Get Out Of The Friend Zone: Quit Acting Like A Girl

A man crying

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As a young man in college and high school, when I wanted to know what “women wanted,” I asked them. They always said they wanted a guy who was sensitive, a great listener, and treated them like a queen.

I took mental notes and became that guy. And I waited for a girlfriend. And waited. And waited. And waited…well you get the point. A lot of guys are in the same circumstance. They are frustrated and want to get out of the friend zone. Read on and you’ll learn how to not land in it in the first place!

Humans are complex animals. Our advanced frontal lobes allow us to think deeply and critically. However, other parts of our brains are more primitive and animal-like. This combination of what amounts to multiple brains in one means that “attraction” is a lot messier than creating a list of desired traits in a member of the opposite sex.

A woman might calmly and cerebrally say that she wants a sensitive and caring guy on Monday, but when she hangs with that type guy on Tuesday, he doesn’t fire off the “attraction buttons” in her complicated brain. However, that cocky “bad boy” she met last Friday who has maybe one sensitive bone in his body (pun intended) fires the attraction buttons like crazy, even if her frontal lobe can’t explain the attraction and might even regret it at times.

Despite advances in education and attempts to be politically correct, humans are still animals with complex brains and complicated biological processes. We are attracted to the same traits today as our ancestors were hundreds of thousands of years ago. In short, women may tell guys they love guys that act like women,  but they want something different. They want a guy that acts like a guy.

Let’s go back to college again. I knew a very troubled girl. She dated a friend of mine who was a complete loser. He was cool to me, but to her, he was a jerk. He got her pregnant and, even though she was a strong Christian, badgered her into getting an abortion. One day while I was at his house, she called. My brother answered the phone. She was excited because she was buying her man a new shirt. He refused to even directly talk to her, instead using my brother as a proxy, as he shouted from his bedroom. She was buying him a nice shirt, and he didn’t care enough to talk about it.

I also remember she had a “good friend” named Bobby. Bobby was there for her, and was her shoulder to cry on when my friend was mean to her. Bobby must have had bulging deltoids, because she cried on his shoulder a lot! She would even joke that she knew Bobby wanted to date her, but she didn’t look at him “that way.”

Get Out of the Friend Zone

I am not saying guys should be jerks. I believe that women only like jerks because jerks have characteristics similar to Alpha males, which is the type of man that women generally want. Women are attracted to guys that are confident, funny, and assertive. Jerks often have these traits, albeit expressed inappropriately, and they lack the good traits that Alpha Males have (like empathy, drive, leadership skills, etc). Thus, jerks push the attraction buttons of women. However, people tire of jerks quickly. Jerks are eventually dumped, fired, etc, when people realize they are really just weak and insecure guys that are pretty good at faking confidence. So…don’t be a jerk!

Since true Alpha Males are rare, especially in a society that discourages guys from being confident, when presented with a sea of Beta males (i.e. the men I have mentioned throughout this article that act in traditionally feminine ways and get “friend zoned”), women opt for jerks, who press their attraction buttons, over the clear Beta male. So basically, it boils down to this: women will be attracted to a faux-Alpha over a Beta male any day.

By the way, if you want to be an Alpha male, our book Be Popular Now will guide you in your transformation!

We are also not saying you shouldn’t listen to a woman, or that you should refuse to care about her needs. However, you have to do so in a male way. Being empathetic is good, and true Alpha males are empathetic, but you also have to be assertive. Most guys in the “friend zone” aren’t really empathetic. They are just pretending to act like a female so they can date the girl in question. See what happens after a “sensitive guy” believes he finally deserves to be in a relationship with his “friend who is a girl” and watch how fast he goes from sensitive listener to angry creeper. Many “sensitive” guys turn into complete creeps the minute “a friend who is a girl” shoots them down.

The lesson is: don’t act like a girl, and instead be a man. She may see you physically as a guy, but if she sees you emotionally as another girl, you are immediately corralled into the “friend zone.”

How do you make her see you as a man?

Be confident.

