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Why Guys Put Women In The Friends Zone

Guys will put an attractive woman in the friends zone, there are many factors in place.

Years ago, I never realized how many women get stuck in the friends zone with a guy.

Maybe it’s a guy thing.

Maybe we just think it’s easier on you (or for you) than it is for us.

Luckily I’ve been proved wrong many times in my life and this is one for the record books.

You see, a few years back, when I started helping guys “escape the friends zone” literally thousands of women each month were showing up at DiaLteG TM. They searching for help through google.

Well anyways, after becoming an expert in being put in the friends zone, and very good at eliminating it from my potential dates, I felt it might be useful to let some women know my thoughts on…

Why guys put women in their friends zone.

The answer is not all that easy to say.

The biggest reason I do or have done it, is because I felt absolutely no physical attraction from the moment I met her.

That sounds awful, doesn’t it?

But it’s true.

Now that doesn’t mean we can not become physically attracted later AND it doesn’t mean any guy walking around is attracted to the very same thing the next guy is.

The fact is…

Physical attraction for guys tends change based on his age, his experiences, his state of mind, and just like “beer goggles” tends to fuzzy things up…


Some guys will even refuse to admit an attraction for a woman based on who she sleeps with.

Some guys will refuse to admit attraction to a woman based on his own failures with women.

With that said…

#1 Reason why guys put women in the friends zone is no initial physical attraction within the first few seconds of sight.


The #2 Reason is because we put ourselves in YOUR friends zone.

We align ourselves with you to get close to you.

We’re not always good at the whole dating and attraction thing and we can spend so much time wondering what, how, or when to do something about it, we (sometime later) find ourselves just your friend.

SO it would APPEAR ON THE SURFACE we put YOU in the friends zone, when we actually became friends because of the opposite of number one.

We WERE attracted to you at first.

Strange shit, that I know.

The third reason is a bit more difficult to figure out because it tends to be a very muddy area. It also happens after we’re dating for a while.

#3 Reason we put you in the friends zone is because we figure out quickly we’re not interested in dating anymore BUT we get along enough to hang out AND we’re still physically attracted to you.

See I told you it’s a bit cloudy.

It’s also a rare event.

Most of the time when we start dating a girl we’re just not interested in merely a friendship so after the dating plays out, we either back away gracefully or not.

We figure out we’re not sexually good for each other. Maybe there’s little chemistry. Maybe there’s too much going on in your life.

Chances are there are hundreds of reasons why we decide we’re not “compatible” but only a few of why would be still want to stay friends. Good and bad.

A bad reason, if you want to call it that, would be you have many cool nice often attractive girlfriends.

A good reason would be that we just click. We share many common interests we might not have with our guy friends and it’s nice to find someone to do that shit with.

Unfortunately this third reason often means there’s a little physical attraction at first just not something beyond wanting occasional sex with you. To be totally honest with you, you might only be thought of when we want it so we’ll stay sort-of friends.

You might call that friends with benefits.

There is a big problem with this friends zone thing and guys which must be called out.

First the actual definition of a real friendship and how they might differ from a guy’s perspective and a woman view.

Friends to us just might be talking, texting, calling, and nothing more.

We might not have to actually do anything to consider you our friend BUT that’s just what we call it.

To consider you a REAL FRIEND like our guy buddies, we MUST DO THINGS TOGETHER.

Now of course other people can be involved.

Otherwise we might consider you a sexual option, keep you as a “friend” and often you’ll get nothing more.

How you women define a friendship will not be guessed on my part. You’re more than welcome to leave your opinion below…

How would you define a REAL FRIENDSHIP with a guy as opposed to a sexual or dating option?

One more thing about this friendship definition is what we share.

When we would share more with you specific information or feelings than we would with a guy friend that changes the entire nature of the friendship.

The key would be we’re opening up to you in a way which we refuse to do with guys.

In that case you might presume there’s a slim chance an actual real relationship might happen which includes some form of intimacy.

