BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
18th of August 2014

Friends and the Friendzone

Introduction:

Have you ever been put in the friendzone by a girl you really liked? Of course you have. Everyone has. And once that happens, there are a few different things you can do. Tucker, Nils and Dr. Miller tell you exactly what your options are, and what you need to ask yourself before deciding what to do next. Once you’ve listened to this podcast you’ll realize it’s actually a very simple decision to make.

Podcast:


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Key takeaways:

  • Being friends with women is not a bad thing. You can be friends with women and interact with them as normal people and learn a lot from them.
  • It is true for some guys that you can only really be friends with women that you don’t want to sleep with.
  • You will meet girls that you are attracted to that don’t want to have sex with you. It happens. You have to make a decision – do you still want to be friends with that girl and understand that you’re not going to have sex, or do you just move on?
  • For some women it will take time for them to decide whether or not they are attracted to you. The more time you have to display your intelligence, social intelligence, humor, empathy etc., the better.
  • Also if she’s giving you signals not to hit on her (yet) and you don’t, then that shows conscientiousness, sexual self-restraint and self-control. So she knows she can feel safe around you and that if you do get together you won’t be sexually pushy and also you’ll be less likely to cheat if you do end up in a relationship, because you’ve shown self-restraint.
  • Being friends with these women means being friends with them the way you’re friends with other people. It does not mean being one of their girlfriends, or a shoulder to cry on.
  • Being the sensitive guy or the gay best friend to a girl that you’re attracted to in the hope that she’ll later become attracted to you is both an ineffective strategy and incredibly disingenuous. That’s not who you are and pretending to be like that to try and get her to sleep with you is unethical. You’re also emasculating yourself.
  • You can go from friend zone to boyfriend zone over time – but don’t think of it as the friend zone. Think of it as a prolonged courtship. You’re giving yourself a chance to show all your attractive traits over time.
  • People treat you the way you let them treat you. So you can be friendly and nice to her, but don’t let her treat you as a friend. You’re always a sexual being.
  • Online dating is great because it allows a slightly prolonged courtship to take place online. There, you can demonstrate all your positive qualities if you can write halfway decently, and address all her potential fears, so that by the time you meet you’ve removed all the reasons for her to say no, and she’s basically just verifying that you are who you say you are.
  • If you don’t want to get in the friend zone, then don’t allow yourself to get in the friend zone. The way you don’t allow yourself is that you make sure she recognizes you as an independent sexual being with your own wants, needs, assertiveness and so on. If she still doesn’t want to hook up with you then so be it, but she can still introduce you to her friends.
  • If the value you’re getting out of being her friend exceeds the cost of sexual frustration that you feel being around her, then be her friend and deal with the sexual frustration and practice dealing with it and have some self-control. If the sexual frustration costs are higher than the value of the friendship, don’t be friends with her.

Links from this episode

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
Alright. On this episode of The Mating Grounds Podcast, we are going to talk about one of the things that we get the most questions about that is also probably the most frustrating to us.

Nils:
The Friend Zone!

Tucker:
The Friend Zone. This is one of those things where…sometimes, I get really frustrated with dudes because we get a lot of emails about the friend zone, like, “I don’t understand. I get friend zoned this, friend zone that, friend, friend, friend, friend.” Cry your fucking baby tears somewhere else! Either fuck her or don’t fuck her, and if you don’t want to fuck her – or, I’m sorry, if she doesn’t want to fuck you, guess what? Women have choices and preferences, and that means you just aren’t fucking attractive enough, dude, and that’s just it—

Nils:
To her.

Tucker:
To her. So, either decide you like her and be friends with her and then do all kinds of cool shit that comes with being a friend, or say, “Okay. I only want her for sex, and since she doesn’t want to fuck, then I’m going to go find a woman who wants to fuck.” That’s the end of the friend zone episode!

Fake Outro:
This episode was sponsored by Book Hacker—

Tucker:
Alright, it’s not really. Where should we start, Dr. Miller? ‘Cause you like to talk about this without getting rageful and going on a rant.

Geoff:
Yeah, I’ll try not to get rageful.

Tucker:
I’m not even mad at the friend zone! I’m mad at the dudes!

Geoff:
Okay, so looking back on high school, I was really good friends with a girl I was very, very attracted to, and we hung out and we talked and we had, in retrospect, a great relationship. And, I learned so much from her about women and their relationships and thoughts and feelings, and I didn’t grow up with a sister, so that was absolutely invaluable to me, and I’m still friends with this woman.

