Why Men Put Women In The ‘Maybe’ Zone

This is article #34 to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

(Photo: Education Dynamics)

Enter Stephen

You know you’re in The Maybe Zone when friends repeatedly see you with a man and ask inquiringly: “Are you guys a couple?”

And your response is to shrug your shoulders and say: “I’m not sure really”, or even just “I’d like to be!”

Within The Maybe Zone there are typically two big traps.

There is the Friend Trap (commonly also dubbed ‘The Friend Zone’), and there is the Friends-With-Benefits Trap (sometimes called the ‘F-buddy’ Zone).

I’m not saying that you can’t be friends, or have casual sex with a guy if you want to. A woman only counts as being in The Maybe Zone is she is in one of these scenarios but also secretly, or explicitly, wants a relationship with the guy in question.

Let’s explain both of these traps individually and why different kinds of women fall into them.

The Friend Trap

The Friend Trap is an old familiar favourite. It’s typically seen as something that afflicts men more commonly, but it happens to women as well.

The Friend Trap is when you like a guy, you both get along like best buddies, except…that’s it. Nothing sexual EVER happens. It’s like one endless tease, where you think something could possibly-maybe-just happen one day, but every time you get close to him he pulls away and decides not to.

It’s like being on a perpetual first date that’s going really well but the guy never goes in for the kiss, (even though he would totally score if he did!)

It gets frustrating. You can tell he loves being around you and hanging out, hell, he may even hug you now and then like a boyfriend, but he never initiates anything more physical. Is he just incompetent? Shy? That’s possible, but even incompetent shy guys take the hint eventually and can manage to guide their lips toward yours!

What’s more likely is that he loves being around you, and probably does even love your personality to some degree, but he has no sexual attraction.

Imagine the following simple formula for attraction:

Real Attraction = Sexual Chemistry + Connection + Respect

The guy can have all the Connection and Respect in the world for you, but without Sexual Chemistry, he’s not going to be able to feel true attraction for you.

Annoying right? It’s probably annoying for him too. A lot of guys wish they felt sexual attraction for women they were great buddies with, because that would be the ideal scenario! But neither he, nor you, nor anyone else can force sexual chemistry if he doesn’t feel it. Moreover, you have to watch out for those guys who actually enjoy the validation of the Friend Trap and stay there on purpose, enjoying your attention but never really making their move.

The Friends-With-Benefits Trap

The Friends-With-Benefits Trap happens when you are having sex (or some sexual activity) with a guy, and although you want him to be your boyfriend he never wants to commit.

At first you think he has issues with commitment, but then you realise you’ve seen him with a girlfriend before.

He calls you up like you’re his girlfriend sometimes, but he only wants to meet when it’s convenient for him. He never wants a proper date and every time you bring up any relationship conversation he reminds you he’s “just having fun”.

Let’s go back to our formula we just used: Real Attraction = Sexual Chemistry + Connection + Respect

Now in this case, unlike the Friend Trap, the guy clearly has Sexual Chemistry with you. But somewhere your relationship is lacking in either Connection or Respect.

Some women will be tempted to think that Respect is linked to them having a sexual relationship with him too soon, but that’s not true. Respect isn’t inherently linked to sex, and unless he’s of a very antiquated and out-dated mentality, he’s not going to judge you for having sex with him outside a relationship. Respect in this scenario is linked to other things. In the Get The Guy book Matt and I used the term ‘Perceived Value’ which might be a better way to think of Respect in this context.

Perceived Value can be linked to many things.

It can be:

  •   Whether he thinks you have integrity and purpose in your life
  •   Whether you would make an awesome girlfriend (just because he’s attracted to you and likes you, doesn’t mean he thinks you’d be great together ALL the time). Maybe he thinks you’re needier than he is, or vice versa, maybe he thinks you’re not as affectionate as he would like.
  •   Whether you have independent interests and an intellectual life (crucial to some guys).
  •   Whether you will be thoughtful and kind (some guys just won’t date a woman because they don’t think she’ll be nice enough to him!)
  •   Whether you are adventurous and willing to try new things.

These are just a few things that will cross a guy’s mind when he thinks about a relationship, and if he doesn’t imagine them happening then he’ll place a girl in the Friends-With-Benefits Zone. It’s the place where he likes the girl, he’s attracted, but he doesn’t feel enough Connection and Respect (i.e. an alignment of values and standards) to see something more serious happening in the long-term.

How To Deal With Guys Who Put You In The Maybe Zone

The first thing to remember is that it doesn’t make a guy a bad guy just because he doesn’t want a relationship.

For example, not every guy you have sex with will be your idea of a perfect boyfriend. Some of it just comes down to compatibility issues. A guy might put one girl in the Friends-With-Benefits Trap, whilst for another girl he gets down on his knees and begs for her to be his girlfriend.

Likewise, with the Friends Trap, just because he’s not into you physically doesn’t make him a jerk. What does make him a jerk in either circumstance is if he strings you along without ever making his true intentions (or non-intentions) clear.

The trick in handling this situation is twofold then:

(1) Don’t be too judgmental in either situation (unless he willingly deceives you and pretends he wants something else). Just recognise it for what it is and spot the signs of a guy not moving anything forward either emotionally or physically.

(2)  Begin to create immediate physical and emotional distance.

Is there a way to get out of these traps and still get into a relationship with the same guy? SOMETIMES.

But here’s the problem. Once a guy has a fixed opinion of you, it’s very difficult to change it.

In the case of the Friend Trap: The preferred option should always be to put distance between you. You can still be nice to him, but you can also be totally honest and say “I have feelings for you, and need to put some distance between us in order to stay friends”. If he’s really a friend, at this point, he’ll understand.

Or if that seems way too dramatic, just stop putting yourself in any one-on-one scenarios with him altogether. E.g. no sitting at home together watching movies, no more ‘buddy-dates’ where you both go for dinner together and hang out all night. Make it a rule to only see him in the company of others, or not at all.

It will feel hard when you like the guy, but believe me, it’s much easier than wasting a year or longer pining over him when he doesn’t have romantic feelings for you.

Remember, just because one guy isn’t attracted to you, doesn’t make you unattractive.

He’s one guy, there are others.

Also, it’s always your own responsibility to remove yourself from the Friend Trap. Even if he’s clearly loving the attention and enjoys being ‘buddies’ with you: if you’re the one getting hurt emotionally, it’s up to you to notice this and remove yourself from the situation without being bitter towards him.

In the case of the Friends-With-Benefits Trap: You have slightly more chance of winning him over here since at least here you’re beginning with sexual attraction, which is obviously crucial before any kind of romantic relationship can occur.

But here’s the thing.

Once a guy has made up his mind, or told you he doesn’t want to commit at all, it’s always, ALWAYS best to take him totally on his word. Otherwise, even if you end up getting a guy to sleepwalk into a semi-relationship for six months, he can easily turn around and break it off all of a sudden when he freaks out and realizes things have gotten too serious for him.

Your priority should always be not wasting time with guys who aren’t already sure they want to be with you.

