Women have boyfriends and girlfriends. If you’re not fucking her, you’re her girlfriend.
“Rollo, how do I get out of the Friend-Zone?” Never allow yourself to get into it.
Women have used the LJBF (“let just be friends”) rejection for a hundred years because it serves an ego preservation function for her. To a greater or lesser degree, women require attention and the more they have of it the more affirmation they experience, both personally and socially. The LJBF rejection is a Social Convention that has classically ensured a woman can reject a man yet still maintain his previous attention. It also puts the responsibility for the rejection back on his shoulders since, should he decline the ‘offer of friendship’, he is then responsible for entertaining this ‘friendship’.
This of course has the potential to backfire on women these days since the standard AFC response will be to accept an LJBF rejection in the mistaken hope of ‘proving’ himself worthy of her intimacy by being the perfect ‘surrogate boyfriend’ – fulfilling all her attention and loyalty prerequisites with no expectation of reciprocating her own intimacy. I should also point out that this situation is analogous to men using women as “fuck buddies” – fulfilling all his sexual availability needs with no expectations of reciprocating commitment. Needless to say this merely positions the new “friend” into being the ‘emotionally supportive’ Beta counterpart to the indifferent Alpha she’ll consistently bang and then complain about – also popularly known as the Emotional Tampon.
The LJBF rejection also serves as an ego preservation for her in that having offered the false olive branch of ‘friendship’ to him in her rejection she can also sleep that night knowing that she (and any of her peers) wont think any less of herself. After all, she offered to be friends, right? She is absolved of any feelings of personal guilt or any responsibilities for his feelings if she still wants to remain amiable with him.
Men get a LJBF rejection because of a process. These are the “friends first” mindset guys; the guys who put far too much emphasis on a solitary woman and wait her out until the perfect moment to attempt to escalate to intimacy, at which point her most comfortable rejection (Buffer) is to LJBF. This is made all the more easy for her because of the process the guy used to get to that point.
Virtually all guys who get to the point of a LJBF rejection come to it because they fall in line with some variation of what I call a Sniper Mentality. They patiently wait for their one target, to the exception of all others, constantly attempting to prove their quality in doing so – meaning they emphasize a comfort level and try to be friends before lovers. In essence they believe that desexualizing themselves will make them more attractive (by virtue of not being like “other guys”) because they’ve bought into the idea that a woman must be comfortable with them first before they initiate intimacy. Once the AFC gets to a point where he’s mustered enough courage to initiate, and he feels she ‘should’ be comfortable enough to appreciate him as boyfriend material, the Sniper takes his shot.
The problem with this process is that it bypasses essential stages of attraction and the necessary discomfort and sexual tension necessary for intimacy and proceeds directly to a warm familiar, comfortable, (and ultimately anti-seductive) rapport, the exact opposite of arousal. If you think about this in terms of sex, this is the stage right after climax when she wants to cuddle, spoon and be wrapped up in her nice, secure oxytocin induced comfort. This is the opposite of the testosterone fueled, sweaty, anxious and uncomfortable stage of arousal and intercourse before that release. So in terms of “friendship” and the Sniper mentality, you’ve skipped arousal and gone straight to comfort. You’re perceived as a stuffed animal she can hug and then put back on the bed. Thus, when that previously platonic stuffed animal uncharacteristically gets a hard-on and says “I think we ought to be intimate” her reaction is to think that everything you’ve done for her up to that point has been a grand ruse. “My God, all you wanted was sex this whole time?”
Her most predictable response is then the LJBF rejection. The field has already been tilled by you, it’s only one, very easy step for her to stay in that suspended comfort – “can’t we just be friends?” And then the cycle repeats. The AFC believes the LJBF is a genuine offer (not a rejection) and then falls back into the Sniper mentality. He mustn’t have been convincing enough to prove his worth to her and therefore returns to further proving himself as the perfect boyfriend until he once again presses his intent of intimacy after another period. All this goes on apace until she becomes intimate with a ‘real’ boyfriend and/or he acquires a new target after realizing his efforts with the LJBF girl aren’t bearing fruit.
The problem with a lot of the ‘friend-zone’ advice women tend to offer is that they cast doubt on whether a LJBF rejection is in fact a rejection and not a genuine offer of friendship. To which I’ll say, the only reason the ‘friend-zone’ is such a common issue among men & women for so long is because it’s been repeated so regularly and the outcome so predictable as a rejection. A woman’s behavior is always the only gauge of her intent, and thus when a rejection like LJBF has been so consistently met with the same outcome and behavior (as evidenced by thousands of identical stories from men) it’s only prudent for a Man to behave in kind.
A man’s default response should always be to excuse him from the LJBF situation. The reason for this is because it serves his best interest whether she is testing him or is rejecting him. If he is confident enough in himself to walk away from the sexually tense environment, he proves himself as decisive enough to put himself above being ‘played’ like this. Ergo, he leaves her with the impression that he is the PRIZE, possibly has contacts with better prospective women and is confident enough to take away his attentions from her and thus passes any shit test she might have implied, while placing the responsibility of a re-connection on her (where it should be anyway). If she has in fact had a change of heart (her prerogative, remember?) and is using the LJBF as a means to reject him, he still benefits from all of the above and plants the ‘seed of doubt’ in her about her initial estimation of his acceptability for her intimacy. And even if she is truly not interested in the guy, he walks away on his feet and not his knees, by playing “friend” with her and wasting still more time that could be far better spent with more productive prospects.
It is really one of the few win-win Game situations for a guy to make a wholesale withdrawal of his attentions when he is confronted with an LJBF. Women know all too well how an LJBF places social pressure on a guy to accept what basically amounts to an ultimatum of negative social proof, and that’s a hell of a shit test no matter what her real intent is. If the guy turns down her offer of friendship, he’s the dickhead, not her. But the guy that can do what common sense and gut instinct points out to him will be the one to succeed, with her, other women and himself.
Human being’s natural inclination is to avoid confrontation. When a man makes an approach to intimacy with a woman this becomes confrontational. If she is unsure of a man’s sexual acceptability for her intimacy she must resort to psycho-social, learned behaviors to diffuse this confrontation. Preferably these techniques should be reinforced beforehand and proven to diffuse just such a confrontation, thus the LJBF response is acted out through generations of women across many different cultures – quite simply it works more often than not. You can also apply this to the Boyfriend Disclaimer; women who not-so-nonchalantly weave into their casual conversation that they have a boyfriend in a preemptive effort to diffuse a potential suitor’s interests. It’s basically a proactive LJBF rejection.
It’s the guy who is unwilling to accept these conventions that makes the most lasting impressions of confidence with women. It goes against what our common human heritage dictates for us – avoid conflict, don’t make waves, be her friend, etc. By not accepting a LJBF you emphatically make known that you are good at confrontation, you have an understanding of her motives and you’re confident enough in yourself to make it known. Not only does this impress her with potential for security provision it also implies future confidence. The problem for most guys is enacting this and making it a default behavior when our biology would have us move away from conflict rather than engage in an unacceptable social dynamic that is subtly damaging to his own interests.