Dating Advice for staying out of the “friend zone”
Luke from Paul & Young Ron’s Morning Show needed advice for his love life and the radio act called in an expert to help put an end to his dating drought. After weeks of being bombarded with dating advice from everyone in the studio, show guests, five therapists and this psychologist he was prepped and ready for a trial blind date. But as Young Ron would say, Luke was up against several of his own “C-blocking” behaviors — resistance to change being one of them.
Prior to his date, Luke was offered 10 specific tips. He opted to skip some of the advice and subsequently lost the girl. Understandably, it was very tough for Luke to hear the reasons why his date declined a second outing on air the following Monday. Despite the sting of her criticism, this is an extremely rare opportunity for Luke to up his game based on the honest perspective of a highly desirable woman. In this situation he can either continue to do what is not working for him or seriously consider the feedback he has been given. Understanding his date’s point of view doesn’t require changing who he is or what he’s about — just an openness to taking a different approach to women and dating.
A hairline fracture separates the worlds of friendship and romance and it doesn’t take much to get pushed into the friend zone. Knowing what separates a “nice guy” from the Ryan Gosling types can change you from being viewed as a brother to a lover. Here are the 10 tips I offered Luke prior to his blind date and why failing to follow all the advice, in this case, cost him the girl.
The tips that worked for Luke:
- Take charge & be a leader: Luke’s date loved how proactive he was when initiating plans for the date. He was responsive to emails and text messages — she wasn’t left hanging. The pressure was off her to think of where to go and she didn’t even have to stress about what to order at the restaurant. He balanced including her opinions with taking the lead.
- Don’t get touchy-feely or too affectionate: Luke respected personal space and boundaries on the first date. Although he perceived the date as going along “swimmingly” he didn’t try to steal a kiss or suggest she come up to his apartment.
- Don’t listen to advice to act like you don’t care or to be aloof. Although it’s very true that you don’t want to come on too strong, acting like a cold a-hole doesn’t work either. Luke’s kindness was what his date enjoyed most about him. She said he paid her genuine compliments and treated her with respect.
- Don’t be late. Because Luke got to the restaurant first, he wasn’t rushed, was able to check on their table, and get his bearings. He was calm, cool, and collected by the time she arrived at the door.
- When you don’t know what to say, ask her questions about herself. Luke kept the conversation fluid by expressing interest in getting to know her as a person. He listened to the advice to be curious to learn more about his date and this interest caused her to feel special.
The tips Luke struggled to execute:
- Keep the conversation light and positive. No discussions of past relationships, family troubles, financial stress, insecurities, etc. If she asks something personal that will likely shift the conversation to an uncomfortable place, come up with a vague answer and direct the conversation to a different topic. Luke’s comfort level got the best of him when he disclosed details of a failed relationship and some negative details about his past.
- Pick up the tab even if she offers to go Dutch. Don’t count your money in front of her or ask her what to tip: Luke’s date felt a little awkward when he flashed her the bill. This was an opportunity to leave a little mystery and show her that he knew how to treat a lady to dinner.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself for this to be a love match. Treat the situation like you are just meeting up with an old friend. Unfortunately, Luke took this tip too literally. He overdid it with the drinking and got so uninhibited that he asked for a ride home. Luke gets kudos for not drinking and driving but burdening his date to get him home came across as unattractive.
- Pay attention to social cues. Luke knew to watch out for his date showing signs that she wasn’t interested. But when she suggested that they go to Match.com single events together, he didn’t grasp that she was telling him she wanted to go on a date with someone other than Luke.
- Look your best, get a female’s opinion on what to wear on the date. Luke loves his chain wallet and shiny synthetic shirts. But guess who doesn’t…hot girls. Sure this tip may come across as superficial but the reality is we are biologically programmed to admire attractive people. The likelihood of snagging a desirable mate increases when you look sharp in a modern outfit that says you’re in touch and put together.
Although Luke’s missed opportunities are seemingly small, innocuous behaviors — collectively they had an impact. Fortunately these are all things that are fully in his control should he decide to make some changes. Making small self improvements will not change who he is, it will simply get his foot in the door to date the caliber of woman he says he wants.
It can be painful to learn that what you think is “cool” might be a little past its prime. Here’s a respected comedian poking fun of his own love for chain wallets.