Friend Zone: Decades of Frustration

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How to master the art of attraction, so you can get out of friend zone when you’ve been stuck there for many years.

In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss two different emails from two different viewers who have been stuck in friend zone for over a decade. The first email is from a guy who hooked up with his female friend several years ago, but since then nothing has really progressed. They both have dated other people off and on, but they recently saw each other after she broke up with her most recent boyfriend. However, things did not progress beyond kissing, and he’s not sure what to do next.

The second email is from a guy who has been stuck in friend zone for thirty years! They also live on opposite ends of the country, which makes getting together difficult. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the bodies of their emails.

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First Viewer’s Email:

Hey Coach,

I’m a recent listener, (about 2 days), and feel I may have found you too late with my particular case. I will try to keep it brief as I really would appreciate your insight.

Long story short is that this girl and I met back in 2010, (both 16 at the time and both 26 now), at a summer academic/music camp, and we have been great friends ever since. She lived an hour away, and we were both dating people during high school, so nothing ever took off.

Throughout college we would see each other sporadically when she was back home, as I went to school closer to home and she went to school in Texas and then Florida. Each time we saw each other, we had a great time and kept it light and fun. After Freshman year of college, we both understood and recognized that we had and have had feelings for each other the entire time. As if this wasn’t frustrating enough, timing also was not right as she was in school out of state.

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The frustration continued as when one of us was single, the other was not and vice versa. After this realization and throughout our undergrad years (2012–2016, 2017), we spoke a handful of times when one or the other would reach out. We did have a dinner date and hooked up over Christmas Break of 2016 but again, long distance.

As of 2018, we were both again around 1 hour away from each other and in the same state, however we were either both dating someone or one of us was single while the other was not. The entire time I am dating other women and even now, I feel that I am supposed to be with this girl, and she has said the same about me.

Fast forward to today as of roughly 2 weeks ago. After years of mostly me initiating contact and going back and forth in a will they, won’t they situation, she reached out to “catch up.”

Obviously, you’re doing more of the effort. That’s the important thing to notice. What kind of effort am I getting back from the other person? Am I doing all of the calling and texting? Are they just occasionally reaching out?

The idea is, in these situations you want to kind of match and mirror what the other person is giving back to you. Especially like I talk about in “How To Be A 3% Man.” If you haven’t read it yet, you go to, subscribe to the email newsletter, and you can read that and my second book for free. My second book “Mastering Yourself” is about purpose and mission and discovering your true calling in life. But if you’re in this situation with a woman, “How To Be A 3% Man” is the book where you want to start.

Basically what’s going on is, you’re doing things that are making you look indecisive and unattractive, not knowing when to move forward and when to back off based on how the other person is showing up. If you’ve got a girl you’ve been friendly with, you’ve dated or hooked up, and she becomes single, it’s pretty typical that she starts getting in touch with guys that she stuck in friendzone, or the male orbitors, or maybe guys she dated and it didn’t really go anywhere, or a guy like yourself that she always had chemistry with and hooked up wtih but the planets never aligned. Life just got in the way and it was never the right time.

Obviously, when a person’s making an effort, there’s got to be something there. So if there’s an opportunity down the road to explore it and move things forward, then you can see where it goes. But you’ve got to know what to do in order to lead things to a successful conclusion in the bedroom ultimately.

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Immediately, I could tell something was off, as she was being more inquisitive than normal.

A woman who’s inquisitive like that, especially about your persona life and who you’re seeing, is trying to see if you’re available and single to potentially create the conditions where something new can happen. Especially if they’re going through the pain of a breakup, and they just want to feel good, they want to feel better. Men and women both do this.

As I don’t use my social media anymore, I quickly searched for her on various apps to see that the guy she had been dating had been completely wiped from her accounts. Interesting. I spend the interaction we had giving her shit and bantering in a flirty/friendly kind of way.

Like I talk about in the book, it’s teasing and being playful. Ninety percent of the time you’re the charming James Bond, and 10% of the time you’re breaking her balls and giving her shit about things. That’s flirtation. That’s fun. That’s the playfulness — the interaction between a man and a woman. It’s part of the dance, if you will.

Not being dismissive but not taking anything serious and chatting more for my entertainment.

As we are catching up, I say my bit about being constantly busy with both work and a company I have started. On top of this, I am an avid lifter and constantly off doing something active or social. It comes to light that she is no longer dating the guy anymore as of about 2 weeks, and so we set a date for me to come over and have dinner and drinks.

