The “Friend Zone” Rears Its Head

Steven Barnes
6 min readJan 27, 2020

I got this query today from a reader:

Dear Steven. I went thru massive stuff, but I am still “fighting” … I am still following the soulmate-process. My relationship to women changed. In my past, it was quite easy to get them into bed and have sex, but I never really had a deep connection with them BESIDES sex. NOW I have a good connection, even can listen to them, but I END UP IN THE FRIENDZONE! I never had that problem (I know many men have that), but now I do. Isn´t that strange?”

Without knowing anything specific about the women involved, I’m going to make a guess, based upon previous interactions, and the core theories of the “Soulmate Process.” Briefly, it says that we attract what we are, and that “when the lover is ready, the Beloved” will appear. That there are MANY people on the planet who have the capacity to bond to us so tightly they seem and feel a part of our very souls. But you must love yourself enough to be attracted to some of those attracted to you, or have faith that you can grow.

All the following from this perspective, then…


Based upon complaints about the behavior of his roommates, I know his finances are not sound: he has not built a nest. So his financial instability (nest building/hunting/gathering) isn’t up to the level required to attract the kind of women he wants. Also, it doesn’t sound like he had a pattern of really treating women like…human beings. (“NOW I can even listen to them!” is a hell of an odd thing to be proud of.) Frankly, their standards are too high to be interested in giving him access to their reproductive tract and pair-bond instinct. If you don’t factor in the animal, you can miss the entire picture. There would be three different basic things to look at:

  1. Physical attractiveness
  2. Emotional balance and health
  3. Resources (money).

Everyone will have a different balance of these things, everyone’s score changes from time to time. You can have a max of 33.3 points in every category, and its your total score that matters. Someone with 90 overall points can attract a person who has roughly 90 points in theirs, even if those points are distributed differently. But a “60” can’t attract a “100” no matter HOW those points are distributed.

Yeah, that’s brutal. But it is true enough that one can draw rapid rough conclusions about what is going on. I’ll bet that he’s…



Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.