A letter to all men about the “friend zone.” (From someone who lived there)


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For those of you unfamiliar with the “friend zone,” it is a term that men use to describe the space they feel like they’ve been put in when they get rejected by women. They’ve been “Friend zoned.” As in, she just wants to be friends.

Recently on my Instagram page, I received a comment from a man on a post where I said that a woman telling you about her problems means that she trusts you.

His response was that it means you’re “just friends.”

Now, as someone who used to be clueless about what women want and spent the first couple of decades of his (my) life mostly in the “friend zone,” I understand where he’s coming from.

Sometimes when a woman opens up to a man it’s because she sees him as a brother, or a cousin, or good friend.

There is trust, but no attraction.

However, I’ve also learned enough over the years to understand that trust and communication are not reserved for just being friends. These are fundamental and necessary qualities of any relationship, be it intimate or otherwise.

So, what’s the missing piece?

Understanding the fundamentals of attraction.

If you’ve experienced a consistent, long term pattern of women only wanting to confide in you as a friend, but nothing more, some serious self-reflection is required. That’s the hard part.

The truth is that to attract women, you’ve got to be the type of man who attracts women.

Sounds simple, eh?

Think about what kind of woman you’d like to be with, and then honestly ask yourself if you’re holding yourself to the same standards.

If you want to be with someone who’s very fit, are you consistent in the gym, or sitting around eating pizza all the time?

If you want someone who values fashion, do you dress with purpose or do you toss on the first thing in your closet?

The idea is, you don’t attract what you desire…you attract what you project.

Now, here’s the kicker: This all has to be authentic.

Consistently expressing yourself in the most authentic and unfiltered ways is a sign that you’re confident and self assured. Two qualities women seek in men.

Additionally, it shows you live your own life with passion and purpose regardless of your relationship status. A man with an identity is always more attractive than someone who simply blows in the wind of the world. (Usually seen as a “nice guy”).

The most attractive men are not the ones worrying about how to be attractive. They’re the ones living a life of passion and purpose. They’re the ones who work on themselves consistently and understand who they are. They’re the men who don’t fold like a cheap suit at any sign of criticism or trouble.

Women do not want a doormat. Too many men think being “nice” means doing everything she says and never disagreeing. This is the opposite of the truth.

Women want men who still have their edge. Men who are secure enough in themselves to sit and listen like the friend (relationships are essentially just friendships with sex) but also attract and excite her on a deeper level.

No pun intended.

There is no blanket solution here, guys. There is no piece of advice that’s going to fix this problem for everyone experiencing it. We are all different and have our own circumstances and challenges.

But one thing that is universal is this truth:

Any woman who chooses monogamy is going to only be with one man. That means that literally every other man on the planet is in her “friend zone.”

The friend zone is not relationship purgatory. It is an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop a real bond with a woman who can teach you new things about the world.

Plus, look on the bright side:

She’s probably got a lot of friends you can meet, too.


If you want my help and guidance to create an even happier and more fulfilled life with healthier relationships, reach out and let’s chat.

Let’s connect: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Speaking & Consulting


  1. Ruby Astari on December 6, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t understand. Why are some men so afraid of being ‘friendzoned’? I think being friendzoned is still so much better than being used or being treated as if you mean nothing at all. Besides, who knows what a friendship might develop? I’m sure they also don’t want women to pretend that they like him like him out of pity instead of really liking him. At least she’s honest, although not like what you might expect her to be. When she says ‘not more than friends’, it means ‘not more than friends’. Don’t try to make her feel guilty by smirking the word ‘friendzoned’. The guy can walk away anytime if he can’t stand it.

    That’s why I completely agree with this:

    “The friend zone is not relationship purgatory. It is an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop a real bond with a woman who can teach you new things about the world.”

  2. Nan Beland on December 7, 2019 at 2:35 am

    I am coming from being married for 30 years out of my 65 years. I would love to talk with more men, I would love to meet a man and have a partner, but without being in an acceptance of a friend zone it is next to impossible to find the right man. I often feel very uncomfortable when I just want to get to know the other person and they think of the bed first then talk but that is not how I
    am wired. Nan in California

  3. Nan on December 7, 2019 at 2:44 am

    How many zones are there? Friend zone means liking but not having sex? So what happened to opening to more friends, conversations without expectations, getting to know the person deeper than a first impression, on the surface?

  4. Beth on December 7, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    relationships are essentially just friendships with sex

    This one statement alone tells you how little James really understands about women.

    • James Michael Sama on December 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Beth! My point with this statement is that if you consider the “every day” things that happen in a relationship, many of them could also happen with a friend. It’s sort of like when the sex disappears in a long term relationship and the couple simple feels like roommates. Many married people have conveyed this to me.

      Clearly, relationships are far more intricate than can be expressed in short blog posts, but my track record speaking an advising on the topic usually yields solid results.

      Thanks for spending your time here on my site. Always appreciate others’ insights.

  5. Lonstermash (@reallonstermash) on December 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    I’m still perplexed by this concept of being what it is that you want to attract. I have had a fitness oriented lifestyle for 34 years and, even at 49, I still have the body of a 20 something fitness model. Yet, the women I meet with equally good bodies always friend zone me. I only seem to attract women who are, at best, somewhat in shape but could still stand to lose a few or definitely tighten up (and I actually prefer thicker build women, so I’m not one of those guys who wants a skinny girl by any means).

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