Are You Lying Your Way to the Friend Zone?

November 21st, 2011 by Nick Notas 7 Comments

Pinocchio LyingI gave some advice over the phone to a guy who was discouraged and confused. He’d hung out with a girl five times in the last three weeks. He thought everything had been going great until she told him that she had a date lined up with another man the following Wednesday.

He didn’t understand why she was interested in seeing someone else. They had laughed, had fun together, went out for dinner, and he believed she was into him. I dug deeper to figure out what really happened…

Me: “During those times you were together, did she show any signs of interest?”
Him: “Yeah, the first two days she was really touchy and kept getting close to me.”
Me: “And you touched her back, right?”
Him: “Well…no…I thought she was being friendly. I didn’t want to invade her personal space.”
Me: “Okay, but you at least flirted and teased her a little?”
Him: “Not exactly…I didn’t want to come off as creepy or too forward.”
Me: “But do you want to be romantic with her, get intimate, and eventually date her?
Him: “Of course, that’s 100% what I want.”
Me: “Doesn’t it feel shitty to hold back how you feel when you really want to just be with her?
Him: “Yeah, it feels awful man.”
Me: “So don’t you feel you’re lying to her about how you feel and your intentions? And don’t you feel like you’re lying to yourself?”

I don’t know many men who enjoy lying to people they care about. The nicest guys I know are all about chivalry and being truthful to their friends, family, and romantic partners.

However, you don’t have to consciously tell a lie to be dishonest — omitting information or hiding your true feelings is just as bad. The prime example of this is when I see guys who hang around girls they like for weeks, months, and even years while pretending to have no romantic feelings. They act as if they only want friendship and never show how they truly feel.

The problem is that acting this way always backfires and you get treated accordingly — as a friend and nothing more. 

So why is being scared to show her how you feel considered lying?

First, by pretending you don’t like her, you are miscommunicating your intentions. She has no idea that you’re actually interested in her. Even if she has an inkling, she’s not going to act on it because she hasn’t seen the signals from you. Why would she take the chance and ruin a friendship when she’s unsure where you stand?

Don’t believe that a girl is going to “come around” and want you just because you’re there — it doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to show her your interest so she can feel it deep down, too. You need to take the lead and put yourself out there.

Second, you’re being dishonest to your own wants and needs by not expressing them. Bottling up your emotions and stifling your natural self is unhealthy. You end up unfulfilled, stressed, and potentially resentful towards her.

Think about it. How frustrating does it feel to sit with her and hold back your real self? How many times have you just wished for something, anything to happen? How terrible is it when she ends up dating someone else? I guarantee it’s not a pleasant experience. That’s your body’s own way of saying, “Stop being someone you’re not!”

The number one reason guys end up in the friend zone is lack of intent. They lie to the girl about how they feel and they lie to themselves. You want to finally get past being “just friends” with her? Start being honest.

Stuck in a situation with a girl? Get unstuck.

  1. Rob on July 13, 2012

    I find showing my intentions incredibly difficult, but thinking about it as straight-up lying really opens my eyes. I’ve done this same run around with at least 3 girls, I guess I’ve got to break the habit.

    • Nick Notas on July 13, 2012

      It’s tough to muster that courage and show your intentions the first time. But once you do, trust me when I say it becomes progressively easier. You’ve got a great attitude, now you just need to take that initial leap 🙂

  2. Vic Rattlehead on June 23, 2013

    Hey, Nick!

    Good blog but…

    You think, not expressing my sexual intentions could be the reason why girls would start to ignore me?

    Case in point, there was a girl in my uni maths class who I sat next to and started having fun conversations with. Next time, I saw her, she greeted me first and I talked to her a lot. I did not say anything sexual or indicate my interest. Next time, I meet, I try to ask for her Facebook nervously and she starts avoiding me. Next time I see her she completely avoids me and totally ignores me.

    So I reckon this is what happens when she knows your attracted but you don’t make a move.


    • Seymoure on October 15, 2014

      Better to make your move and be sure than not make a move and wonder for eternity.

  3. Seymoure on October 15, 2014

    Well said Nick. In an ideal world in such situations a woman will sit down and ask you what are your expectations out of this relationship ie, where is this going but we don’t live in an ideal world and my perfect date of 11 months did the same to me. Suddenly began to be cold and 4 weeks later told me she’s got a new man. Her reason: I never said I love her or ask her to me my girlfriend. I was she’ll shocked !!! I honestly thought everything was perfect. Of course we were intimate etc but she wanted more and why shouldn’t she ? Lesson learned: be a man. Lead. Make your intentions clear first to yourself and then to her. Leave room for no doubt. Be confident and let the chips fall where they may.

  4. Shaun on March 2, 2015

    This is great, and it really sank in after reading another article which said that people who are afraid of rejection overestimate how much interest they’re actually showing, and they assume that people can read their intentions and read that they’re just holding back due to nervousness, which is mostly untrue. Holding back really does just come across to the other person as disinterest, no matter how much nervousness you’re also showing.

    I’ve written in my journal in bold: “Every choice to hold back is a choice to indicate disinterest, which is a lie.​” It makes the consequences of the choice much, much more clear.

    Here is the article I was talking about. I hope the link doesn’t get eaten by a spam filter:

  5. Paul on March 20, 2015

    The dialogue above is the story of my life. I’ve had intent sooooo many times, but never been able to push past my shyness – so I’ve missed a lot of opportunities with great women who (I realized after the fact) really liked me – some of them even told me so after they had started dating other guys. I’m still caught in the same rut and can’t see myself ever being able to express how I actually feel or what I really want. I’ve tried counselling but it didn’t help. I’ll keep trying, but am at the point that I think I’m forever condemned to the friend zone. Good luck to everyone else out there.


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