the daily doyle

How to Escape the “Just Friends” Trap
June 25, 2011, 12:16 am
Filed under: Man stuff

Houdini couldn’t get out of the “just friends” trap. What is it? It’s when you know a girl, you’re into this girl, you’re hoping and planning to move your relationship to a new level, physically or otherwise and the girl thinks of you as “just a friend”. Ouch. It is a trap.

Urban Dictionary has 20 definitions for “just friends”. Some of them are really funny. Some of them make you want to cry. This one is kind of funny, with a great analogy:

JUST FRIENDS – “when you fall in love with someone, say your best friend, and it doesn’t work out because you’re her “Friend”. To her, you’re just friends. A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you’re a great guy, but I don’t like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we’re not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we’re going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn’t work out, we’ll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.” -Urban Dictionary,

This trap is easy to fall into, for nice guys anyway, and almost impossible to climb out of.

The title of this article is “How to Escape…”. I didn’t choose that title because I actually know how to get out of the trap. Rather I chose it because I would like to write an article about it and help nice guys out and, well, I thought maybe if I research well and think this all through, by the end of the article I really will know. Keep your fingers crossed.

Are you in the “just friends” trap? There is a condition a little lower than the friends trap. We might call it the Faux Friends Trap but a better term would be Pretended Friends Trap. A girl will tell you “let’s just be friends” or “I think of you as a friend” under at least two circumstances:

1. She really likes you and really does consider you a friend.

2. She does NOT like you and would love to say “get lost forever you creep” but just can’t say it.

It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re in category #1 or #2. In number one, the girl will call you and will pick up the phone if you call her. She’ll answer text messages. She’ll be glad to see you, etc. For category two, well, if she just never gets around to texting or calling back, this article isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. You can still make this happen. But it’s a different situation. Maybe I’ll write an article about how to go from, “I wouldn’t date you if you were the last man on Earth!” to “I want you… NOW!”

There was a pretty good movie about this subject from 2005, with Amy Smart in it. Hubba Hubba. I really like Amy Smart. But we’re just friends. Actually I’m her friend but she has no idea who I am. That’s a far lower condition than either of the ones above.

A big factor in this problem and all relationship problems is something called the Reactive Mind. It’s a part of the mind that works on a stimulus-response basis, not under a person’s conscious control. It makes people do funny things, like choose the wrong guy or girl and reject the right guy or girl. You can learn all about it by reading Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Start at

So now that the problem is defined and we all know that I have no chance with my true love, Amy Smart, let’s get down to business – what can be done?

The first thing to know is – what you’re doing right now isn’t working. So, unless you plan to stay just friends and be content, it’s time to change up. I can’t necessarily tell you what to do. Perhaps you should be nicer, or perhaps stop being so nice. You could start doing special things – give the girl a flower every now and then, or bring her favorite coffee unexpectedly. Or you can get some results by not always being there. Be busy when she calls. Have your own interests and make them a priority. Live your life. Don’t make “get the girl” your entire game in life. But if you want to make this work, change something. Take her out on a real date, let her know it is a date. Specifically ask her out for a date. And wherever you go, pay for everything. Be confident and fun and of course, be yourself.

The second thing is, if you’re serious about this, don’t give up easily. Be tougher and don’t give up or whine because of setbacks. Keep that dream there of the life you want with this girl. And never give it up, no matter what. You may want to tell her or maybe not. You’ll just have to feel it out and guess what’s likely to work out best.

The third thing, and maybe this should have really been the first thing, take a hard look at whether this really is the girl for you. Do you have similar goals in life? Do you get along? It’s not enough that she’s cute with big breasts. That can make for a great weekend but if the base compatibility isn’t there, you’re in for a rough life starting Monday and every day thereafter. If you’re just “in love” with the girl but you and she really are not a good fit, scroll up to the Dianetics link above and find out for yourself how to get rid of that reactive mind.

So there is some advice. Good luck!

Here is a great little interchange from the movie, with Ryan Reynolds as Chris, Amy’s “just friend” character, and Fred Ewanuick as his friend Clark:

Clark: How’d the big date go?
Chris: It was terrible. I went in for a kiss, but she wants a hug, okay? Then I get caught in a sort of kiss-hug limbo type thing. I don’t know what that is, then I ended up *shaking* her entire body!
Clark: So you gave her a body shake?
Chris: Oh, God! I should’ve just kissed her! What am I doing?
Clark: It looks like you picked up right where you left off. You’re back in the friend zone.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Doyle, there are some things I could give you and so I think I will in case you care to use them!!!

Of course, Doyle, you know about the triangle
. The three points stand for 1. affinity, 2 reality and 3, communication.
(The reference for this is “The Fundamentals of Thought” ;page s 45-47. Start at Communication. Get in real communication, and note what is said on page 47, “…. It might be said that the triangle begins with communication which brings into existence affinity and reality.”
I can hear you sighing. But really look at this: Look at your self and find out what you like; what things do you like to do, what is your purpose or purposes in life, etc. Without looking at the girl and seeing how beautiful she is, etc. You have to be very honest, but do this.
Then, find out (and this might take quite a while) find out what the girl likes, what are her purposes, etc. See if they align. She can change, girls do that! But without mentioning it to her, keep observing. If they align then it is worth using the data you have from observation, and get to know her better, and let her know YOU better…
Try it: many of us have not used this when we do know this tech!

Mary Collins

Comment by Mary Collins

This is very very good advice Mary. Thank you!

Comment by doylemills

My 2 cents worth on courting a woman. Don’t ever court her with tactics you do not plan on continuing for a lifetime. Like don’t get her little gifts then quit when you have her hooked. Don’t pour on the charm until things settle into a routine then become a lump. “Be yourself” — fully and honestly, is good advice. But that advice might include the warning that you might need to BE more caring, more considerate and more giving, in order to charm that woman for the rest of your lives together. Signed: Been there, done that

Comment by Karen

Thank you Karen, good comment and stellar advice. That’s a trap too, which both women and men fall into – change or pretend to be something they’re not in order to “get” the object of their desires, then change, or get lazy or in some cases get mean from then on out. I won’t necessarily accept the premise that the person just became “himself” or “herself”. I may be stupidly naive and optimistic but I really think people, at their core are kind and decent and caring.
So “be yourself”, for me, means be the best of what you are, not the worst. Be kind and thoughtful, MORE so than you really think you should. Go overboard. Do stupid and outrageous things for people you love. And don’t do it for a little while, keep doing it, fight off all tendency to become complacent or worse to think that person isn’t worthy of that much love and attention.

Comment by doylemills

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