Ask the Expert: Why Am I Always Just a Friend?


Question:Hi There,

I'm a fairly attractive guy in my mid 30's living in the West End of Vancouver. I have been single for the last 5 years after having a serious long term relationship end badly. I have only recently gotten interested in dating again. Now I have no idea how to begin. I have never had any problem meeting women, the problem I have is when I meet them I only seem to be able to become best friends. I'm tired of being just a friend! What the heck am I doing wrong? I have made some friends I'll have for life but it'd be nice to meet someone for something physical but how do I convey that without feeling like a letch?

Always Friends

Answer: Dear Always Friends,

I'm going to let you in on a little secret about the window of opportunity. There is a short time period after meeting a woman you are attracted to where she enters a decision process on whether she likes you as a friend or more. You are making the same decisions. The issue is if the friend vs. date clarification is not communicated during the 'window', by default, you are seen as a friend. Once she sees you as a friend, it is difficult for her to revert back to seeing you as a date. Difficult but not impossible. This window is very important because guys often think if they just carry on as a good friend, the girl will eventually realize how great he is and will want to be his girlfriend. Wrong. Unfortunately, the existing girl-friends you have are not the ones to approach to deepen the relationship.

In order to get clarification with the next lady you meet, you will need to optimize and learn to work with the window. Ask her to go for a coffee and if things go well, ask her for dinner at a nice restaurant on a Friday night. This is a sure sign that your intentions are to take her on a date, especially if you say something like, "I'd like to take you out for dinner on Friday, are you free?" She will get the message loud and clear and this is an opportunity for her to let you know whether she shares your desire to pursue something further. If she accepts your invitation, be sure to treat it like a date by picking her up and being subtly flirtatious. If things go well, ask her on another obvious date - perhaps offer to make her dinner at your place. I guarantee by the end of date three you will know, without a doubt, whether she likes you as more than a friend. Remember, you teach people how to treat you so if you act like a friend, you will be treated like a friend.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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