that far. She’ll just cry to you about him, and as soon as she’s finished dumping all those bad emotions on you, she’ll get back together with him and leave you with nothing but a damp spot on your t-shirt shoulder for the effort.
If a woman is crying to you about another man, it isn’t because she wants you to save her from him. It’s because she wants to be with him, and can’t, so she needs to have SOME man around to at least reassure her that there are men out there who will accept her presence.
It isn’t about wanting love, romance, or sex from you. She just wants you to tell her it’s okay... while she waits for one of the guys she actually wants those other things from to give her a call and order her over to his place for a round of shiver-me-timbers.
#12: She Says She Likes You as a Friend/Brother
Don’t mistake this for flirting with you, teasing you, or trying to send you mixed signals.
If a girl tells you she likes you as a friend or (about 20x worse) as a brother, it isn’t some kind of girly game she’s playing with you.
She actually literally just means she views you as a platonic friend or as a kind of extended family member, with whom any sort of romantic or sexual liaison would basically be incestuous, and she would never in a septillion years think of you that way.
You might be worried about how you should react to this. Whether you should laugh it off as a joke when she tells you you’re like a brother, or take this opportunity to open up your heart and express your true feelings to her.
But that’s not the right question to ask here. The right question is, “How fast should I run, and how far away should I run to?"
The answer is, “As fast as you can muster, and as far as you can go."
#13: She Asks Why She Never Meets Men Like You
No, this isn’t some secret code for, “I so desperately want you, and this is my oblique way of telling you!"
This is just a sweet-sounding way of passing you a “compliment"... while simultaneously announcing the you are the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of the types of men she goes for.
If your mind is working overtime trying to convert every little piece of communication she gives you into a sign that she must certainly be as infatuated with you as you are with her, you’re going to tend to read this as if she is saying, “I just randomly stumble into my relationships, and the lottery that is life keeps forcing me into relationships with all the wrong men. I totally hate it!"
But the fact of the matter is, if she’s remotely attractive, she constantly has a cornucopia of men competing for her attention, attraction, love, and sex... including you.
And from among ALL those men, she chooses her mates.
She doesn’t clumsily stumble into them, like some kind of drunk hobo crashing into a display of soup cans at the village grocery.
She very carefully picks and chooses exactly the men she wants to date.
And now, she’s telling you those men she very carefully picks and chooses are your polar opposites.
What do you think your chances here are? [hint: they are the polar opposite of “awesome"]
#14: She Finds the Idea of Sexual You to be “Cute"
This one usually is going to come up somewhat indirectly (she’s probably not going to say, “You? Sexual? Oh, how adorable!"), but you’ll see it pop up instead during normal conversation, as she comments on your dating exploits. e.g.,
You: So, I asked out Jamie Lynn today...
Her: Really? Aw, that’s so cute! What did she say? Are you going out?
Her: Have you ever thought about going on a date with Brianna?
You: [thinking, “But I want you!"] Uh, no... why?
Her: I don’t know; I just think you two would be adorable together!
If a woman thinks that the very idea of you as a sexual man is something “cute" or “adorable", that means that she views your sexuality as being about on par with that of a bunny rabbit’s, puppy dog’s, or gerbil’s.
That is to say, something sweet, goofy, silly, and totally and utterly not even in the same ballpark as her.
The men she likes? Powerful, potent, fertile, fecund insemination machines who make her knees buckle and her heart skip a beat.
You? A cute little yipping fox terrier whose tiny reproductive equipment and stunted mating efforts are something so harmless, unthreatening, and child-like to think about that she actually gets a little thrill of asexual cutesiness just considering.
This is the ultimate sex-related insult you can possibly receive as a human: to have a member of the opposite sex communicate to you in no uncertain terms that he or she does not even view you as an eligible mating partner; you aren’t even on the table for consideration, and the very idea of you engaging in mating behavior seems cute, funny, and quaint.
Want to know the magic pill answer?
Hanging out in the friend zone is like spending time in a guerilla warzone without a platoon to back you up. You’re just asking to get mowed down and bled to death.
Really, there’s no winning there. You’re fighting a losing battle, for spoils of victory that have long since been captured by someone else moving faster than you.
If she starts to chase after you once you’ve checked out? Good; let her chase.
Do things on your terms, and only on your terms.
If she won’t play ball, leave it be; it was going exactly nowhere anyway.
But most of all, it’s time to start meeting new women... because you won’t be able to stop thinking about her until you do.
And until you do, you will always be in danger of reentering the deadly... the humiliating... and the mind-bendingly, reality-alteringly, fist-clenchingly horrifying
So stay out of there. Keep safe. Watch your back.
And don’t let some girl suck up your time, energy, and life force to stroke her ego, when you could be out meeting women who are genuinely interested in you as a prospective partner instead.
Life’s too short for that nonsense – don’t you think?
Your friend always (without the “zone"),
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