Fellas, once you’re categorized in the “friendzone” category, chances are, you’re never going to get out of it. While attraction boils down to a mixture of pheromones, chemistry, energy and confidence, and no book or list of tips can teach you that -there are a few things you can do (and avoid) to minimize being labeled as her new “gay best friend”.
1. Ask her out on a date… properly
You may be afraid of “rejection” – but that looming fear of “what if” will hinder you from getting a date. Take a chance and ask a girl out on a date. But do note – there is a way about asking. “We should grab a coffee sometime,” is not asking someone out on a date. The ask is important because it implies intention. If you’re interested romantically, asking something along the lines of “Would you like to go for dinner next Friday? I know a great place <insert suggestion> that I’d like to take you to.” Why is this a winning ask? First, unless it’s business networking, typically people who have just met and want to only be buddies do not ask to take you out for dinner. Second, you are showing consideration by recommending a venue and third, you are being assertive in your ask and have provided a date in the near future. Overall, position the ask so it makes it very easy for a woman to say “yes”.
2. Ask her for a drink, not for coffee
The time and place of the first date matters. You may think that dinner is too much of a commitment and want to test the waters first. That’s understandable, but then choose the venue accordingly. Coffee on a Tuesday afternoon = friend / business meeting. Drinks on a Friday night = date. Also, studies show that the location matters due to “transference”. For example, choosing a high-end restaurant/bar transfers the emotions evoked by the atmosphere over to the person (sophistication, wealth, etc). Choose the venue according to the type of experience and emotions you want to inspire.
3. Go in for the first kiss
There is no one “rule” on the perfect timing to go in for the first kiss. You have to be conscious of body language and pick up signs of interest. If a few dates have passed, there’s a chance she’s likely in to you – because she is choosing to continue spending time with you. If you’re deathly afraid of how she’ll react, then warm the waters by engaging in subtle body contact. A light touch on her arm or behind her back. If she’s squeamish and uncomfortable, then it’s likely not going to end very well if you kiss her. But if she’s responsive and reciprocating with her body language, then, make a first move. If you’re deathly afraid of that awkward go-in-for-the-kiss-and-she-ducks-or-gives-you-the-cheek possibility, start by a peck on the lips.
4. Make eye contact and hold her gaze
Studies show that a factor of your attractiveness to others is influenced simply if you are making direct eye contact and smiling simultaneously. Eye contact has shown to cause intimate bonds and physical arousal. Also, research suggests that when you want to build rapport with someone, you need to meet that person’s gaze between 60–70 per cent of the time. Authors Brett and Kate McKay share some signs to determine what her eyes are telling you:
- If she looks down and then looks back at you less than 45 seconds later, she is almost definitely interested. This sign is so nearly fail-proof that you don’t need any smooth pick-up lines when you approach her—just offer your hand and introduce yourself.
- If she looks away horizontally, she’s not sure if she’s interested in you or not yet. Smile and make eye contact again to see how she reacts.
- If she averts her gaze by looking up, she’s not interested. Basically, she just rolled her eyes at you.
When you are on a date, look her in the eyes, focus and keep her gaze. Breaking gaze is natural, but if you do, look to the side, not down. Now, you need to know the difference between being romantic versus being creepy. If you overdo the eye gazing it turns into staring and you can come across too intense and intimidating.
5. Be conscious of the vibe you are (or not) exuding
Depending on experience and intuition, a woman will have varying degrees of being able to sense the energy of a man to know if he’s interested. Some men are natural at flirting and showing interest. I’ve noticed that alpha males are generally better at doing this than beta males. But, beta males don’t fret! You can give off a vibe, still be a nice guy and get the girl. The first part is confidence. You cannot fake confidence, and no book can teach you that. Being comfortable in your own skin means knowing your value and worth. If you have an underlying insecurity of feeling the need to be liked or approved by everyone, and you base your worth on the acceptance of others – this will come across in your energy. Know your value and don’t regard yourself as “less-than” anyone else. If you can’t feel and know your own value and worth, how can you expect others to see it?
6. Don’t be over eager
This goes back to confidence. It’s great to be assertive, take initiative and ask a woman out but if you come across as desperate or over-eager, it will be a turn off. There is a difference between trying and putting in effort, versus being desperate for her attention. You never want to come across that the apple of your eye is “better” than you. Do not put anyone on a pedestal and instead, see the person as an equal, no matter how amazing you think she is. Know that you have options, and if she’s not in to you, you’ll eventually meet someone else who will reciprocate your feelings. Also, people can come across as desperate when they approach relationships in a rush. There is no mad hurry for love. Timing is everything. A woman may not go on a date with you today or continue dating you not because of anything personal, but because of something happening in her life during that time. Just because she’s not pursuing something doesn’t equate to there being something wrong with you. So make an effort, try and if it doesn’t work, be patient and relaxed about it. If it’s not now it could be later. If it’s not her then eventually it will be someone else.
Who we are attracted to on an immediate level has been wired in our brains before we are even aware of making a conscious decision about the person. Anthropologist Helen Fisher calls this our “love maps” – which are built at a very young age and set the pattern in the “type” of person we will be drawn to in our adult years. Then there’s the theory of pheromones – how each person has a certain smell, and we are naturally attracted to or repulsed by someone’s scent. Regardless of which theory is most accurate, sometimes you are just attracted to someone for no rational rhyme or reason. Attraction is a fickle thing – and it can go just as easily as it comes. It can also bloom over time or, never launch at all.
I do not suggest you alter your personality or character or engage in mind games to try to falsely attract someone. And remember, there is no one way or right way. However, if you’re want to build romantic rapport with someone, be conscious of your energy, your confidence and body language. Be attentive to how people respond and don’t respond to you. Most importantly, remember, that if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Photo Credit: Anna Hollow