Friday, July 31, 2009

Cool best friend to girlfriend

One of my best friends called me this morning with a question:

How do I stop being the coolest best friend and become the girlfriend?

My friend, let's call her "Lea," has always gotten along with males. She is funny, insanely smart and successful - not to mention beautiful. However, rather than approaching her relationships to guys as being a flirtatious romantic game of cat and mouse - she usually ends up being the guys best friend, or the best friend of the guys girlfriend. How can Lea stop sending off friendship signals and start reverberating waves of love and lust?

1. Confidence yet humility- It all begins with how one walks into a room (or bar, or party or get the picture...)
Always walk straight and tall and have a smile on your face. If you look happy to be you other people will want to be associated with you and at least get to know you. Check the room out. Anyone you are drawn to? Make eye contact with any of those men. Have a good time. Likely one of the guys you have made eye contact with will come up to you.

2. Mystery and flirtation- There is plenty of time for a man and a woman to get to know each other deeply. Their fears, travel preferences, food allergies can come later so enjoy the fun of first meeting...stick to fun talk at the beginning and always be flirtatious. Not everything has to be given away at once. Always make eye contact, and if you really like this person block out the rest of the room. Ask questions that are unique yet not too personal. Laugh and smile and remember that this isn't someone you just want to be friends with. Don't act the way you do with your friends. Project the sexiest and most charming version of yourself. If you relax and treat it as a game of romantic and flirtatious banter it will be enjoyable, regardless of the final outcome. Questions such as: "If you could design your dream house which rooms would be in it?" are good because they illicit creative and fun answers that aren't too serious. Non fun questions might be "do you like your boss?" or "What is your favorite sports team?"

3. To not be in charge - Sometimes it is hard for women who are strong, independent and successful in every area of their life to let go and remember that sometimes it is nice to not be in charge. Remember, most women would rather a man who takes initiative and knows how to make decisions on his own than a man who needs a woman to plan everything. So, when you first meet a guy and are flirting away - let him lead. This allows you not to waste time on guys who do not really have an interest enough to pursue you. It also allows women to remove themselves from the typical roles they place at work and with friends/family and shift gears to allow for the flow of romance.

4. Don't waste your time with guys who aren't ready - Most guys know before they walk into a room what they are looking for in terms of a woman. Do they want a girlfriend but not a wife? Do they want a short encounter with someone maybe physical or otherwise, but not a relationship? Therefore, don't waste your time with someone who isn't ready for whatever it is that you are ready for. You might ask, how do I know exactly what a guy is looking for? Well, if a guy is interested in a real relationship he will be respectful and interested in flirtatious conversation when he meets you, will call you within a few days of your first meeting and promptly ask you out. Being a gentleman is important and if the date goes well and he is polished and attentive...that is a good start. But don't rush into anything, Lea and the rest of our friends may be feminists but, the age old notion is true, if a man wants you - he'll chase you. Let him do the work and only then will you know, if he is going to be just a friend...or more?


  1. Perhaps more to the heart of Lea's question, is she interested in turning a guy that is already a friend into something more? If so, I would simply add that, according to the Harry/Sally principle (which I hold by), none of her guy friends would be friends with her if they weren't at least somewhat interested in being with her physically. So if she wants to turn things from a friendship into something more, she should probably just be bold and go for it. She'll more than likely going to get a positive response.

  2. Danielle, like Reyna & Jeff who posted above, I suggest that Lea COMMUNICATE early on that she is developing feelings for her best friend and see where that goes. If he's already in a relationship with someone else and Lea's still crushing on her guy friend, Lea needs to move on immediately-- b/c he's not into her in a romantic way and it's never worth dealing with the emotional rollercoaster that is sure to ensue.

    If Lea just has tons of guy friends and wants to find a romantic relationship-- why not try asking out one of her super cool current single guy friends on a date? Ask in a very non-challant way to hang out somewhere informal and see if there are any sparks. If Lea is confident and outgoing, then she should always be herself and be assertive.

    And if none of Lea's guy friends are interested in dating her, then Lea needs to meet new guys in a separate environment from her current guy friends and communicate her romantic interest early on. Once the "just friends" label is established, it's very difficult (though not unheard of) to develop a romantic relationship later on.

  3. Good advice, Danielle. Good to keep things moving to a closing or just move on if it doesn't click. The direction should be quite evident pretty quickly. LJA