How to Friendzone the Guy You’ve Been Seeing

It turns out, he chews too loud. He uses the word “steez” unironically. He plays the cello. It’s the seventh date, and he hasn’t touched you. You just realized that his laugh is at an uncomfortable pitch. You found out that his best friend is hotter than him. He doesn’t do anything without his mom’s permission. He doesn’t read, and you have decided it’s time for a friendzone.

No matter the reason, you’re just not as attracted to him as you need to be for this to go further. If you want to friendzone him rather than breaking up with him, you must have some relationship already built. You still care about him and want to continue a friendship rather than simply exiting his life forever. Friendzoning is especially appropriate if you share a friend group, a workplace, a school, a gym, etc. Even if you aren’t forced to see him often, you still appreciate his presence in a non-romantic way.

Should I Friendzone Him?

Let’s face it – feelings are complicated. Decisions like these are tough, and the more confident you are about your choice, the better. So how do you know if you should friendzone him?

  1. You have a strong emotional connection to him, but not a strong physical connection. If you don’t have any connection at all – well, girl, just dump him.
  2. You are looking to date other people. If you’re actively seeking to find someone else, that’s a good indicator that you’re not satisfied with what you already have.
  3. You don’t miss him when he’s gone. You’re happy to hang out with him, you have a good time, but you don’t think about him much otherwise.

If your feelings fit this criteria, here’s your next steps:

Be Direct

If you’ve been on dates with him, especially if you’ve kissed, you can’t just slide into the friend zone with subtle cues anymore. Telling him about guys you like, saying he’s like a brother to you, or emphasizing the importance of his friendship are strategies that girls typically use to friendzone guys, but that doesn’t work in this circumstance. Doing those things now would be extremely rude and confusing for him, who, up until now, thinks you like him back. Don’t be the girl who asks for his best friend’s number while on a date with him, thinking that is enough closure for your relationship. It would be best if you were upfront with him about your feelings in a respectful way.

Set a Time and Place

Deciding whether to text, call, or meet up in person to friendzone him might be a hard decision. I prefer to have conversations like this over text because it gives me time to gather my thoughts and not get too emotional (basically, I’m a wimp). However, friendzoning a guy that you’ve been seeing over text can come off as very disrespectful. He will likely think that he wasn’t significant enough to you to warrant anything more than a text, which will hurt the possibility of friendship in the future. When in doubt, meeting up to talk in person is always better.

Tell him that you have something you need to talk to him about and set a time and place. It shouldn’t be during a date when you will still have to spend the rest of the evening with him. You should get together specifically for this talk and drive separately to avoid the awkward car ride back home together. Don’t linger for too long afterward- he will need time alone to process what you tell him and think about how he wants to move forward.

Don’t Sugar Coat

You may think you are just being nice to soften the blow, but you are making it worse with every sweet, insincere comment. “You are such a nice guy,” “it’s not you, it’s me,” and “you’re going to make some lucky girl happy someday” may seem like perfectly good things for you to say, but to him, it comes off as incredibly condescending. He knows that you don’t mean those things; even if you do, it’s not the right approach.

The opposite extreme might happen if he doesn’t take your compliments as patronizing. Using kind words as pillows to soften the blow is a dangerous game because, in his eyes, “if a girl lays a pillow out for you, she is going to let you spend the night.” He might see your compliments as an encouragement to keep chasing you.

You Don’t Need to Justify Your Feelings

You know that you aren’t romantically interested in him, but maybe you can’t pinpoint why. The truth is, you have a reason – it just doesn’t feel right. That is reason enough. If you don’t automatically know a more specific reason, don’t waste your time trying to come up with one. If you give him reasons that aren’t entirely accurate, it allows him to argue with you. Maybe you tell him that you want someone more exciting. He could say, “Well, you think I’m boring because we always go bowling for dates. I thought you liked bowling. But we can go zip lining next time.” By his reasoning, you should give him another chance. But you don’t want to give him another chance, and you don’t have to because the problem isn’t bowling- it’s him.

Example Conversation

The exchange might go something like this:

You: “Hey, Josh! How has your day been?”

Him: “blah blah work school dog blah blah blah small talk.”

You: More small talk until the conversation dies down.

You: “So I wanted to talk to you today about our relationship. We’ve been going out for a while, and it’s been really fun getting to know you, but I don’t see this going any further. I think we get along well and I appreciate having you in my life, so I would love to stay friends if you are comfortable. Thank you for meeting me today; I respect you and thought you deserved the truth. You can reach out to me when you decide how you feel about staying friends. Bye, Josh.”

Give Him the Space He Needs

He might need time and space to get over you romantically before he feels comfortable being friends. You’ll have to accept that you’ve probably hurt his feelings and pride by not wanting to date him anymore. Now, he is the one that gets to decide when you can be friends and, for the most part, what your friendship is going to look like.

Accept That He Might Not Want to be Friends

In reality, even if you handle this conversation well, the odds are not in your favor that he will want to stay friends. Guys usually don’t want to be “just friends” with girls, so if you eliminate the possibility of something more, he probably won’t see a reason to stick around. That is not the case for all guys, though. Some are more than happy to develop a platonic relationship. It just depends on his personality. The point is, don’t get your hopes up. You have to accept that he might also cut you off when you cut off a romantic relationship with him.

Keep Moving Forward

This guy isn’t the one for you. Hopefully, you can keep him in your life as a friend. If it doesn’t work out that way, it doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person or unworthy of friendship. Keep your head up. He thinks you are so hot that he can’t even stand to be near you without feeling a spark. That, my friend, is much more a win than a loss.

If you’re a guy, stumbling across this article, realizing you’re about to get Friendzoned – check out six changes you can make to regain her interest.

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