You did the right thing. You created an opportunity for sex to happen. Hang out, have fun and hook up is the simple formula. Guys in these situations go right for the relationships because they’re like, “Hey, we’ve known each other ten years, and we should just be in a relationship together.” But it’s still a process because women fall in love slowly over time.

You can’t just go from being friends one day, then all of a sudden you’re in a relationship the next. There’s a process that you have to go through. And when guys get impatient and they try to shortcut that, they start to make the woman feel smothered. She goes from being in a relationship with another dude to feeling like she’s in a relationship with you, and you rush it before she’s emotionally ready, where she starts backing off and getting confused.

Then the average guy that doesn’t know any better starts getting frustrated and upset with her. Instead of being just a fun escape from her life and what didn’t work out, now you’re creating drama and you’re giving her a hard time, making her feel smothered, so she’s naturally going to back away.

The day comes and it is a great time. I go into the interaction leading with a masculine frame and am there to have a good time. We are laughing and cooking, drinking, listening to records and cracking jokes. An awesome evening that continues with us just chatting on the couch and “reminiscing” over the past decade we have known each other.

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Drinks are flowing and we both start to get a little mushy as we talk about everything that we’ve had as mutual experiences and feelings with and about each other. She starts getting more serious and mushy, and I cut it short by telling her to essentially, “get over here and kiss me.”

It’s a good opportunity. That’s what you’re looking for when she’s playing with her hair, she’s sitting extra close. That’s when you drop that kind of statement in there. But it doesn’t come at the beginning of the evening. It comes mid-way through when the signs are there that she’s warmed up to it, which is the right thing to do.

We proceed to make out and continue chatting, nothing else happens, but we continue to chat and laugh.

What you’ll learn from my book is two steps forward and one step back when you encounter resistance. That’s where, if you had been more familiar with my work, you would have known to apply what’s in “How To Be A 3% Man” to successfully lead things to a conclusion in the bedroom. But more than likely you’re in your head, thinking about it too much. “I’ve got to be nice. I’ve got to be sure about this. Oh, she just broke up with her boyfriend. I don’t want to rush things for her.”

Your job as a man in the interaction is to hang out, have fun and hook up. You started the hooking up part, but for whatever reason, it stopped. But it’s your job to lead that, because again, at the end of the day it’s got to be the man has to be responsible for the sex. She’s got to be able to blame you and say, “Oh, it just kind of happened.”

The night comes to an end, we are still having a great time and we are laughing as I am getting ready to go.

I would definitely say, that was a missed opportunity.

I wait ’til late the next day to reach out and say, “Hey, thanks for the great evening. It was awesome catching up with you,” to which she responded with something similar. We chat sporadically throughout the next two days and then her tone changes.

Well first off, you haven’t read the book, but I wouldn’t have reached out the next day like that. I would just let it be and see what happens. The idea is you’re trying to create the conditions to where as she starts to develop stronger feelings for you, she’ll make more of an effort. And when you get impatient, which it sounds like you’re starting to get — you’re thinking, “I want a relationship with her at this point. Now is the right time. Let me move this along” — you’re starting to move things more quickly than she’s ready for.

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Say you waited a couple of days, and then she texted you “Hey, I had a great time the other night,” you could be like, “I did too. Let’s get together soon. What’s your schedule like?” Then you make the next date. But you didn’t give that a chance to happen, because now you’re pushing too much for this.

Remember, she just got out of a relationship, and you have to figure the other guy is probably on some level still in the picture, and may at some point try to come back into the picture. And if you’re pushing her and trying to get her to spend more time with you before she’s ready, you’ll literally drive her back into the ex-boyfriend’s arms. Then you kind of get stuck in friend zone again.

Already having a hunch, I reach out and ask her flat out if everything is cool.

That’s a bad way to go. You’re in your head, you’re thinking of a relationship, “Did I do something to upset the queen? I don’t want her to be mad at me. I hope I didn’t do anything wrong.” That’s not the actions of a confident guy that’s expecting something to happen. That’s a guy that’s unsure of himself.

What a woman needs in a situation like this, especially after she just broke up with her boyfriend, is a guy who knows what he wants, he’s direct, he’s decisive and he goes for it. And now you’re acting unsure of yourself. You’re acting like on some level you don’t deserve her.

