JET Love

7 Rules to Staying Out of the Friend Zone

Dating is pretty much a contact sport. For men, it’s an expression of masculinity; the more competitive the better.

Using sports as an analogy, being friend-zoned is equivalent to losing the championship game. The wrong play at the wrong time can ultimately cost you the game.

Fellas, here is a play-by-play of how to avoid the friend zone.

1) Uninvited picture requests are annoying

Guaranteed to catch the deep sigh and a side eye, unwarranted requests for pictures is the surest way to go from potential candidate to friend zone expert. There is no quicker turn off than a man who is aggressively trying to push past the getting to know you phase. This may not be the message you are trying to convey when requesting pictures, but it’s what we hear. Take your time and let the woman lead. When we are ready to go to the next level, you won’t have to ask. We are very intentional about our communication when we like someone, and pictures are part of the package.

2) Conversation is a skill, and practice makes perfect

The, “wyd” generic conversation gets old quick. While looks may be mentioned, if you ask a woman what attracts her to a man, conversation and a good sense of humor are bound to be included on the list. If you cannot get a woman to stay up all night talking to you about everything and absolutely nothing, she will start to disengage with you.

3) Too Much, too soon

I know most men feel a need to be in control, but if ever there was a time to let the woman lead, it’s during the getting to know you phase. Until you get a signal from her, do everything in moderation. It’s OK to keep your cool. If you are constantly texting, constantly calling, always eager to be there at her beck and call, and overly enthusiastic about expressing your feelings for her before she has confirmed that she is interested, you may unexpectedly be shifting from the guy she was interested in to the guy that she’s avoiding.

4) We could care less

No rational woman expects you to drop everyone you’re dating upon meeting each other. However, learn some discretion. Letting us know that you are entertaining other women doesn’t impress us. In fact, it’s rather obnoxious. Men thrive in competition when it comes to relationships, but women are not interested in playing against other women. There are ways to clearly communicate where you stand and what you are looking for without creating a challenge between us and other women. A mature woman will friend zone you before she feels like she has to jump through hoops for you.

5) There’s a thin line between flirtation and aggression

Flirting is welcomed. It is a safe way for us to determine if there is any sexual chemistry. However, learning how to keep the touching and flirtatious gestures light is key. Don’t cross the line from cute to assertive and heavy until you are sure she is ready to take it there. You never want a woman to feel uncomfortable in your company. If she determines you are too sexually aggressive, she will avoid spending time with you in the future. Do not allow a lack of self control to be the reason you end up being shoved into the friend zone.

6) Leave something to the imagination

Women don’t love bad boys; they love the energy of bad boys. It’s the unpredictability that drives women crazy. Women crave spontaneity. The moment the communication goes from exhilarating and fun to mundane and predictable, you force her hand. She has no choice but to friend zone you because she is bored out of her mind.

7) Get out of formation

You are not one of our girlfriends. If you want more than friendship, then stop allowing yourself to be treated like one of her BFFs. If you do not make the distinction, she will keep you in the friend zone. She is going to call you when the man she is dating is messing up. She will look to you to affirm if her new hairstyle or outfit looks good and you will be the one to help her analyze the behavior of other men. If you want more from her, get out of formation. Separate yourself from her girlfriends by altering the way she engages with you.

Dating in 2016 is ruthless and taxing. One wrong move and you can go from being MVP to riding the bench for the rest of the season. Man or woman, I am not an advocate of playing mind games, but dating is a sport and in order to win, you must first know the rules. Trust, these seven tips will keep you off the bench and on the court.

Jazz Keyes New Image

Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013,  Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a“Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes in currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy on mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.