Nils:
Was it torturous? Was it everyday torture at the time?

Geoff:
It was kind of…No, I just kind of got used to it, and I found the value in it. Eventually, I learned, “Okay. She’s not going to have sex with me, and that’s okay ‘because she delivers all sorts of other amazing value to my life.” Then there was another girl I had a massive—

Tucker:
So, you actually liked her as a person, is what you’re saying?

Geoff:
I liked her as a person.

Tucker:
So, women can be something besides a vagina, right?

Geoff:
Yeah!

Tucker:
And that can benefit you.

Geoff:
Guys, if you have a sister, does your sister add value to you even though you’re not—

Tucker:
No. She put me in the sister zone! It was total bullshit! Or the brother zone.

Geoff:
Yeah. “I’ve been brother zoned by my sister, so she’s….”

Tucker:
That’s what someone in Kentucky would say. “My fucking sister’s not even attracted to me!” I’m from Kentucky! I can make those jokes.

Geoff:
This other girl, I had a huge crush on, and we used to hang out and…but it was very, very frustrating, and I couldn’t stand to be around her, and the friend zone was actively painful to me. But still, it was worth hanging out with her because I still picked up a lot of value and insight.

Tucker:
I’ll tell you, in my experience…So, I’ve definitely been in situations where I wanted to sleep with a girl and she didn’t want to sleep with me and that sucked. I wasn’t able to be friends with those girls. So, there is this school of thought – I’m not sure if I think it’s totally right, but I think it’s more right than wrong for most guys – that men can only be friends with women effectively if they don’t want to fuck the women. I think that’s true for some guys, and I think that’s true for me. I have a lot of female friends, actually, and I value them very highly. They’re some of my best friends. Like, if we were to list my five best friends, three of them might be women, right? Those have been some of the longest-lasting, most enriching, amazing relationships of my life and friendships of my life.

Nils:
How many of them have you had sex with, though?

Tucker:
Not Laura, not…not even Leslie…

Nils:
So, halfish? A little…

Tucker:
No. Less than half. Okay. Here’s the thing. The ones I didn’t have sex with, I was cool not having sex with them. And the ones that I did have sex with, we were able to be friends basically – well, I guess we were friends during sex, too, but we were more friends than not. Some of them had issues with us not having sex, and then once they got over those issues, then we were able to be friends, no problem. You know?

Nils:
One thing I’ve seen with the ability to be friends with a woman where you don’t want to have sex with her is when the relationship begins prepubescent, like…childhood friends.

Tucker:
Right. I mean, of course.

Nils:
But that’s a lot of – in small towns, there’s a lot of that.

Tucker:
Yeah. That’s true. That’s true. Well, that’s where you get – what is the impact? What’s it called when…?

Geoff:
Oh, the Westermarck effect. You grow up with a girl and you’re not sexually attracted to her ‘cause it’s a cue that you might be related, from the same clan, same tribe, and so….you know, back in the day, you didn’t always know exactly who your relatives were, but growing up with somebody nearby was kind of a cue you’re probably maybe, at least, her cousin and she’s probably not the appropriate mate for you.

Tucker:
Right. So, that’s probably what’s going on there. Yeah. So, look, guys, this happens to everyone. You are going to meet women that you are really into that are not into you but like you as a person but don’t want to touch your penis. It sucks. And then you have to make a decision: do I stay friends with her and understand we’re not going to have sex or do I move on? Right? Dr. Miller’s strategy was often to stay friends. That’s fine and it works. My strategy is usually to move on because it was too…it’s very annoying to me to be around women I want to sleep with who aren’t into me. That probably, in a lot of ways, means that I have various insecurities or whatever. Fuck it. If it’s true, it’s true. But I accepted them—

Nils:
You also have a very strong sex drive.

Tucker:
Yes.

Nils:
Which was a primary force.

Tucker:
Yes. In my life. Right. Absolutely. Now, let’s talk about – there is a third way.

Geoff:
Tucker, I had a strong sex drive, too.

Tucker:
I don’t think like mine. I’m basically just a walking erect penis.

Geoff:
Well, no. Yeah. Nobody’s like yours.