You don’t want to convince a guy to want a relationship with you. If he gives you ‘the talk’ where he says how he just wants to be single and have fun, just smile and say “that’s cool”. Then withdraw. Not coldly, not spitefully, but just in a relaxed way. Show him your standards in that moment. You want to withdraw affection in a way that says: “that’s cool. But that’s not what I want. I need someone who wants more commitment right now.”

A guy’s respect and attraction will go up intensely in that moment just for seeing you stick to your standard.

Now go meet other guys and forget about this one. And maybe, just MAYBE, at some point down the line you might both re-connect in another place and time and he’ll wonder why you didn’t ever get together (but again, don’t bank on this happening, it only may happen, but the point is, you don’t need it to).

If he never calls again, no harm done. You’ve spared your time and your affection for guys who are worth both.

Remember, both the Friend Trap and the Friends-With-Benefits Trap aren’t like your regular trap. Of course, you may stumble into them (as we all do) now and then without realizing. But as soon as you realise it, you always have the option to free yourself again.

The trap can be seductive, but it only exists so long as you choose to remain within it.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *

To Follow Steve On Twitter For More Updates Click Here

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

72 Responses to Why Men Put Women In The ‘Maybe’ Zone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Orange says:

    Do you have tips to get over someone whom you like, but you know don’t have the feelings for you? As you said, you can’t force the chemistry. If he doesn’t feel it, he simply doesn’t.

    Problem is, I still like him and seems to be creating hoops of challenges to get him to see me. While I know that’s bad, I just can’t let go. What should I do?

  2. JLove says:

    I believe the MAYBE ZONE should be called “THE PLAYER’S ZONE”!!!!!!
    I’ve never been in a situation that I “DID NOT” know what I wanted. Whether it was yes I want to be with him or No I don’t want to be with him or yes I want my cake and eat it too, I STILL KNEW WHAT I WANTED. So the Bullshit line about A man NOT KNOWING WHAT HE WANTS, IS A BUNCH OF CRAP. IF HE SAYS THAT, HE IS LYING!!!! IM ALMOST 40 years old and I’ve been married three times. 4, 6 and 10 year long marriages. They all failed Bc of cheating. Not on my part but theirs. Save yourself a broken heart and years of wasted time by moving on. YOU CANT & WONT CHANGE A MAN. THIS GOES FOR ANY SEX, THE OTHER PARTNER IS EITHER IN OR THEYRE OUT….. YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW, BUT THEY DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trust me;)

  3. Jamaica Jenkins says:

    So I’ve known this guy for about two months. It was a week until we had sex and he was affectionate and all. Well we moved to another town and now he doesn’t cuddle and no sex. Just found out yesterday that he decided a relationship isn’t in his cards because of how hectic his life is. This hurts because I like the guy and we sleep on the same bed but there is no affection. Why do I always seem to have bad luck with men?

    • Jj says:

      He’s a jerk. You’re not a toy and don’t let him treat you like one. It hurts but you might be better off without him.

      • JLove says:

        I know it hurts especially because us women well, We seem to put more into “SEX” than men. Like we have sex and include our “FEELINGS”. Men aren’t wired that way. But, That doesn’t make them less responsible for sending wrong signals. If it’s just sex that the person wants, WHY NOT JUST BE A TRUE PERSON AND SAY JUST THAT. Cut the BS & TELL THE TRUTH. ID RATHER YOU LET ME HAVE AN OPTION INSTEAD OF HANGING MYSELF OUT TO DRY.
        It’s not bad luck, ITS CALLED UR PICKER IS F’D UP!!!!
        GOOD LUCK HONEY! I wish u the very best☺️

  4. suzziana says:

    This awesome.letting no one to treat u like an option or replaceable because its your choice whether to continue being treated that way or moving on

  5. Karen says:

    So I need some real help. I have been working with this guy for several years. Everything has always been a flirtatious tug of war at work. Recently we spoke on the phone and have both admitted we like each other. There is always eye contact and touching. I tried to tell him I thought he wasn’t attracted to me but he insisted he was. He just didn’t want a relationship because we work so close together. I found that so hard to believe because if you really like someone anything can be possible. So we have this contant flirtation that goes on and on. He is forever single as I am too. I am truly in love with this man and I think he is wanting to move forward but never does. I am watching his body language and he is always in close proximity of me etc. should I put distance between us and if I do will I lose him? Should I show him that I have a life outside of this relationship? He seems to “call me to the carpet”for even hanging out with guys. He seems jealous! He tries to read my cell phone to see if guys text me. I’m very confused!!! Please help!!

  6. Donna says:

    Hi, I am a first time reader. I’m not even sure if what happened would be defined as a break up. Everything was fine between us until he suddenly blocked me on Twitter last Christmas (on Christmas Day). We never dated. It was more like that situation with that friend who you knew she has feelings for you but you didn’t like her that way.

    I only just recently (last week), found out why he blocked me. A friend of mine sent me a text showing me that my ex posted on Instagram saying why he blocked me and a couple other people, and it was because of some inappropriate pictures he was receiving and he wanted to protect his pre-teen daughters from seeing the pictures, so he blocked me and some other girls. Well, the truth is that I never sent him any inappropriate pictures, in fact it was all from one girl who sent the pictures but she kept trying to include me and another girl in on the tweets with the inappropriate pictures. I felt bad that it happened and that I didn’t defend him and his kids, but I had my own thing going I just got a full time job and keeping busy with that so I had no time to get involved with that drama. Then he broke up with his fiancée at the beginning of the year. I wanted to be there for him, but I kept my distance knowing that he was still sensitive about what happened (I didn’t know the reason back then) and that no contact would be best. He was being very obvious about his heartbreak on Twitter during the summer, but I kept my distance. Next thing I know, while waiting for him to contact me, I found out in August he has a new girlfriend who is 10 years younger than me (20 years younger than him). So I’m assuming this girl is a rebound considering he wasn’t over his ex fiancée yet and I still don’t think he is over her since he is makes comments on Twitter and Instagram that should be left to private text messages (if you get my drift).

    Anyways, I really love him, and I think he remembers this, but he just feels that he has to date and be with “Hollywood girls” because he is an actor. The last time we talked in person (which was 3 years ago last week) he quietly told me that I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about my feelings and that he would give me a chance if things didn’t work out with his fiancée, and he thanked me for being a great friend, and being so supportive of his family and career.

    Then I found out that he has been keeping in touch with me using a role playing account on Twitter and I didn’t know it was him until January.

