Are You Hiding in the Lesbian Friend Zone?

by Mary Gorham Malia

How many women are in your lesbian friend zone?

iStock 000008979541Small Are You Hiding in the Lesbian Friend Zone?

Are you approaching dating like you’re looking for friends?

It’s a woman thing.

We want to be friends with everyone –  our ex girlfriends, their ex’s, our ex’s ex’s, ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends and their girlfriends and the list goes on.

This sometimes OCD behavior leeks over into the dating zone.

We think the way to find love is to approach everyone as our friend first.

You think, let’s be friends first and then we’ll be lovers if I like you enough as a friend.

You are sort of saying something like that and it sort of sounds right. It sort of sounds like a sensible thing to do. But is it?

Honest truth is that my friends are my friends because I don’t want them as lovers!

I can be their friend because I don’t take them home with me every night and when I’m tired of them, I can leave wherever we are and go do something I want to do.

And one of the joys of friendship is that you want to see them again, spend time with them again and you’re friends are the folks that stick with you when your girlfriend or partner leaves.

Can You Hide That You’re Attracted To Your Friend?

Honestly, I don’t do well with just hanging out with someone who really turns me on and then having to act ok with just being a friend. It will get messy. If there is a DO NOT ENTER sign posted there, I’m gonna find something else to do with my time instead of torturing myself wanting something I can’t have. I don’t know about you, but that’s me.

Life is complicated enough and I hate making something more complicated than it needs to be. I’ll admit that as lesbians we are really good at doing this – making everything super complicated. UGH

You Can’t Put Every Women You Meet IN The Lesbian Friend Zone!

Gay girls spend far too much time spinning our wheels trying to be just friends with women who want to be our lovers or with women we want to be our lovers who want to just be friends. We fantasize that maybe she’ll come around so we play a game with just how honest we are about what we really want. Ugh! What a big waste of energy.

Many women are STUCK because they are in this game. You LOVE your FRIEND; not in the friend way but in the lover way. It’s pretty clear you’ll never have her as a lover, so you can’t have what you want. Instead you torture yourself every day by spending time with her and being happy with the crumbs of a real relationship.

Do You Want To Date or Do You Want To Find Friends?

I think we are doing each other a huge disservice by playing the friends first card with every woman we meet.

Look here is what happens…

Imagine you are out on a date with a woman you think you might really like. She is not looking at you as “a friend” if she accepted the date from you in the first place. You do understand this right?

If you approach a date with the attitude of “we are going to be friends” then what you bring to the date is your “B game.” You are playing it safe. Dating is not about being safe! To find love you will have to risk your heart.

You show up with friend energy not date energy.  You lay back, you hide out, you don’t explore as much, and you don’t engage her heart. You don’t flirt!  You’ve got to engage her heart in order to win her heart.

You hold back your desires, feelings and emotions. You are basically in your head during the entire date, just being a “good guy” and probably agreeing with everything she says.

By Playing It Safe You Get Exactly What You Fear Most,  You Get Put In The Friend Zone.

Everything we do in life is driven by our mindset. Dating is all about mindset. The women I know that feel good about dating and meeting that special woman have amazingly positive mindsets about themselves and about dating.

Regardless of the terminology, when you’re out on a date it’s all about your mindset and how you interact with the woman. It’s all about your eye contact, your smile, and touching her hand across the table as she’s telling a story.

Bringing you’re “A game” means letting go of playing safe and really being yourself so she’s able to become attracted to you. If you do nothing on a date except think and think and think, then guess what? You will never create any type of sexual attraction, because a woman will see that you are in your own head.

When You’re Totally In Your Own Head, You Can’t Get Into Her Heart

So, how do you do this? How do you stay out of your own head, tap into your emotions and trust yourself to the moment?

You must stay present. You listen to her stories. You smile. Maybe you hold her hand.  There is no right or wrong time to hold somebody’s hand. You do it when you feel it and of course she accepts the gesture.  You use rapport building skills, like subtly mirroring the speed of her speech, how she crosses her legs, smile when she smiles and take a sip of your drink when she does. This creates a subtle rhythm that creates connection.