Tucker:
So, let’s talk about, like…there is a third sort of thing where it’s like…where you can have shit where it’s ill-defined at first, where you meet a girl and she likes you, maybe likes you, maybe doesn’t like you. You know you’re into her, and instead of like…here’s the thing. If you’re like, “Oh, you have to answer me this minute whether we’re going to have sex or not,” then like…that’s a different strategy. You’re talking about, in your situation, like…it was very clear after months that she was like, “We’re not ever going to hook up.” Okay. Mine are, like, sort of the same thing, or I usually would be, like, very aggressive early and the girl would be like, “Nope. Not going to happen.” I’d be like, “Alright. See you later.” But you can have a situation where it’s ambiguous, guys. So, for two weeks, three weeks, three months, six months, even, it can be a situation where it is ambiguous, no doubt. I don’t want to sit here and say it like, you meet a girl and the first ten minutes, you’ve got to decide, friend or no friend? No. These things can take time to develop, so I have definitely been in situations where…I don’t know if I’m the best example, but normal dudes have definitely been in situations where, “Okay. I like her a lot. She likes me a little bit,” and then the more you get to know her, the more she likes you and then goes from friend to sexual attraction. That can absolutely happen. It happens quite a bit. In fact, like…Rachael Grazioplene, like, she talked about almost every guy she’s ever sort of had any sort of romantic relationship with started as a friend. You know? And if those guys had just been little bitter, angry pricks ‘cause they got friend zoned, like maybe I would have done when I was younger, then they never would have had an opportunity to show her what they’re displaying there – romantic proof, and then getting time to display intellectual proof and all those other things. You know? Some girls want more time, right? That’s perfectly fine, and understand that if that’s what the girl wants, you have to do that or make the decision that it’s just not worth your time.

Geoff:
It also shows sexual self-restraint, and that’s important to women. If she can be your friend for months and she’s clearly giving signals like, “Don’t hit on me,” or at least not yet and you don’t, that gives her assurance that, “Oh. If he’s ever my boyfriend, a) he won’t be sexually pushy, but b) when he meets other women in his life, he can be comfortable being attracted to them without hitting on them and cheating on me.” So, it’s a really strong proof of conscientiousness and self-control. And in retrospect, that’s actually one reason I was kind of comfortable, you know, being friend zoned in high school or college with a lot of girls is it’s great practice for being comfortable, having sexual chemistry with a woman where maybe nothing could happen or because of, like, your professional relationship with her – like maybe she’s a coworker or your boss or a collaborator—

Tucker:
Well, you’re in situations, you work with women around you that you’re not allowed to date.

Geoff:
Exactly.

Tucker:
And probably some of them are attractive.

Geoff:
Like, you know, whatever, grad students or fellow professors or whatever. And guys, you’re entering an economy where you’re going to be working with a lot of women.

Tucker:
Women are going to be your bosses.

Geoff:
Your underlings, your bosses, your coworkers. Some of them will have sexual chemistry with you.

Tucker:
Some will be hot.

Geoff:
But you can’t date them for various reasons. If you aren’t comfortable in the “friend zone,” you’ll suck at that. You will get in massive trouble professionally.

Tucker:
That would be me.

Nils:
I think there’s one key thing that these guys need to understand about being friends with these women, is you have to be friends with them the way that you’re friends with your other friends. You cannot be friends with them the way that their girlfriends are friends with them.

Tucker:
Oh, of course not.

Nils:
That’s how these guys get into the friend zone. They try to be girlfriends. They try to be their shoulder to cry on, the filter through which they judge all other boys. They try to be that guy instead of treating the girl like he would treat his other friends.

Tucker:
So, you’re talking about when guys…So, when they’re not one extreme or the other. When it’s like…the girl says, “I’m never going to fuck you,” and then you make your decision, “I’ll stay friends with you. I’m never going to fuck you, but I’ll be friends.” I say no. Geoff says yes, just generally speaking, right? Now, you’re talking about the middle ground—

Nils:
Everything in the middle, which is where all the guys who complain about friend zone, how it happens.

Tucker:
There’s a period where the girl’s trying to decide what she wants, right? And so, what happens, I think what you’re saying is a lot of guys think, “Okay. I’ll be her friend and then that’ll convince her to sleep with me. And the way I’ll be her friend is to be her shoulder to cry on…”

Nils:
“I’ll be the sensitive guy that just like…I’ll be her gay best friend,” essentially, is the idea.

Tucker:
Right. So, let’s outline what’s wrong with that. First off, it’s fucking disingenuine. Almost always. If that’s how you are as a person, okay, fine. But that’s, like, 5% of dudes. That is disingenuine. If you are sitting around a women, being her friend with the sole intent of hoping that she’s going to one day sleep with you, that’s bullshit.

Nils:
That’s predation.

