Dana Buckmir
Dana Buckmir

Oh Dana!

I consider myself a nice guy that treats women with respect. A typical first date is at a public place like coffee or something in a relaxed, low pressure environment. The problem is that it never goes anywhere after we meet. It seems like they lose interest romantically and I get stuck in the friend zone. I really have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Please help.

Lost & Confused

Dear Lost & Confused,

Not being able to navigate the dating scene is frustrating. If only there was a GPS or an app that could help point you in the right direction. The friend zone is a place that you never want to visit, so I understand how it can be perplexing that you keep finding yourself in a place that you set out to avoid. Welcome to the complex world of dating. So many routes in which to travel without a guarantee on the destination. Okay, I’m getting a little too philosophical. I’m going to dial it back.

The friend zone for those folks that may not be well-versed with the term or haven’t had the displeasure of experiencing it firsthand, is when you intend to date someone romantically and soon realize that they just want to be friends. Why does that happen? Great question. There are a lot of potential factors that go into why someone gets friendzoned or indefinitely benched. No one wants to ride the bench, right? We all want to be starters or at least get a little playing time. “Put me in coach. I’m ready to play!”

First, we’ll explore the possibilities of why this is happening and then we’ll talk about what you can do to prevent it from reoccurring because to be honest once you get friend zoned the chances of you getting out are worse than the chances of Kanye West being elected for president. No Bueno. The friend zone is a place that you want to avoid at all costs because once you arrive, baby you ain’t never coming back.

So how do you get there anyway? Some men arrive in the dreaded friend zone because they’re too nice. Women want men who will challenge them. If you’re a push over, a woman will pick up on that and most likely friend zone you. She might keep you around because why would she get rid of you? In the friend zone, you’ll be that guy who gives her advice on the new guy she wants to date, or helps fix her toilet or shares take out when she’s lonely. You get the idea. She will completely desexualize you and strictly see you as she would a girlfriend that can help with home improvements and give her insight into the male perspective.

Another reason a woman might friend zone you is because there is no physical attraction. She might love your personality, but if there’s no spark, it fizzles out quickly. Also, compatibility is key. Maybe there is mutual attraction, but through conversation you learn that you don’t have anything in common or have very different views on religion or politics. Perhaps you aren’t on the same page with your life and romantic goals.

Steer clear of the friend zone by expressing your intentions. If you’re seeking a romantic relationship and you’re feeling the friend vibe then speak up. You never know if you’re misinterpreting the situation and if you’re not, maybe you’ll get valuable information that you can apply to the next relationship.

Dating is a lot like an experiment where trial and error comes into play. Communication is imperative, but what’s more important is trying not to internalize everything. Nothing is personal. Not everyone will be a match and that is okay. Keep your head up. Follow your own compass. Enjoy the journey. Know that in time you will find your match.

Dana Buckmir aka “Oh, Dana!” Dana is the author of the memoir “Plenty of Laughs: One Woman’s Journey Navigating the Online Dating Waters. The book is a comical account on dating in the age of technology, including the compelling story of finding love online. You can find a sample of her book at https://danabuckmir.com/Dana wants to help people with their lives, love, and everything in-between! She is taking your questions at Contact@danabuckmir.com All submissions are anonymous.