Telltale signs you’re in the bro zone (and how you can GTFO)
I've always had a soft spot for guys unlucky enough to find themselves in the dark and dismal friend zone. And in the sake of honesty, I have been personally responsible for several unlucky (or lucky – I'm a great friend) allocations to the zone. BUT the wholly unrecognised and unacknowledged bro zone is far, far worse – worse than having a 40 per cent assignment due tomorrow and six episodes of 13 Reasons Why left to watch at the same time.
The thing that makes the bro zone so insufferably irritating is that you're not sure why you're there. If a girlfriend zones you, it’s a clear and inarguable allocation. She's thought about it, consulted her friends and spent two weeks carefully crafting the appropriate way to tell you. But when a guy bro zones you, or worse M8 zones (kill me now), it’s because he is either completely ignorant, not interested, overwhelmingly shy or probably still in love with his ex. Surviving isn't going to be easy, but imma bout to Rambo the heck out of this so get on board.
Possible threat: Lack of interest
Counter-tactic: Initiate date
This is probably the hardest to survive. But, you can only confirm one way, and that’s by making the first move and asking him out.
If he says no: His loss. You’re confident, assertive and won't be wasting your time anymore. When you bounce back and move on it won’t take long before he’ll look back at and realise “Damn. I messed up”.
If he says yes: Good for you and I was right for telling you to do it, so we all win.
Possible threat: Ignorance
Counter-tactic: Overt flirtation
Bold and defined doesn't work with the clueless types; it might scare them off actually. You have to take things 90 per cent of the way and then let them discover the last 10 per cent by themselves.
A military example would be something like: Two weeks before a party, ask him if he's going. Make it clear that you and a group of your friends are going. One week before the event, initiate conversation regarding the event, then maintain conversation.
At the party, say hi and then move on. Don't stalk. Later in the evening, you brush past. You start flirting etc etc. and he seals the deal (hopefully). At that point, if nothing happens, there is something malfunctioning between the synapsis of his brain cells. Nothing can be done. Boy bye.
Possible threat: Shy boi
Counter-tactic: Sweet approach
He can snap you every day for two weeks but when you see him in the library he freezes with silence. It’s cute, but mostly infuriating.
Way out (or in hehe): make yourself as approachable as possible. No one can avoid approaching with chocolate. Equip yourself with a bag of Maltesers, find a quiet spot in the library and invite him to come share them with you – via Snap, obviously. Throw in a few brushes of his arm, maintain eye contact and keep things warm and friendly – he’ll feel instantly more comfortable and confident.
Possible threat: Ex-induced Coma
The only thing worse than still being in love with your ex is watching someone else still be in love with their ex. Ultimately, the status of the mission is:
- Emotionally: unavailable
- ETD from bro zone: unconfirmed
- Assets currently engaged: hopes, dreams (depleted)
It’s probably better to remain firmly in that bro zone as a matter of self-preservation too. In their minds, you’ll always be a comparison rather than your own person, so embrace the friend status to make sure you’re not just a rebound.
Shout out to all my bros/M8s for the inspo! You make dreams remain dreams.
Danica is a Laws Masters kid at UWA. She enjoys cheap coffee and 80s pop music.