Do This Exercise And Learn To Tap Into Your Emotions And Differentiate Between Friends And Lover Emotions

Think about one of your best friends and tell them how you feel about them.

Describe what it feels like to be friends with this person. What does it feel like from your perspective?

Then imagine what it feels like to be friends with yourself…

Describe what it feels like to really reach deep inside yourself and see who YOU really are.

Doing this enables you to see what your prospective date sees, from a fresh perspective.

Now imagine yourself as a lover. Feel how different that feels from being a friend.

What different parts of yourself show up as a lover than as a friend?

Now imagine being on a first or second or third date with you.

That woman is going on this date for the same reasons you are – to find out more about you, to enjoy herself, and hopefully establish a love connection.

How To Bring Your “Lover” With You On A Date

If you take the time to think about what qualities you display to your friends that make you a good friend, you’ll be more aware of them and she’ll instantly pick up on them. This will allow you to get out of your head!  But don’t get trapped in the friend zone, remember to bring those parts of you that are the lover to the table in an appropriate way. A lover might say – you have an amazing smile. Your face just lights up when you smile. I’m enjoying that. A friend isn’t going to say that.

You all know what it’s like to connect with people. You connect with friends, family, and co-workers.

It is no different to connect with a woman on a date. It takes being present. It takes enjoying yourself in the moment. It takes letting go.  And it takes stepping out of the friend zone and into your lover self.

If you do all of those things, you won’t be in the friend zone. You’ll be in the lover zone.

And finally, if a woman says she just wants to be your friend and you know you want so much more, my advice is to gently, calmly and quietly walk away cause its just going to make you crazy!

Take a minute and share with me what you think. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Here’s where the discussion takes place cause I do want to know what you’re thinking… Leave me a comment now right below this post.

Sending you a big hug!!!

new email sig Are You Hiding in the Lesbian Friend Zone?




Mary Gorham Malia is the Gay Girl Dating Coach. Her mission is to help lesbians break through the barriers to finding love and lasting relationship.

She’s been named #1 on the Top 10 Lesbian Dating Bloggers list.  Mary focuses on helping you to love your gorgeous, handsome, sexy and juicy lesbian self while breaking through what  holds you back from finding love, being mindful about your whole life and creating more happiness for yourself!

Mary is the founder of Gay Girl Dating Coach and the Live Your Best Lesbian Life

Global Tele-Summit. She’s been seen on Huffington PostYour and the Love On Purpose Revolution.

 She’s available for speaking engagements, workshops and teleseminars. You can work with her on as a VIP Client with private one on one coaching or get access to her power-packed dating strategies with her self-study program called




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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

frazy catering November 9, 2011 at 9:36 PM

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Ari December 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM

So I am the one in the friend zone in love with my very close friend. Problem is I have been in love with her for 2 years and know it will never go anywhere. I would walk away quietly but then I would be without her support. She knows how I feel but has told me ” I dont want to date you”. Yet we still hang out and I have to conceal my emotions in order to keep a friendship. I really don’t think its easy for her knowing how I want to be with her and I have yet to “get over her”. It would be nice to hear it from both perspectives. I would like to date and have made several attempts, nothing has happened and I fear I may not meet someone by the deadline I have given myself.


Tia January 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Im in nearly the same position. I love my best friend but could never admit it to her. I don’t know but i may drop hints and im a total tomboy so i think she might know. When we have sleepovers we share a bed, though she hates hugs from anyone and i am no exception. i have said to her that ‘she is the only reason im still alive because i live to protect her’ and she just goes ‘awwr that’s sweet’. She now has a boyfriend and when she told me i kinda just went quiet the whole Skype chat and she realised but didn’t suspect it being about the fact she had a boyfriend, i don’t think. She will say she loves me in like a joke for example: ‘i want to kill you but i wont cause i love yew’. Things like that. I know we could never be anything and its driving me insane! i need together out my head but we are best friends i we will always talk and see each other so i don’t think ill ever get over her….