A friendship that turns into more based solely on the fact you’re considered MORE THAN A FRIEND because we treat you different than our guy friends… just because you’re a woman.

Social life sure is complicated when we throw the sexes together, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

I hope I’m not missing something here but we’ll have to see what else might come out.

For now, the 3 main reasons a guy will put you in the friends zone are:

  1. We felt or feel no physical attraction keeping in mind that tends to vary from guy to guy AND changes based on the experiences we encounter in our lives.
  2. We put ourselves in YOUR friends zone to stay close. Normally when we are attracted to you but for many reasons not actually do anything about it.
  3. After a casual dating period, maybe just a few or even just one, realize there just isn’t enough sexual energy to pursue something more.

I suppose now we have to talk about the chances of “getting out of it” and what the REAL chances are of that happening. πŸ™‚

(You can read my email policies here. No spam ever! Your information is always private. )
About the author: Understanding men does not have to be complicated anymore and I can show yow how… There are only two types of guys and if you don’t know which one he is, you could misinterpret everything he says or does as it relates to you. Your new guy friend, Peter White – Understanding Men Made Simple.
17 comments… add one
  • Paige

    I have a really strange situation where I believe #2 is probably accurate. The big part of mine is that the guy is married. He deals with me on many different levels (which he has created). (through work – he has become a client of mine and personal life – we hang out in married groups – I am married as well) I feel like we are really good friends, and I love that. The connection we have is simply amazing, but I am getting worried that I might be giving off the incorrect vibe. I want to keep our friendship (he’s like an awesome best friend…) because we have so much in common and I enjoy his company so much! However, I don’t want to “cross a line,” and as we deal with each other more and more (we met through our kids activities), I just want to keep that incredible friendship!

    I guess I want to know why is he keeping me close — being that he is most likely attracted to me. Am I safe? I don’t want anything to “happen.” I like where things are…. I absolutely LOVE the company!

  • Carey

    I need interpretation of the following texts all sent one right after the other, as I am totally lost. They seem clear individually, but sent one right after the other as a whole, very confounding.
    Text 1: I have said we are friends repeatedly
    Text 2: Do I think you’re hotter than fire and find you attractive? Hell yes
    Text 3: This is where I stand… I will not disrespect you

    So, what is he really saying here other than he is all over the place?
    Thanks for your help in translating his manspeak!

    • Peter White

      Hey Carey, I’ll see what I can do for you. πŸ™‚

      But first, you must understand all I can do is put myself in his shoes, imagine I’m saying it, and see what I might mean. You must understand I’m not in his head. Thankfully because I have enough in my own head to deal with. Haha!!! I also have no idea what happened to lead up to his texts or your current “relationship” with him, if any.

      He was saying:

      “We are friends. I’m attracted to my friend… you. Except I feel IF I were to try and get past that and develop our friendship into something more, in other words, ‘make a move on you’ then I feel that would be disrespectful of you and our friendship.”

      In my words – he wants to be more than friends but is worried that if he tries to make it into something more, you will see him as less than who he is. This was HIS way of telling you he feels something more towards you than just a friend AND he wants more.

      You see, reading men isn’t that difficult at all because normally, we mean what we say. πŸ˜‰

      TEXT 1: We’re friends, right?
      TEXT 2: Wow! You are so freaking hot I can’t help but to feel attracted to you.
      TEXT 3: Would it be so bad if we ended up together? Do you hate me for feeling this way? Would you feel disrespected or (more importantly) feel like I’ve been playing the friend angle just to get in your pants? Will you see me as those “other” guys who only see you as a body and not a mind?

      The last one says it all. Way too many guys think this way and way too many guys not only miss out on so much because of it but also tend to fool themselves into believing something else. That something else being, “I was attracted to you from the moment we met but I refrained from telling you, or doing something because I feel you’l believe I only want to get in your pants. SO I’ll respect you. Be your friend. And hope in the background YOU will make the first move making it OKAY for me to see you as something more than just a mind.