    As of a month ago, I found out why he blocked me. A friend of mine sent me a text showing me that my ex posted on Instagram saying why he blocked me and a couple other people, and it was because of some inappropriate pictures he was receiving and he wanted to protect his pre-teen daughters from seeing the pictures, so he blocked me and some other girls. Well, the truth is that I never sent him any inappropriate pictures, in fact it was all from one girl who sent the pictures but she kept trying to include me and another girl in on the tweets with the inappropriate pictures. I felt bad that it happened and that I didn’t defend him and his kids, but I had my own thing going I just got a full time job and keeping busy with that so I had no time to get involved with that drama. Then he broke up with his fiancée at the beginning of the year. I wanted to be there for him, but I kept my distance knowing that he was still sensitive about what happened (I didn’t know the reason back then) and that no contact would be best. He was being very obvious about his heartbreak on Twitter during the summer, but I kept my distance. Next thing I know, while waiting for him to contact me, I found out in August he has a new girlfriend who is 10 years younger than me (20 years younger than him). So I’m assuming this girl is a rebound considering he wasn’t over his ex fiancée yet and I still don’t think he is over her since he is makes comments on Twitter and Instagram that should be left to private text messages (if you get my drift).

    Anyways, I really love him, and I think he remembers this, but he just feels that he has to date and be with “Hollywood girls” because he is an actor. The last time we talked in person (which was 3 years ago this week) he quietly told me that I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about my feelings and that he would give me a chance if things didn’t work out with his fiancée, and he thanked me for being a great friend, and being so supportive of his family and career.

    Then I found out that he has been keeping in touch with me using a role playing account on Twitter and I didn’t know it was him until January. I really don’t know what to do. I feel lost.

  7. John says:

    There’s nothing you can do to “handle” him. Has it ever occurred to you ladies that not every guy is going to like you? Just like you don’t like every guy. Men are people too, with their own wants and desires. If he’s so weak you can manipulate him any way you want, you deserve each other.

  8. Jane says:

    I am in a slightly weird friendzone type situation that I am doing my head in over.
    I live in a share house with some great friends of mine. I have developed some sort of feelings for a very good friend of mine in the house. We spend a lot of time together, both one on one and with our other mates. I can feel an enormous attraction and chemistry between us and I am fairly certain it isn’t one sided. We have kissed on 3 separate occasions but every time he stops it and says ‘ he loves me and values you my friendship like no other and doesn’t want to risk wrecking it by taking it any further’. We shop together, cook together, watching movies in bed together, he is quiet affectionate with me and we laugh at and with eachother a lot and there is always so much eye contact at home and when we are out in public that is drives me insane. He knows that I am extremely attracted to him and want to shag the hell out of him however he isn’t willing to risk the friendship. Obviously I am so thankful that I have a friend that cares this much about our friendship but it is slowly killing me as I am overthinking a lot of things with him. I don’t know if I am in a place to want to date him but feeling like I need to take a step back or forward to feel sane again.
    Does he just genuinely love my company and friendship or is do you think he has some weird feelings for me that he can’t figure out. I don’t know whether to take a step back or just keep letting things unfold and friednship grow strong in hope that is blossoms into more.

  9. Sarah says:

    So I have had this best friend for 8 years. First he liked me in the beginning and I didnt like him. After a few years I started to like him back and we talked but never dated. After that we both dated other people. Then in year 7 of the friendship, we were both single again and we made out. While we were still just friends he told me he was staying away from relationships for a while, he has been hurt before. We didn’t see each other for a while and when we did see each other, I found out he had dated two girls. What have I gotten myself into?

  10. Jennifer says:

    I feel like I have fallen into the friends with benefit trap but rather than him telling me that he isn’t ready for a relationship blah blah hes been clear that he does want a relationship and he ‘is in it for the long haul’ etc but he just broke up with his girldfriend so says it needs to be a secret for the first little while but will get better with time. In the meantime it was just at a point where once a week when he was free he would message me and I would go round to his and we would chat and watch a film and then have sex. I told him this didn’t seem like a relationship and not really what I was looking for but he insisted that this was just for now and it would get better in a little while when it didnt have to be secret. we have been friends for a long time before this and I have really liked him for a long time but it wasn’t what I wanted and I broke it off but now I worry that I will regret this because what if he now never wants anything again and I was just impatient? should I have trusted what he said above the way he was acting? we have gone back to being normalish friends like before anything happened but I really miss the small amount of extra intimacy that I was feeling. I miss being physically close with him and knowing what he is doing and feeling. Have I made a mistake? Will he be interested in re exploring the idea of us as a relationship with time?

  11. SB says:

    That, I must say, is a very good and peaceful mind-set to have. Thank you for highlighting the fact that sometimes, we have done all the right things but the person is just not in tune to respond as we would like them to. Relief… ;)

  12. Rina says:

    I have a relationship with a player for a long time & we have a daughter. Do all your techniques of getting a man to commit apply to a player?

    I told him that I have started to include him in my present & future plans. I asked him if that is acceptable to him to which he replied yes! Is this a good sign? Telltale indication of a commitment?

    Thank you!

  13. kerry says:

    K says
    I am in love with a man and have been for over 12mths. We see each other every day at work and sometimes twice a day. After 6 mths I told him I have feelings for him over coffee one day. He told me he did not want a relationship at the moment as he has 3 things he wants to concentrate on and feels that if he had a relationship with me he would not be able to give his all and then I would be upset with him. I know what the 3 things are. There is no one else. He just asked me to stay the same, don’t change.
    It was very difficult and a little icey at first and he was upset with my reaction until I pulled myself together and didn’t push him away and told him I did not want to loose his friendship.
    There is certainly chemistry between us and I know he has feelings but until these 3 things settle down he is not going to move foreward with us.
    He also texts me at weekends and I occasionaly get a phone call.
    People around us know he is smitten with me and can not understand why he will not move foreward. They are not privy to his 3 reasons.
    What do I do????

    • heavenandearth says:

      The tough news is that you are friends, colleagues. Put him in the friend zone, so that you can be open for someone in the love zone.

      I was just looking at a house yesterday. The owner recently lost the love of his life. He works out of town and commutes there and back twice a week. Been doing it for 8 years! Because the woman he met lived in my city, he did not. She could not leave that easily, had kids and family, he could. So they built this house together and he traveled to his work for several hours every Sunday and back again every Friday, occasionally Thursday evening. He was in his advanced 40s when they met, not a good time for a career change from a really decent and secure job. But he made it happen anyways.

      One of the things I’ve learned over the years is if a guy WANTS to be with you, he will move heaven and earth to be with you. If he doesn’t, it just isn’t. Watch out for the guy who makes it happen. And then let him in. Too often we don’t pay enough attention to the guys who really, genuinely want to make it happen. Let that guy in.

  14. Sharon C says:

    Hello! Can you give advice on that awkward 2+ week texting relationship that stemmed from tinder(ugh!)? He seems very interested- txts me a lot & called 1x, mentioned getting together but no plans have been made. Ive used some of Matthew’s txting tips so he’s aware Im looking for more than a hook up situation. We’re friends on social media so I know there’s no gf.He’s seems like a busy, active guy and I have a life as well.. but I feel like we would hit it off in person and to be honest I get bored of the pen-pal status after 2 weeks. Do I just pull away and see if he notices or do I try to be patient for a bit longer??