AJ August 18, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Love this article. Very helpful to make me realize I was doing this & it’s not what I want to settle for. very humorous & so true on many points. I have several long time friends whom I’ve never Had feelings for and never will because they are just friends. Yet there is this woman I was going out with who no longer wanted it to be intimate or more than friends and i thought if i could keep her in my life as a friend it was going to be enough but it’s been very hard for me. I still have more than friends feelings for her and this article made me see that and realize I shouldn’t settle for anything less than all that I want.


K August 19, 2013 at 5:32 AM

Hi, this is a great topic! Thanks for bringing it out of the deep sea of “feelings” and pick it appart a bit. Another thing that springs to mind is that when you are having an emotional affair with your friend of x lover and there is no response and probably never will be in that regard, then you are also emotional unavaible to date and potentially become lovers with the dreamwoman than really is set on having YOU as their queen of hearts. Very useful topic! Thanks Mary! Greetings from Norway!


Janet August 19, 2013 at 7:01 AM

I don’t understand the woman who say they are always friends first.
Are they just scared to date? Or are they just not interested, & can’t say that?


Linda Garneau August 19, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Great article, Mary! I think the theory of “friends first” means getting to know someone before investing your heart in that person. In other words, many people don’t want to “fall” for someone they don’t know and then get trapped in that zone with a partner who may not be right for them. Chemistry is important and only one of many qualities required for a successful relationship. We can’t just walk up to a total stranger and start flirting with that person (well maybe you can, but it’s not really cool!), so it is assumed from this article that you know enough about the person already to take that risk.


Sally August 19, 2013 at 7:54 AM

I’ve always fell in love with my best friends I guess it was just the intimacy of the relationships, but I still searched for a girl friend.


Sally August 19, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Yes Janet I think you hit the nail on the head.


Cheryl August 19, 2013 at 9:38 AM

For me it hasn’t been a problem, I’ve always been able to turn on the girlfriend/lover part of me when I’m interested and be a friend for those I’ve wanted as friends when that is all I want. I am however, guilty of wanting to be friends, or at least get closure from those I was involved with, not usually possible. I am learning to let them (ex’s) slide off the edge of my world (new phrase from a wise friend) I haven’t got there yet but am on my way. I am now 57 and looking for someone that I want to spend more time with than that of a friend. I have 4 grown son’s and I feel that it is time that I sort out my life and have a balanced work/personal life.

I have had 4 serious (2 or 3 dating) relationships ranging from over 17 years to 6 months. I find that the longer I am out of the relationship, the easier it is to let the feelings go (anger, frustration, betrayal) and it has now been almost 6 years since I’ve been in any relationships, or dated except for meeting for coffee. Those I met for coffee in order to glean whether they were potential girlfriends, I knew at the moment I saw them they were not someone I would like to spend more time with. I have not found anyone I want to be with more than that as of friend yet.

I feel I am ready, maybe I am not?


Ginny August 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Hi Mary. I always find your words of wisdom to be insightful and thought provoking. I understand what your saying in this article. And I really don’t ever want to have sex with my best friend or friends. This brings up an issue i am wondering about. And if it could be perceived the same way. What do you think about being in a new and committed relationship with someone who Is friends with every Ex She has had. And likes it that way. My question is if they were ever a true couple (you described) or just friends. That’s just mind boggling to me. I don’t want to be friends with Ex’s. There is a reason why they are called Ex’s, lol. Am I way off base?


Arjuna August 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

It takes several dates or meetings to determine whether a woman is emotionally available and not crazy. Additionally, older women are neither hot nor horny enough that we want to jump each-others’ bones. If you can’t be friends with a prospect, she’s simply too broken to have in your life. That’s why friendship is actually a key part of the vetting process, and you would forgo it at your own risk.


Cora Nowell August 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I’m one of those Lesbians that say “friends first”. This article has made me think about the reasons I do this. I think there are two different reasons I do this…
1. If I meet someone online I want to have an out if there is something about them that doesn’t feel right or they have misrepresented themselves online…such as photos that are 10 yrs old and they’ve gained 50 lbs! (Yes, that’s happened!).

2. If I meet someone online or someone that I don’t know a lot about, but I’m very attracted to…it seems to slow things down so I can really get to know who they are and what they are about.