Tucker:
It is! It’s just a different form of predation. Okay? That is…forget being immoral. It’s also unethical and it’s going to fuck you up in your life. It’s not a good thing for you in your life. It turns you into a manipulative shit. It’s a bad way to be and it’s a bad strategy for getting women to sleep with you, to be honest. No one wins with that, okay? So, it’s disingenuine. It also trains the girl to treat you not as a sexually active confident, assertive, viable male, but to treat you as, essentially, a proxy for women. Like, this is…if you try to act like one of her girlfriends, she will code you as “girl” and then you are not a sexual object.

Nils:
You’re a eunuch.

Tucker:
Exactly.

Geoff:
Yeah. You’re emasculating yourself and she’s training you how to be emasculated and you’re learning how to emasculate yourself more effectively the longer the time you spend with her.

Tucker:
Yes. Yes.

Nils:
She will test you and torture you, talking about her boobs and all that other—

Tucker:
Some of them. Some of them will.

Nils:
The ones who know what they’re doing, yeah.

Tucker:
Yeah. Some of them are maybe manipulative and vicious and think it’s fun. Some of them maybe don’t even know what they’re doing and they’re just like, “Oh, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t look at me.” Here’s what will happen. They don’t look at you sexually, so they think the same thing back, right? And that will be torturous to you. That’s the worst thing. And then you guys are living a fucking lie, and it’s not even her fault in that case. She doesn’t realize. She thinks, “Oh, well he doesn’t think of me that way,” or, “I don’t think of him that way, so he must not think of me that way.” Don’t fall into that trap. If you want to be her friend, that’s cool. Be her friend the way – exactly what Nils said – the way that you’re friends with all your other friends. Right? Look, if you’re in that middle stage where you’re figuring out, is there anything beyond friendship, right? And you want her to think of you as a sexual being, the be a fucking sexual being. Which doesn’t mean, like, grope her tits or something. That means, like…what does that look like? What does that look like as opposed to…I’ll outline. What does it look like if you are her girlfriend? You’re the shoulder to cry on, you are…listen to her bitch about other guys…

Nils:
You’re her armchair therapist.

Tucker:
Armchair therapist. You…

Nils:
“Let me tell you about these guys,” and, “Oh, this guy totally did this.”

Tucker:
Yeah. You’re the guy that she knows is always there for her for the shitty stuff that none of the guys are fucking her want to do.

Nils:
And you are the one she goes to because she knows all her female friends are actually back-biting, catty bitches…Or, that’s her assumption. So, she’s going to go to you to get the skinny on what’s actually happening.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly. So, that’s what the deceptive, sort of manipulative, go nowhere, ineffective strategy is. So, what does the effective strategy look like? I actually am not the right person to answer that question.

Geoff:
I think it involves a lot of honesty where, you know, if you’re becoming friends with a woman and if you’re attracted to her, you say that. Like, “I’m attracted to you. You’re hot, but I understand that’s not reciprocated. I want to try to have a friendship anyway. We might fail….”

Tucker:
Is that what you said in high school? Because I don’t know…

Geoff:
It basically is.

Tucker:
Twenty-five and over, I think you’re right. Under twenty-five, I don’t know if that’s something that works.

Nils:
I don’t even think you’d need to be that explicit. That’s almost like…that’s over…that’s expository speech. It’s like, instead of saying, “You’re hot,” it’s like, “Hot girls like you don’t have to deal with these sorts of things.” It’s implied into the nature of the conversation, and you talk openly about very culturally and emotionally fraught subjects, very…very openly and very coolly and without the tension of hoping that she thinks the way you think. You know? If you’re friends, no subject’s off-limits.

Geoff:
Well, I’ll tell you in what context I talked about, you know, “Oh, I’m attracted to you. It’s a little frustrating, but I want to be friends with you anyway.” That’s when I was setting boundaries about what I was comfortable hearing from her. Like, “Okay, you can talk to me a little bit about your emotions about some other guy and I will try to be supportive, but here are the details I do not want to hear because I am attracted to you and I feel jealous and it’s hurtful.” So, if you establish strong boundaries that sort of says, “Hey, you can’t treat me the way you treat a girlfriend. We have a different dynamic because I am a man and you’re a woman and I’m attracted to you, so I don’t want to hear about the awesome blowjob you gave to your other boyfriend.”

Tucker:
Yeah. Yeah.

Nils:
And that’s also defending against the push into the female, into the girlfriend zone.

Tucker:
Yeah, no. That’s right.

Nils:
But you’ve got to treat people – if you want to treat her like she’s a normal friend, you have to….all subjects are open.

