I used to think it was great to have a lot of friends; now I’m more interested in quality, so I’m looking for friends who share my values, I want to deepen existing friendships that are mutually beneficial, and I want to distance myself from people who no longer add enough to my life. Since I’m trying to break a lot of bad habits, and since who you hang out with affects who you become, I’m paying more attention to the energy that I give off when I’m with people, and I’m also paying attention to the energy of the people I spend the most time with.
I’ve never had much use for male friends, meaning I never sought out friends of the opposite sex on purpose, but I think my low maintenance, jovial side attracts guys who want to be friends—only friends. After decades of this, I’m over it: at this stage I don’t want male friends when it’s clear that friendship is all that it’ll ever be (of course I want to be friends with my husband so I may be contradicting myself). The few times that I’ve been introduced to someone it’s been with the expectation that something more than friendship would come out of it.
So, when I’m getting to know someone that I’ve been introduced to, those first few weeks are very important. A few weeks may seem like a short amount of time but I think we usually know when someone is treading carefully but with romantic intent and when they’re plain disinterested—sometimes we fool ourselves that there might be romantic intent lurking, but if a friend were to ask what we think of the same situation if it was happening to them we’d tell them “Girl, he’s just not that into you!”
If I feel like I’m headed to the “friend zone” with a guy I was starting to develop an interest in, my instinct is always to get off that train, fast! Some would keep the friendship going in the hopes that things may change, or that the friend could connect them to someone special in the future, but I just can’t, especially when the friendship is just developing and we haven’t invested much time yet. I know it sounds harsh and maybe I need to be delivered from this kind of thinking but I prefer it to settling for less than I expected. Keep in mind I’m only talking about situations where the guy is clearly or mostly disinterested.
But how do you end a friendship that’s just beginning? I prefer to be direct, but this doesn’t always work with men because some of them (not all) have delicate egos, in which case fading away is best, especially if the friendship has barely begun.
What do you do when you feel you’re headed to the “friend zone” with someone you had bigger hopes for, or when you don’t have romantic feelings for someone who likes you?