Is he friend-zoning me or taking it slow? 14 ways to tell the difference

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You have feelings for a very good guy friend…


You might be confused and not sure where you stand.


He might give you mixed signals and you’re confused because you can’t tell the difference whether he’s just taking it slow, or if you’re being friend-zoned!

Fear not!

This article will provide you with the clarity you’re looking for and will help you to know the difference.

Let’s dive in.

1) He doesn’t like physical contact.

Does he shy away from any physical touch? 

If you’re constantly having to ask him to hold your hand or hug you, then it’s a clear sign that you’re being friend-zoned. If he’s not open to physical contact, it means he doesn’t want more with you.

A guy that’s truly interested in getting together with you will show you with his actions that he’s into you. 

He’ll do whatever it takes to get up close and personal so if this is the case.

2) He only texts when he wants something.

If he only texts when there is a purpose behind the text, then that’s a huge red flag. 

You don’t want to be at the bottom of his list of priorities.  

Also, he doesn’t seem interested in you. He will text you something along the lines of  “hey, did you manage to download that movie for me”? 

That’s a clear sign that he’s not that interested in you but more like what he can get from you.

If a guy was truly interested, he would drop you messages that would ask how your day is, how did you sleep, etc.

If his messages are merely transactional, sorry to say, he’s not taking things slowly but is friend-zoning you.

3) You only hang out in groups.

Does he never invite you out on a solo date but instead, always insists that you guys hang out in a group?

If you only seem to hang out in groups together, it’s a telltale sign that you’re being friend-zoned. 

After all, if he wanted a relationship with you there would be times where you would get together on dates where it’s just the two of you.

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4) He makes excuses why he can’t hang out with you alone.

There’s no way that a guy would make excuses for why he can’t hang out with you alone. 

He will either make excuses about how he has already invited friends along or he’ll say that he’s busy.

But, you know he’s not actually busy.

If he does, then it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, and only wants to be friends.

5) He asks for your advice about girls.

You’re out at a bar and he turns to you and says: “What do you think about her?”.

Some guys will do this to try to gauge your reaction (hoping that you’ll like him even more) but in this case, he’s asking your advice as a friend, not as a girlfriend.

If this is you…

I’m sorry to break it to you…

You’re on a one-way bus to the friendzone and it doesn’t look like you’re getting off anytime soon.

6) He gives you advice on dating.

If he’s offering you dating advice, he’s likely picked up a hint that you’re into him and he’s grooming you to take a seat in the friendzone.

Maybe he feels awkward just telling you that he doesn’t see you like that and by doing this, lets him save face and your friendship.

Regardless, he’s not taking it slow, he’s friend-zoning you.

7) He’s blatantly disinterested.

If a guy is not interested in you (in that way), he will make it known. 

Especially if he suspects you’re catching feelings for him.

Call it a self-defense mechanism if you must.

He might be a tad rude or cold or both. 

He’ll be rude by ignoring your texts and talking to others in the group of friends you’re with. 

He’ll be cold by saying things like “I don’t want to talk about it” or, “I’m just being honest with you”. 

If he’s not interested in you being his girlfriend, perhaps you aren’t his type? 

There’s not much that you can do in this instance so it’s better to just let it go and carry on just being friends.

8) He’s always busy when you’re around.

If a guy says that he’s busy when you’re around, it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you. 

He just wants to have fun and hang out with his friends (who are girls). 

If he avoids you when you’re around, it may be because he doesn’t want to be in a relationship or because he doesn’t want to spend time with you. 

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9) He’s not flirty with you.

If a guy is not flirty with you,  it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you. 

You’re just a friend.

That’s all you’ll ever be.

A guy that flirts is a guy that’s interested in getting more out of you than just a friendship.

10) He doesn’t offer to pay the bill.

Yes, I know it’s 2022, and going dutch is the right thing to do, however, if he doesn’t offer to treat you then it’s a clear sign that you’re just a friend.

Maybe he’s just a cheapskate?

Um, no…

When a guy tries to impress a potential partner, he will usually pull out all the stops to wow her.

He might even be over-the-top with compliments, gifts, and acts of kindness. 

With that said, if you’re paying your own bill (and even his) sorry to say that you’ve hit the friendzone.

11) His eyes are forever wandering.

Ladies, when a guy truly digs you, he won’t even attempt to check other girls out

He’ll be totally focused on you, and he’ll be looking into your eyes the whole time. 

You might be surrounded by other women, but he will be fixated on you, and only you.

If your guy friend’s eyes wander and scout out other girls when you’re together, it’s another sign that you’re just a friend.

12) He doesn’t ask any questions about you.

If a guy always asks questions about you and is interested in getting to know more about you, then it’s a good sign that he wants to go out with you. 

But friends do this too so how do I know if he’s interested as a friend or something more?

