Make the best move from best mate to bed mate

escape the friendship zone

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No, not in the small ads. “Think of your approach as an ad campaign,” says Kezia Noble, a dating coach at seduction bootcamp puatraining.com. “You already have the basis for a great relationship. Her desire to buy into it may not have developed yet, but you’re in the perfect position to research your target market. Work out how her most recent exes differ from you and what you have in common to get an idea of the sort of guy she wants to date. Developing a whole new personality will never work long term, so simply enhance the good traits you share with them.” Within reason; you’ve seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Don’t be a girl

“If you’re interacting with her on a similar level as her girlfriends, that’s how she’ll inevitably see you,” warns Dr John Gray, author of When Mars And Venus Collide (Harper). “Set yourself apart by politely challenging rather than agreeing with her, and by holding back. Women make the mental shift from friend to lover far more slowly than men so you’ll need to pull away from her to speed up the process. Don’t talk on the phone every night, and cut down the amount of time you spend together. This will turn you in her mind from part of the furniture to someone she misses and wants to see.” Yes, possibly without any clothes on.

Wipe your slate clean

“If you’ve ever treated an ex badly and she knows about it, that’s three strikes before you’ve even stepped up to the plate,” warns Noble. “Take her out for coffee (University of Queensland research found that drinking coffee makes people more open to persuasion) and lament your single status. When she scoffs, explain past behaviour by saying your ex destroyed your confidence with nasty remarks, or wasn’t looking for something serious so you never really felt an emotional connection. Then stress you are a changed man; you’ve learnt the hard way.” White lies are always better than the white flag.

Prime her to want you

“Subconsciously make her see herself as your potential girlfriend by talking about the traits you like in a woman that she obviously has,” says Richard La Ruina, author of The Natural Art of Seduction (Pennant). “At the last minute, turn it around by saying that obviously she is out of the question due to her abrasive personality or lack of ambition. This will set her a challenge – she’ll want you to want her so she’ll up her game.”

Double up

“When you go out, rewire the way she views your relationship by using your surroundings,” says Noble. “Go out for a meal with ‘a couple of friends’, who should turn out to be together. She’ll subconsciously view you as her date, embedded even further by the romantic cues from the restaurant atmosphere and the displays of affection from the other couple.” NB. If keys are thrown on the table at the end of the night, leave.

The eyes have it

“Apply pupilometrics: when you are around her, ensure it’s in low lighting. It will make your pupils automatically enlarge, the same thing that happens when you desire someone,” says body language expert Sam Van Rood, author of Teach Yourself Flirting (Teach Yourself Books). “This works because we are wired to be attracted to people who are attracted to us.” At the same time, think about what it will be like when you eventually get her into bed. Your pupils will grow even larger and your testosterone levels will rise. “She won’t know why, but she’ll be able to sense a shift in the atmosphere and will feel more attracted to you as a result,” says Van Rood. Best to avoid any heavy breathing at this stage though…

Make her provider

Now it’s her turn to woo you; she just doesn’t know it yet. “Stop treating her and get her to treat you,” advises Tracey Cox, author of Superflirt (Dorling Kindersley). “This works on two levels: first, when you do something nice for somebody else your oxytocin (bonding) hormones are given a boost. Secondly, to justify the effort or expense, she’ll subconsciously over-idealise your worth.” Or ask you to pay half the bill later…

Go for the jackpot

“Show her the balance has shifted,” says Dr Dennis Neder, author of Being A Man In A Woman’s World (Remington). “Make sure you give her at least a goodnight kiss. If you don't do this starting with your very first date, you're back to square one. In fact, you're worse-off than before. If she baulks, you have two choices: accept it and get scarce, or begin working to counter her reluctance. Tell her, “I understand you don't see me this way yet, but I think we should give it a shot.” Reassure her that you have stayed friends with all your exes to remove any fear that should this not work out you’ll lose a great friendship.”

The aftermath

A Penn State University study showed that while 67% of women had slept with a friend only half of these women were interested in pursuing a relationship afterwards. “Make sure you don’t slip back into old behavioural patterns, especially in the first few weeks when she has less of an emotional connection to you,” warns La Ruina. “Continue to date in places with romantic connotations such as the theatre or restaurants to enforce this. Avoid simply ‘hanging out’.” (There are laws against things like that.) And if that fails it's time to visit the Solutions BD Sex Tips Zone.

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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