Tucker:
You know what? I feel like you are the expert on this, on going from a girl looking at you as, “Oh, he’s a nice guy, but I’d never date him,” to a girl being like, “I want to date him.”

Nils:
That happened a lot.

Tucker:
Right! ‘Cause like…let’s be frank. You’re, like, not the most attractive dude just looks-wise, right? In fact, troll ugly might be what someone would say about you if they didn’t like you. But here’s the thing—

Geoff:
He’s very symmetrical.

Tucker:
Okay. He’s very symmetrical. But the best thing about you is that you’re tall, right? Physically. I mean, just purely physically, right? Which is a big thing, obviously, for guys. You’re tall, but I know the women you’ve dated, they’re all smoking hot and smart and awesome, right? But you don’t approach women the way I do. Nils’s strategy is more like… “I’m not going to sit back and let them come to me. I’m just going to interact with a bunch of women,” and then the more time – Nils is a perfect example of the more time women spend with him, the more attracted they are. And my only experience with this, really, because I tend to be pretty assertive and aggressive and when a girl’s not into me, I just move the fuck on, right? My only experience is my friend called Junior in the stories, right? So, he’s ridiculously good-looking. He’s so physically good-looking, women, like, all the time come up to him and are like, “I want to have your baby,” right? No woman’s ever said that shit to me who don’t know me. And even then, they don’t say that shit, right? So, he’s one of those dudes. When I hang out with him, then what happens is every woman is into him at first, and then we hang out more and then some percentage, like anywhere from 10-30% of them will realize, “Oh, Tucker’s the smart, funny one.” Junior’s like, “He’s fine and very attractive, but not as smart.” If they value really smart, really funny type guys, then they’re into me, right? But that’s, like, your whole strategy. And so, you are awesome at this.

Nils:
Yeah. ‘Cause I can talk about anything. I’m very smart. I’m very funny. I’m very quick.

Tucker:
Very socially intelligent, very emotionally intelligent.

Nils:
I can read the cues in the room, in the groups, in the subgroups. I can see where things are headed. I can see when things are falling apart.

Tucker:
Well, dude, I’ve seen it a hundred times. I’ve seen you walk in with me and women don’t even look at you and we sit down and talk, and then after, like, an hour or something, all of a sudden they’ll like, perk up and look at you like, “Oh, my god. This guy is super attractive and I didn’t even notice him.” He’ll walk in – we had a whole podcast about how women register, right? And what do they look at – size, shape, clothing, whatever. That’s all the initial attraction. All these things, right? And a lot of them won’t even register him, and then they start interacting and then they’re like, “Oh. I’m totally into this guy.” Because Nils is so attractive in all these other things. He’s not necessarily unattractive, but like, women will be like, “Is he even in the range of attractiveness for me?” And I’ve seen all the time, women are like, “Oh, no. He’s not, whatever, x for me, right?” Especially before you started marrying Jen, started dressing really well. Like, when you were dressing just like me, like some slob, then it was like…whatever. So, you should talk a little bit about if you’re a dude and you aren’t one of those guys that women are like, “I know I want to talk to that guy or be into him”, but you have a lot of other shit going on for you, how do you navigate, let’s say, from hour two to month two where a girl’s figuring out if she’s really into you? Know what I’m saying? Where it’s like, if you were aggressive and tried to push it, she would be like, “I don’t know, I don’t know,” right? But the more she talks to you and hangs out with you, the more into you she is.

Nils:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, that is really about no subject is off limits. No response is off limits. Humor is at the core of it, because it’s about making them feel comfortable, entertaining them…

Tucker:
Well, you’re a really funny dude.

Nils:
Yeah. And so it helps. I have an advantage with that particular aspect of it. A lot of it was sort of showing insights into her and into people generally, and I wasn’t trying to sort of move the needle on her behavior toward me or toward any particular direction. It was sort of laying out the world in front of her and, like, “This is what’s here in front of you. This is how this works. This is why it works.” And then—

Tucker:
So, displaying your intelligence.

Nils:
Yeah. Yeah, and in social…then in mixed social situations over the course of time, I became the port in the storm. You know? It’s like, “This party’s fucking boring. At least Nils is there,” or something like that. And that would happen over and over again, and invariably, we would end up hooking up or dating or something like that.