      Yeah, there’s more. It’s a nice guy thing typically. Did I myself. Learned better otherwise and also learned the whole “friendship” thing is normally a cop-out or an attempt to be better than those “other” guys.

      You’re welcome Carey. πŸ˜€

      Your “guy” friend who thinks you’re hot too. πŸ˜‰


      • Carey

        Thank you, Pete! My profile pic attached to the comment is rather stunning! Lol!

        He and I have been friends for over 12 years now and he has seen me through a rather tumultuous divorce and seemed to be making a start of a relationship last year, but suddenly changed his mind and said he wasn’t ready. I told him that while he is my best friend, it isn’t easy being tossed back into the friends zone after having him say that he was interested in furthering our relationship.

        He took offense (as did I) and we stopped talking several times, but apparently we both suck at silence (especially with one another) and can’t go 2 weeks without speaking.

        We do have a high respect for one another and we are each other’s “go-to” person when we need advice. He is my “person” (yes, using a Grey’s Anatomy reference, sorry). He truly is an amazing man, but I kinda just want to expose him to a chick flick sometimes or maybe just deny him some Jameson.

        And, for future reference, men ARE way more confusing than women, especially when the ol’ Alpha Male Syndrome kicks in. Thank you, again, for your candor!

        • Peter White

          You’re welcome Carey and yes, it’s quite the stunning profile pic. Very hot. Very sexy… grrrrr!!!

          Now what you said makes so much more sense.

          I reiterate. When he wrote “This is where I stand… I will not disrespect you” he is clearly telling you that he doesn’t want to string you along or lead you to believe something else. His respect for you is saying he will always be upfront and honest with you.

          Yeah, you can use all the Grey’s Anatomy references with me all you want but I won’t get them… I’m a guy. πŸ˜‰ I don’t watch “chic flics”… ever Haha!!

          And please don’t deny the Jameson or force the chic flics on him. From me to you for him. :p

          Your future reference statement is duly noted. We shall agree to disagree. Then again I don’t find women all that confusing at all. Not even the slightest bit, so maybe you’re right. We’ll see. HAha!!

          • Carey

            It’s me again, dear. Lol…

            We had an in depth conversation a few days ago and he said that he thought he was able to have a romantic relationship with me last year, but that his work schedule and kid schedule basically left him no time and he didn’t feel it was fair. He never asked me whether I thought it was right and whether we could try to make adjustments.

            He has also said in the past that he wanted me in his life 20 years from now and didn’t want to lose me by attempting a romantic relationship at the wrong time. In out last discussion on the subject (I must admit, I have an undying need to understand and work through issues with all answers in front of me), he said that maybe in a year or two when things calmed down that we could have a relationship.

            I get more and more frustrated with it because I have always been open and honest with him and have to think that he isn’t losing anything by keeping me waiting in the wings while still getting what he wants. I love being his friend, but I truly believe that he and I could conquer the world if he would just give it a shot.

            He told me 6 months ago that I should date other people because he felt he wasn’t ready for a relationship. It was an almost overnight change which totally threw me for a loop. During those 6 months, I dated several men. I continued to treat my friend as my best friend and would voice my concerns about the men I was dating. My best friend has ALWAYS been protective of me, so his reactions to some of my issues with these men wasn’t surprising.

            Long story short, he admitted right after Christmas that it was very hurtful to him. I pointed out that I was following his wishes that I date other people and he admitted that he wasn’t the jealous type, but he had real issues with me actually doing it.

            I’m guessing you’re thinking I’m the biggest wench in the world. We weren’t in the best position to talk further about it, so I wrote him a letter stating that the last thing in this world I would want to do was hurt him, but that I was heartbroken when he told me to date other people. I let him know it was never my intention to hurt him and that I was sorry that I did.

