I’m sure everyone has heard of the term ‘friend-zoning’. If not, officially, the term is used for the situation in which one person in a mutual friendship wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship with the other person, while the other does not. In popular culture and in real life, it’s traditionally the woman who friend-zones the male. This can look like saying “let’s just be friends” or “I just don’t see you in that way” when asked for a date. Friend-zoning happens for many reasons, sometimes because of a lack of attraction, or a clash in personality – or perhaps one person just isn’t ready for a relationship. So, when it’s a male friend-zoning a female, do the reasons for this differ? And what are the signs? We’re back with our ’50 things’ series, having asked 50 males on what to look out for when you’re worried about being friend-zoned.


If a male isn’t sharing any physical contact with you, it’s likely he is friend-zoning you. I mean, he could just be being respectful?


  • “The physical contact! If there’s no physical contact from him, you are done” – 21, Hong Kong
  • “Just go get a drink with him and get drunk, if nothing happened, nothing would happen” – 30, Italy
  • “It’s easy, if that guy is not taking a step forward, physically and mentally” – 34, US
  • “Maybe you could try to touch his hands or other body parts, and see if he is resistant to that. If he is, you better keep that distance from him” – 28, Italy


Another 24% of men explained that you should keep an eye on the communications you are receiving from him. Does he text and call, or see you in real life? If so, you could be being friend-zoned.


  • “No immediate reply” – 23, Hong Kong
  • “When he is trying to get rid of one-on-one interactions” – 25, France
  • “If the conversation is just being limited to texting” – 21, Hong Kong
  • “See if he would ever text or call you first, if no, then you are 100% friend-zoned” – 27, US
  • “He missed your calls and messages, and didn’t text or call back” – 21, Hong Kong
  • “It is easy-to-tell from his frequency of texting back, if it is slow, you are not gonna have a chance” – 24, South Korea
  • When all his caring are all just being made through texts” – 29, Hong Kong
  • “When you need him and he is not there for you” – 27, South Korea
  • If a guy has friend-zoned you, he would never answer your call at late night, no matter how many calls you have made” – 34, US
  • “When you are hanging out with him, see if he would stick to his phone or not, if he does, FRIEND-ZONED .” – 25, US
  • “If he ghosts you, you are 100% friend-zoned” – 19, Hong Kong
  • “Give him a call or send him a text at around 10 pm, if he is replying or answering your call, that means that he is choosing you over his video games, but if he is not, you not how “important” you are to him” – 21, Hong Kong

Is he looking to spend time with you one-on-one? Or is he arranging group dates, avoiding intimacy and trying to involve more people in your ‘relationship’ to make it less exclusive. If so, he may be trying to push distance and ensure you’re kept at arm’s length. 16% of men we asked supported this theory.


  • “Never succeed to ask him out for a date” – 18, Hong Kong
  • “The cold and distant vibe you could feel when you are talking to him I guess?” – 19, Hong Kong
  • If he brings his friend(s) along during the dates between you and him, that’s an obvious sign” – 25, Singapore
  • “When it happens that he meets his friends during your dating and he introduces you as just friends or colleagues” – 33, South Korea
  • “He’s trying to send you home after the date between you and him” – 25, Hong Kong
  • “Trust me, if he calls for a group date, you are being friend-zoned” – 26, UK
  • “For me, if I have friend-zoned a girl, there wouldn’t be any flirty vibe involved, just plain and normal conversations, trying to avoid any type of misunderstanding” – 32, Singapore”
  • “If a guy looks like a mess and doesn’t pay any effort on his look when you are out for a date, it is obvious” – 23, Sweden


If he is comfortable talking about other girls in front of you, or asks about your love life, it’s likely he’s not interested!


  • “I think maybe when he talks to you about the girls he likes?” – 28, Singapore
  • “He would encourage you to look for a new partner” – 29, Hong Kong
  • “Haha, that’s easy! Just tell him that you have a crush and see if he’s jealous” – 25, South Korea
  • “There’s a deeper way, every guy would try to pretend to be an adult but the side of acting like a kid would always be presented carelessly, in front of the girl that he likes” – 33, Germany
  • “If you become his advice-seeker on girls, you will know” – 29, Hong Kong
  • “If he has ever changed your date because of someone else, that’s easy to tell” – 19, Hong Kong
  • “If the boy has never asked you about the type of person you like” – 20, Hong Kong
  • “He wouldn’t mind to show you how close he is with other girls” – 23, US
  • “He keeps mentioning about the girls around him.” – 19, Japan
  • “Keep saying “Next time”, if a boy is interested in you, he will always say yes for “This time” – 24, France


The final 32% of men said that you should just keep an eye on his direct behaviours towards you. Is it buying you gifts? How about flirting? Is he approaching you romantically or calling you his buddy? If so, you might need to either face things head-on and tell him you like him, or move on.


  • “When he keeps saying no to you” – 20, UK
  • “You would know when he is not paying the bill, not even for the first few dates” – 27, US
  • “He never takes things seriously in front of you” – 31, Japan
  • “You can’t feel anything even if you are flirting him lol” – 23, Japan
  • “He forgets things about you” – 26, France
  • “Maybe if he never flirts with you?” – 23, Spain
  • “From my experience, if he complains about everything, you are just friends” – 32, Indonesia
  • “Come on, if a guy is not curious about you, like your past or daily life, you are just a friend of his” – 29, Singapore
  • “He calls you mate or buddy” – 24, UK
  • “Try to ask him out and attend some workshops like bakery or accessories making, if he rejects you, friend-zoned.” – 20, Hong Kong
  • “Don’t lie to yourself, if a boy isn’t interested in you, you could always sense it from his words” – 26, France
  • “Tell him you need help, if he’s making excuses not to help, he’s just treating you as a friend’ at the very most” – 20, Indonesia
  • “Gift! If you have never received any gift from him” – 30, Spain
  • “When a guy starts to report to you about what he has done or where he is, you will know that he likes you, if not, maybe you are just a friend to him” – 30, Hong Kong
  • “See whether the gift being sent by him is something popular or being chose specially for you” – 20, Hong Kong
  • “Make fun of him on things that he has been denying, if he is still holding a relaxed tone, you should understand that it is just a joke with a friend to him” – 26, Germany


Being friend-zoned isn’t the worst thing in the world, after all, who doesn’t want more friends? On top of that, having a male friend can be really helpful for advice. However, it can be really frustrating, especially when you like someone and they do not reciprocate your feelings. It’s my advice to be open and honest, but do not pressure someone into liking you back. A relationship should be organic and easy – not forced. Good luck!

Subscribe to our newsletter
Don't miss the chance to
Transform your life