Tucker:
Yeah. No, there’s a ton of studies – recent ones, actually. A lot of them done at UT. Eastwick did one. I think David Buss did one. There’s a couple of other big ones about how, like, at the beginning when women look at men, like, short term, under ten minutes or under an hour, attraction tends to be very uniform across women. They all pick the same men. All women pick the same basic man, or it’s very close, right? The longer women spend time with men, the more the attraction is disparate across the groups. You know what I’m saying? Nils is the perfect example of if he was in those groups, he would never be one of the top 20% of the guys that women were picking, but, like, after three hours of conversation, I bet he’s definitely in the top 20%. He moved from, like, bottom twenty to top twenty in three hours with half that group, right? Nils is really smart and really funny. A lot of guys may take two weeks or three weeks or a month or whatever, but the point is, you can go from friend zone to boyfriend zone. The thing is, don’t think about it as friend zone at the beginning. Think about is as prolonged courtship. That, I think, is the mental twist. So, you never worried about, like, “Oh, this girl’s friend zoning me!”

Nils:
Never.

Tucker:
You never even thought about it one way or the other. For you, it’s, “I’m always in court—“ When you were single is what I’m talking about. “I’m always in courtship phase. This girl either likes me or she doesn’t.” You know? And then, “If I don’t like her and we’re friends, okay, fine. Whatever. But it’s it’s never like, “I’m going to be her friend to get her.” It’s, “I’m going to be awesome all the time and the women who are into me are into me.”

Nils:
I learned that sophomore year in high school. I got friend zoned as sort of being overly sensitive, because sophomore year in high school was sort of the year I realized that I knew more about people than everybody around me and I overused it, and I’m like, “Yeah. This is stupid. Like, why am I even bothering with that?” And then the other thing that I learned, especially through high school and college, was I knew what my positive physical characteristics were. I was tall.

Tucker:
Athletic.

Nils:
I was athletic.

Tucker:
Which, by the way, Nils played college baseball. Like, he’s a good athlete.

Nils:
I have good hands. I have bright, blue eyes. And, I have super long eyelashes.

Tucker:
Oh, right. Girls love that shit!

Nils:
And I know that they fucking lose their shit over this. And I’ve known this since I was four years old, going into my mother’s office and all the secretaries, like…they just want to steal my eyelashes. My wife still talks about it, and she’ll see me from profile and she gets so pissed because my eyelashes are ten times longer than hers. I knew those things in college, especially, and after college. And so, when I could feel the tide turning, I knew how to go to those characteristics to – or when she was registering them, and I could turn it right there.

Tucker:
Right. You know the other way – I’m thinking about this right now – the other way you stayed out of the friend zone, aside from your personality and the way you handled it. You handled it always as potential courtship, never as, “Oh, she’s friend zoning me.” You don’t even let her friend zone you. Guys, at the end of the day – and this is a life lesson – people treat you the way you let them. Don’t let her treat you as a friend. Be friendly with her. Be nice to her. But don’t let her put you in that zone. You’re always a sexual being. But here’s the other thing – I know we’ve talked about this, when you were working for the paralegal – when you were a paralegal for the law firm, right? So, you’re making a hundred plus a year, right?

Nils:
Yeah. I worked a lot, yeah.

Tucker:
Right. Making a hundred plus grand a year, right? So, you’re whatever, early twenties making crazy money, right? And what you would do, you were one of the first ones to really master…you were part of the first group of guys who really understood that online dating is the best way to keep yourself out of the friend zone, because…here’s how online dating works. Actually, you explain it, ‘cause you explained it to me perfectly, about the way you used it when you were a paralegal and single.

Nils:
So, yeah. What online dating does for you is it allows you to shrink the courtship window and it allows you—

Tucker:
And define it.

Nils:
And define it, and it allows them to validate all the things that they’re looking for through conversation online—

Tucker:
Physical, emotional, social safety.

Nils:
Yeah. “He’s got this, he’s got this, he’s got this, he’s got this…” And then, when you meet for the first time, it’s really just to verify that you are who you said you were, you’re generally inside the expectation you’ve created in conversation, and the hookup is immediate. I mean, it is like, before you even get out of the restaurant immediate. And that happened. I learned that very early, you know, in the online dating…like, year one of match.com, year two. Like, that period. Because they…it was built for lawyers and doctors who didn’t have a lot of time.

Tucker:
Professionals, right.

Nils:
Yeah. So, you just sort of have the…and then online, it allows you, especially if you’re fluent and you can really talk—

Tucker:
Well, you’re a world class writer. Literally.

Nils:
Yeah. So, I knew how to use the written word in the conversational context really—

Tucker:
But that’s learnable.

