Navigating The Postgrad Friend Zone

Navigating The Postgrad Friend Zone

The Friend Zone gets mostly ignored in college. In the grand scheme of things, if a girl didn’t want to hook up with you, there were thousands of available women within a five mile radius to try again with. You ignoring girl number one while hooking up with girl number two made girl number one jealous, which eventually led to you hooking up with girl number one. Now, from ages eighteen to twenty, that’s pretty much textbook. Now, with office hotties fewer and farther between, it becomes harder to meet people outside your normal social circle. Plus, people have different emotional needs in their lives depending on where they are at professionally, personally, etc. You’d think that melancholic combination of loneliness and long term instability would be a decent recipe for more hook ups and fewer relationships, but with self-respect thrown into the mix, all three ingredients have fused together to form the Postgrad Friend Zone.

To be “just friends” with a girl you have feelings for is like having a lot of money in the bank, but no PIN number to withdraw it. You have your debit card ready to go, telling the ATM how much cash you want to withdraw, but you only get a printout of your balance on a receipt. I could probably take that analogy further, but I think you get my point. I’m not saying I’ve come up with anything earth shattering, but here are some of my personal solutions that have worked to avoid the Postgrad Friend Zone. While “researching” for this piece, I hit up a few different girls I knew from school about the Friend Zone after college, as well as some friendly Denver strangers (lady strangers) at the bar whenever I was out downtown. I had some interesting and eye-opening conversations, so I thought I’d share with the group:

Pretend You’re Not Just Another Boring Dude

Have a respectable back story that perks her attention. Maybe you just adopted a new puppy, ran your first half marathon, or just finished writing your first ever metal song. It doesn’t matter. Interesting is better than nice. Yes, you’re a nice guy; so what? I once had someone tell me that being a nice guy is like going to a restaurant and not getting food poisoning; that’s what everyone expects. Think classic Vince Vaughan, “Don’t be the guy in the PG-13 movie everybody really hopes ends up with the girl. Be the guy in the rated R movie, the guy you’re not sure if you like yet.” That sentence will change your life.

Master Physical Contact Without Being A Weirdo

Humans are immediately aware of 100% of physical contact anywhere on our body; we all know what the deal is when touching occurs. If you two are comfortable jostling elbows together at the bar counter or sharing a seat on a crowded subway, that’s a step in the right direction. The only exception to this rule is high fives. Do NOT high five a girl whom you have just met who you would like to sleep with! In my experience, a foolproof test is to try and grab her attention (such as in a crowded, tight bar) by tugging on one of her belt loops, over her shirt (of course). If she shies away from that kind of contact near her waist, you’ve been Friend Zoned.

Kiss Less Ass

I understand as a guy, sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but lately I’ve seen some single postgrads pull some absolutely outrageous nonsense to try and woo a lady. Yes, always offer to pay, open her door, and give her genuine compliments; blah blah blah… Just don’t obey her every command like a grateful puppy happy to have a toy to play with. My mother once told me that girls are like cats. If you want a cat to come sit on your lap, you pat the couch cushion next to you and politely ask it to come on over. The cat will either come over, or it won’t. If you walk over to the cat, pick it up, and carry it back over to the couch, the cat will jump up and run away scared the second you let go of it. And sometimes, you’ll just be sitting there on the couch minding your own business when the cat will come on over, jump right into your lap and say hi. I’ll stop the cat comparisons, but for the record, it has played out just the way Mom said it would have more often than not.

Understand That She Knows What You’re Doing

She definitely already knows that you want some, trust me, but there are also tactful ways of letting her know that you’re interested in being more than friends. Notice how I’ve mentioned ‘respect’ twice now. Every single lady I spoke to mentioned something about how watching a guy act disrespectful (either to her or to her friends), is a complete and total turn off. I’m just passing that info along. It’s probably a bad idea to call your waiter a dildo when he forgets to bring you a beer. I don’t have an ironclad example on how clearly draw your line in the sand, but every guy has different moves he can pull out of his arsenal. Draw it up however you want to. I like to go with the elbow touch; everybody knows that that move means.

Respect Her Decision, Respect The Game

Most girls have already decided if you’re good looking enough to sleep with. That bar is lower than you think; I was actually kind of surprised at how little most girls care about looks (although I’m sure dropping ten pounds wouldn’t hurt either). You have either been placed in the Postgrad Friend Zone, or you have not; it’s that simple. If you can be cool about it and accept that P in V is not going to happen for a while, stay in touch and ask her out again in a few months. In the meantime, move on. Remember my cool story about girl number one and girl number two from college? That still happens every now and then. The Friend Zone isn’t always a life sentence. Things change, people change, life happens. You might be the guy in the PG-13 movie after all, and we’re all rooting for you.

Image via Shutterstock

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California guy coming to you live from the Mile High City. I enjoy weekend day drinking, handing out my business cards, and ordering pizza while hungover. I do not enjoy "working through lunch", folding laundry, or small domesticated animals that evolution should have stamped out long ago. Chipotle will be catered at my wedding. Feel free to call me out on Twitter. Division II grad.

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