  15. BumbleBee says:

    Love this posting. Your advice is on point. Thank you

  16. Chelsea says:

    Hi can you help me cause I am really confused I was going out with my ex for 8 months and on a Tuesday he said that he wants to split up with me so he did.
    Then on valentines day he wanted me to come over his cause he said that he wanted to see me. So I went over his that day. When I meet him on that same day he was talking to me then he started to cuddle me a lot and saying that he missed me. Then we went to get a pizza and he started to show off a bit. Then when we got to his we sat down on the sofa and he was even cuddling me then whilst we was watching a film. Then he started to kiss me on the neck then the shoulder and said that he still loves me so we sat there for a while then went to bed. We slept in the same bed and then had sex. After that he was cuddling me and kissing me again. Then he said I love it when your body is pressed up against mine. Then he started talking to me for quite a bit like what he’s been doing when I haven’t been there. Then he said the only reason He split up with me is because He’s had a lot of shit going on like getting sanctioned and not being on time with his courses like getting up late. Then in the morning he was still fine with me even when we got on the bus his mates were with us and he seemed like he still wanted to cuddle me cause he kept grabbing my legs not hard but gently and then he kept leaning on me like he was pretending that he was just messing about. Then when we were about to get off of the bus he cuddled me and said right I’ll see you later then mate then when we got off the bus he said I’ll see you later darling

  17. Nicole says:

    I am in a friends with benefits scenario. We’ve gone out a few times and I thought everything was going great until he started to ghost me. I’ve known the guy for years and we have a completely open dialogue so I asked him what was up. I am not interested in being in a relationship but that I was starting to develop feelings for him.

    In response he told me that that while he very much enjoyed our time together, that he was afraid of what the future would bring and that I deserved better. He also threw in that he couldn’t do the kid thing. Which broke my heart because he knew all along that I have two amazing children.

    In response, I completely respect him for his honesty and told him that I would always be there as a friend.

    This occurred several weeks ago and he contacts me in one way or another almost daily. The conversation frequently turns sexual and I fall trap once again to feeling for him. I respect myself much more than this but I do not understand why I feel so connected to him. I have never felt so comfortable with another man before, it feels so natural.

    Do I cut ties completely or tell him how I feel once again and set boundaries by telling him that I won’t have part of the inappropriate chats?

  18. Z says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask some advice, I’m in an odd situation and I just can’t seem to let go of a guy. We were never really a couple just really flirty friends. We were on and off for about 3 years, we would meet, hold hands, kiss etc. Once he even told me was starting to like me. When I asked if there was a future he told me he was young and wanted to focus on his career but he was happy taking it slow and being friends. We kind of cooled it off and after a month I texted him to say happy birthday he called me the next day asking me if I wanted to go out for dinner, I said yes and we kind of picked up where we left off minus the hand holding and kissing. This went on for about a year where we would meet every single week and he kissed me again. I asked again if there was a future for us and this time he said no because of religious differences (neither of us are even religious.)
    The thing with me and this guy is that neither of us like talking about feelings and I don’t ask unless I really have to. But whenever I do he gets really mean and defensive and so I get angry and then we never end up sorting anything out.
    Last year, was a tough year for him in terms of losing his mum and I thought the best thing to do would be to give him space. During this time he went abroad and invited me to come with him (he said he would pay as I didn’t have enough money) but I couldn’t as I had other commitments. While he was away we ended up sending some inappropriate pictures which I completely regret. When he got back from holiday we met for lunch and he was saying how he wanted to get married in the next 2 years, I never said anything but obviously it was hard for me to hear. (Since he got back from holiday we were still sending each other pictures and arranging to stay together). A few days later he was being rude to me and I made the decision that if we were never going to be together I thought it would be best that we just end everything as it would be hard for me to see him with another woman. He told me that I was overreacting and that we would never be together but we could stay friends. He told me he didn’t like me like that anymore although we never even spoke about when he did like me.
    After a month or so of not speaking I saw on his snapchat that he was away with another girl, they obviously stayed the night together in a hotel and seemed really coupley. I know I shouldn’t have but I texted and asked if they were together to which he didn’t reply. I was getting so frustrated and I sent a few essays getting everything off my chest that he had never allowed me to and then he blocked my number. I even said if he had a gf I would never contact him again because I obviously don’t want to be the girl that’s going after someone else’s bf.
    I just feel so stupid because I think me and this new girl over lapped, and the fact that he blocked me makes it so much harder to get over. Everything was always on his terms and I was always running after him. The minute he would ask to meet I would get ready and go rushing there.
    I’m finding it hard to deal with because I can’t understand how it went bad so quick. We got on so well and were both really attracted to each other so I just don’t understand what was missing and what more he could’ve wanted. I mean, we met all the time. I didn’t even spend as much time with my female friends as I did with him.
    I don’t blame him entirely as I know I should have run the second he started disrespecting me but I do think he led me on slightly, he knew I liked him and I think he just wanted to keep me around as an ego boost. But because I haven’t really been involved with many guys, the fact that we kissed meant a lot to me because I don’t go around kissing everyone or the fact that he asked me to go away with him.
    Whenever we argued and stopped talking it was always me that made the first move and because he kept allowing me back into his life gave me a tiny glimmer of hope. Once he even said that I looked so pretty if he was ever going to marry me it would be that day.
    Obviously, I know I have no choice but to get over him and I’ve even had a really lovely guy interested in me but I can’t stop thinking about whether he ever liked me or if I was always just a big joke to him. Part of me thinks he only ever wanted to see how much action he could get off me.
    I’m just finding it tough to deal with because I know I shouldn’t compare but I can’t understand what this new girl has that I didn’t. He seems to really like her and he’s so nice to her which he never really was to me. Since she’s in the picture, he doesn’t feel the need to stay on good terms with me because now that he has her, me not being around doesn’t make a difference to him.
    I feel like he enjoyed the chase but he wasn’t prepared for it to be any more serious than that and got turned off by the fact that I liked him. He doesn’t ‘owe’ me anything but I thought that after all these years as a friend he would at least have one civil conversation with me.

  19. Tamara says:

    Such a great article! I’m just getting myself out of a trap and this struck a cord on so many levels!