Well, if a guy doesn’t ask you questions about yourself, it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to go out with you. 

Or the other way around: He’s not interested in going out with you because he’s only interested in being your friend and doesn’t need (or want) to know your entire life story.

13) He treats you like one of the guys.

Ok, so if he’s constantly ragging you and joking around it’s normal to be confused by this type of behavior.

It might even be downright confusing at times.

However, there’s a huge difference.

In a play fight between partners, there’s usually some sort of affection involved. A little kiss or tickle, etc.

if you’re just a friend, his actions will let you know exactly where you stand. 

He might punch you on the arm (like he would one of the guys) or prank you by doing something that will cause you to cringe.


If this is the case, you’re just a friend. Nothing more!

14) He makes you his wingman.

This is an important one and is usually the biggest sign that you’re being friend zone.

He will enlist your help to attract other women.

He will ask you to help him approach a girl, or he’ll ask you if there are any cute girls that he could talk to, or if you can join him at a party so that he can get some chicks.

The Friendzone: How it’s different from friendships and relationships?

One thing that most people don’t understand is that there are two different types of friendship: romantic and platonic. 

Both friendship types have their own set of problems and difficulties. 

But the main difference between the two types of friendship is that in a romantic friendship, you want your friend to be romantically interested in you. 

You want him to fall in love with you. But in a platonic friendship, it’s just the opposite: He doesn’t want to date you.

This is the friend zone: when you’re friends but one friend wants it to be more.

What does it mean when a guy says he wants to take it slow?

In a nutshell…

It means that the guy likes you, but doesn’t know if the relationship can work out in the long run.

He doesn’t think that his feelings are strong enough yet, so he wants to see how things go in the future.


  • It means that he wants to see where things go with you and is not just interested in being sex.
  • He wants to know if you’re his type of girl. He wants to get to know you first and then decide if he wants to take it further.
  • He might be scared to take it further because he’s never been with a girl like you before.
  • So he wants to get to know you more before starting anything serious with you.
  • It might mean that he is worried about hurting your feelings, or that he thinks that it’s wrong for him to want to take it slow.

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How will a man act when he’s taking things slow?

So, I’ve given you some pointers on how you can tell if you’re in the friendzone but if you’ve read through the list and it doesn’t resonate, it could very well mean that he just wants to take things slow.

So how do you tell?

Well, for one, he doesn’t initiate the conversation. 

He waits for you to ask him what he’s up to. 

If you’re worried about the fact that he’s not initiating the conversation, you can ask him if he wants to hang out.

It could be that he’s unsure of how you feel about him and he’s confused as to whether you’re interested or not.

He might also fear rejection, or he might just have come out of a long-term relationship and doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

So what should you do to help him out and make it easier for him to make the move?

You can make it easier for him to make the move by asking him out yourself.

In fact, ask him when he’s going to ask you out!

It’s a great way to break the ice and will give him the confidence he needs.

How do you tell if he has an interest in you?

Well, it’s hard to tell if he’s interested if you haven’t exactly interacted loads.

If this is the case, you’re going to have to start off the chat and then gauge how to proceed, based on feedback.

Here are some great ideas for conversation starters: 

  • You can say things like, ‘I think you’re really cute. I’d love to see you again.’
  • Or ‘I really like how you are with me and I’d love for us to hang out.’
  • Or ‘It’s so nice to have a guy like you around.’

When he responds, you will be able to determine whether you’re just a friend, or if he’s thinking about you in that “more than a friend” way.

What’s the difference between taking it slow and not being interested?

Yes, there are a lot of similarities between taking it slow and not being interested.

However, the difference is that if a man is interested in you and you’re taking it slow with him, he will want to be more than just friends with you.

He’ll want to see where things go.

And if you end up not having feelings for him, he’ll respect that and be okay with it. 

How does a guy act when he wants to take things slow?

There are a couple of signs you can look out for:

You can tell if he’s interested in you by his body language.

When he is interested in you, he will often fidget and look at you with a smile on his face. 

Additionally, he’ll be more relaxed and more comfortable around you.

He’ll also be more touchy-feely with you. He will put his arm around you, run his hands through your hair and rest his hand on your knee.

He will also jump at the opportunity to spend time with you alone, and not just in a group setting.

So if he acts like this around you, then he might be interested in you.

On the other hand, if he just seems to be bored or indifferent around you, take it as a sign that you’re just a friend and nothing more.

Wrapping Up

After reading this, you should have a pretty good understanding of being friend-zoned vs. a guy taking it slow.

When a guy is into you, you’ll know it. It won’t be a guessing game because he’ll make you feel like you’re the queen of his heart.

If he just wants to be friends and nothing more, it’s best to just accept it and stop forcing something that isn’t meant to be.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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