The Truth Behind The Friend Zone

In the Friend Zone? Want to be more than just ‘friends’? Have that nasty, suspicious feeling that when it comes to just ‘being friends’ no matter what a guy is saying to you there is more to it than that? The latest research tells us that when it comes to being Friend Zoned, what women have always suspected is true – it doesn’t happen very often, if at all. But women see the Friend Zone very differently to men.

Dr. April Bleske-Rechek, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, published her findings in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships after inviting students to come to her lab with a friend of the opposite sex and answer questions about each other. The questions asked them about how attractive they found their friend, whether they would consider dating their friend and also how attracted they felt their friend was to him (or her).

First they discovered that the guys were all attracted to their female friends more than the women were attracted to them. This is consistent with the portrayals we see in the media – think Friends and Ross being more attracted to Rachel than she was to him and Jacob’s attraction to Bella in Twilight. Interestingly, both men and women were more attracted to their friend when they thought their friend was attracted to them – but it would appear that hardly any men think: ‘Wow! I bet she’d be a great person to just hang out with’ as women have always suspected.

They also discovered that the men’s attraction to their female friends didn’t change with relationship status – either his or theirs. But for the women, if their male friend was in a relationship they found him less attractive and when in a relationship themselves, all women were significantly less interested in the prospect of dating their ‘friend’.

The last part of the findings are perhaps the most significant of all. It was discovered that men consistently over-estimated their female friend’s attraction and desire to possibly date them while the women consistently underestimated their male friend’s attraction to them but accurately gauged their desire to date them! So, if you’re a woman in the Friend Zone your ‘vibe’ about whether your male friend wants to date you or not is probably correct. If you’re not in a relationship you could do worse than a quick inventory of your single male friends because it’s likely they consider you attractive and want to date you. Remember the study showed women consistently underestimate how attractive their male friends find them. Guys, your female friends most likely just want to be friends. End of story.

Remember, just because two people are attracted to one another does not necessarily mean they will become a couple. On a soul level we learn from every relationship as all close personal relationships are about the same thing – love. Sometimes this is expressed romantically and sometimes just as a very close friendship. The Friend Zone is just another place we can make a lasting soul connection.

PS Excuse the heterosexual bias of this piece the research was based on men and women finding each other attractive. Most articles are inclusive of all sexualities!