She replies with a version of “Yes, I am just coming to terms with the fact that me and (dude x) aren’t meant to be together. I am just a little down right now is all.” Even before I found your ridiculously insightful content, I knew not to be the gay guy, friend, therapist so I told her, “No sweat. I completely understand. I can give you your space.” And I left it at that.

I wouldn’t have been saying something like that. If she said “I’m a little down right now,” you should have said, “You know what you need? More fun with me. Let’s get together and have some fun.” Make the next date. That’s what you should have done. If you can be an escape, and you can be fun and you can make her smile and laugh, she’s going to forget about the other dude.

When you said, “I can give you space,” you’re focused on a relationship now. And probably, the more she gets involved with you, the more potential drama there’s going to be. In other words, she’s not going to feel free to just come to you at her pace. She’ll feel like you’re kind of pressuring her and pushing for a relationship when she’s still trying to get over the stain of the end of the last relationship.

We did not speak for about a week and a half ,and then after sparse conversation, I invited her to grab dinner again tonight…

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Again, that’s when you should say, “When are you available? We should get together again.” But it sounds like you probably continued texting her throughout the week, even though you told her you would give her space. And it just becomes obvious to her, because women have been through this. They’re just better at this game than guys are, because they’ve had more practice at it. She can tell you’re coming on strong and looking for a relationship.

After a while, the woman just gets tired of it and that’s when she just says, “I just think of you as a friend. Let’s just keep it on a platonic level.” That’s the risk you run by being too pushy, and calling and texting too much. You’ve got a mixture of nice guy, but you’re also pursuing a little too much. You’re telling her you’re going to back off and give her some space, but you’re not really doing that.

…to which she responded with “I am going camping this weekend to get off the grid for a few days.” To which I responded with, “Sounds like a great time. Have fun and I’ll hear from you when I do.”

That sounds like you might be a little irritated that she didn’t want to get together.

I plan on sticking to No Contact until I hear from her or I don’t. Do you have any advice for me going forward?

Yeah, I would immediately read my book, “How To Be A 3% Man” and stop trying to cherry-pick information in the videos. You got to the first date, but you really didn’t know what to do on the first date, and it’s obvious you didn’t really know how to handle lining up the second date. Because you’re worried about upsetting her, you’re being a little too nice. You’re doing too much also. And you’re not making the dates like I talk about in the book.

I am currently not looking for a relationship with other women, even though I have opportunities.

Because obviously you’re looking for a relationship with her, and she can sense and feel it. When you’re just hanging out, having fun and hooking up, no strings attached, being easy-going, easy to get along with, it makes the choice easy to move toward you. But right now, the vibe you’re giving off is pushing her away. You’re trying to act coy and like you’re not really looking for anything, but you’re still calling and texting too much.

Help me, as I am at a huge loss. Should I cut bait with this girl or hang back and see how it goes?

Thank you for everything,


Well, you should hang back and see how it goes. The reason you want to “cut bait” is because you’re impatient, and you want it to be resolved right now. That’s the wrong mindset to take, because women want to feel safe and comfortable.

If you’re constantly creating the conditions where she can feel safe and comfortable, and she’s not sure where she stands with you, or if you’re interested, or if she’s going to see you again, and she’s got other dudes in her life, whoever the most masculine one is, the one that’s hardest to figure out, the most mysterious, and the one who makes her feel free to come and go as she pleases, that’s the guy that she’s going to gravitate towards.

Like Thich Nhat Hanh says, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” And the way you’re acting is causing you to keep yourself stuck in friend zone. So read the book, learn the fundamentals. Hang out, have fun and hook up. Leave the relationship stuff to her.

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Wait to hear from her, because that’s basically what you told her. It might be a week or two before you hear from her next. And when she does reach out say, “Hey, it’s awesome to hear from you. We should get together and catch up. I’d love to see you. What’s your schedule like?” And just make a date. Then get off the phone. Read the book dude. There are no shortcuts to success.

Second Viewer’s Email:

Thank you Coach,

I’ve watched a lot of your videos. I have recently bought both books via Amazon hard copies. I could really use your advice.

Short story its very complicated. Both single, both never married, no kids, she’s 3 years older, 45 to 42, known her for 30 years. Friends of families and my older sister. I’ve loved her since I met her. And she knows. We’ve both had many relationships, all failed. How can I show her to think differently about me?

