How to jump from KNOWING what you want to DOING what you want.
You see her and talk to her all the time. In your mind, she represents everything you’ve ever wanted in a woman…
Yet the gaping chasm between what you have with her and what you want never closes.
A natural inclination for guys in this situation is to wait. They hold off and hope for that perfect time, place, and atmosphere to confess their feelings in just the right way.
All too often, however, the waiting amounts to nothing, leaving the man feeling stuck in the “friend zone,” answerless, and out of luck.
There’s another solution to this “how to get out of the friend zone” cliffhanger: run and jump the chasm with pure, pleasant exhilaration, fearlessly.
You can avoid being too nice while still being 100% respectful and clear.
It may sound scary at first, but tackling uncomfortable situations — like asking a woman out on a first date — is a skill you can build.
Developing this ability does not require having super powers, playing any mind games, or using performance-enhancing chemicals.
On the contrary, the requirements are well within your grasp: honesty and some heightened self-awareness.
By joining these powers together, you’ll effect real change that can break you out of any friend zone.
So let’s limber up, take a few deep breaths, and jump.
The 3 States of Self Awareness
In this amazing video, The Realized Man explores the underlying reasons men “know” what to do but don’t end up doing it.
The video describes 3 states of awareness. Applying the concepts of these states creates a perfect solution for how to get out of the friend zone.
State 1: Intellectual Understanding
This is the basic realization that you want something more from the relationship.
Unfortunately, intellectual understanding by itself is rarely strong enough to effect change. The risks — whether it’s fear of rejection, not knowing what to say, or not knowing the right time to say it — counteract the desire to get what you want.
State 2: Emotional Understanding
Here, you reach a breaking point. You feel forced into action.
- the feeling that running out of time before she goes somewhere else.
- when your attraction to her grows too strong to contain.
- if you’ve had a few drinks and are feeling happy/open.
The good news: Emotional understanding is strong enough to cause action. It can inspire you to ask the uncomfortable question.
If she says “yes,” then it worked!
The bad news: It’s not sustainable or repeatable.
Think about it like this: are you going to wait until the very last second to ask a woman out for the rest of your life? Is it only going to happen if alcohol has loosened your tongue first?
Making matters worse, relying on emotional understanding heightens your vulnerability. Asking the uncomfortable question requires such strain and pressure that you’d be totally invested in her response.
If she says “no,” you’d be devastated.
State 3: Identity Shift Understanding
At this state, you conquer the fear of asking uncomfortable questions. You come to realize your request isn’t creepy or unwarranted; it’s a simple progression from A to B.
Asking her out from this solid state is more likely to result in a “yes” answer. You’ll be calm and in control, not emotional and stressed.
If she does say “no,” you’ll be in a proper state to accept the rejection. The act of asking wasn’t a buildup of emotion; it was a natural, honest expression.
Case Study: Helping Our Clients Access the Third State
In a 1:1 phone call, a client we’ll call Rich told us about a situation with another teacher at his school named Kate.
They had been flirting for weeks and had even hung out at a couple of teacher get-togethers during the weekends.
Struggling in States 1 and 2
Rich knew she was single and wanted to ask her out (intellectual understanding), but had not built up the courage to do so. He was scared it would cause awkwardness at work one way or the other.
We challenged him to come up with a plan.
A couple of weeks went by and then we received an email from Rich.
With winter break fast approaching, he felt spurred to action. He didn’t want her to go on vacation without knowing how he felt (emotional understanding).
So, he wrote her a letter and wanted our opinion. It was a strong, beautiful date invitation… but it didn’t work.
We told him:
“This is amazing writing, but it would be stronger if you could channel this emotion into a face-to-face conversation with her. Besides, are you going to write invitations to every woman you want to date from here on out?”
We also taught him to express how he felt without being attached to her response or to pressure her to respond one way or another.
His sharing was a GIFT, and it should be felt as such, by him and by her.
Rich saw our points and promised to search out a time to talk with Kate.
Reaching State 3
Energized by our conversation, he ended up creating an opportunity the very next day:
“When we were walking to our cars after school, I told her that there was just something that I been meaning to say. ‘I think you’re beautiful, gorgeous, smart, and kind.’ She started to tear up. Then I said, ‘I just had to tell you because it’s been eating me up, and that I am not expecting anything from you in any type of way’… I let the complement sit with her. She was totally speechless in a good way. When we parted, she hugged me, told me I was awesome, and that she’d let me know her thoughts when she could find the words.”
Rich emailed us with the news that night. He was over the moon!
Even though Kate hadn’t immediately returned his affection, the controlled delivery of the message made his heart sing (identity shift understanding).
“I didn’t attach any expectations or want anything in particular from her.”
This shows amazing growth. He went from fear of an awkward situation to possessing a repeatable, effective skill that can get him out of any friend zone, not just Kate’s.
Reason being, when you think, “I’m the kind of guy who gets ‘friend-zoned,’” creates a self-fulfilling identity. But when you decide, “I’m the kind of guy who speaks honestly and thoughtfully about how I feel,” then your self-fulfilling identity shifts.
These chosen identities have very different outcomes, very different trajectories of life.
It’s helpful to remember this:
Treat anything you want as a skill you can build.
No Uniform Solution to How to Get Out of the Friend Zone
A core part of our 1:1 service is helping guys tackle tough dating questions like…
- What should I say when I approach a woman?
- What’s the best way to hold eye contact?
- How about body language; how should I be communicating?
- How do I broach the subject of exclusivity with a woman I’ve been dating the past few weeks?
- How can I feel comfortable to make the first move and build sexual tension?
There’s no uniform answer to any of them (although we have plenty of suggestions for how to communicate with women), and we treat each case with loving care.
Yet there are certain skills all guys can develop to become more successful in their dating lives.
The one Rich learned — how to avoid being just friends by being honest without expectation — helped him tremendously. We hope it helps you, too.
Ready to learn not only how to stay out of the friend zone but how to avoid getting there in the first place?
Here are more resources to keep you from being seen as just a “nice guy” or someone who just has potential to be a good friend or even a best friend but nothing more…
- Check out our cornerstone article on flirting signs to see if she is into you.
- Peruse our 6,300-word conversation guide for introverted guys.