How to Avoid the Let’s Just Be Friends Axe

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One minute it’s all lovey-dovey and the next you’re demoted to being “just a friend.”

What happened?!

Believe it or not, this is more common than you think and it’s not at all the final word on the matter. There is hope for reconciliation and a return to love!

In this post, I’ll show you exactly why he pulled away from intimacy and said “let’s just be friends.” I’ll also give you the exact script to use to spark his interest again and get back together.

Understanding this sets you up for successful relationships for life. So, it’s worth your next 5 minutes. Ready? Let’s go!

Dear Lauren,

I’ve been dating this guy for 4 months. Then he got very busy at work and after six weeks of spotty contact, I told him my feelings were hurt. I emailed/texted him multiple times a day asking what had happened and when could we talk? He sent an angry email saying he was working 14-hour days and couldn’t deal with this right now and that all he has to offer is friendship. Am I pathetic to hope he might want to be with me after things calm down? If he does, should I expect an apology for the lack of communication or should I apologize to him for being needy?

– Liz


First let’s break this down and play the last couple months in slow motion so you can see exactly what happened and how it can be done differently in the future, with different results.


Out of Sight and Out of Mind


In the beginning, he digs you. He loves to see you happy and he loves that he can make you happy. He’s excited about this relationship!

Then he gets busy at work and you fall out of sight and out of mind.

Is he a jerk? Does he not care for you? Or is this a gender difference we often misunderstand?

Did you know that women have 9 times more white matter in their brains than men?

We take these additional connector cells for granted and assume men function in the same way. But they don’t! This is why women are brilliant at multitasking – keeping so many plates spinning and top priority. We do it because we can.

Men have 7 times more grey matter (cluster function cells) in their brains than women which means he is brilliant at slaying the dragon right in front of him (work) and less brilliant at writing a shopping list at the same time (pursuing you).

It’s got nothing to do with how much you mean to him and has everything to do with how his brain functions!!

Isn’t that cool to know?

Since he stops pursuing you, you naturally feel rejected, unloved, and unimportant. You take his absence personally and your feelings get hurt.

Totally understandable. But this is where the problem starts…


What Not to Do


You tell him about it! You tell him he hurt your feelings. And this is that critical moment where things start to go south.

While you’re sharing your feelings with him as an act of intimacy and through a desire to connect, he thinks you’re blaming him for not being a good enough boyfriend.

He is upset that you’re no longer happy and that he can’t do anything about it!

You send countless texts and emails demanding him to answer for his neglectful behavior. This pushes him away.


It’s Not You, It’s Him. Really.


At this point when he gets your messages, he will not associate your name with fun memories and sexy times. He will associate your name with the guilt he is feeling for not calling you, and the irritation he is feeling because he’s trying his best and obviously failing at making you happy.

He responds with an “angry” note because he’s frustrated.

He’s frustrated with his situation — NOT at you.

He’s working at max capacity trying to succeed in work and in this relationship and you have shown him that his efforts are not good enough.

He offers friendship to you because he hopes he can succeed in being your friend and that he will no longer disappoint you.


A Script to Save the Relationship


Which brings us to where you are today…

Do not expect an apology from him. He tried his best. But there is something that you can say that can make a big difference in saving this relationship.

Send him an email saying:

Looking over my letters to you I realize I was being a little needy and demanding. Sorry about that. I didn’t really understand how hard you were working and I took it personally. That was my mistake. Now I totally understand and I want to thank you for your patience. When work lets up, I’d love to spend some fun one-on-one time with you again. Let me know.”

Then give him space and wait for his call.

But remember these words are just words. He will not trust you if you do not back them up with actions: no more hurt feelings talk, no more neediness, no more demands.

Change your approach and he will change his response to you.


How to Successfully Avoid the “Let’s Just Be Friends Axe”


It’s natural to feel neglected and unloved when a man gets busy and you drop out of sight and out of mind.

But rather than tell a man your feelings are hurt, tell a girlfriend or write it down in a feeling letter.

If you want to connect with him because you miss him, don’t send a million messages asking him to connect with you.

Instead, connect with him by sending him updates on your day, little “FYIs.”

For example:“ I went to the grocery store today and ran into my high school math teacher…small world. I’m going to make meatballs for dinner.”

Imagine him reading it and you’ve got yourself a connection!

This is the same advice I give to couples in long-distance relationships. When a couple cannot spend time with each other, this is a great way to maintain intimacy in a positive way.

Once you learn not to take a man’s silence personally, you can, with a good attitude, put yourself back into sight and into mind by sending him these friendly undemanding “FYIs.”

He will be so grateful that you have given him the space to do what he needs to do and he will see that he is enough to make you happy. At this point, you can be assured that the minute things calm down he will call you and want to go out with you again.


But for Now…


Send him your “apology” email and wait for his call. Your mistakes are not necessarily irreparable. Love inspires forgiveness and flexibility every day!

With love,