Get Out of The Friendzone: Stop Hanging Out and Start Dating
If we've ever written an article that can be summed up in one sentence, this is it. Look up. Read the title. That's your prescription--well, one set of medication, at least--for curing that awful disease called the friendzone.
When Formal Dating Was the Only Way to Date
In comparing dating rituals of days past versus today, one complaint you hear all the time is (cue elderly voice):
Today's youngsters don't know how to go on a proper date. All they do is "hang out"! Women want to be asked out on a proper date, you know!
Truth? Or is this the usual blathering from oldsters?
"Back then," (before World War II) men and women who were not married lived more separate lives than they do now. Men worked in jobs that rarely had women as peer co-workers. Women worked at home as mothers and/or they kept house. If they worked outside of the home, they worked in women-centric jobs or in those aforementioned jobs with, but not alongside, men (i.e., a secretary in an office).
Outside of work, men socialized with other men in fraternal clubs or sports. Women socialized with other women, gathering around children, crafts, books, or women's clubs.
Formal dating was necessary. Otherwise, men and women never would have gotten together.
Dating vs. Hanging Out
First, let's define what we mean:
- Date. A proper date is one where you--you, the man--plan ahead, make a decision about where to go, set a time, pick her up, go somewhere other than your place or hers, come back, drop her off.
- Hanging Out. Hanging out is something like when you come over to her place, eat pizza, watch a movie, drink, talk, leave.
The first one, gentlemen, is a date. More precisely, a date is:
- Always a locale other than a living space.
- Always just the two of you, not a group.
- Always something at least marginally fun or interesting (not the grocery store).
Does it mean you must pay for the date? No.
A Date Signals More Romantic Intentions
If a woman has placed you in the friendzone, ask yourself this: "Have I ever asked her out on a real, proper date?"
Most likely, the answer will be no.
A real, proper date sends the proper signal that you're interested in her as more than "just friends." After all, don't you usually hang out with male friends rather than asking them out on date-like activities?
The date doesn't have to be a goopy hearts-and-flowers event; in fact, we advise against this. Limiting the "group" to just the two of you, as well as taking it out of your residences, is enough of a signal to the woman. Trust us, women instinctively know what this means.
A real, proper date is also a test. If she does not agree to go, chances are good that she views you as a friend only. Push the matter a bit. Are her excuses valid? Is she trying to dial down this date to a friendly, hanging out activity?
If there is no way she will agree to a proper date, you have two choices:
- Drop her completely. She will never become anything more than a friend, and you're only wasting your time, money, and emotions in pursuing this. Stop trying to date her and stop hanging out with her.
- Accept that you are friends only. Also be prepared for her to cry on your shoulder when she has arguments with her boyfriends.
Asking a woman on a proper date will not convince her to become your girlfriend if she is dead-set against this. But it can provide the necessary nudge to a woman who might have latent feelings for you or who might be unclear about your intentions.