Ladies (primarily): what blind spots to check for as a man whom women value only as a friend?

Blind spots in the sense of aspects I might not even aware of to address.

I am a guy who takes the common advice to participate in social activities - in my case a bit of volunteering here or there, politics and regular (weekly) group hikes. When at university, language courses and excursions.

Occasionally I get up the nerve to ask a lady I like to go for a coffee, and over the years there have been a number of nice, intelligent single ladies that I have spent Sundays with, gone to the cinema and concerts, gone on day hikes with, shared a lot of laughs with, in one case spent a week as a guest in the East German city she was from, shared family troubles, etc. - we only ever got out of touch when she or I moved away.


We are only ever good friends, and consequently I frankly wish my parents had had the good sense to have me aborted. This is no kind of life.

So of course I worry what the things that are so essentially wrong with me are. Only, the classical relationship dealbreakers are also friendship dealbreakers, aren’t they? I am unattractive but not so repulsive that women would noticeably look away in a conversation (and not so unattractive as some men whom women do take up with); I don’t smell bad or women wouldn’t voluntarily sit next to me for hours; much the same applies for being impolite, egoistical, domineering or inconsiderate. I am familiar with encouraging body language in women from seeing it addressed to others, so it’s not that I don’t see indications of interest.

The areas that I’ve worked on these last few years have been to force myself to work less, sleep more, lose weight, get fit and force myself to participate in social conversations.

So, apart from these, what might be any blind spots in my character, behavour etc. that I don’t even see?

I’m a dude, but this stood out - “force myself to participate in social conversations”.

Women are people too - you have to be genuinely interesting and interested, forcing yourself to do something will eventually reveal itself.

A few things that come to mind are: your own body language- you might want to read up on it and learn how what you’re doing may be affecting how others see you; are you funny- you always hear women say they are attracted to men that they can laugh with; do you genuinely like women- I have been known to date men that I wasn’t all that attracted to at first because I could tell by their behavior that they genuinely liked me and women in general and that’s attractive to me; self-confidence- if you don’t have it, fake it until you do have it.

Any of those things ring a bell?

Dude: that’s no way to talk.

I had to learn this the hard way (I think most of us do) but you have to set the tone of your intentions right away, lest she get the wrong idea and think you just want to be her “friend”. That doesn’t mean being a crass jerk: just a little bit of light flirting will let you know if she has any interest, and if not it’s easy enough to save face. But you have to make it clear from the start.

Dude here.

Do you ever make the romantic move? Maybe the reason your relationships have not progressed past the point of friendship is that you aren’t attempting to take them there. If we had some indication of when you have attempted to take it to the next level but have been shot down, we could help you. But if you’re not attempting to take it there, well BINGO! There’s your problem.

And if you are being shot down - ask one of these friends of yours. Don’t blame them or try to get them to change their mind. Simply say “hey, remember six months ago when I asked you out and you said ‘you only think of me as a friend?’ I get that alot. Can you help me out? I really want to be a guy women date, not hang out with. What can I do?”

There are a lot of things that could be ‘wrong’ - and it could be anything from 'dude, you live with your Mom! You are 42. Move out" to ‘well, you moved out, but you are 42, the beer posters with the models in bikinis need to be out of your decorating scheme’ to - well, they are a better judge than us.

Chick here, agreeing with Wilbo523.
Take her hand, or gently put your hand on her shoulder earlier in the friendship. Lots of women won’t make the first move.

As a dude, and having been through this as well, this might well be the most common problem we face. Most of my own youth was a story of being afraid to make the first move for fear of being shot down. My obstinate refusal to understand the most obvious of hints for what they were, in spite of my being genuinely interested in the girl I was with, never, ever helped. Question: Do you find that the women you go out with make personal compliments as to your looks or other things? Not so much clothes or possessions, but eyes, hair, things like that? Or do they ever bring up scenes of passion or other aspects of couplehood in movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read? I know, now, that if the woman says “You have the nicest eyes”, there’s a strong possibility that she’s not saying this because she has a bizarre hobby of cataloging and comparing men’s eyes, but that she wants to jump your bones. I laugh now, but that was one twenty ton hint a woman once laid at my feet, only to have it crash through the floor. :frowning:

I’m worse than you. I’ve had a girl kiss me, and I still wasn’t sure if she was interested. (Not that I lost out much, because I wasn’t, but I hate that I led her on.)

The only advice I can give that hasn’t already been given is to develop your sense of humor. You’ve got one, you’ve just got to express it to other people.

Oh, and you’ve already got something that is very useful: female friends. Not only can they tell you what you need, they can also help you find someone or say good things about you to a potential girlfriend. Plus, for some oddball reason, I find that women just tend to like men more when they know that other women like them. (It’s called social proof. If these people like you, there must be something likable about you.)

It sounds like you keep heading down the path of the Friend Zone. I think you have to head that off right at the start - when you ask a woman out for a coffee or whatever, make it a date, not just friends hanging out. If you’re interested in a woman, say things to her that are non-friendlike, to get her thinking of you as a man, not just a friend. If women are willing to do things with you and be seen in public with you, it doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with you except your Friend Zone problem.

Also, if you come off as desperate, it’ll get women sprinting in the opposite direction, creating lovely girl-shaped holes in brick walls as they flee from you.


Woman here, and one who loves male friends, and misses having them. Either the lady friends in your life will be able to help you, or you’ll have turned their eye to seeing you a different way, perhaps. I have to admit that most guys I really enjoy hanging out with are not those I’m that interested in. But I have often had ‘just friends’ turn into far more; well worth it :slight_smile: I have had instant attractions, and slow burns. The slow burns, well…they’re slow! I wouldn’t just hang around a woman if you don’t really like being friends with her, but don’t be sad 'cause she’s not interested right off. Besides, every woman you can genuinely be friends with <and I’m envious! I can’t seem to have male friends when I’m in a relationship , and that sucks> also HAS other friends, so just hang out and enjoy, sit back and smirk, and pretend you have a secret, that you aren’t telling anyone unless they’re very special. :wink: It works!