Nils:
Yeah. And that’s totally learnable.

Tucker:
It’s a learnable skill. Like, most people can’t write – I can’t write like Nils. He has to edit all my books, but he’s a great writer. You don’t have to be a great writer. You just have to be good. One of the things you said to me about this, about online dating, which is like, there’s tumblrs about this now, which are, like, really funny, which is like…Mistakes White Guys Make In Online Dating or whatever, and it’s like…three sort of interactions. It’s like, ‘Blow job?’” Or, “DTF?” Like, you never did any shit like that. In fact, what you told me – I remember you told me this, what you learned is, “I almost over – not overshared, but overwrote.” Like, “Hey! Blah blah blah.” Not pussy ones, like, funny, interesting, funny, interesting, back and forth. So, a woman felt like after – and you didn’t push it – after a week or two weeks of exchanging messages…If some women want shorter, fine, but most women want five, six, seven, eight extended messages where they feel like, “Oh, I know this dude and I like him and I’ve seen the development.”

Nils:
And the reason I did that was because I understood that they really wanted to know what I thought about things or what I felt about the world, but they wanted to know why. The length is about the why. Like, “Here’s why I think that way. Here’s why that’s important.”

Tucker:
“Here’s why I care about dogs. Here’s why—“

Nils:
I filled that gap so they couldn’t fill it with whatever preconceptions or brutal past history they’re trying to run away from. It left no stone unturned up to the point we decided we were going to meet, and I took away all the options for her to say no, essentially, or to—

Tucker:
Fears. You removed her fears!

Nils:
I removed her fears.

Tucker:
Right. She’s not physically threatened ‘cause even though you’re a big fucking dude, she’s like, “Oh, he’s so nice.” You’re not socially threatening, because obviously, “Oh, he says so many nice things about his exes” or whatever, right? Not emotionally threatening, ‘cause, “Oh, he’s not a sociopath.” You know? Right. And then, so…but, like, here’s the point I’m trying to make, is that any girl who would have friend zoned you or any girl who would’ve saw that, you either excluded them through the process or you went through the whole process of the initial stages of attraction online, so by the time they met, none of them were thinking about you as a friend.

Nils:
No.

Tucker:
Right.

Nils:
Yeah. It was just to validate and verify that the impression that I had provided over the course of very easy, casual emails on breaks at work, or, you know, on the commute home or whatever were inside their scope of expectations, and it was done.

Tucker:
Exactly. Exactly. Guys, we’ve said this over and over and over, right? But I think the real takeaway here is if you don’t want to get in the friend zone, which is fine if you don’t want to, then don’t allow yourself to get in the friend zone, and the way you don’t allow yourself is you make sure it all points that she recognizes you as an independent sexual being who has his own wants and needs who’s assertive and all those other things, right? And then at some point – and she can still recognize that and say, “I don’t want to sleep with this guy.” That’s okay. It’s happened to me a lot. It happens to everybody. Then, you kind of decide, “Alright. Well, I like her.” You can say, “You know what? She is really fun to hang out with. She does have a lot of hot friends. I like her as a person. We can be friends and also maybe she’ll introduce me to her friends—“

Nils:
She absolutely will introduce you to her friends.

Tucker:
By the way, that’s how I met my girlfriend, is my Cross fit coach – you guys haven’t met Jen. Jen Shaw, she’s really pretty. Really cute. Pretty much immediately – she’s in her thirties, I’m in my thirties – I knew, she’s attractive, but within the first class, I knew. No physical…it just wasn’t. I think she even had a boyfriend at the time. I didn’t know that, though. But I knew right away. “Alright, so—“

Nils:
She could power clean more than you? Like, “Fuck you!”

Tucker:
No. She couldn’t. She is better at Cross Fit. Like, she went to the games. She’s not stronger than me, but she’s much better at Cross Fit. But, it was like, “Alright. This isn’t going anywhere for a lot of different reasons.” I was like, “She’s cool—“ And she fucking is. She’s fucking…a cool girl. She’s really fun. She is a cool friend. She’s almost like a dude. She breaks balls as well as I do, right? And so, we became friends. And it wasn’t, she friend zoned me, necessarily, although maybe she did. Who cares? I was cool with it because I liked her as a person, and I had a good time hanging out with her as a person, right? And by the way, she knows every girl in Austin who does Cross Fit, and a lot of them are hot. So, I’m like, “Alright. We get along a lot as a person. I don’t need to have sex with her. My identity’s not tied to that. We could hang out every two weeks or something.” Not only did she introduce me to her boyfriend, but my Cross Fit coach now is her boyfriend! So, she introduced me to my girlfriend, and my Cross Fit coach now is her boyfriend, who is fucking awesome, too. Travis, amazing dude! Like, I’m friends with him, too. So, it’s like, being a friend with a girl can be a fantastic thing. If you constantly get friend zoned, it’s because you’re doing something wrong. Either you’re not attractive or you’re engaging women in a way that you’re letting them push you into a friend zone, or that’s your strategy, is to try and weasel your way in. All of those are wrong.

