Keep Your Pants On: Avoiding The Friend Zone And What's The Trouble With His Little Fireman? by Elliott Serrano and Kate Kotler

Keep Your Pants On: Avoiding The Friend Zone And What's The Trouble With His Little Fireman? by Elliott Serrano and Kate Kotler

Elliott Serrano and Kate Kotler write for Bleeding Cool;

This week we're giving advice to someone looking to help their geeky friend avoid falling into the "friend zone" with potential girlfriends and a geek whose love life with his romantic partner is fizzling after buying a house together.

Dear KYPO,

I have a friend who is really nice, funny, good looking, stable, employed, and really takes an interest in the world around him. But for being such a great guy he can't seem to get a date. He's into all the cool comics but his love of all things geek doesn't interfere with his ability to be socially acceptable. I've seen him interact with the ladies and he's almost, dare I say, suave. It just seems like nothing ever works out for him romantically with the women he knows or meets. He tells me that he always ends up as "The Friend" instead of "The Boyfriend." I know he has a bit of a shy side, which he needs to break out of, but overall he's a really interesting guy that any girl is lucky to get. I want him to find "that special lady" – what advice can you give him? Are there online dating sites for geeks?

A Geek's Friend

Elliott says:

There are plenty of geek dating sites, and to name a couple, but if what you say is true – that your friend doesn't have problems interacting with women – meeting someone of the opposite sex may not be the issue.  I just have a few questions about this geek guy you know:

-Is he really dating because he wants to be in a relationship or just likes the thrill of the chase? I know lots of guys who lose interest in a girl once they think they've 'got' her.

-What kind of women does he pursue? Are they gals he really has a chance at getting to know, or are they – as some may say – out of his league? Guys who insist that they wanna date supermodels are essentially playing the lottery.

-Are you sure he just doesn't have a fear of commitment? Guys who are perpetually single tend to be this way. They can only get so far in a relationship with someone until it gets too serious, then they break it off.

If you've answered yes to any of those questions, your friend needs to work through things outside of just meeting women. He'll need to take some serious self-inventory and may want to consider seeing a therapist or counselor. And finally…

-Are you sure he's not gay? Just make sure you're not barking up the wrong tree.

Kate says:

So your friend is nice, funny, good looking, stable, employed and takes an interest in the world around him?

What's his name and phone number? I'll go out with him.

Seriously, though, Elliott has raised some valid questions in regards to your friend's dating life that he should answer for himself. Like anything in life, if you really want something you need to sit down and reflect and figure out what you need to do to achieve that goal. I'd like to add that maybe if your friend has -as you say- a "shy side," he may be having a hard time finding a romantic interest for a couple of reasons:

-Geek girls tend to be just as shy as geek guys.

-While there are a lot of girls who are aggressive enough to make the first move on a dude (or lady, whichever way your flag flies, doesn't matter to me) there are some who will traditionally wait for the party they're interested in to make a move and ask them out. Because girls like being chased as much as guys like doing the chasing.

As his friend, you might talk to him about this and let him know that he needs to step up his game while interacting with someone he's interested in and make it crystal clear that he is not interested in being relegated to the "friend zone."

Other than that, just keep encouraging him to go out and meet new people… the more people he meets, the more potential there is for him to meet someone who he clicks with and feels strongly enough about to be somewhat aggressive in wooing.

Dear KYPO,

I have been in a long-term relationship with the love of my life for a couple of years, but the spark has gone out of it, sexually. I felt that when we signed the mortgage paperwork, my fireman was being lopped off. How can I get over these feelings of alienation? Am I wrong to try to keep the relationship alive with LARPing, and blood play?

Kinky Geek

Elliott says:

Nope. Just be sure to remember your safe word. And never use the terms 'tippie toe' or 'lemon tree.' On a slightly related note, does your little fireman look like Dennis Leary? That might be the problem.

Kate says:

It's curious to me why signing the mortgage paperwork would correspond with the sex going out of your love life. While using naughty cosplay and kinky things like bondage, blood play and other elements of BSDM might, if you are both interested in such things, do some temporary good to spice your love life; I think that there is a deeper issue you both need to address. It sounds to me like there might be some commitment fears on both sides of the bed, so to speak. Buying a house is a huge step in a relationship, because it signifies you're in it together for the long haul. It might be worth it to sit down together and talk about how you're feeling with someone who can offer you objective advice how to get past the nerves associated with this (pretty serious) life change. Also, remember – relationships take work, communication and your sexual interest in each other will ebb and flow throughout, with times you're so hot for each other that you can barely keep your clothes on and other times when you're so indifferent towards having sex with each other you might as well be sleeping in different beds ala the 1950s. This is completely normal and nothing to be worried about. Keep talking about it with each other and I assure you, the spark will come back sooner or later…

Got a dating dilemma you need help with? Email Elliott and Kate at and we'll do our best to help.

Until next week… KYPO!

(Say it like "KAPOW!" – It'll make it feel all the more comic-y to you…)

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.