Be detached from her (i.e. realize you can take her or leave her).

Be assertive.

If she is saying stuff that is ridiculous, then tell her.

If she is using you to unload her emotions on, then stand up to her and don’t let her do it!

Don’t join her in petty gossip and female squabbles; if anything, poke fun at it and her.

Don’t ever pretend to be sensitive just to get a girl.

Don’t ever agree with a girl just because you think it will land you a date. There is nothing wrong with agreeing with a woman, but only if you really do!

When she gets too emotionally serious, flirt with her and tease her a little.

Don’t ever mirror or mimic female behavior thinking it will make her like you romantically.

Finally, don’t go by what she says she is attracted to, go by what she is actually attracted to. She may say she wants a sweet and passive guy, but pay attention to who she actually dates and flirts with! That is what she’s really looking for.

Pretending to be something you are not is never a good idea, and most importantly, a guy pretending to be a girl just lands him in the same situation as her girlfriends: in the “friend zone!”

About David Bennett

David Bennett is author of seven self-help books, and an in-demand speaker and consultant. Over a million readers per year read his online content, and his writings have been referenced in many publications and news outlets, including Girls Life, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and BBC. He also writes for The Popular Teen, and other sites. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. I don’t think this has anything to do with “acting like a girl.” I think we all should stop stereotyping what it means to be a man and woman. Your main critique is that men should stop doing things just because they think it will land them a date. That part, I think is true but for everyone. Everyone should just be sincere and honest about who they are. I had been dating someone for four years and towards the end, I was extremely unhappy with the relationship. After the relationship ended and I re-evaluated my goals in life I ended up with the guy who had been my best friend and confidant. I admire him for many reasons, but mostly because he does not allow himself to be altered by society’s values and stays true to who he is. While being at the same time stable, he is unafraid to show emotion with me. He has never had any problem telling me that I was important to him. He was honest and so was I. I think we need to get rid of the notion of trying to catch people. We also need to stop worrying about finding someone. Just go out there and make friends. If it happens, it happens.

    Also, on another note, I think it’s ridiculous that evolutionary-wise a woman would be attracted to an “alpha-male.” There is no scientific backing to this argument; it’s psuedo-science. Not only do humans change based on their social environment, but our ancestors lived in various types of communities. There is no gene linking these things. For too long people have tried to use biology and evolution to create distinction between the sexes. There is hardly ANY distinction besides obvious anatomy. People live on a continuum of behavior. This is necessary for adaptation and the survival of the species

    And even if there was some silly alpha-male situation where one male was banging everyone, this was probably in the distant distant evolutionary path when humans were less like humans and more like monkeys(and recent studies of monkeys have shown that female monkeys will risk having sex with outcast males as opposed to the alpha.)

    I am rambling because I can, but overall the human species is a complex one. You honestly probably didn’t care about this article anyway, but this whole idea that men or women could act in a certain way and pick-up the other sex is utterly ridiculous. Humans are complex creatures. Everyone should just deal with it and do what they feel is right. No use trying to find a partner when you’re struggling into another person’s skin.

  2. Sam, thanks for stopping by.

    I don’t have time for a long response, but let’s just say we agree humans are complex (as I mentioned above), and that not every guy or girl has the same brain wiring, although patterns do seem to emerge based on sex.

    I have to disagree that men and women can’t change their behavior to attract others. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be booming diet and make-up industries. We may *wish* that attraction was more cerebral, and that a goofy, passive, whiny guy should get a date just as equally as a put-together, confident, and empathetic guy.

    However, reality is different (just ask a guy who has been dateless for two years, and totally frustrated about it, yet who is “being himself”). Rather than pretend that the whiny and passive dude is attractive, I would rather teach him some skills that make him generally more attractive to others: confidence, assertiveness, excellence, empathy etc. Plus, if he has those traits, he will be more successful in all areas of his life.

    Note that I included empathy. We are *not* suggesting guys be uncaring meatheads; we are saying they shouldn’t act just like their female friends (whether these women act this way through biology or conditioning – or both – really doesn’t matter).

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