Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To "Friend Zone" Like A Boss!

The part of dating I hate the most is having to tell a woman she is not the one. If there was a way I could outsource that without looking like a complete jerk, I would do it in a heartbeat! No one with any type of soul or compassion for human beings likes to have that conversation. However, it is a conversation that must be had at times.

There is a right way to let someone know that this relationship is not going to work out in a romantic context. There is also a wrong way. Here are some do's and don'ts to "Friend Zone" like a boss!

DO - Tell them sooner rather than later

Once you have come to the realization that a romantic relationship is not an option tell the other person right away. The longer you wait, the greater the chances you have of offending the person. A man doesn't want to be spending his hard earned money taking you on date after date if you're not interested. A woman doesn't want to be making emotional investments, or even worse, making out with you or having sex with you and you're not interested. Speed is king here!

DON'T - Ignore the person and/or leave them guessing

I see men and women do this and it's really childish and pathetic. Now it's one thing if you have already told them and they still can't take the hint. In that case, feel free to ignore this desperate loser. However, if you know a person is interested or even worst, you have gone out on a date or dates, ignoring the person is not the right way to handle it. 

BTW - This doesn't apply to dating sites in which someone you don't know reaches out to you. It is perfectly acceptable to ignore them if you aren't interested. This refers to people that you have actually interacted with on some level.

DO - Tell them clearly and succinctly 

You don't have to give a state of the union speech or write a "War and Peace" long novel in a text message. Just let them know clearly that they are not a match for you. Here are some phrases to help you get on the right track...
  • The connection is just not there.
  • Unfortunately we are not a match.
  • I'm not the right person for you.
The key is to let them know it's not going to work out in a clear manner without putting it on them. In most cases there's nothing wrong with the other party. They are just not the right person for you.

DON'T - Leave the door open...unless you REALLY want to leave the door open

One of the mistakes that I see people make is they communicate this in a way that leaves the door open when they really do not want to leave the door open. Here are some examples of ways you could be leaving the door open...

I'm not ready for a relationship right now

When you say that you aren't ready for a relationship right now, this has some key implications that you need to be aware of. What it communicates is that the issue IS NOT an issue of match or compatibility, the issue is an issue of timing.

The other person hears "ok cool, they are not ready right now but in the future when they are ready, I have a chance. Then when you are ready for a relationship and you choose somebody else, they are devastated because they truly believed that you were interested but the timing was just bad.

You should NEVER say "I'm not ready for a relationship right now." if the real reason is you aren't interested in them. Instead, use one of the phrases I provided above. However, if the issue really is timing and you really could potentially see yourself with that person at some point in the future, then it is ok to say you're not ready for a relationship right now.

There's some things I need to work on myself first

Again, this implies that the issue is on your side alone and not on their side. It implies that as soon as you work out whatever you need to work out, you will be ready to be in a relationship with them. If that is not true, don't say this. Use one of the phrases that I provided above instead. However, if you really do know you have issues to work out and you could see yourself in a relationship with them, this is ok to say.

DO - Offer to be friends if they are someone you could see yourself being friends with.

Another mistake I see people make, both men and women is cutting people off because they don't want to be in a relationship with them. My female friends (some of whom were women I initially wanted to date) have prayed for me, giving me solid advice, encouraged me, given me money when I've been in need and have even hooked me up with dates or alerted me to dating prospects that I wasn't aware of. Friendship does have its benefits and I'm not talking about the "friends with benefits" type either.

Plus, as a bonus, although I DEFINITELY DO NOT advocate you banking on this or holding out for this, but things change and people change. I know a number of people who are either married to or are currently dating people that they originally told that they weren't interested in a romantic relationship. That person you aren't interested in today could be the person of your dreams tomorrow.

DON'T - Keep a person around and not tell them they aren't the one.

Guys usually get blasted for this, but I've seen PLENTY of women do this too so let's not just put this on the guys. They don't tell a person they aren't interested and they keep them around just to have somebody around until someone better comes along. That's not right. You're basically using that person and you don't want to do that. 

Now this one goes to the guys. I know some of you aren't interested in a woman long term, but you do like her and want to keep her around. However, consider the following. What if a guy was doing this to your daughter or your sister? How would you feel? Just be honest and let that woman know what the deal is. 

First off, she will respect you for your honesty because a lot of men are not honest. This will also help you avoid getting your car windows busted open or causing a scene on your job!  Secondly, some women actually wouldn't have a problem with hanging around as long as they know that's what the deal is. I know because I've had women tell me they have relationships with guys like this and they are cool with it because they are aware of what it is.

I hope you found these tips to be beneficial. Go out and use them so you can "friend zone" like a boss!