  20. K says:

    There’s this guy I took a class with in high school. I recently found him on Facebook like 2 years after high school. I’m 20 now. Anyway I sent him a friend request and he responded like 4 days later. I messages him and he remembered me so we begin to have a normal convo. Then I asked him if we could text and he agreed. So I gave him my number and he texted me like 2 minutes later. We continued to have a normal convo and he asked did I still live in the same area and he suggested me and him should hang out and have some fun, then we stopped talkin because I wanted him to rest since he was traveling. He told me to text him the next day. It was like 12am though so I texted him later that day and he never responded. I texted twice. So I had a friend text him the following Tuesday to see if he responded and he did. So I text him again saying “I’m sorry I wanted us to text. I can delete your number if you want, my mistake.” Then he responded saying no and why would I say that and I told him why and he said he was busy cause he had just got home or whatever from traveling. so I was like alright whatever. I’m getting to the point I promise! Then I asked did he still want to hang out and said if I wanted to and I said yeah I do but after he’s well rested first, you know from traveling. Them he dropped the first sexual hint. So I brushed it off and we started talkin about what we plan to do when we hang out. I suggested watch movies or play games and chooses movies instead and I was like cool. Then he asks where and I said his place. Then he said it would be much better if we get a room instead. So I agreed and then he kept asking was I really sure and I said yeah so then he ignored me again and I double texted so then I was like whatever and he texted back and I said nvm. So I called him out on just wanting to fuck and he said “kinda” and because I have a big ass so he wanted to kinda fuck me. So after that I was questioning him about me being his type or would he date a black girl (I’m black) (he’s Mexican btw) and he kept saying maybe. He also has a gf btw. So then, basically for the past 3 hours we talked about how we were gonna be friends and fuck buddies and how long we were gonna fuck and how and if he wanted to use protection or not. He even asked me to send him a pic of me. He didn’t say body or anything just “you” when I asked “of?” And then he was telling me how he would fuck me anytime and hard and after he said he can’t wait to have me all naked he turns around and says he was jk and messing with me because he has a gf. I’m just like wtf! I’m single and I wanted to. I’m a virgin btw. When I asked about the girl on his profile he said she was his future wife. This was before the sex talk. Cause the first time I called him out on trying to fuck me and he denied it and saying I was getting things confused. He kept dropping sex hints after and when I mentioned losing my virginity to a close friend he says “with me maybe” then that’s when the 3 hour sex stuff started. So then he blocked me on Facebook cause he got scared. I was like wow. Then I threatened to tell his gf and he kept begging and apologizing to me. He said he wanted to hang out but he already had a gf and that’s the problem and he loves her so that’s why he told me he was just kidding. But no one talks about it that long if it was just a joke. Can someone please tell me what this means?????

    • Ana says:

      Yes. He’s a jerk. It’s clear. Stop talking to him. You don’t need this kind of guy do you? I don’t think so.

    • Re says:

      It means you should get therapy for your horribly low self esteem. Why would you want to lose your virginity to this jerk? Not only does he not give a darn about you in any way but he already has a girlfriend.

  21. Rheanna says:

    I was close friends with this guy I liked and he got to know about this. He told me that he likes me but he doesn’t want to commit because he’s scared of love. He was cheated and dumped by his two previous girlfriends. He kept saying that he was addicted and vulnerable to and that he never wanted to lose me. One day, When I went to his place, both of us got drunk and ended up making out. Now, he hates me, never wants to see me and blocked me from contacting him coz thinks I took advantage of him by setting the whole making out scene as trap. I really want him back, coz he was a good friend of mine. What do I do?

  22. Ellie says:

    I met a great guy almost 2 months ago on a dating app. We hit it off very well. We went on 4-5 really fun and amazing dates, nothing fancy but we had a good time. One of the most memorable hang out was a whole day hanging out at his place cooking together, eating, card games, and went to see a movie afterward, where he held my hands. And before i went home we had a very long (5-10 mins) passionate kiss goodnight. We have great connections and attractions for each other. Long story short, he said he could see himself with me and doing a lot of things we already planned doing such as traveling and going to local places for the upcoming holidays bc he truly enjoys being around me and that i am a genuine person. But our only difference is when to have sex. Sex is an important part of a relationship to him (dont get me wrong it is for me too), but I dont just want to have sex with anyone i just met, i want to do it only if im serious about that person…also i am still a virgin (and he respects my decision), but he on the other hand wants it much earlier in the relationship (which i also respect). So we called it off mutually and agreed to remain “friends”. But then we had another long steamy makeout session that started from his couch and to his bedroom prior to calling it off. I am starting to like him more and more, but he saids that he likes me too and likes being around me, but he does not have any feelings at this time. He also doesnt want to be in a long term relationship right now bc he’s not sure if he’ll stay here for long or needs to move if there is a better job offer. He also said he doesn’t want to lead me on and then have it not work out later if he moves (he doesnt like long distance relationship). We still text each other, but his response time is longer now than it was before (very fast). And after a week of not responding, he texted me and asked to get some wine, which we did. Both of us just reconnected where we left off and had a great time talking, no awkward moments, and we even looked into events to go together and possibly traveling in the next several months as friends. So at this rate, with the way things are, is he really just being a friend and nothing more? I keep hoping that he will soon start to feel something. :(

  23. linda says:

    It started off with drunken kiss and cuddle with my x. He phoned saying he wanted me back but needs time and I said no. Knowing he would change his mind.he put the phone down I rung him Back we had a long chat and he said we are so good together but it so bad together and he was wanting see what happens and he change his mind . I thinking lets be friends with benefits and we are.It was a bit of fun, 3yesrs now it’s to the point I said we sort of in a relationship and he said where do get that idea from we not. I saw him I explained one day I would want a relationship with someone and he didn’t speak for while he try to hold my hand in public I pulled away. We did cuddles up at his home .he seems more trying to do things and email short weekend breaks and funny jokes in text replying to my text too. I am finding it very strange because saying one thing and doing another.I am not sure how to act. I want to be in a relationship with him. But not sure does he mean what he said? I doesn’t want a relationship with me. We argue about it too . I will never say it I want you back?

  24. Jen says:

    I was casually dating a great guy, we seemed to really hit it off, even introduced our children, which neither of us do lightly. However, he was the first guy I dated after my divorce, I was still recovering and made several mistakes: 1) over-thinking/not being myself completely, not being in the moment, 2) we slept together after a a little over a month and a evening of drinking, 3) A now ex-friend pulled some serious high school drama crap, after which he no longer “felt a spark.” We stayed casual friends, as we both were involved in activities where we see each other and our children are friends who like to do things together. I have since grounded myself, gained back my confidence and even dated other men. Recently we were chatting and I realized I still had feelings and would like to see if it could go anywhere now that I am “myself.” I am just unsure if I should even bother trying…If he “doesn’t feel that spark,” or if it’s possible to reignite it as it was there once before. Also afraid I might fall in old habits with him because I really do care what he thinks.

  25. denise burns says:

    I was just in a friend with benefits zone a couple of months ago and had to pull myself away from him because he was only coming around when it was convienient for him so i had to cut it off cause i wanted so much more.

  26. karen says:

    Right now I’m in a friends with benefits zone and we both agreed to be friends with benefits. It was great in the beginning but a few things happened after not seeing each other for a while.I was freaking out for a while because I started liking him which I hid my feelings for him & he started to get a lot closer with me.I thought he liked me which I know he does but he hasn’t said anything at all.We like each other but we haven’t told each other at all.We have amazing sexual chemistry and everything but I don’t want to scare him away if I tell him how I feel about him.We respect each other and he asked me one day to be sexually exclusive with him so what does exclusive really mean??? Are we more than friends with benefits if we’re physically & emotionally attracted to each other.

  27. Julie says:

    I was friends with benefits with a guy for 5 months, a few wks ago he ended thing as he doesn’t “want a relationship” and felt like he was being too hot and cold with me and that he wasn’t treating me as well as he should. He didn’t know if he just doesn’t want a relationship or if he just doesn’t want one with me. He said he can’t tell. We have great sexual chemistry, we have great attraction and I know he does respect me… so I guess what he thinks is missing is connection.

