Ask A Guy: How Do I Get Out Of The Friend Zone?

How to get out of the friend zone

Want him to see you as something more? | Source: ShutterStock

Dear Ethan,

I feel like I always put myself in the friend zone with guys. I want to know a guy before I start a relationship, but I think I’m too friendly, and they start thinking of me as strictly “one of the guys.” How do I let them know I could be interested in more than just friendship without throwing myself all over them?

As much as you may dread the “friend zone”, I believe that guys end up there more frequently than girls, who are generally more capable of maintaining co-ed friendships (i.e. mature) than us notoriously one-track-minded men. As I outlined in my very first column for, a guy will usually only go out of his way to befriend a girl when she’s dating his buddy, or when both parties have determined through experience that a romance just ain’t in the cards. Otherwise (which is most of the time), he’s likely just getting frisky.

Mystery Woman

Time to become a little more mysterious… | Source: ShutterStock

However, when you’re the one doing the friendly pursuing, a guy’s reaction will partly depend on how you approach him. In another previous post, I explained how maintaining a little bit of distance and mystery at the beginning of a relationship can keep a guy interested. When you become too close too quickly with a guy before getting romantic, he can take you for granted and lose interest. It’s true that guys do enjoy “the chase,” so your instinct to not throw yourself at them is certainly a good one.

Of course, a guy’s reaction will also depend on how open he is to dating you. If you can tell he’s already crushing, slowly getting to know him better (along with a little casual flirting) will build a level of positive tension which can only be resolved by a kiss. If a dude ends up thinking of you as just “one of the guys” after some well-paced bonding, he might not have been into you to begin with.

Ultimately, if you feel like you’re being too friendly, you might want to give the relationship some space to preserve some of your womanly mystique. Feel free to make one bold move (such as asking him out on a date), but allow him to make the next! Putting the ball in his court and leaving it there until he picks it up again is an important part of finding balance in any relationship.

Good luck!

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Hooking Up, Love Advice, Relationships
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  • atlantis

    me and this guy have been out quite few times as soon as we were getting quite serious he dumped me and im confused why im still head over heals for him but i think he hates me im just so confused help me please x?!

  • Alliek

    dear ethan
    he came out and told me that he liked me and i had liked him for about 12 weeks or so,so i told him but then he said that we should just stay friends coz were bffs but i don’t think i can stand it for much longer we’ve been friends for 2 years and i REALLY like him HELP!!!!

  • Alexandria

    Dear Ethan,
    I really like this guy, and ive liked him for 3 years now. But i dated his best friend, and it was a complete mistake because i didnt know at the time how close they were. He asked me if i liked him one time, because i apparently i was being so obvious that i did. And he said he likes me too. And after that he took it back a day later, and went out with this other chick, and told me that he only liked me as a friend. Ive been thinking to myself over and over again why he would tell me he likes me too. Should i keep trying? Or should i just come out and ask him again? Or give up. Im in a bind, and its really stressing me out.

  • Friendzoned

    Dear Ethan,

    My best friend has been trying to get me and her twin brother to go out. We have similar interests and we talk a lot when I’m over their house, but my feelings go on and off for him because part of me is sure he doesn’t like me. The other day when I was over my friend’s she put makeup on me and did my hair. After she was done doing all of it she pushed me over to her brother who was watching us and asked him if I looked good. I was really embarrassed so I didn’t make eye contact with him. (I’m not used to wearing makeup because I feel it will smear when I’m out.) Anyways, out of the corner of my eye I could see him staring at me and I don’t know if this is good or bad but he said “I don’t know how to answer that.”

  • Leah

    My crush and I are really good friends. We have always flirted with each but he is friends with many girls and i cant tell if he likes me any more than his other female friends. When we are alone he is all over me, but during school he is distant. I just want to move past the “friend zone”, any tips?

  • Welshgirl44

    Ha! I’m constantly ‘friend-zoned’. I’m one of the boys- ‘bros’ and sort of like it that way…It’s so nice to have that database of guy friends you can hang out with, cheeky flirt with and have it mean nothing

  • Slowlydying

    Dear Ethan,
    My bestfriend and i are really tight,she’s like a sister to me,so my best guy friend asked me out and i said yes and now we’re dating,but..they’re always together!!My Bestfriend and my Boyfriend,They’re in the same classes,live in the same neighborhood and walk home from school together all the time… :/ I love my bestfriend and i trust her,its just that..i really don’t know whats going on here and what to do,i’ve also tried tawkin to ’em about how i felt,they understood,well atleast i think they did for like 2seconds and noow they’re just too close,he talks to my bestfriend way more than he does wif me :/ im really sad and i really like them 🙁 please help :/ 🙁

    • Steph :)

      first how old are you? and how long have you been going out with him? Well if I were you, I would ask him what he thinks of your friend when you on your own with him and if he doesn’t mind sharing that with you then ask him (because you seem to think that) why he spends more time with her then he does with you, which might link together and help you a bit. or you could ask him if he’s got anything to tell that he might be hiding, because it seems to me that he might be cheating on you.

  • alexis

    how do i get out of the friend zone.with a guy ive known for years,and how do i know if he likes me back

  • Sophie Halliday

    I’m 13 and I need advice – and fast!! So I’ve really really really liked this boy for about two years now and recently he asked me if I would let him poke/finger me. I don’t think he likes me and in a way I want to do it but I don’t know if its bad? He’s really sensible though and I dont think he’d do it to use me or anything? x

    • Becca

      no, you’re only 13 and you said yourself that you don’t think he likes you in the way you would like him to. wait until your older to do this, when you know you’re ready and don’t have to ask if it’s bad.

    • Steph :)

      no, I mean you’re 13, when I was 13 I was worrying if having milkshake then dr pepper would make me sick let along worrying about boy I like wanting to finger me but who probably doesn’t like me back and just wants to use me. so no wait till you’re older

  • basschick

    thanks! i am so using this advice on someone i just met. =)

  • anonymouse

    since i’ve moved to a new school this year, i hang out with pretty much only guys (and kinda like one of them but he’s completely clueless to everything :$). i want to get together with him, but i’m afraid that it will make things awkward between us (we sit together in all of our 2/4 classes together) if he rejects me. should i ask him out? and if so, how? :/

    *i’m aware i spelled anonymous diff, but i like pronouncing the end like mouse 😛

    • MadiClaire

      yeah. just ask him if he wants to go eat or something. gradually ask him on little dates. but dont make it seem like its a date!

  • Annie

    How to be Mysterious to a guy? What to talk to a guy to make him to get interested to know me?

    • Daneka

      Being mysterious can be something just as simple as flirting or even winking and just walking away afterwards, leaving him to make up in his mind what should be the next step and making him wonder what that was all about, if u like him or not!!!! Just try it it works for meeh everytime!! Gud Luck Gurlie! =D

      • Ethan Fixell

        Thank you, Daneka, for acting as my advice sidekick — good example of mystery there!


  • Poprock1014

    i like this guy and we barely started started talking when i first started liking him he had a girlfriend so i backed off but then they broke up i decided to wait and then tell him how i felt about him but by the time i was gonna tell him he was already going out with someone else we rarely talk but when we do we have so much in common my friends things hes a player and i think theyre right but i cant stop liking him .should i just move on and forget

    • Daneka

      If u already know that he is a “playa” I suggest u get ova him and move along bcuz he may b a kewl guy frenn but mite turn out to b a terrible bf so keep in mind everything that glitters isn’t gold.Just stick w/ being just frenns (for Nw unless u c a change n him ova a course of time)