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My name is Ike. I am a writer. I drink way too much herbal tea and believe in the power of kindness, love and a good book.

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Letters to my Greatgrand-daughter: The Friend-zone cheat sheet

Dear Charly,

Two words. Friend zone.  

The most populous realm of the ‘Boy meets Girl’ universe. It turns out not only guys end up there. Girls get friend-zoned too. We are just more coy, secretive and less whiny about it. 

If you already are in the friend zone, I’m afraid it’s rather difficult to get out. You really might want to make yourself at home. However, if you aren't there just yet, this may be of use to you. 

First let me say, appreciate your education. The early, long hours and gruesome study nights don’t only prepare you for a lifetime vocation but provides tools for making better life decisions. Eventually you’ll see it’s really not that awful…………. actually it is. 

My point is, learn to believe in the power of education and its application to your mundane or in this case your romantic life. The solution to the friend zone might actually be found somewhere in an old, mouldy, scraggly textbook. 

Here’s my proposal for staying out of the friend zone. 

Positioning or product positioning

: One of the few terms that actually stuck in marketing class amidst the doodles and candy crush level hopping. Positioning according to Philip Kotler is the designing of a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the target market’s mind. 

Rephrasing for our own purposes, positioning is the art of being able to occupy that distinct place in the mind of a guy who you like and who you consider worthy of your person. Thankfully, men are not complex, it’s either he likes you…..likes you or he thinks you are “cool” or his “homie” or his “she-bro”. I have been called all these, Charly. I don’t know why I didn't think of this theory sooner! It surely could have helped the time I got friend-zoned. Best-friend-zoned actually (long story). The good news is it doesn't have to be that way.

The question to address is, how have you positioned yourself in his mind? You need to position yourself as the love interest. Not the best friend, not the neighbour, not the classmate; THE LOVE INTEREST. You need to be synonymous to girlfriend, the same way Louboutins are synonymous to luxury shoes.

This is not a call to change who you are or be inauthentic, no. Please by all means be yourself. In fact, according to two marketing experts, Ries and Trout, positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. 

 It’s a delicate balance between the presentation of your self-image and his perception of it.

It's your opportunity to influence his image of you and you only get one shot at this. It must be realistic and sustainable. 

Be mysterious; difficult to understand, teasingly and excitingly cryptic. 

Don’t be available all the time. I'm sure you have other things to do than hang around him. If you don’t, find something. 

Note: Don’t play hard to get, that gets old. Scientific studies show playing hard-to-get achieves nothing, however, being hard-to-get promises a likelihood of you being regarded with esteem. Be unavailable. Let him look for you, if he doesn't, well, take a hint and move on.

Don’t be too casual around him. Your body language shouldn't be screaming FRIEND! No farting or burping. Keep it together. Your body language shouldn't whisper “easy” either. You want minimal contact and a chance to build some energy. 

Be feminine but not all feminine, just the right amount blended with charm and confidence.

Don’t do him too many favors, one or two occasionally is fine but not two-a-day.

Have the ability to have light, fun, interesting conversations but also deep, knowledgeable ones.

Have your own opinions and express them clearly. Don’t like all his comments and photos on social media. Exercise some restraint.

Keep it in mind, my love, that the reason you might be headed for the friend zone is because you aren't his type but you are interesting enough to have around. Be quick to identify his type. If it requires an extensive alteration of you are, maybe this really isn't the guy for you. In that case, Friend zone HIM and keep moving.

The right guy is out there and much closer than he was yesterday.

Love,

Greatgran x

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