How to Get Out of the Friend Zone
So many men and women ask me how to get out of the friend zone.
You’re in a relationship but it’s not the kind of relationship you really want. You want them to see you as a romantic partner. You want them to cross that huge divide called “just friends” and make out with you — maybe even fall in love!
I get it. I’ve been on both sides of this, and I know exactly how you can get out of the friend zone!
Men and women have different attraction cycles, so men and women need different custom strategies to get out of the friend zone. In this post, I’ll show you what they are.
I’ve been friends with a great guy for two years. I really have come to have feelings for him. Do I just tell him how I feel? How do I get out of the friend zone?
So many men and women write me this question. I’m going to give two separate answers: one for men and one for women.
Because men and women generally have two different attraction cycles, we need to customize the answer to each.
Let me start out by saying that Glade was in the friend zone. If you don’t already know, Glade has been my partner for 10 years, he is the love of my life, and I’m super hot for him. So, this topic of getting out of the friend zone is an integral part of my love story and I’m excited to share it with you because it may be a little different from what you’ve heard before — and it could be a major part of your love story too!
There’s all this pressure for people to have love at first sight or to know what they want after three dates, and if it’s not that way then we think there’s a problem. But the truth is for 90% of us, this ideal is unrealistic. Let me explain:
Attraction Cycles for Men vs. Women
In general, a man’s attraction cycle begins down south, he starts with his sexual interest. Then with time and a series of positive experiences contributing to her happiness, it goes to his heart. Then with more time and conversation, it moves to his head where he respects her and wants to commit to her.
In general, a woman’s attraction cycle begins in her head: “Hmm, this guy seems interesting.” Then with time and a series of positive experiences of him contributing to her happiness it goes to her heart. Then with more time and a growing trust and safety, it moves down south, and she becomes sexually interested. I can say, this is exactly what happened with me and my partner, but I’ll get into that more in a bit.
So because men and women have different attraction cycles, the friend zone experience is entirely different.
For Women: How Do You Get Out of the Friend Zone?
Usually, if a guy is hanging out with you a lot, he likes you. 98% of the time, he’s attracted to you too. Rather than declare your feelings in a potentially embarrassing speech, you can say:
“If you want to kiss me, you can, you know.”
Smile casually and playfully and leave it at that. Walk away or start in on a project. Let him mull it over.
That leaves the door open for him to make a move knowing that he won’t be rejected. This usually gives him enough confidence to pull you out of the friend zone and into his arms. And yes, I have used this move in real life and moved a friendship into a romantic relationship. If I can do it, you can!
If he’s not interested, he won’t make a move. You can continue to be friends (you haven’t declared your love) and you can confidently move on to another man who does look at you romantically!
Because a man’s attraction cycle begins with sexual attraction; if he’s not into you that way already then there isn’t really much you can do to move the needle.
- Some men won’t find certain women attractive, not because of their looks but, because there isn’t enough polarity to create attraction. By connecting more fully to your femininity and learning how to connect with men from a genuinely feminine place, you will find that more men will be attracted to you.
- Don’t dwell too long on a man who isn’t interested in you. Your job is to open yourself up to men who want to be with you and allow yourself the time and interactions you need to discover your sexual attraction.
For Men: How Do You Get Out of the Friend Zone?
Because of the nature of a woman's attraction cycle, there are a LOT of men in the friend zone. A woman often doesn’t feel sexual attraction for her friends. She is stimulated with her mind first, then her heart and that’s usually where it stalls, especially with a friend dynamic.
I’m going to show you how to move the needle and not get stuck in a friend dynamic.
A woman’s attraction starts to warm up when she feels safe — not like the safety she feels with her teddy bear bestie but the safety she feels with a romantic partner.
Psst...You have everything you need inside you to be that romantic partner and I’ll show you where to find it.