Well, that statement right there shows that you’re seeking her approval. There’s nothing masculine about that. It’s like you’re trying to prove yourself to her. “Please notice me your highness.” That is the wrong mindset. If you value yourself, and you saw yourself as a catch, you would just think of her as potentially another possibility.

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We talk for hour phone calls, texting quick replies. If not, she is apologizing and explaining. I try not to say I’m sorry, or I apologize or beg or pressure her. I do keep it real with her.

That tells me you’re probably all focused on a relationship, thinking “Hey, we’ve known each other thirty years. We should just go from that to being in a relationship,” and it doesn’t work dude. You’ve got to learn the process that’s in the book.

Just because you’ve known her for thirty years, you’ve been interacting with her for the most part in a platonic way, hoping that things were going to change. But the way things change is because you make things change by being attractive, being masculine and interacting with her in a romantic way, instead of a friend way. That’s basically calling her and getting in touch to say, “Can I get out of friends zone yet?” It’s not going to work that way. That strategy hasn’t worked in three decades. That strategy is a failure.

I’m okay with a friendship, but want a lot more. We complement each other and know a lot about each other. She’s a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I’m fucking crazy about her, and it’s never wavered.

Any advice? Is she just placating me or pacifying me and likes the attention and old friendly friend nice guy?

Well, you’re probably doing almost all of the pursuing as well, instead of being mysterious and letting her come to you at her pace.

She calls me, and we talk for over an hour once a week or once every 2 weeks. I stopped texting her and calling her. She’s told me I can call her, but I’ve told her to call me if she wants to. And when I try to walk away, she immediately responds with texts, phone calls, sometimes twice a day, etc. She likes pictures of me on my sister’s FB page posts and my Instagram posts.

I think the subtle thing to understand about walking away or no contact is, a lot of guys use that as the magic pill for everything. And you just don’t understand the fundamentals. The reason you back off is because you notice, or you should be able to see, that it’s not really going anywhere. It’s kind of stuck in friend zone.

Say you meet a girl and fall in love with a girl who lives near you. We haven’t gotten to the part yet in the email, but she lives in a different part of the country. Just imagine you meet a girl in your city, and you start dating. You’re going to lose interest in this girl that’s on the other end of the country because you’re hanging out, having fun and hooking up with a girl that’s close to you, that’s in proximity.

So what would happen? You wouldn’t be calling or texting this girl at all. And if there’s any kind of attraction on her part, she’s going to reach back out and wonder what happened to you, what you’re doing and what you’re up to. That’s the tennis match that you want to see. It’s when the other person is kind of taking you for granted, blowing you off and not really excited about hanging out, you just kind of let them be.

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It’s the same thing with friends as well. If you’ve got friends that are kind of taking you for grated and don’t really seem that excited about spending time with you or getting together or making plans, just don’t ask. Don’t call or text. Just let them be. Maybe they’re busy.

If you haven’t talked in a few weeks or a month or two, you could be like, “Hey man, we should get together and catch up.” It’s just part of noticing how all of the people in your life are treating you, and how much of an effort or not that they’re actually making to make you feel like they care about you.

The fact that she’s reaching out after you kind of disappear shows there’s some kind of interest. If you’re doing a FaceTime chat or Skype or some other kind of video app talking at some point, you can say “Jump on a plane and come see me.” Or you hop on a plane and go see and stay with her, whatever it happens to be.

In this particular case, you’ve got to think of the logistics of that. At some point, if you’re going to stay together, somebody’s gonna move. And if you’re not interested in moving and she’s not, what’s the point?

I think she’s just being nice and kind and friendly, but when I cut contact or say have a great June, or a great summer, or take care…

When you say “take care” to somebody, it’s kind of like “have a nice life.” That’s what that means, especially when you say that to a woman. They know what that means.

…she responds a lot.

Yeah, because scarcity creates value, so you kind of disappear, and she starts valuing you more. And that’s what you’re looking for. The man should never be doing more than 20–30% of the calling, texting and pursuing if you want a woman’s attraction to grow slowly over time. That’s just the way it is. It’s got to be her idea. If the woman’s always chasing you, you don’t have to worry about getting dumped.

There’s obviously signs that she’s had some kind of interest in you, because when you disappear, she starts moving forward after you. That’s what you’re looking for when you back off, for her to start reaching out. When she starts reaching out, that’s when you make the next date. But ultimately, you’ve got to be making a date for her to fly in to come see you.