In my past I’ve always just went for it and now that I’m older I’m looking to be more aware before I dive in, hook and sinker!


J. Joya August 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The timing of this article could not have been more perfect. I was actually considering sending you a Facebook message because I have not been able to make the distinction (for myself) between making new friends vs. ‘real dating’ …or dare I say, trying to find a lover. I know for sure that for the past two years or so I have always behaved more like a potential new BFF than one’s next girlfriend.

If possible, Mary, could you write more about what it means to bring our Lover selves to dates? You are right that as women, many of might be inclined to becoming friends with our dates first. I know that this approach has not and absolutely is not working for me right now. I am open to further suggestions.

Lastly, Mary do you have any thoughts on how masculinity and femininity show up in lesbian dating? I have been listening to a lot of ‘attract love’ seminars and speakers keep mentioning that women should get more in touch with their feminine…but it seems that these suggestions are for women who date men. What do masculine/feminine dynamics look like for women who date women…? (I am sure that it extends beyond butch/femme identities.) Would an understanding of masculine/feminine dynamics help all of us gay girls to bring our Lover selves to our dating efforts?


Mar Hobbs August 19, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I’m getting to know a woman that I’m very much attracted to, but I want to take it slow and not get my hopes up if thing don’t quite work out the way I would like. She’s really pretty amazing and would be quite ok if we were to be just friends. I would rather have her in my life in some capacity than not at all, and if it means being friends then so be it…Is that wrong?


franeur August 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Isn’t this a dilemma for so many?? Like bringing a moving van to the first date and the reasonable worry of slim pickin’s if you don’t act fast!.
I regret some of my waiting and also some of my risking too soon. I think when the risk is easier, go for it, but the pit can be so deep when you fall hard. And even painful frustrated friendship is sometimes better than no feeling or depth. This is helpful to see addressed and a very good site! It seems to be both individual and situational, and it does get better when you learn whatever suits you! But love does need some effort!


Bertie August 20, 2013 at 1:35 AM

As I was reading this I thought about my ex and how she would say that she wanted to take things slow and be friends first. We had a mutual attraction for each other so it was obvious that we would become lovers. I would flirt with her but she wouldn’t flirt back and when I would try to hold her hand it did not feel as if the feeling was mutual. In a way it is probably a good thing that we broke up because I got the feeling that she did not want to let her heart lead her. We see each other often because we travel in the same circles but she doesn’t even acknowledge that I exist so I am now seeing a side of her that I might never have seen if we continued dating. She also said when we broke up that we should be friends. To this day I have not seen any evidence of a friend “relationship.”

This post was right on spot for me and it really helped me make some sense of that relationship


Bertie August 20, 2013 at 1:50 AM

As I was reading this I thought about my ex. She wanted to take things slow, get to know each other and be friends. We both had a mutual attraction for each other and eventually we became lovers. However, when I would flirt with her she would never flirt back or if I tried to hold her hand, she wouldn’t pull away but there was no response. It was like she didn’t know how to be affectionate. When we broke up she said that we would be friends. And maybe I am naive but that usually means something, at least it does to me. I see her often, as we travel in some of the same circles, but she doesn’t even acknowledge that I exist. Anyway it is probably a good thing that we broke up because I am seeing a side of her that I’m not sure I like.

This post is spot on for me and I feel that it explains some of the things that I have gone through as part of that relationship.


Joce-Lynne August 20, 2013 at 8:01 PM

This is a great article Mary. Thank you so much. I will make sure to read it on a regular basis so that I really and truly integrate it.


nanci August 22, 2013 at 5:19 PM

I’ve done that “in love w/ straight girl” routine and it sucks. Best friends -or- not its very painful, anyway you slice it. I seem to love straight women, more than the gay ones (yes I’m in therapy) would love to meet my soulmate……that’s perfect in all the ways, including emotionally AND physically available. I just happen to live in an area that’s very Gay (80% of them men) and is a relatively small town, not a great selection/opportunity for dating. What’s a hetro women loving gay girl to do?



kandis August 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Mary, this is going to sound very ego filled, but I try to remain on the friendship side of things because women tend to fall REALLY hard for me. They are mostly women I don’t have the slightest feelings for MORE than friendship. So my ‘lover’ has to stay mostly in the closet or people end up sad, hurt and quite often pissed off. AND NO I don’t lead them on unless you think being friendly is leading them on. There is rarely physical contact more than a hug or a handshake. Then there are the ‘you think you’re too good for me’ words bandy about. It’s ugly, but it’s true. It makes it hard…. I know that this is on the women I date and not on me, but I’m not one to lead women on and make them hope for more than there is.
So where is the balance here?


