how to friend-zone someone

  • slowprogress

    Posts: 47

    Nov 13, 2017 4:59 AM GMT
    Over the summer, I've been hanging out with a guy I met on Tinder. He's conventionally attractive (blond/blue/young/fit/blah blah) and liked me a lot, so I went with it even though I didn't feel any spark, thinking that maybe the chemistry will develop over time. We made out on the second and fifth dates, but after that our hangouts became pretty platonic because I wasn't sure how I felt about dating him and didn't want to get his hopes up. At the same time I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to close that door and regret it later. But he was a really good friend to me so we hung out 15 more times, and did a 200-mile bike trip together, sleeping on the same bed in an airbnb (without doing anything besides him attempting to cuddle). He didn't flirt much in person, and only flirted over text, to which I never reciprocated.

    In late September I decided to close the relationship door while hoping to hang out as we have, but was busy and didn't get a chance to tell him in person until dinner 2 weeks later. At one point he was half-joking texting me to "step up and be exclusive", and I had to change the subject to save the convo for in person. That day came and he took it as well as one could, while holding back tears. It didn't help that he got us surprise tickets to a comedy show for after dinner, which we STILL went to lol. He was glad that I was going to go travel for a few weeks so that he can have some time to process it. When I returned though, he said he no longer wanted to be friends, because I apparently deceived him. And I sort of did, because I didn't want to friendzone him over text. He had thought that this whole time we were just taking it extremely slowly because it was building towards something big and lasting.

    I feel terrible about it, but am not sure how I would have done this differently. I guess I could decide faster whether to date someone or not lol...
  • Happenis

    Posts: 362

    Nov 13, 2017 4:39 PM GMT
    Based on what you wrote, I don't think that you did anything wrong. Its his fault for catching feelings for a guy that he wasn't even in a relationship with. Dating should be a time of seeing if you're a good fit for the each other or not.

    The easiest way would be to make your intentions clear early on, state that you're not ready for a relationship at the moment and offer to be friends.

    Ultimately, some will accept your offer for friendship and some will not. If they won't then all you can do is keep it movin!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4877

    Nov 13, 2017 5:03 PM GMT
    You did fine. There's no rulebook about proper etiquette. You tried and were kind. That's about all you can do. His reaction is totally forgivable. He was hurt. We all know how that feels. Send him something physical, a note, a card. Just say something simple like I do care for you. It was a chemistry thing. So sorry. He'll recover in time and maybe become a friend again but remember, he's wounded and will need time to heal. Don't pester him. He needs to stop loving you. He may hate you. Whatever he needs is OK. It's a self-protection reaction.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1635

    Nov 13, 2017 5:34 PM GMT
    Seems to me you gave him ample signals that you weren't interested in a romance - made out a couple times but then quit even though you continued to spend time together; didn't reciprocate his flirty texts; slept in the same bed but didn't do anything. He didn't do anything wrong either; he just got the wrong idea. Either one of you could have started a conversation about your relationship/friendship but it's not terrible that you didn't.

    I like Destin's idea about sending a card. And please include my phone number; he sounds like a dream!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2017 2:45 AM GMT
    The guy looks objectively good, your eyes can see it but your heart doesn't feel it. I've been there so many times. One side of you tells you he's not really your type, but another side says you may not get an opportunity like this any time soon. It's the latter one (your insecurity) that made this mess.

    I think you actually sent mixed signals. If you were truly resolute on him not being your type from the very beginning, you would have sent those signals and he would have gotten the message. Sending mixed signals is actually the worst because that invites him to try to win you over, as opposed to sending clear YES signals that would make him understand he doesn't have to work that hard to get you.

    You think you sent the right signals, but from his perspective you actually played hard to get. That just made him want you more and now it will take time for him to see you from a different angle -- if he wants to see you at all.

    Let the door open to him, but don't push it and don't hold your breath. In the meanwhile, do as you said: don't string anyone along -- including pretty guys.
  • slowprogress

    Posts: 47

    Nov 15, 2017 4:50 AM GMT
    bachian saidThe guy looks objectively good, your eyes can see it but your heart doesn't feel it. I've been there so many times. One side of you tells you he's not really your type, but another side says you may not get an opportunity like this any time soon. It's the latter one (your insecurity) that made this mess.

    I think you actually sent mixed signals. If you were truly resolute on him not being your type from the very beginning, you would have sent those signals and he would have gotten the message. Sending mixed signals is actually the worst because that invites him to try to win you over, as opposed to sending clear YES signals that would make him understand he doesn't have to work that hard to get you.

    You think you sent the right signals, but from his perspective you actually played hard to get. That just made him want you more and now it will take time for him to see you from a different angle -- if he wants to see you at all.

    Let the door open to him, but don't push it and don't hold your breath. In the meanwhile, do as you said: don't string anyone along -- including pretty guys.



    I never thought of myself as insecure but now that you mentioned it, insecurity (seizing the opportunity) totally played a role in this. If I dated him, it would've been my second time with someone who's hotness will be wasted on me (my third time is happening as of last week).

    The other part is my cynicism about chemistry. I didn't want to deny myself objectively-hot when my prospects of finding subjectively-hot are unknown.

    I also like the card/gift idea. I'm not a romantic and have never given a lover anything lol, but a physical object will hopefully convey some sincerity.