Stop being the nice guy dating
You aren't beholden to the whims of fate or any other person.
You shouldn't be thinking "I have to do all this stuff to not suck and to make people like me to have worth." You should be thinking "I'm good enough as I am. If I can make some positive relationships, that's great, but not required.
You think that buying people gifts and doing them favors will lead to happiness and rewards down the line, only to grow bitter and frustrated when those rewards never come.
Nowhere is this belief more manifest than in how "nice guys" approach sex.
Unfortunately, being pleasing isn't the same thing as being sexy.
No one gets turned on when people help us move boxes or insist on paying for our dinners.
Once you're not being "nice" in an effort to manipulate people, you free yourself to be genuinely nice.
On the "friend zone"Remember how I just said the "nice guy" tries to covertly manipulate women into liking him without ever directly expressing his interest?
You thus invest immensely in pleasing the women you find attractive figuring that one day they'll fall in love with you.
Pleasing people isn't the source of happiness and you're not a bad person if you don't do it. It's perfectionism that's wrong, not your imperfections.
I recommend replacing your toxic paradigm with something along the lines of "I am a worthy human being when I'm acting according to my own goals and values." You control your goals and values and you control your actions.
Remind yourself not to worry about rejections and that they're not judgments of your personal worth.
They are signs of incompatibility and they give you freedom to move on.
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That's the behavior that leads to the so-called "friend zone." The "friend zone" is nothing but one-sided attraction that isn't authentically addressed.