NOTE: This is contrary to most of the dating advice out there. Most people will say that in order to get out of the friend zone, a man needs to be more bad boy dangerous rather than be “safe.” “Bad boy dangerous” where you play it cool, treat her kinda bad, and act aloof can work, but when it does, it usually leads to a sexual response inspired by dopamine that flames hot and then goes away. It does not lead to a romantic relationship that can grow in love. And for most guys I know, pretending to be some dangerous version of a bad boy you’ve seen on tv, doesn’t feel very genuine or confidence-inspiring.
This romantic partner listens to her feelings, holds nonjudgemental space for her emotions, consistently shows up when she needs someone, has fewer problems than her (aka: doesn’t complain), and… get this:
This is a quality of masculinity that is often underrated and almost always misunderstood. Women say they hate how men are detached (Doesn’t he even care? Do men have feelings?) but it’s often his detachment from drama, from neediness, from his emotions, that creates a safe space for a woman to connect with her femininity and her own emotions.
Sure, “detachment” can create challenges in a relationship but it is vital to her finding her attraction for you and for you to move out of the friend zone!
She can’t feel like she needs to take care of you, your feelings, or your problems. It’s intimate but it’s the intimacy of mother and son and she cannot be sexually attracted in that dynamic.
She needs to trust that you don’t need anything from her, you’re not asking or demanding anything from her. If you make a move or kiss her or share your feelings or be mopey because she doesn’t like you that way yet, then it will rush her and force her to make a decision before you’ve successfully won her sexual interest. This is not a time to be premature!
It’s important to understand that she’s not hiding her interest from you. She hasn’t discovered it yet herself. It doesn’t exist yet! Give her the opportunity to discover it by not rushing her. Give her the nurturing she needs to discover it with these moves:
- Listen to her talk
- Hold a non-judgemental space for her to express her feelings
- Do not interrupt
- Do not complain
- Show up consistently: Help her move, help her install her new TV, drive her to an appointment, do the dishes piling up in her sink. Show up and contribute to her happiness consistently
- Do not ask for anything in return
This whole operation depends on you being patient and giving her time to move through her attraction cycle and reach sexual interest. This takes time and a series of positive interactions where you are contributing to her happiness and not asking anything in return.
Here’s the thing, and it is absolutely crucial:
You can’t be exclusive. You can’t throw all your eggs in this basket and pour all your energy, hopes, and dreams into this woman.
- She will feel it. It’s too much pressure. It’s asking something of her even though you’re not using your voice to say it.
- It’s not fair to you. She might never come around. Don’t waste your time being exclusive with a woman who isn’t in a relationship with you yet.
- Going on dates with other women will boost your confidence. We’re often most nervous around the people we want to impress and the people we’re attracted to. By dating women that you don’t care that much about, you are able to connect with your most confident self and that will spill over into your interactions with the woman you want.
- Hooking up with other women makes you more attractive. She sees that other women look at you as more than a friend, other women want to have sex with you, and suddenly it puts you in a new context for her.
My Love Story: How Glade Got Out of the Friend Zone
Glade hung out with me five days out of seven days a week one summer, three whole months of going to movies, out to lunch, and on hikes.
I had zero attraction for him. I saw him as a teddy bear.
He showed up for me over and over again, he did my dishes, he listened to me for hours, he never had any problems, he had so many people and things that he loved, a big life outside of us and our time together, he hooked up with so many women, and then we’d talk about it and laugh about it.
I felt no pressure to feel anything for him. He leaned back and created a space for me to lean forward. I just found myself slowly enjoying our time together more and more, wanting to see him again, wanting to share a piece of news with him, wanting to brush up against him and give him a hug hello.
I wanted him to think I was prettier than the girls he was hooking up with! And that snuck up on me, believe me.
Then one night, 60 “non-dates” later, we were dancing and laughing, he dipped me and when I came up, I kissed him. Electricity. It was on. He was out of the friend zone and into my pants. Well, almost. It took another month before that happened. ;-)
This is an important story to share with men and women. We’re all trying to find our special someone, and it sucks that a misunderstanding of our differing attraction cycles could be what keeps up apart. So, if you found this post helpful at all, please share it.
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