Somewhere along the road to entering into a relationship, you might pass the Friend Zone. If you’re lucky, you’ll carry on speeding to your destination. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get dropped off with a, “Hey dude, great to know you” pat on the back from your crush. Here are some signs that a potential relationship is in jeopardy and you might be nothing more than his friend:
- You hang out more than date. There’s a difference between hanging out and dating. If he never flirts with you and hasn’t increased how often he initiates contact even though you’ve been dating for weeks but he seems to like spending time with you, it seems you’re more on the platonic side of things. Sure, he likes to hang out, but he’s not making an effort to make it mean something.
- He confides in you a lot. When getting to know a guy, it can feel good when he’s open about his life. But if he only seems to treat you as the person he can dump his problems on, you’re becoming his friend, not his girlfriend. As your relationship progresses, you will share more of your problems and dramas, but this is a type of emotional intimacy that should grow with your relationship — otherwise if it happens too soon, it can stunt it.
- He treats you like one of the guys. If the guy you’re dating doesn’t really make you feel sexy — for instance, he never compliments your looks or the gorgeous low-cut dress you’re wearing — you will start to feel like you’re just his buddy. This is even more problematic if he gives you the ‘pat hug’ — where he pats your back and doesn’t lean in during a hug — or has called you ‘buddy’.
- He doesn’t make much effort with his appearance. This can be a tough sign to spot because guys are generally known for being chilled with their looks, but even a really lazy guy will make an effort to look good when going on a date with you. If it looks like he’s happy to be a slob and sweatpants are his go-to dating pants, he’s saying he doesn’t feel the need to impress you. Why? He doesn’t see you as GF material.
- He avoids romantic dates. It’s not good enough if he’s regularly asking you out — pay attention to where he invites you. If he avoids romantic dates like candlelit dinners, walks on the beach or even spending time at his place at night and you’ve been dating for a few weeks, this shows he’s not in a relationship headspace.
- He invites others to your date. He invited you out but when you got to the restaurant or bar, you found other people at your table. Yes, he decided to invite others along and didn’t feel the need to ask you if that was cool because it’s just a casual get-together. In fact, it always seems like being with him is just a friendly meet-up. Not cool.
- He avoids physical contact. Although you’ve supposedly been seeing each other for a while, he doesn’t make much physical contact. In fact, you’re lucky if you get a kiss on the cheek at the end of date four. Wow. By then, most guys will have at least hinted at how they want to sleep with you if they haven’t already kissed and fondled you.
- He doesn’t seem to notice if you ignore him. This is probably one of the easiest ways to tell if the guy is hoping to be your boyfriend or brother from another mother. Avoid him for a few days and see what he does. If he doesn’t seem to notice or care when you ignore him, he’s clearly too chilled about whatever it is you’ve got going (which doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a relationship).