Geoff:
Yeah. I mean, the whole concept, to me, of being friend zoned, is toxic and it represents exactly the wrong way to think about your interactions with women, ‘cause it gives her all of the choice and all of the power. And we have emphasized throughout Mating Grounds that yeah, female choice and preferences, you must understand and there’s certain things you need to develop to be more attractive, but you get to decide. Once she’s decided, “I don’t want to have you as my lover, at least, right now,” then you get to decide what kind of relationship do you want? You’re not obligated to stick around with her. If you want to be her friend because she offers you something other than just sex, then be her friend. And having female friends is awesome and great and it’s a wonderful experience and you’ll learn a lot. In fact, guys, most of the good relationships you’ll have with women in your life, long-term, will be with female friends.

Tucker:
Or, female friends will introduce you to the women you end up dating.

Geoff:
Yeah. Yeah. But don’t act like some passive little plaything, some pawn in her chess game where, “Oh, she’s decided to put me in the friend zone. I guess I’m in the friend zone. I have to be there. That’s my box!” It’s a cage of your own devising.

Nils:
Yeah. You’re an active participant in your own life and in this relationship, and too many guys feel like it is just a privilege to be engaged in any kind of contact with a woman who is attractive or they are attracted to. Well, that may or may not have some validity, depending on how you grew up. Regardless, you have to be a participant in the relationship. Not a sounding board. You know, you’re not the backboard for her shots.

Tucker:
You’re not her bitch.

Nils:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Yeah, if the value—

Nils:
And she doesn’t want a bitch!

Tucker:
Well, she might want a bitch, but if she does, don’t be it.

Nils:
She doesn’t want to fuck a bitch.

Tucker:
Well, that’s true. No woman wants to fuck a bitch.

Geoff:
You know, there’s a trade-off. If the value you’re getting out of being her friend exceeds the cost of sexual frustration that you feel being around her, then be her friend and deal with the sexual frustration and practice dealing with it and have some self-control. That’s a valuable lesson in its own right. If the sexual frustration costs are higher than the value of the friendship, don’t be friends with her.

Nils:
That seems pretty basic.

Tucker:
Yeah. Well, that’s one of those basic things that, like, so many…it’s sort of like guys send us emails about this all the time. Really, it’s about a view on life. Is your perspective on life that I am an active participant that makes my life or is my perspective on life that I am a passive participant that accepts the life given to me? And that applies to way more than just women. It applies to business. It applies to friendships. It applies to relationships. It applies to everything. To quote our friend, James Altucher, “You either choose yourself or you don’t.”

Nils:
That’s one to grow on.

Tucker:
Alright. So, I know there are guys right now that are going to send us 3,000-word emails about their friend zone experience, and the email will start with, “I want to keep this short,” and it’ll be 3,000 words, and the end will be like, “I know you already talked about this, but my case is different.”

Geoff:
Yeah. “I’m special.”

Tucker:
“I’m special.”

Geoff:
“These details matter.”

Tucker:
So, here’s the answer for every single one of those people. You’re not different. You’re not special. We’ve already given you the answer, alright? I’ll tell you what. If you’re one of those people, send the email and we’ll set up a consulting call at $20 an hour and we’ll listen to all of your bullshit and then at the end, we’ll give you the same advice tailored directly for you. And if you want to pay twenty bucks a minute – not an hour, I’m sorry. If you want to pay twenty, twenty-five bucks a minute for us to tell you exactly how our general advice applies specifically to your case, alright. I’ll make a thousand bucks an hour for that. It’s fine with me.

Nils:
But that’s the cost of having to put up with that shit, is $1,000.

Tucker:
Yeah. Exactly. For $1,000 an hour, I will—

Nils:
Because we know what the answer is.

Tucker:
I will perfectly tailor this advice to your specific case, even though it’ll be exactly the same, except the fucking names will change! If you want to pay a thousand bucks for that, we can do that. But that’s how much of a waste of time it is for us and for you.

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