A good friend of mine gave me a good laugh a few hours ago (edit: I wrote this on Nov 30) when he tweeted something to the effect of “Forever Friend-zoned!” As a matter of fact, this post was inspired by that tweet. I do not know if he was talking about himself or someone else. It got me thinking, however. What is it with this friend zone issue and why do men dread it so much? What lie have the men of this generation bought into that makes them dread being viewed by a woman as a friend?
First: are you 100% sure you’re in the Friend Zone? I put together a table to help you figure that out. Here it is: Are You In the Friend Zone?
Before we go on, maybe we should bust a few myths.
> Being friends is not a bad thing. Good friends make the best husbands.
> It is possible for ANY MAN to leave the (just-a-) friend zone.
> The friend zone is not hopeless, but it can be very unhealthy.
> Being in the friend zone, like many things in life, is a choice. Which means you can choose to leave.
In my view, it’s a good idea to either stay away from the friend zone or leave with immediate effect. I’m sure there are tons of articles online regarding this issue. Just in case you haven’t found anything helpful, here’s the spiel** on leaving La Zone Amitié, aka Eneo La Urafiki, from a woman’s point of view.
1) Put yourself in her shoes. I am told that if a man does not love you, he does not. He cannot and he will not. But the fact that a woman cannot stand you today does not necessarily mean she will not marry you or be head-over-heels in love with you tomorrow. Sit ten women down and ask them how they ended up with their husbands. I’ll be very surprised if five do not tell you, “I could not stand him at first.”
Sometimes, a woman just wants to know that you are serious and she is worth it. It’s 2012. Women have guy issues. Men have lied, cheated on, and walked away from today’s woman. All women need is someone who is serious about God and can demonstrate patience and faithfulness.
Just like you, women don’t like being taken for a ride. And they often have that instinct that tells them “I’m just one among many options.” So you have to know what you want.
2) It‘s easier to stay out of the friend zone than it is to get out of the friend zone. So don’t get into the friend zone in the first place. Know very early about the woman you are dealing with and what direction you want your relationship to take. Ask God for discernment and apply common sense. Be sure what you want and make it clear to yourself and! to! her! from the beginning. It’s all in the branding. Coffee or Kenchic can be either a hangout or a date and you, being the leader, get to choose. What’s it going to be?
Does she even have a clue how you feel? She might suspect it, but… does she know? Sneaking your way in as a friend could feel like an ambush and that would only breed irritation and resentment. You get more points and make more progress when you keep it real. So express yourself.
One of the most effective ways to state your intentions is to politely but confidently say something to the effect of, “Listen. This is where I feel the Lord is taking me. This is why/when I expect to get there. This is how I want to get there. I’d like you to accompany me, because this is what I’ve seen about you. Do you want to come along?” *Blank stare.* This will cause her to understand that a) you know what you want in life (very attractive!) and b) you are going for it with or without her, because God, and not a relationship, is the God of your life (very attractive!) and c) if she does not come along, you will not waste away, because you’re certain someone out there would rejoice to be in her shoes (very true and very attractive).
3) Understand the whys and the wherefores. The number one reason why woman would friend-zone a man is she does not see this man as husband material. Could be because she is taken, or because she likes someone else, or because this man does not demonstrate a certain level of what Kenyans call “seriousness.” Seriousness can be anything from commitment to integrity to vision and direction. It may or may not be something to do with the man.
The number two reason has nothing to do with the man in question. It is simply because this woman has her own issues she’s dealing with. In fact, the number two reason might be the reason for the number one reason. If a woman rejects you due to her own issues, don’t take on those issues as your baggage; in other words, don’t allow her rejection to skew your view of women or of yourself.
4) Understand that you can’t make anybody love you…
She’s human, like you. Can any woman force you to love her? In the same way, you can’t force anyone to love you. If you’re doing things to squeeze your way into her heart, home, and schedule, then you do not belong there. There will always be more than enough room in the heart and life of the one who is yours. One does not give persuasive speeches and present manifestos to get a woman to love one. One does these things to try and convince her to be with one. If she’s not feeling you, you cannot force it.
5) … but you sure can make yourself more “lovable”!
To her, I mean. Because you’re lovable even if she does not love/is not feeling you. The one thing that guys don’t seem to understand is any man can get any woman. PERIOD! I don’t care who you are and where you’re from; the key to attractiveness in a woman’s eyes is confidence. It does not matter how tall, short, broke, rich – whatever – you are. Just be confident and refuse to see yourself as any less attractive than the guy on in the big car or on the cover of whatever men’s magazine is popular nowadays. Confidence is not about lack of fear. It’s about having that thing Nigerians call effrontery. Audacity. Guts.
Desperation is not lovable. Availability on a whim is not attractive. Do you love the Lord? Have a job? Know your calling? Have somewhere to be? If you’re already in the friend zone, rebrand, please, with immediate effect. Make it clear that you want to be more than friends. If you’ve already told her how you feel, don’t repeat it ad nauseum.
6) You can’t make yourself her world…
So please don’t even try. All those phone calls trying to console her about her ex in the hopes that you’ll be next, or pretending to need her advice, etc are such a waste it’s not even funny. Also, she probably sees through them. Please stop.
7) …but you sure can inspire her to want to become a part of your world!
This will probably be very helpful for your confidence as well. If she thinks you’re a joker, then it could be because you seem to have nothing and nobody else but her. What are you doing? What are you about? Do you drop everything and risk your job and other friendships to hang out with her? Not cool! As you work on having a life, you will make several female friends. This will inspire your friend-zone lady to wonder what it is about you that she does not see. And then she will begin to look for it. And she will find it. And voila.
8) You can’t force her to be with you…
So please don’t try. There’s being available on a whim (#5), and then there’s stalking. Please don’t do it. You’ll move from friend zone, where there is hope, to psycho-stalker-with-issues zone, where there is so much less hope.
9) …but you sure can show her what she misses when she’s not around you!
May I please stress this one more time: Please don’t be too available. In fact, make yourself scarce. Because you know your price, and you’re not trying to make any woman an idol. Right? Scarce is not “I miss her, it’s been four hours, I’m sure she’s longing to hear from me so I’ll go ahead and text her.” Scarce is a text from her going, “Ai? Kwani what did I do to you, you tupad me!” to which you respond, after a minimum of 20 minutes, with a BRIEF and HONEST allusion to how busy you are and how much fun you’re having.
Caveat: Please don’t be so unavailable that she forgets you exist.
10) No matter what, remember that you‘re all that. Period.
God says so. The fact that she cannot see it is none of your business. The fact that you cannot see it is not my business. Lol. PLEASE be willing to walk away. Don’t buy into the lie that if she decides you’re not good enough for her, then you’re not good enough for anyone or that if she rejects you, there’s no hope or happiness for you. You are the business. Chin up, sir! Square your shoulders. Pop your collar. Yeah, like that! Can you feel all the all-that-ness up in here? I sure can… Go on, with your fine self. Lol.
Unless you’re willing to walk away, you will probably not leave the friend zone. And the more time you spend on the wrong woman, the longer you keep the right one waiting.
Guess what… the minute you decide to move on, she will probably show up and try to beg (maybe even manipulate) you back into her life.
*TL;DR: The friend zone is not hopeless. You can get out. Any man can get any woman. Become scarce with immediate effect. Be confident. God says you are the business.
**I just wanted to use the word spiel.