The big problem, I live in California, she lives in NJ, my folks live in Texas. And she recently broke up with her recent boyfriend who wasn’t treating her right and rented a beach house on the beach for the summer in Jacksonville Beach, Florida by herself and left suddenly left her car, rented a car to drive, and took off for Jacksonville where she’s got friends.

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She’s got lots of friends on Facebook, lots of pictures with dudes. I’m not on Facebook anymore. I don’t like it. I haven’t seen her in person for 10 years but keep in contact. Neither of us have ever married or had kids. I don’t think I want kids and she doesn’t. She is very short, very pretty, super sexy. How the hell can I convince her to give me a chance and try me out or sleep with me?

That mindset is, “I’m begging this woman to notice me.” That’s not attractive dude. It’s the complete, wrong mindset.

We have known each other for 30 years, and obviously it very complicated. She is turning 46 in July. I’m 42, so she is older. It hits me again and again to just tell her goodbye. I want more, and friendship isn’t enough with her.

Again, if she’s reaching out, the goal is to get her to hop on a plane to come out and see you. If she says “I don’t know. I’m not sure,” just say “Hey you know what, when you figure it out and you’ve got time to get away to come see me, let me know. I’d love to hang out.”

If she won’t make plans to come see you, maybe a couple of days or a week goes by say, “Hey, did you book your ticket? Have you found flights? When will you be able to come see me?” And if she gives you the “Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure, I’m still thinking about it, but hey I wanted to call and chat and catch up,” I’d be like, “Hey, I’ve been great. Things have been really busy. I can’t really talk right now, but I’d definitely love to see you, so when you figure out your schedule and you want to come see me, let me know.” Then leave it at that.

Ask twice when she’s reaches out, like I talk about in “7 Principles To Get An Ex Back,” and if she won’t make plans or gives you the runaround, then your mindset needs to be, “Obviously she’s not interested, or whatever is going on in her life, she doesn’t like me enough to hop on a plane after thirty years and come see me when I tried twice to get her to do that. Therefore, I’m going to assume she’s just not that into it, or she just likes the attention and validation that she gets from me. And I’m not going to participate in that anymore, because it just doesn’t work for me.”

You don’t have to say anything to her. You just try to make dates twice in a row, both times when she reached out to you first, and if she doesn’t want to come see you, or she hasn’t made the effort, then from that point forward when she does reach out, this is the response you’re going to send: “Hey it was really awesome hearing from you, but I’m real jammed up right now and I can’t talk. I’ve got to run. You keep in touch.”

That’s the kind of response you’re always going to give her. Now, if you’ve met somebody else, you’re happy and you’re dating and you’ve got this girl on the other side of the country that just wants to call and waste your time because she’s lonely after her last relationship didn’t work out, you’re not interested in being the gay male girlfriend and therapist. You’re interested in hanging out, having fun and hooking up.

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Therefore, the only way you’ll ever bring up getting together again is if she brings it up first. So when you talk, two or three texts max and you’re always exiting the conversation. One of two things will happen. She’ll either bring up getting together, or she’ll just stop contacting you altogether. And that’s what you want to know.

If she’s into you, she’ll make time to come see you. And if not, she’ll just kind of fade away once she realizes that you’re no longer going to be her gay male girlfriend, her emotional tampon or her therapist. That’s the right way to handle it.

We have been out of regular contact but have picked up again, and she calls randomly and texts late and in the middle of the night, early morning, etc. I think I know what you’re gonna say, but I’m still asking.

Thanks a lot,


Again, you’ve got to read “How To Be A 3% Man.” It will really help fill in the knowledge gaps so you start interacting with her in a way that will actually work so you can get what you want.

“Love is about giving without attachments to any outcomes. It’s a gift that requires nothing in return. In the context of a relationship, it’s about mutual giving and receiving of love willingly and enthusiastically. However, in order to love another effectively and in a balanced and healthy way, you must learn to love and respect yourself first, so you can set healthy boundaries and hold people accountable who violate them. Just because love is about giving doesn’t mean that you allow yourself to be used and taken advantage of. People who truly love you will want to make sure you feel loved and supported. Most people who you love won’t love you back in the same way. Self-love means you will keep searching and won’t settle down unless you find someone who makes the same level of effort. Your actions communicate how much or how little you value yourself.”

~ Coach Corey Wayne

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