            My question for you is this… Do I throw in the towel and stop telling him how I feel or do I let him broach the subject? Knowing our past friendship, am I being ridiculous for ever thinking there could be more there?

            I’m a damn good woman and feel like I shouldn’t wait if the possibility is nil to none. It gives me hope that he said we could try “in a year or two” but is it insane to wait with no definite yes?

            • Peter White

              Hello again Carey,

              He was hurt by you dating other people. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. It just shows he cares. He told you because you’re his friend and him holding it inside would only mess him up. So it was good he got it out. That’s all.

              Now, you didn’t hurt him – he hurt himself. Not purposely. Because of circumstance he has or had to suffer with letting you go. This was HIS decision. These are things we suffer through or have to give up sometimes in support of our close family.

              You can not be held responsible for his choice so stop feeling so guilty about it. You were or are right there for him when and if he’s willing to balance one more thing in his life and he is NOT willing to accept the change.

              Okay, let’s be blunt. Let’s put it all out there… Imagine a guy trying to support his family. Trying to balance it all out. Trying to stay happy, in control, and be a Father. You have all the family issues to deal with. Work adds some pressure. Life is quick and requires a ton of strength to do it all by yourself.

              Those last three words says it all – at least from my perspective. ALL BY YOURSELF.

              Bad things have happened in society since man and/or woman have tried to do it all by themselves. When both man and woman started to need to work for financial stability, children lost out and bad things happened. Let’s not get into that too much right now but…

              You, him, need to understand why he would rather do it by himself over the support or two people getting a single “job” done with the added support of more time, emotional stuff, and everything which comes along with two people who love each other, helping each other through it all.

              It’s his choice to go at it alone without the benefit of a couple – meaning adding you to his life.

              When a guy with a family who is single believes or commits to the idea that adding a woman to his life (when she’s willing to help out in many ways) is more complicated than not having her around in a real relationship, I mean REAL, not just dating and hanging out, than it’s more likely that something else is going on.

              Which could mean anything from fear to self-doubt and on and on… chances are it’s personal OR he’s not really into you that much. Since we’re assuming he’s into you a lot then all we have left is his personal fears or doubts or why he would rather go at it alone and how that makes him feel maybe more important, more like a man, etc…

              Think about all that. πŸ™‚

              Discuss THAT with him until you throw in the towel.

              I will say, if he can’t get past that or figure out his own personal demons or why he’s acting this way, then YES, move on as best you can and stop waiting for him to figure it all out.

              Best of luck to you because I know it’s tough to crack a man with the information I just gave you. πŸ™‚


              • Carey

                Well, I broke my own damn heart this time.

                I took your advice to heart and asked him why he thought doing it alone was better than with me. He said that I had done a few things that made him uncomfortable, all of which we then talked about in depth. I had no idea that it had made him feel that way until he told me when I asked. Now, these things happened several months ago and he just made me aware yesterday.

                In our heated discussion, he admitted that he is NOT divorced and that it was complicated in many ways. Aren’t they all?? In a moment of weakness for him (classic alpha male), he admitted that he was seeing a therapist and his life was in financial ruin due to his impending divorce. After that admission, he then told me it was none of my business, but he wasn’t interested in getting married again. This same discussion produced the fact that “a friend of a friend told me to stay away from you because of your ex-husband and all he put you through.” Admittedly, I came from a really unstable and emotionally abusive marriage not unscathed. I went to a counselor as did my oldest child (I was pregnant with the youngest). I still have my moments of terror but have worked through them fairly well considering. My best friend was totally aware of details unbeknownst to the friend who told him to stay away, yet he still stuck around.

                I am furious that he took that in to consideration when ending our budding relationship, but here’s the kicker… I think that all of his defensiveness is HIS way of feeling like a failure. I could tell when he let the therapist and money issues out that it was a complete surprise that he had blurted it out.