    Now he is attempting to friendzone me and I don’t know what to do. He drops off books at my house for me to read, but only curtly texts me with specific questions about the books. I don’t know what to say to him, I don’t know what to do. I need HELP guys. HELP! What do I do? Please help!

    • MOLZ says:

      Friendzoning is actually kind of considerate. He doesn’t want a relationship, but he doesn’t want to just use you for your body. Just let him go. Sleeping with him doesn’t give you some kind of right to him.

      • MOLZ says:

        He probably likes someone else, or wants fwb right now. Other women can have their turn experiencing him, and other men can have their turn experiencing you.

    • Sara says:

      When a guy tells you he doesn’t want a relationship…believe him. And cut your losses and move on.

  28. Dorcas Lane says:

    Right now I kind of am keeping a guy in the friend zone because I don’t have very many friends and don’t want to lose this joy at finally having someone to hang out with and text with. (I have other friends but they all live in different states). I guess I should just make it clear to him that for now a friendship is all I want with him. I am not instantly attracted to him physically or emotionally (we are both very shy and passive), but I could learn to love him if we opened up more and I get to know him better….But in order to not hurt him I should DTR and any changing of my mind that may happen in the future would be an added bonus, not a goal. But it feels wrong to to judge him as not good enough for me romantically when his boringness/passivity about life is the exact same as how I live mine. Maybe that’s why we’re both so lonely, and so hesitant to let go of each other even if we don’t see it going anywhere long term. But I don’t want to lose this friendship… I’m ok if we never even touch each other but I want to respect him as a person and do whatever I can to be a real friend to him.

  29. DeeDee says:

    To me, becoming friends first, being able to openly communicate with each other and trust each is very important in a relationship. I was close friends with a guy for five years when started to become very intimate, but no sex. We took the time to discuss our true feelings & and concerns, and came to the conclusion that we felt, that at that time, our friendship was more important to us & we never wanted to jeopardize what we had. We stayed great friends for the next 15 years. He had one long term relationship and I also had one long term relationship during these 15 years. One day we ran into each other and discovered that each of us had recently broken up with the person we were with. We started dating, within a month we moved in together and had decided that we were going to pick up where we had left off 15 years ago and never let each other go again. We got married five months later & were married for 25 of the most wonderful years of our lives. In all of those years together, we were best friends, we had discussions about the children, how we would spend money, which house to buy etc,. There was never a lack of trust in our relationship. He had time with his friends and his hobbies and so did I with my friends and my own hobbies and together we had a circle of friends that we enjoyed many activities with. Never once did we have an argument, put each other down or try to change each other. (our children used to tell us that they were going to get us on the Oprah Show, because we never had a fight or argument, so we must not be normal parents) We were definitely soul mates & we would still be together today, if the good Lord had not called for him.

  30. Tala says:

    What if u r in the friends with benefits zone and u break it off but he keeps calling and texting even though he said he will respect your decision? An when he is having a midlife crisis he calls you because you are the only person he wants to open up to?
    What do i do now?

  31. Teresa says:

    What if he has you in the friends with benefits zine because he isn’t sure if he’s ready to commit right now and wants everything to happen slowly but has other “female friends” he’s seeing as well- in this case just one other-? I’m “friends” with a guy who gets along splendidly with me, we’ve got a great back and fourth, deep conversations, etc. plus the physical intimacy on occasion. What if I’m not wanting to make it official, but I’m uncomfortable with being just another girl? How can I convey this in a way that he will understand and not upset him?

    • Sara says:

      Wow seriously? You are afraid to upset him?? Honey no disrespect but you are just another girl on the side. He is being honest but it is emotional manipulation to keep you around.

    • Sharon says:

      Tho this comment was some time ago but I have to say that I was in exactly the same situation(or worse, he has more than one girls)
      It was not until I got myself out then I realized how ridiculous it was.
      If he’s not respecting you why should you.

  32. Andrea says:

    Wow, this is excellent advice I think all humans should read and take to heart. This is something I had to learn by experience that’s been summed up in 4 minutes of reading. Nice!

  33. Faith says:

    Thank You

  34. Kate says:

    I’m currently in a friends with benefits zone. Been seeing this guys for over 3 months now. At first we only plan to hang out at my house, movies, drinks, food and keeping each others company every Friday night and cuddling in bed the following day. He is very affectionate and so do I. We never talked about seriousness of our friendship. We agreed not to sleep together but one thing lead to another after 8 weeks of spending every Friday night together we ended up being sexual to each other. I was perplexed after seeing him beating himself up the following day after sleeping with me. He started giving excuses about his culture and tradition and what kind for excuse he is going to tell his future wife – if and when his family finds him a wife back home. I was shocked and hurt immensely. Same morning we broke our friendship and decided not to see each other again – four days later leading to Friday – he wanted to see me again. He kept on apologizing, begging, feeling sorry of what he said to me. I know that his touch and affection are real. But, I am not stupid enough to bend over his culture and tradition. He can’t have his cake and eat it too.

  35. AspieCatholicgirl says:

    I’m in the Friends-With-Benefits-zone with someone with whom I’m not actually having sex. Not quite sure exactly what the root cause is in this particular situation. But excellent articles like this bring me closer to understanding it, and soothe the temptation to be angry at either myself or at him.

    • AspieCatholicgirl says:

      But one thing this article does make clear is that I need to avoid being hung up over him. And I am able to avoid doing that. I have a lot of meaningful things going on in my life. It could be great if he were part of it, but if he chooses not to be, a bit sad, but it doesn’t ruin my life.

  36. Bree says:

    What do you say to a man to show him you value yourself and the “relationship” without coming across like your giving an ultimatum. I’ve been in a “grey area relationship” with my guy for quite some time. 4 years off and on but this time around he’s shown such a different level of maturity and willingness to tend to my needs. He has had other gfs throughout the years but we always end up back in this position.. We can’t seem to leave each other alone. We both have our baggage but overall we are happy and loving. The problem is I realize I have been giving him all the benefits of a relationship (you could even say benefits of a wife) without ever having the “girlfriend” title. He has refered to me that way by accident before but quickly stumbles on his words. We have talked about future plans and are very encouraging & supportive of one another, but how do I express that this time has to be different? How can I change his view when this whole time he hasn’t had to take things to a more committed level to reap the benefits? Is it too late?

  37. confused.girl says:

    I guess I’m kind off in this situation right now, we met about a year ago, hit it off right away, he contacted me every day, there was no doubt he was into me sexually, but he never did anything about it! he kept saying it was too soon after a breakup that happened about 6 months before. After many months, I had to tell him I needed space to get over him if we were to be friends. We kept out of touch for about two months, maybe three, exept for a few messages after something occured. Then I wished him happy birthday, and now we’re back to square one… that was not my plan, I figured it was okey to keep in touch sometimes, but suddenly he contacts me every day again. Altough he has said some things that he never did before, more affirmations, and given me more of his time, but I’m afraid of getting hurt again, I don’t know what he wants. He has said at multiple occasions that I am a temptress, so I think he would like to sleep with me, and I know I want to, but what if that’s all he wants? I remember we talked about sex one time, and I got the sense that sex means something to him. He wouldn’t do it with just anyone. But am I just kidding myself here? Should I walk? or wait a little longer to see what happens? it’s not that long ago that we “reconnected”.

