‘Friend Zone’ is first step to romance

Lenny Neslin

(Editor’s Note: “Lenny’s Love Life” may or may not become a recurring piece in the Chronicle, depending on the success of Lenny’s romantic encounters.)

I get it. The “Friend Zone” mistake is real. I’ve made the mistake for my two-plus years at Quinnipiac and even way back in high school. But here’s my question for you ladies: Why is going in the Friend Zone a mistake?

Throughout my adolescence, I have made friends with tons of girls because I really do appreciate what they offer in a friendship. But then there are other types of girl friends, not to be confused with “girlfriends.”

You know, the girls who take over your mind and prevent you from getting anything done. The girls who make your face light up like a menorah on the eighth night of Hannukah (yes, girls, I’m half-Jewish). The girls who — well, the girls who you don’t want to just befriend.

For those unfamiliar with the term “Friend Zone,” it’s when a guy tries to befriend a girl with the intent of being more than just friends. But once a guy becomes friends with a girl he has feelings for, the girl just wants to stay friends and anything more would be too awkward for her. The guy is now firmly in the Friend Zone, and there’s nothing he can do to change that.

If you have already made this mistake, don’t waste your time trying to escape. My message to those guys: sorry, I know the feeling, move on.

So the million-dollar question for guys is: How do we avoid entering the Friend Zone in the first place?

From my experience, my best advice is don’t be a nice guy. It’s sad, but it’s true. Whenever I’ve tried to befriend a girl with the intent of eventually making her my girlfriend, I’ve failed to make it past the friendship stage. All I tell myself is, “I guess nice guys really do finish last.”

By the way, that’s a major sign you have entered the Friend Zone. When the girl you like tells you, “you’re so sweet” or “you’re such a nice guy,” just forget about dating her. Here are some other Friend Zone signals: she tells you about the type of men she’s attracted to and you don’t fit her description, she asks you for advice about other guys, she says she can always count on you, or she says you’re her best friend.

The worst part is that I can’t change. And I shouldn’t have to act differently for a girl to like me as more than just a friend.

Entering the Friend Zone shouldn’t be a mistake guys make. It should be the first step in an everlasting relationship. How else should guys go about finding the right girl? Judge girls by their looks? No, that doesn’t work. All that gets you is a slap in the face.

Guys: you must get to know a girl before you decide you want to get into a relationship with her. (You should have realized by now I’m not looking for that Friday night fling guys talk about Saturday morning.)

Girls: you must be open to the idea of guys wanting more than just friendship. Otherwise, guys have no way of approaching girls they like.