How can I avoid being put in the friends zone with guys I date?

How can I avoid being put in the friends zone with guys I date?

I recently dated a guy who’d asked my friend for my number. I am 24 and he is 31. It was going really well, we were meeting 3 – 4 times a week, eating out and having fun, and the sex was good. The only warning sign I had in all of this was that I invited him out to do something with my friends twice and both times he was clearly not keen and declined the invitation. I had met his friends twice and they clearly liked me so he wasn’t ashamed to take me out.

Then, five months in, he said he no longer wants to see me as he ‘didn’t want his life to change’, was too anxious about starting a relationship to get into one and that he wished we had met as friends ‘without all the other stuff’. Should I have seen this coming? I asked him if there was anything I could change (not for him, for future relationships) but he said I didn’t say or do anything wrong. Is there anything I can do to avoid this situation in future? I’m now afraid that I’ll be lumped into the ‘friend’ zone with every guy I date and want more from. Friend Forever

Why do you fear that, if it’s only happened with this guy? He pursued you, for starters. And it’s really ALL about him. His crap and baggage. His fears about not wanting to get serious. A timing thing maybe. And, although it’s in our natures to analyse and over-analyse every little thing after a breakup, the more I write this column the more I realise just how useless it is dwelling on the inexplicable decisions of others; decisions that often, so often, have nothing to do with us.

I got a bit sad when I read that line about you asking him what you could have done differently or change about yourself. The only thing you need to change is to start regarding yourself as the awesome, amazing woman you are. You’re great just as you are and nothing needs to change for you to make a future relationship work. What will make one work is when you meet someone who’s on the same page as you. It’s going to happen. Have a little faith. This one just wasn’t meant to be.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

2 Comments

  1. Pat Riarchy 6 years ago

    The only thing you need to change is to start regarding yourself as the awesome, amazing woman you are. You’re great just as you are and nothing needs to change for you to make a future relationship work

    Exactly. Females are perfect and need change nothing. Just because guys don’t want you just means that it’s all their fault. How can it be your fault when you are perfect and need not change a thing.

    I think that this attitude has got you females in a lot of shit with men. You blame men for your own lives. Females are too pathetic to take responsibility and accountability for their own actions. It’s all men’s fault.

    Keep it up ladies because after 2020 you got no chance

  2. Lola 7 years ago

    I wonder what the “friend zone” is… Relationship Coventry, perhaps?
    Friend Forever, don’t torture yourself thinking you should have seen it coming. I don’t think you’ve got a crystal ball, and these days crystal balls have “faulty software”. I bet you’re a nice, outgoing young lady who will soon be thrown into the arms of a different man.

    Second-guessing others is hard work, and it usually leads you nowhere because we aren’t responsible for other people’s baggage. Unless you’re purposefully out to offend, berate or put others down, I don’t believe you’ve done or said anything wrong. Hang in there; the Universe may bring in some surprises if you stay true to yourself.

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