I have had lots of male friends over the years, several of whom I was definitely attracted to and interested in, but I never asked any out. Why? They never acted interested. It’s my experience that most men will let you know pretty clearly if they consider you an appropriate dating specimen. If there were some that thought that about me, they didn’t let on.

In fact, most of my close male friends – at some point or another – made it really clear that they didn’t think of me that way. Other than the guys who were gay and didn’t need to, actually, most every guy slipped out something sooner or later that made me very sure. It wasn’t in a mean way. It just seems to me that a lot of men pretty much sort women into “fuckable” and “not fuckable” piles very early on, whereas women might develop interest as things go.

I guess I should be bolder, but like I said, it seemed very obvious that there wasn’t a possibility there. If a guy doesn’t flirt or compliment you or establish physical contact of some kind (even just a hug or holding hands) then women, in my experience, assume that means ‘we are just friends’.

The earlier you do it, the easier it is. On the first meeting, just a ‘hey, that outfit looks nice’ or saying ‘I had a great time with you’ scream “this is a date” to all but the most clueless ladies.

Also, women are very situationally attractive. Don’t think “I’m unattractive”. Women can be attracted to you for many reasons. I’ve had huge, gigantic crushes on men who were, conventionally, definitely in the unattractive to even edging on ugly range, objectively speaking. I tend to key in more on things like voice, intellect, wit, and being interesting. Take it from me, women can be very flexible on who they find attractive, and that can grow. My sister’s marrying a guy next month that she met and had no real interest in at the first meeting; being a conservative-dressing banker instead of an artistic or free-spirit type wasn’t her thing… but he saw her socially for awhile, asked her out and they hit it off. Why? They have the same sense of humor. (Seriously, it’s freaky.)

Women want to find a man that they can be happy with. This can be hard if the man is not already happy with himself. Finding confidence in yourself is hard, I know, but without it you are just a stray puppy hoping for a kind heart.

And the best, most direct approach to take, is to just ask one of your female friends what they think.

Do not ask, “What is wrong with me?” That is a statement of low confidence. Rather ask, “How do I meet the one for me, do you have any suggestions?”

And then listen.

I agree with this (even the chick part.) If you seem like a pal, hang out like a pal, and are too afraid to make the first move…then you’re pals. I know it’s easier to ask someone out casually, as in “Hey, you want to meet for coffee on Sunday?” but if you do the hard thing, and ask her out to Saturday night dinner, she’ll know it’s a date. And you’ll both be on the same page.

This too. Being too available is a turnoff.

Ohhh, and this. A million times, this! A guy who makes me laugh is attractive. Period.

Dude here. If they will go out at least once, they are probably interested. You have to put your arm around her or something while walking or sitting beside her on the first date.

But then some women, like me, think it’s creepy to touch me on the first date. Or maybe I’m just a freak. Either way, there’s lots of ways to signal your interest besides pawing.

How do they let you know?

Alice the Goon: “Either way, there’s lots of ways to signal your interest besides pawing.”

There’s giving compliments. What else?

More generally, I often hear that it’s good to be friends first. Any truth to that? If not, why is being friends at first and transforming that into a relationship unlikely to work? What makes the Friend Zone difficult to escape once you’re in it (if that is indeed the case)?

Hey, tschild, there’s a lot of good advice here so far. I’ll throw my thoughts in as well.

You are clearly on the outskirts of Nice Guyville, and that’s a bad, bad place to be. You didn’t say any of the classic Nice Guy lines, but you’ve got the spirit of it, and that includes the sense of entitlement.

Nowhere is the story of your life written down. There is no Book of tschild where you can flip to the end and find the name of the woman who scoops you up and makes you whole. There is no guarantee that you will ever go on a date, get a kiss, fall in love, have sex, get married, make babies, and grow old on a porch. None. Nada. It doesn’t exist.

That sounds harsh, and I meant it to, because there is one aspect of the Nice Guy that makes my skin crawl, it is his subconscious certainty that he is supposed to have romance, that he is owed romance, and that if I or some other woman does not give it to him, he is being cheated.

You are not owed romance and love in this life any more than you are owed a perfect specimen of rare orchid. I know it seems like most people stumble onto one, or have it handed to them. You’re probably deserving of it, certainly moreso than some of the people who got theirs. But that idea is an invitation to bitterness. Walk away from it.

There’s lots of things in the OP that describe what you aren’t - you aren’t smelly, you aren’t overweight, you aren’t a workaholic. Great. Now what are you? Because you’re hoping one women will pick you, YOU, out of all men and want to be with only you. You probably need to offer a little more than just meeting the basics demanded of most people living in civilisation.

Also saying things like:

Those are not the words of a mentally healthy and well-adjusted individual. You need to be a whole and complete person before you can expect another whole and complete person to want to hook up with you. Oh, so perhaps it’s hyperbole, you didn’t really mean it, you don’t always feel like that and besides you were joking? Well, you said it, it’s come from somewhere inside you and it’s really freaking unhealthy. Make your life a life that other people want to share, don’t be that guy who always complains that he needs someone else to complete him. That’s a messed up notion.

You sound like you’re a good person. The women you’ve befriended obviously feel that and react to it, they want you in their lives because they like you and apparently trust you. That’s a great building block. You just lack something, and I think (from your post) that it’s satisfaction in yourself and your life. If you’re not satisfied with your life… why would I want to share it? You need to find a way to be happy on your own.