In a bid not to look rude, bruise egos and hurt feelings of men they like or whose resources they have prospects of enjoying, women (attached or singles who are not ready to date) have polite ways of turning such potential suitors into ‘just friends’. This, they do especially when they realise they like the men making advances, but are not ready to be romantically involved with them. They do it so tactfully that even the glimmer of hope a man had of winning their hearts diminishes completely.
Give him relationship advice, laugh at his advances
As a man, what would you do if a woman, in whose heart you have been making inroads, started giving you relationship advice? That is exactly the awkwardness one Ken Mbaja found himself in a while back.
He says a new female neighbour he had developed interest in shocked him one evening when she, out of the blue, began to dole out relationship tips and advice as they sipped coffee at his apartment. Mark you this is at a time when he thought he had made headway and was a few days away from winning her over.
Listen to him whine:
“There is this next door chick on my block I had been wooing. She had been a regular visitor to my place. That I’m a bachelor and she had been frequenting my place was an indicator that she liked me and it was just a matter of time before she said ‘yes’ to my advances, or so I thought. But this was not the case, one evening as we enjoyed coffee, she dropped the bombshell; she began giving me advice on relationships!”
What Mbaja didn’t know was that he had been ‘friend-zoned’. Nice but not romantically attractive. He claims the lady, a banker whose beauty he was smitten with, from that day, began diverting his attention. Whenever he mentioned anything to do with how he felt about her, she giggled dismissively, the way a sister would to her brother.
Let him see you with no make up/ compliment other men
According to him, the melon that broke the monkeys back was when she began brushing him off whenever he complimented her beauty and developed the nerve to compliment other male neighbours in his presence.
“This was so heart breaking, and disappointing. From that day onwards, she laughed off my advances and chuckled dismissively whenever I complimented her, making me feel so bad. Before I knew it, she began complimenting other male dapper dressers on the block — in my presence. I recall she once asked me what I thought of a certain neighbour’s dress code,” whines Mbaja.
“Initially, she used to dress in sexy ‘clad’, powder her nose, apply make up and all...before visiting me. But much later, she never bothered; she would visit without make up on, shiny nose and all”.
Hear him complain:
“Things changed. The lady began arriving at my place unannounced, and dressed in homely ‘clad’. With my dreams ruined, we became friends and still are to date.”
This leaves one to wonder what is it that Mbaja did that turned her off, or maybe he wasn’t her type? Was it that he wasn’t saying the right things, or he had become too nice for her to think of him in romantic ways?
But, then, why was she enjoying his company by hanging around his house?
As a man, the moment a woman you are so into starts caring less about her appearance in your presence, stops excusing herself frequently to duck into the washroom to powder her nose, and instead, leaves it to sweat and look shiny, my friend, you are friend-zoned! Pick yourself up, dust off, count your loses, lick your wounds, accept and move on!
Behave like a tomboy or his male pals
When a certain Janet went for internship at a city blue chip company, Seth, an older staffer at the company, began making passes at her. That she was in another relationship did not matter to him. He kept hitting on her.
“Seth was a very friendly guy, smart and extremely resourceful. Problem was I was in another relationship and wasn’t feeling him (Seth) at all, but didn’t want to tell him point blank for hear of being hated, you know men,” says Janet.
The speed with which Seth was moving alarmed Janet, prompting her to seek advice from her friends.
“I really used to enjoy his company. He had a great sense of humour, and was a fantastic conversationalist. But I wasn’t ready to date him. All I wanted was friendship. I talked to a friend of mine who gave me a strange tip but interestingly, it worked,” Janet narrates.
Janet, a nail-polishing, English-speaking woman who considers herself sophisticated resorted to behaving like a tomboy while in Seth’s presence.
“I began changing topics whenever he began dropping hints of his interest in me. I simplified it by laughing it off and generally behaving like I were a fellow man. I would playfully poke him in the ribs, engage him in mock fights, by lightly boxing him. With time, we got so used to each other that his feelings died off, and we are tight buddies now,” says Janet, adding that it is through Seth that her cousin got her current job.
Janet proceeds to add that from her experience with men, they take rejection personally. She says she if she likes a man and she is not ready to welcome his romantic advances, she has several tricks to ensure she traps him in the friend zone. She says one easiest way is by projecting a negative image of herself, seeing as this is likely to kill his interest. Janet says she uses any means to ensure her feminine side is completely suppressed.
Feel free to burp or break wind loudly in his presence
“When men are madly in love or have a crush on a woman, they tend to see her as a perfect human being. Some would even have weird imaginations like thinking you don’t perform ‘dirty’ bodily functions like going to the loo or even farting. Thus, when in the presence of such a man and you don’t want to openly reject him, hurt his feelings and ruin the career or social networks he would have help you access, here’s what to do. Develop a habit of exposing the negative aspects of your personality like burping loudly, picking your nose. Or, better still, heck, make a habit of loudly breaking wind in his presence. And to save face, pretend to be apologetic and remorseful afterwards,” giggles Janet.
Janet goes on to add: “Just imagine hanging out with a man you like as friend but he insists on making romantic advances. Be like, ‘Dude, excuse me, wacha niende loo kupupu’. I swear, his interest in you will start waning because of your language. Chances are he will start seeing you as poorly groomed or socialised and, thus not an ideal partner, which will be to your advantage.”
Treat him like one of your girlfriends
Sally Mwende, a business lady in Nairobi, says for her, the easiest and politest way to reject a man and consequently friend-zone him is by treating him as one of her girlfriends.
“You can start by drawing him into your gossip circles. Personally, I treat such men as though they were one of my girlfriends. I openly discuss gory details of my gynaecological problems and menstrual cycle or fashion and style.
“Besides, when they come to my house, I always lie to them that I am such a horrible cook. Just to put them off,” She chuckles. Naomi Nyamu, a civil servant in Nairobi, says she insists on calling such men unromantic names.
“A man can claim to be so into you, but nothing sobers and dampens his spirits faster than calling him ‘my friend’, ‘my brother’ or better yet, if they are older, telling them ‘I see you as my father’.
“His romantic feelings take instant flight; no man would want to imagine seducing his own sister or daughter!” says Nyamu, adding that, “When such a man asks you out for a romantic date or dinner, tag along a friend.”
Clearly, men have to dash back to the drawing board and devise ways of countering the tricks women use to quarantine them in the friend-zone.