Social Experiment: The Fool-Proof Way to Friend-Zone
March 8, 2014
It's likely that none of us remember the first time we successfully turned someone down. It's probably because the other party wasn't that fussed, and you could both uncross your paths with no harm done. But we all remember that first person who couldn’t fathom the concept of 'not interested'. No matter how many ways you tried to hint it, the message wouldn’t get through to them. In fact, it felt like each sign you sent made them more and more oblivious- or worse, persistent.
The thing is, their persistence doesn't change your lack of attraction to them. But it changes your attitude to them. The more you know of them, the harder it is to be apathetic, and the more you start to feel bad. You start being creative with your friend-zoning. Once I'd gone so far as to pretend I was a lesbian to soften the blow. But eventually you reach a limit. And then you say just a little crassly "look. I just don’t see you that way."
And then they take it as a challenge. Or think you are just being shy. And that's when the fuse goes haywire. They exponentially get more clingy. And then you just reach a psycho-bitch level of bluntness with them and the awkwardness you were initially trying to avoid takes place. That, my friends, is called falling victim to the friend zoning process. My friends and I have eternally been searching for the right approach to friend zone someone seamlessly. So after many rounds of trial-and-error, here is what we've found.
The myths: 1. Friend-zoning labels: One of Zyzz's legacies is that the word bro/brah has lost its friendzoning capacity, and just means that you are savvy with the gym world.
2. Day dates: Contrary to Ryan Reynold's theory in Just Friends, day dates aren't the friend-zoning deal breaker they used to be. Suggesting a day date just makes you seem more wholesome/cute, further exacerbating the situation.
3. Talking about other guys: I used to think this one was foolproof. It's not. More often than not the guy will think you are just trying to make them jealous, to fuel them to make a move.
Person X was on my friend-zoning radar, so I decided to chronicle the phases on the path to just being friends. I knew he would be a tough one to crack because he was already breaking social etiquette and the bro-code: Our mutual friend is actually really protective of me, and X was already going behind his back in trying to contact me.
Phase 1a: Constantly and irritatingly bringing up anecdotes and stories relating to our mutual friend (to seem like I was interested in him). Phase 1b: Using friend-zoning terminology
Status: He was still oblivious.
Phase 2a: I suggested he meet one of my friends, C. Phase 2b: I took his phone and added friend C on Facebook. And just in case she declined (she did), I added 5 other girls with the same name. Status: He thought this was my style of flirting.
Phase 3: Retreated from all personal conversations, and only talked about soccer. Status: This just made things worse.
Phase 4: Avoided him except when I saw him at soccer games. Status: As above, he thought I was interested in soccer to get closer to him (WTF, I know).
Phase 5a: Tried to act really weird/lame. Also, purposely wore less makeup. Status: He thought it was endearing. Phase 5b: Said I wasn’t looking for a relationship at this stage of my life. Status: In one ear and out the other.
Phase 6: Introduce him to another friend. I really thought this would work. Status: Still oblivious.
Phase 7: Told him I couldn’t hang out with him because I was going clubbing. Status: Worked for a week.
Phase 8: Bailed on hanging out an hour prior because "the storms leaked into my house and I had to spend the night drying my carpet". Status: Asked me how my carpet was.
Phase 9: Stopped replying to any messages (even soccer related ones), or replied after 5-7 days. Status: Worked for 3 weeks.
It is around this time he asked to 'catch up'. Ladies, don’t be fooled by the terminology. I thought I had worn him down, so agreed. The next minute he was asking me if I liked wine, and that he wanted to book somewhere special. So I had to pull out the big guns.
Phase 10: Brought said friend, C, along and made X the third wheel. C was in on the plan, so led the conversation to shoes, clothes, and gossip. We went to a café and had girly frappes. Status: Starting to make progress, but mostly he was feeling cock-blocked.
Phase 11: C said she wanted to take us to Oxford St, and was acting like he was "one of the girls". Status: His facial expression changed, finally it was working!
Phase 12: C and I conspired to take him to a salsa club. 5 minutes into it and he wanted to bolt. Status: Success!
Ladies, in an ideal world, we should be honest and treat the guy respectfully and just say we are not interested. But in those awkward cases when you are dealing with a thick-headed breed of our male counterparts, sometimes you have to use alternate means. Now you can spend your time using 'friend terminology' or avoidance techniques, but these are just temporary solutions. At the end of the day, unless he's Brazilian or gay, the sure-fire way to get him out of your hair is to take him to a salsa bar on Oxford St. You can thank me later!
Read more at http://www.generationwhat.com/2014/03/social-experiment-fool-proof-way-to.html#d2hs1vt8v4tzLdj6.99