                I hope he knows that I want nothing more from him than him. I didn’t say it yesterday, but I feel that in our friendship over the years, he knows that I am certainly not a materialistic person. I never have been, even in the marriage from hell. I don’t need anyone to take care of me or my boys, as I have done it since the ex decided he didn’t want a family. No, it hasn’t been easy and I totally see where my best friend may feel like a failure because of it.

                The marriage issue is where I have problems. No, he and I never discussed it and in our conversation yesterday, he said to me, “I want you and your boys to be happy and taken care of.” Yes, it would be nice, but I never said that was what I wanted. He made that decision for me. I do eventually want to get remarried, but not right now. In the long run, my heart was set on my best friend.

                After apologizing for making him uncomfortable and asking what I could do to fix it, he said that it was water under the bridge and not to worry about it. How can I not? It obviously affected our relationship.

                In closing, he said, “I need you in my life in some capacity.” He has said it before and then said maybe in a year or two we can have relationship. The marriage thing is what is the ass-kicker here. Yes, it is a long term goal for me. So, I decided since he was feeling overwhelmed to give him space. I intend to not contact him until I am able to see clearly past the permanent friend-zoning that I feel occurred.

                My questions are as follows:

                1. Did I shoot myself in the foot by removing myself from his life while he feels so overwhelmed? He truly is my best friend no matter how frustrated I get with him, but I feel like I need to protect myself by killing whatever romantic feelings I have for him.

                2. Do men use their own personal failures as a way to push women away whom they truly care for? Again, he seemed embarrassed about the therapy and money problems.

                3. Why do men put women who they deem attractive and worthy in the friend-zone? Is it self-preservation while they better themselves? Is it really all we will ever be?

                4. What is the ultimate “no-contact period” to take without driving him completely away? I hope to get past the fairy tale (not really) in my head and finally be okay with just being his friend, but I feel like damage has already occurred because of his indecision and hot/cold attitude towards me.

                Thank you again for sharing your male insight, as it has proven to be very helpful in approaching him with my issues.

              • Peter White


                I doubt you’ll remove the attraction by removing yourself from his life. Although you might cause his trust of you to go down. Leaving a guy because you can’t have him fully when he is relying on you will definitely cause some trust issues. Not that they can’t be worked through. Just they will be there.

                I understand it’s a tough situation. I’ve been there myself and certainly just taking off, waiting out the attraction until it dissipates can and does work BUT it can take a long time. It can also come back easily. It’s what you do while you’re away which makes the difference.

                Your circumstance is different than my old ways because I was in the friends zone immediately. She (they) were not attracted to me anyways. So walking away was easy.

                #2 YES. Men will definitely use their own personal failures to push women away. Even if they don’t care for them. Men who feel like men despite their failures or issues will tend to keep women around.

                #3 Men put women they find attractive into the friends zone because they normally do not see that friend as someone they would want to be in relationship with. They don’t feel like it would work out.

                #4 There is no real no-contact period because each situation is a little different. Every does go through a period of shifts, according to age and body type and mental awareness or troubles which ranges from 3 weeks to nine months and sometimes beyond. People also base their mental time frames on their jobs which makes it a weekly thing for dating and relationships. More than once a week suggests more interest in a relationship. A few times a month suggests only a casually dating thing. Not that a man can switch from that routine based on how he feels, it’s just the pattern that emerges.

                So… in your case – half of what you’ve been contacting him is a good start. See how that works for you. If that half is less than a day, make sure it’s at least once a week.


              • Carey

                I see what you did there, Pete!

                I also gave him time and space because I really feel like he is under a tremendous amount of pressure both personally and professionally. Right after our last argument, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I tried not telling him because of his statement about being “old faithful” previously, but folded when I really needed a friend to help me through and let him know that he is my rock.

                He said he would pray. That’s it. My Mom had surgery the next day and I have yet to hear a single word from him. Nothing in 11 days. No checking up on her. No checking up on me. No checking up on my Dad (whom he is friends with through me).

