Men of the world who find themselves regularly making a permanent trip to the ‘friend zone’ need to listen up. I’m going to give you some advice and background for how not to find yourself in this particular position time after time. Now I know I’m no expert at not being in the friend zone. Heck I always make it there but I have actually had a bit of a crash course over the past year or so and you know what – the reason for repeated trips to the friend zone isn’t because someone doesn’t find you attractive but more you are too much of a wuss to bite the bullet and go for it.
Now I know what you are thinking ‘being friends is better than nothing’ but here’s a home truth that men with little self-confidence might not understand. A friendship will slowly wither and die once the object of your affections has found someone else. Women (and men to some degree) in general do not keep up active friendships with people that they were once interested in or dated. They remove you from their day-to-day life pretty quickly as they get all wrapped up in their new relationship and seeing someone socially they that had interest in (or had interest in them) isn’t happening. It just isn’t happening. So if you fancy a girl men then go for it. You don’t actually have that much to lose.
Now of course either a) asking someone out or b) kissing them on a date isn’t easy for guys like us. We worry about doing the wrong thing etc… Well as I’m an open character I’ll let you into my world and tell you the stories of all the girls I have actually asked out and how I did it and what I could’ve done differently that may well have resulted in a different result.
For the purposes of this blog I am ignoring all internet dating beaus as obviously you are going to ask them out by e-mail/message. Sadly whilst in bed last night mentally writing this blog post I realised that I think I have only asked out three people outside of internet dating – and I’m 29. Oh god that’s a depressing statistic but I won’t stop for a little cry. I shall persevere.
First of all I wrote a letter to a girl I went to school with when I was 15 (Year 11) and we were friends. We were in the same social group. She wrote back saying some nice things but there was a ‘but’ in there and basically she was infatuated with someone else. I used the term infatuated. She didn’t. Anyway on reflection there is probably little I could have done on this one no matter how I played it. She liked someone else and was holding out for him and him only (well until a couple of months later when she got together with another member of our social group but still – lets not split hairs).
Now we fast forward seven years to the age of 22. Yes I didn’t ask anyone out between 15 and 22. Loser. Anyhow for about three or four months I had seen this girl working in a shop that I frequented most days. She had the most wonderful smile. I would describe it to people as a smile that would still shine brightly even in a power cut. I finally plucked up the courage (and boy did I pluck it up from somewhere) to ask her out one day when she was working. She said no but I walked out of there elated that I had plucked up the courage and was not deflated in the slightest.
Now of course I would have to go in there again (well I wouldn’t but I still did) and I remember telling myself that if it was awkward the next time then I’d never go in there again. Well the next time I went in there she was just leaving but she saw me and swooped behind the till telling her colleague that she’d serve me and apologised and explained that she had been asked out just a couple of days before and had felt bad all weekend. Whilst it wasn’t explicitly said that she would have said yes it was implied. I felt good about that. However also it shows that if I hadn’t been such a wuss that I took ages to pluck up the courage I may well have had that date. So time is of the essence folks. I will say this though. Even if I never see her again she’ll always have a small corner of my heart cornered off for her for the way she acted. She will never understand just how much I appreciated that and how highly I think of her for that.
Fast forward just a year and a half now and we get to the third girl I asked out. She was a work colleague and we got on very well. There was that quote/unquote ‘spark’ but I sat on my hands privately (or not so privately – it wasn’t the biggest secret in the world) lusting after her. It took me three months to make my move and how did I do it? By e-mail. Yugh. I actually just went back and looked at the e-mail and in all honesty I couldn’t even read her reply in full. I had to strike whilst the iron was hot as it were and that was months before. Do I think timing was an issue? Maybe as had I made my move (not by e-mail although she did say it took courage to write that e-mail – which to be fair it did but still…no) a couple of months before things might have been different. I say might as I genuinely don’t know. All I know (or I should say I’ve been told by those in the know) is she had some interest at some point.
So two out of the three timing and doing nothing either could or did make a difference. So my advice would always be don’t worry about rejection and be brave. I always thought that girls would laugh at me if I asked them out but heck I’ve asked out three and all of them took it well. Now two of them I was friends with before I asked them out but am I still friends with them now? Well no. No I’m not. Is that because I asked them out and they felt awkward? No. No it’s not…
Girl one got with another member of the social group and didn’t really hang out with me at school or outside of school any more. Girl three chose another guy (she had three offers basically on the table) and decided that she wanted me out of her life completely (which wasn’t easy considering we worked in the same room). I remember a few months later I said to her that I was walking into town and would walk with her after work and she told me no. After she got together with her new we did not see each other once socially unless he was there as well. Not go for lunch or anything. I was completely cut out.
I quit that job and my last day was to be a Friday. On the Thursday I left as usual and then on the Friday she had booked the day off. So we never even said goodbye. We’ve not spoken since. It still rankles with me. We were close friends at one point but once she decided she wanted to put all her energies into another guy she literally did not want to even know me. That hurts but it shows you that even friendships will change between two single friends when one of them gets into a relationship. Nothing wrong with that per se – it is just the way it is. Single friends with see their friendships evolve (and when I say evolve I really mean go on to the back burner) when one gets into a relationship with someone else.
So whilst friendships are all well and good. Friendships between people where one or both people fancied one another at some point are unlikely to ever be serious long-term friendships. So what is there to lose? Guys if you fancy someone – even if they are a friend then go for it. There is actually very little to lose.
Also kissing. When you’ve successfully got a date and then had several dates you need to kiss. Girls don’t generally have a date with a guy and then have several dates with them over the next few weeks unless they are at some level interested. Now if you are shy and have little self-confidence then kissing someone is a nervy experience. Now I have kissed a grand total of three people. Yeah I know. Big time. Two of them pretty much threw themselves at me but the third was clearly waiting for me to make the move and I did on the fourth date and she was very happy that I had gotten around to it. Apparently she was more than willing to kiss from the second date.
So men of the world who have actually got to the date stage and have had a few without kissing them then they will feel that you aren’t interested. I will put in this caveat that as long as both parties know that these are actual dates obviously. Not just two people meeting up. If it is clear that these are dates and yet you still haven’t made a move after say four or five dates then the other party is going to think that you never will and will in turn mentally move you towards that dreaded friend zone.
The ball is in your court men. Women may not give you explicit signs but several dates is probably – no not probably – it is flat out a positive thing. Make some sort of move if you like a girl you are having dates with within a handful of dates otherwise she’ll already mentally be moving on. There are always other men who will catch the eye and if you do nothing the boat will sail on by and you’ll regret it. Trust me you’ll regret it.
So if I teach you one thing men it is this. You are not as bad as you think. American teen sitcoms where girls laugh in the face of nerds doesn’t actually happen. Most women think it takes a lot of courage to ask them out and they appreciate it. It will bring a smile to their face. Trust me on that and if you’ve already done the hard bit and got the date – and then one a second, third, fourth… then if you like them then go in for the kiss. Someone on a fourth/fifth date is not going to brush off a kiss and slap you and if they do then what the fuck are they doing on a fourth or fifth date anyway?
Ok I think I’ve sorted out relationships. I think I’m going to get dressed and go and buy the local rag and settle down to watch my boy Nick Clegg’s speech. Rock n Roll boy and girls…
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