Jan August 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

I’m amazed at how true and accurate ggdc has been with ‘btn’ and ‘wanting to date’ andcoming off as ‘friends first’.
Until very recently I was in a btn relationship, read ggdc’s articles and advice(over n over for months feeling sickened with this reality)…wow, what a realization. Please continue to do what you do, you save hearts, restore sanity. ;-)


Barbara August 23, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I think this is terrific! It makes me realize that I have taken an even more significant step towards hiding, in that I don’t really have any lesbian friends… no chance of mixed messages there!!

I did the dating sites for about 6 months, but that was discouraging and didn’t suit me.
I’m skeptical that I can find “the one” so I’ve spared myself the disappointment and given up altogether… Problem solved?


Wendy August 23, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I love your blog and I follow you on Facebook. I agree with a lot of what you say, but I’m not sure I agree with this. I’m one of those women who isn’t always sure right away if my attraction to someone is emotional or physical.

I think once I turned 50 my approach to dating has become different. I always used to jump in when I felt a strong physical attraction, and it has gotten me in a lot of trouble. These days I’m more content to hang back in a group setting and if I see a woman I like – get to know her as friends first. I just had a recent experience with someone I got really close to as friends. I also felt an attraction for this woman…sure enough as we became closer without the physical contact, I started to see that she had a lot of emotional problems and would not have been a good match for me as a lover. I guess everyone is different, but I see nothing wrong getting to know someone as a friend first and then if an interest develops…letting them know. If they’re not interested, I don’t get upset – I just move on.


Tia January 7, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I love my best friend but could never admit it to her. I don’t know but i may drop hints and im a total tomboy so i think she might know. When we have sleepovers we share a bed, though she hates hugs from anyone and i am no exception. i have said to her that ‘she is the only reason im still alive because i live to protect her’ and she just goes ‘awwr that’s sweet’. She now has a boyfriend and when she told me i kinda just went quiet the whole Skype chat and she realised but didn’t suspect it being about the fact she had a boyfriend, i don’t think. She will say she loves me in like a joke for example: ‘i want to kill you but i wont cause i love yew’. Things like that. I know we could never be anything and its driving me insane! i need together out my head but we are best friends i we will always talk and see each other so i don’t think ill ever get over her….I don’t know what to do…


lucky0001 February 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

So……..nice articles about lesbians
Thanks for taking care as human being.


lucky0001 February 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

So……..nice articles about lesbians
Thanks for taking care as human being.


Weston29 February 14, 2014 at 8:56 AM

So there’s this girl that I’m attracted to and she’s attracted to me. We have been hanging out for a about 7 weeks or more now. We have kiss every time we see each other and whenever one leaves. When we chill out I hold her leg she embraces that with her hand ontop with fingers entwined in mine. We have discussed that we are going to go with the flow with no tags or labels and see if anything progresses further. Recently she went home and had dinner with her x. When we are together her x txts constantly and gets annoyed cus she’s hanging out with me. Since she returned from home we have gone from going to the flow to just friends. Her x told her there is no way they are getting back together. Maybe this is what the girl I like needed to hear in order to move on. But somehow she has done a backflip and is confused about everything. I’m trying to be her friend to help get through whatever she is dealing with, but same time I want to back off so my feelings for her die down. Now I’m confused about what to do.


lucky0001 February 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Nice your articles.
Thanks for caring lesbians.


Kerry March 5, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Thank you. This was the most helpful information I’ve come across yet. I wasn’t sure if my new friend and I have been dating, or are just hanging out. Well, I think we have been dating. Head over heels in love with her! Thanks!!


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