                Today I sent him an email because I got a new phone and sadly lost his numbers in the transition. I let him know that I no longer had his number and if he wants me to have it, he should text. I also have him the option of not giving me his number. In that, I ended with saying I missed him but understood his need for space. So far, more than 8 hours later, he still hasn’t responded.

                Why did he literally disappear when I admitted that I needed him? He swore we were still friends and even called me the nickname he knows I hate the last time we spoke. I pride myself on not “needing” anyone, so I am beyond hurt that he abandoned me after I told him that I needed him.

  • Helen

    Hi Peter,
    So for curiosity’s sake, do men in general ever put you in the friend zone when they are attracted to you simply because they feel they are not in a position to pursue a relationship? Or else feel the responsibilities of a relationship in general are too much work?

    • Peter White

      Of course “Helen”. Men will put a woman in the friends zone IF they’re attracted to her but see no reason why a relationship can or would happen. But I will say, depending on the guy, he will mostly opt for a friends-with-benefits exchange first.

      You’re welcome,


      • Helen

        Thanks Peter,
        In this case neither one of us are friends with benefits people, so that ruled out that option for him. An old family friend and both our family’s would kill us for such a decision. Despite that I feel as if he is both attracted to me and likes me as a person. Hence the question,
        Thanks again Superman.

  • Brandy

    Hi Peter,

    I loved this article! I am especially intrigued to know the solution to reason #1 for being in the friend zone. I went on two dates with a guy I met online; the first was fun and flirty with lots of light touching, and the second was flat. He told me he’d realized in between dates he was feeling me just as friends but didn’t say anything beforehand because he didn’t know how I was feeling. I felt a strong attraction to him even before the end of the first date and felt quite surprised and disappointed! We had great banter on site and in our initial phone calls, and we both prefer calling over texting so we do very little of the latter.

    He said some people just aren’t attracted to each other, and “the heart doesn’t have words for why I’m not feeling it for you.” He also said, “I LIKE you! I like who you are as a human being. You’re a great girl. You’re smart, you’re beautiful, you’re fun, and you’re driven to improve yourself, and that’s great! My *mind* IS feeling it.”

    We are both 35 and share a core interest in doing inner work through mindfulness and meditation, and we see much of life through the same lens. We have nerdy talks about science, and we make each other laugh. It seems like this guy can actually do the dance of intimacy and authenticity. He’s not currently seeing anyone else, and neither am I, and we both remain active on the dating site where we met looking for others to date. So how do I go about creating physical attraction with him? Or can you direct me to the article where you’ve addressed that? πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much,

    • bam

      I am in this exact situation. I would love to know any updates on how its going as I am lost on how to proceed.

  • Candace

    I was friend zoned by a guy twice after dating. He kept putting himself in the friend zone. Even though I tried to make it obvious that I wanted to be more than friends. The first time I told him I couldn’t be his friend. But eventually felt bad and friended him again. Knowing deep down my feelings were still there. After this last break up I stated I couldn’t be his friend, and suggested he not string the next girl along. I no longer think about what could’ve been anymore. I need to realize why I keep getting in this cycle of one sided relationships.

    • Peter White

      Hello Candace – it just so happens the friends zone is a speciality of mine although I don’t talk about it so much more – kind of wore out the subject in my head.

      BUT I would suggest you read this two article. One I wrote and one I didn’t:

      When To Do When You Fall For Your Friend & He Doesn’t Feel The Same Way

      That is posted on my guys site. It has my three steps for getting out of the friends zone with a guy.

      This one is at what I call “the org” site and is not written by me but she has some great ideas and her stuff is solid:

      What If You Want MORE Than Friendship With Him? Your Unrequited Love

      I’m sorry to say it wasn’t a good thing to tell him you couldn’t just be friends with him BUT hey, it happens. I’ve made far worse mistakes. Especially when it came to the “friends zone”. The main goal now is to stop yourself from going there and you know that by what you said so it’s all good.

      Best of luck,

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