    • daphne says:

      Walk away! if anything it’ll create alot of tension and if he wants you he’ll make it known. Don’t lwt yourself get hurt on a “maybe.”

    • confused.girl says:

      We actually ended up sleeping together, but we talked about it, and he said that in his mind, things get exclusive when you start kissing and having sex. So we are now exclusive, but he doesn’t want to “mark” us as a couple. So I’m confused again since we pretty much are a couple, we act like it, though I haven’t met his friends and family yet and he’s met mine. Am I just thinking to much about this? May I add that I had the conversation with him on what we were, and he said he didn’t want to label it a relationship on a given day, he just wanted it to become one naturally ^^ But how am I then supposed to know when that is? I feel like he could suddenly decide to turn the table at any time.. Any thoughts?

  38. frann says:

    Great article! But What about when you know he is attracted to you but won’t ask you out?? You know you should move on but keep thinking what if he ask me out next week or the week after that!it has only been a few months,we work together and we recently started flirting just a little teasing now and then, am i ahead of myself or am i right that he should be asking me out?

  39. Emily says:

    Thanks for the article! I have a question…I have an amazing life which I am so blessed to have. And I know there are loads of great guys out there, but what happens when you meet one who clearly wants you, flirts with you, but on some occasions, out of the blue, says stuff to turn you off him…is he a toxic flirt or trying to make me jealous…answers on a postcard…x

  40. Hans says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if you could Wright an article about how to add genuine value, to make a man commit:). I love Your artickles:)

  41. Mystique says:

    i loved this article.. especially the friend zone segment..!! Hoping to take huge strides in moving on from that zone..!! Actually already have…I love my best friend.. but just realized i cant keep waiting for him to love me the same way.. i need to move on!!! Thank you sooo much Stephen for giving so much clarity..!

  42. Karin says:

    I hope someone can give me some good advice.
    There is a guy where I work… we have been having some friendly and flirty conversations at the coffee kitchen and around the office. He “helps” me with the espresso machine, holds doors open, teases me, waves hi when he passes by me desk, those kind of things.
    We work on different teams and no one I know knows him any more that I do. It’s a huge company and there is little socializing between teams.
    I’ve just been told that I am being moved to another building on campus and that would mean that I will have very little chance to see him again :(
    What I would really like is to somehow set it up that we would get together for lunch, but I don’t want to come out and say I like you – wanna meet for lunch. I also want this to be an opportunity to see if he likes me and will do anything about it.
    Two options I’ve thought of is telling him I’ve being moved and if you want to see me again you will have to have lunch with me at the cafeteria at my building or wait a while and in a few weeks contact him ask how are you and then ask him to lunch.
    What do you think?

    • Miss T says:

      Great Article… I can relate to the “Friends with Benefits” Trap and basically said “that’s alright” when he broke it off… cos I know I am worth much more than that :-)

      • Miss T says:

        Sorry dear that was supposed to be a general comment. I suggest you just talk about meeting up outside work… after you announce ure moving. it’ll give both of u more time together and the opportunity to look different from your usual office-look and get more intimate. Lunch will be sane old stuff.. if you know what I mean. Hope this helps.

      • AspieCatholicgirl says:

        Good for you, being able to know your real worth!

  43. kish says:

    That’s a very helpful article Stephen. Although I have never been in this situation and it doesn’t really apply to me, I know several of my female friends who have and I would love to share it with them.
    From what I’ve observed about guys–they seem better at detecting sexual chemistry than women and faster to feel and act on it as well. Usually in the first few interactions, they KNOW subconsciously or consciously that they are into a woman romantically. If they are not, and do not find a woman physically attractive, then there is very little chance for her unless she undergoes a makeover. The connection and respect come later for guys–which helps them decide if they want to stay with her take things further with a woman. But the sexual chemistry comes first, fast and clear.

    Am I right?

    Women, on the other hand might not even like a guy looks or personality wise but he can grow on them or win them over with time. Of course sexual chemistry can never be forced and some guys remain in the friend zone with women but women seem to have a greater capability of falling in love with a guy down the line. Whereas with men, it is pretty clear from the start.
    If a man doesn’t feel respect and connection it results in a FWB scenario and if he doesn’t feel chemistry then its the Friend Zone–Right Up Front.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that guys will pull these moves (FWB and FZ) with women when they want the benefits of a relationship/woman but do not want to invest themselves because they are lazy, it is too much work, they want to focus on other things etc. In these cases, there IS sexual chemistry, connection and respect but the guy is just lazy/not ready/whatever. A lot of it has to do with how much women are willing to give to a guy so he doesn’t really have to do anything. He won’t make a girl his gf if he doesn’t HAVE to. Just as women sometimes have no qualms about using guys for their money, guys use girls too–because they let them. So it becomes a matter of convenience.

    Somehow, I’ve never gotten into a situation like this because I let the guys pursue me. I am only friends with guys I have no romantic interest in. If a guy is attractive to me but doesn’t make a move or remains unsure–I do absolutely nothing and just move on. So no problems there. I also never take advantage of guys who are friends but interested in me romantically. I keep my distance from them. That is not to say that guys haven’t tried these things on me but I just don’t respond because I am not attracted to this kind of behavior. Somehow, I cannot stomach giving my time, energy, company, kindness etc. to a guy when he isn’t giving me what I want from him. It is instinctive. And once a guy has been unsure about me in the past, hemmed and hawed I even have trouble keeping things open in the future because he just becomes unattractive overall. It is a subconscious requirement for me to feel attraction for someone that they are attracted to me without a doubt and DO something about it. I don’t know why. I wasn’t made for lukewarm attraction from guys even if they get hotter over time. I’m talking specifically about attraction here not about a guy falling deeper and deeper in love with me over time based on character/personality.

    I wish more women would read this article because I have seen so many of my friends getting ‘used’ like this only to be discarded at the end for another woman who wasn’t half as good.So setting and sticking to standards is the key. Thanks for pointing this out, Stephen.

    • HJC In California says:

      Kish –

      You are amazing. Thanks for taking the time to type your comment. I am the exact same way. As soon as I sense uncertainty from a guy, I’m out. It makes him appear weak and devalues what I have to offer. Someone’s been pursuing me like mad – texting/calling daily, sometimes just to say “good morning” or “hello,” and our first three dates were on consecutive days. HOWEVER, he has made zero physical advances toward me. Last night, I straight up asked, “Is this dating, or friendship?” He paused for a minute, then said, “I’m trying to figure that out.” And so…begins my fade. I believe that the majority of men know what they want and have no problems pursuing it when they see it. There’s obviously something lacking in the attraction department with this guy, so I’m leaving him in the dust. NEXT!

      • Nashville says:

        I found this article in 2016 and I love your comments! You are spot on. I just got out of a friends with benefits situation. I’m 30 years old and I knew better but I just had sex with the guy without any effort on his part. I met him on a dating site and had every intention of dating him. But then sexual chemistry happened before any real dates and I found myself right where I didn’t want to be.
        A very good female friend who is married told me that men like to pursue women. We need to make them work for our love! She also said that often we women will bend over backwards acting like a girlfriend or wife to a man who has made no such commitment. I want love and commitment but if a man isn’t making the effort then time to move on. I have let a lifetime of poor self esteem and being overweight dictate my poor choice in men. It is perfectly okay to have a friend with benefits but if you are expecting more and he can’t give it to you, then time to move on.

        Believe a man when he says he doesn’t want a relationship with you. He’s not necessarily a bad person for saying so. But you are not unworthy of love or not good enough because he says he doesn’t want a relationship with you. Don’t spend all of your energy and cause yourself heartache trying to change his mind. He isn’t entitled to it. Spend your time and energy on the person who has pursued a relationship with you.

        If a man is not your boyfriend or husband and he…

        only text you and the conversation always turns sexual, move on! He only wants sex.

        only wants to “hang out” at your place or his because he is tired or it’s just more comfortable there, move on! He doesn’t want to make the effort to date you.

        If he doesn’t take the time to get to know you and your interests, know about your family, your goals and dreams, he’s constantly joking around, move on! He’s not interested in getting to know you as a person. He just wants someone to have fun with.

        acts like a boyfriend but says he just doesn’t want to put a label on it or be too serious. Move on! He’s trying to keep his options open and may be interested in another woman already.

        Of course, if you don’t mind all of those things, then more power to you!

        Yes, I’ve experienced all of these things and it’s time to follow my own advice. I am good enough and worthy of a wonderful and secure relationship with a man. Thank you again for your awesome and informative comments!

  44. Kathryn Green says:

    I have a real difficulty even with the term itself, ‘friends with benefits’ let alone the concept. Of course I see we could all end up sleeping with a friend, which itself is fraught with difficulties. If, from the offset, you decide your relationship will be purely sexual, this is always worse for the woman. If you were sleeping with a guy you weren’t emotionally attached to, then surely the sex would be just be a physical act. Fine, that happens in life ( it would have to be great sex). But put yourself in the scenario where you only meet up for physical sex. You are giving yourself emotionally, as women do more so, your time, your place maybe, making yourself attractive, offer your skills, all for no love or support, times when you just might need a hug or reassurance. None of the benefits of a true connection in all senses. Well you might as well be a prostitute and be paid for all this you are laying out, but no you’re offering it all up for free. And the cost will be your self esteem and value system.
    If you are not ready for a relationship just be single and be proactive about meeting a truly great guy you are compatible with.
    I think you make a good point where you say, just because a guy doesn’t find you attractive doesn’t make you unattractive. A lot of very beautiful women in the world find they are not totally happy in their own skin until thirties onwards. Until then you are more susceptible to have insecurities and base some of your attractiveness worth on feedback from the men you are encountering.
    Another thoughtful and well written article Stephen, important as these ‘traps’ could really be detrimental to ones emotional health. You show how to avoid the traps and to make choices, good choices.
    Kathryn X

    • kish says:

      100% agree with you Kathryn. I never understood the FWB or FZ game either. Never been in one too.

    • Sara says:

      Couple things a lot of females don’t get…1) when a guy tells you he is unsure or doesn’t want a relationship…believe him! And step away. your value comes from how you let someone treat you. 2) if a guy wants to be with you, he will find a way. No help from you needed. Stop making excuses. He is just not into “you”. And this has nothing to do with you at all.

  45. Leona_LoveQuest says:

    It’s the walking away part that I find the most difficult once I meet someone I like. It would be easier if I felt like I had more options. I’ve been trying the Get the Guy techniques, but I’m still lucky if I can manage to schedule one date a month. I usually meet men online and we end up having our first and last date once we meet in person. I’m trying harder now to talk to men out in public, but it’s not easy.

  46. Christina says:

    Umm ok I am in the ‘Friends-With-Benefits’ trap if you could call it a trap because I actually made a concious choice to be in that trap and that is all I want for now. I have no expectations of whatsoever of going into a relationship status as I am not ready for that – and I’m a female. Just kinda confused? Should I still walk away?? He doesn’t want a relationship with me either and so far I don’t have any emotional feelings towards him.

  47. A. says:

    I like your articles, Stephen. It may not seem like it at times, but they make me think. And I do keep coming back.

    The best advice ever:”If he gives you ‘the talk’ where he says how he just wants to be single and have fun, just smile and say “that’s cool”. Then withdraw. Not coldly, not spitefully, but just in a relaxed way. Show him your standards in that moment. You want to withdraw affection in a way that says: “that’s cool. But that’s not what I want. I need someone who wants more commitment right now.””

    This works with EVERYTHING. Didn’t get the job you wanted? Keep it casual and they may call later with something else. Works with friendships, everything. Well, it helps preserve a relationship with little investment or effort from you. Just friendly. And as long as you accept the person may never ever call you again.

    I don’t always want to preserve the relationship. Simple as that. If a guy isn’t interested, I need him really off my list and forever. So my brain can fully focus elsewhere. My brain has its drawbacks but this is one thing I’ve tried to change and it’s stuck fast so I’m accepting it. I need to move on. People really do respect and like this, but I simply have no feeling left for them if/when they ever decided= to come back. But lack of emotion at partings really can preserve a relationship if you want to do that.

    Thanks, Stephen!

  48. Tamara says:

    Hi there!

    Wow, that was exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you so mutch for giving me these words. It is clear and I can life with the concequences. Not wanting to make a guy “ugly/bad”, if he would turn me down.

    Keep up the good work! It solves a lot of questions! Thanks again! ^^


  49. AspieCatholicgirl says:

    It seems that with this one guy I’ve been close to, he’s kept me in the Friend Trap, and now more recently he’s been trying to move me over into the Friend-With_Benefits_Trap.
    We haven’t slept together, if anyone’s wondering (my choice not to-he would have already done so if it was up to him).
    It hurts because I am at a point in my life where I am super-ready for commitment and even marriage and kids. But I know that, while he does genuinely have affection for me, he still doesn’t feel about me the same way I feel about him.

  50. Od. says:

    Going thru this right now. Amazing sexual chemistry, great times together, says he loves me and wants to be with me, but he doesn’t want a relationship right now. So as much as it hurts I’m walking away. I can’t sit around and hope and wait for someone to change their mind, because it probably will never happen.

    • Anne C says:

      Good for you girl. Absolutely right of you to walk away. You shouldn’t have to put up with a half relationship. Every decent woman deserves better than that. Be strong and I’m sure someone better will come along for you. Good Luck. x

Read previous post:
#1 Rule For A Perfect First Date

There's a fatal mistake people make when planning a first date… It was the root of every awkward date you've...