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December 21, 2023 25 mins

Do you feel like you’re constantly stuck in the “friend zone”? Dating coach Connell Barrett helps Jana understand how people fall into the friend zone when dating, and more importantly, he shares how to get out!

And if you’ve ever been trapped in a “friends with benefits” situation, you have to hear Connell’s words of advice to get what you want!

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer and I'm Heart Radio Podcast.
All Right, so this week's there's a therapy. We've got
Connall Barrett. So he is the founder of Dating Transformation.
He is a dating coach from Men who works with
clients all over the world. So he has the website.
He's been basically in the friend zone forever and he

has transformed many men's lives in the dating world. He's
in New York and he helps his clients get more dates,
grow more confident, find love with bright, beautiful women like y'all.
So let's get him on and then maybe ask him
a few questions of what we can do too, well
y'all can do in the dating world. Hey, Connall, nice

to meet you. Hey, I'm really excited to talk to you.
We'll just jump right in because when I was reading
your breakdown, I'm like, Okay, I've heard so one of
my girlfriends has done a dating coach and I was
just so intrigued by the dating coach and like, tell
me more about it. What did she have you do?
What was the things that she said not to do?
But I've never heard of an actual, like men man

targeted dating coach. But I love how you're right in
the thing it said, Chances are you struggle in this area.
You see women you want to talk to you, but
anxiety and self doubt hold you back. Or maybe you
do meet attractive women but they'll either reject you or
banish you to the friend zone and you say I've
been there. Hell, I owned a condo there, And that
was like he's like, oh oh no, I was like,

he's been friend zone. I was a friend zone olive arch.
I was there. I own the whole city absolutely, So
what was the like, why did you think you stay that?
Did you not feel like you had the confidence to
break out from the is that where that the first
piece kind of lacks for men in those situations where
they're just like, okay, I know I can at least
be a friend, so this is comfortable here, let me

just stay here. Yes. So many men are afraid to
take a romantic risk and to have their authentic self rejected.
So a lot of men get in the friends zone,
not because they're not great attractive men with a lot
to offer, but because they're afraid to sort of put
a card or two on the table and say hey,

I like you, I want to take you on a date. Instead,
they play it safe. They act like they're your friend,
just your friend or your buddy, as opposed to saying, hey,
I think I might have a crush on you. You're
totally my type. Would you like to maybe go out
some time and grab a drink? Wind down? And a
lot of guys are just afraid that that kind of

vulnerability will get rejected. But it's actually that kind of
vulnerability that is the gateway to a real genuine connection,
right And I'm listening to that and like my almost
rejection goes, Oh my gosh. But then to say that
and then you get rejected, What a crappy feeling that
is too. So how do you kind of coach your

people to go You might get rejected, you might not,
And what do you do with both those pieces? I
don't think in the courtship part of dating, I don't
believe rejection exists. It's not rejection. I look at it
as information. Not everybody is going to be my type
or your type. Some people like the Beatles, some people

love the Stones, And if they're like, hey, I'm going
to listen to the Stones and not the Beatles, the
Beatles are still the greatest band ever in my opinion. So,
in dating, if a man walks up to a woman
at a bar and he shoots a shot, he lets
her know he's interested and wants to talk to her.
If she pushes back and says, hey, I'm not really interested,
what I want him to know is there's it's not

really rejection. She doesn't know you well enough to reject you. Now,
if your partner of five years wakes up one day
and says, hey, you know what, I'm not in love
with you anymore and I'm going to leave you for Fabio, Okay,
that is rejecting Fabio Fabi, thank you, Okay, it's my
my Ohio accents coming to Michigan. So that's why I

know it sounds like he's that's That was my next question.
Are you from Michigan? But Ohio? That yeah, Ohio, Yeah yeah.
So I tell my guys, hey, it's not rejection. She
doesn't even know you. Even if you have a date,
you might find out you two don't fit as people.
You might want different things. But the biggest mistake that
men make that creates the fear of rejection is giving

to giving into the story that if a woman doesn't
want to date me. That means I'm not enough, That
means I don't have worth, and quite the opposite. I think,
as long as you take a good, empathetic, authentic action
and take a shot at love, what's more attractive and
more worthwhile to a single man than that. I think

it's the actions you take that actually help make you
a man of value, as opposed to whether or not
somebody gives you that validation. It's nice to have a wonderful,
incredible woman say yeah, let's go out, But I don't
want a guy to feel like he needs that to
feel happy from the inside. Absolutely Okay. So, as a
man or men at data coach, a male dating coach,

what is one of the red flags that you tell
your clients that a woman might do if you're dating,
like dating, and you're like, hey, kind of watch out
for this red flags that a woman might do. If
this is not a personality trait red flag, this is
a flirting roadblock to watch out for a lot of

women I found love to talk about dating on a date.
Really they like to talk about the topic itself. Okay,
and that is a very seductive topic to talk about.
But if you talk about dating too much on a date,
whether it's past relationships or the whole what do you want,

what do I want? What do you want? Conversation? I
tell guys beware of getting sucked into that conversation loop
because that doesn't help you to connect as people. It's
kind of like talking about why a joke is funny.
If you talk about the joke too much, if you
dissect the frog, you kill the frog. If you talk
about dating too much on a date, then you're probably

going to kill the connection or at least stifle the
potential romantic sparks the two of you might have. So
that's a flirting red flag that I help my guys avoid.
We don't want to talk too much about dating on
dates because you should be talking about the two of
you and finding out how your personalities dovetail. That makes sense.

I guess I would probably be annoyed if a dude,
or and vice versa, if a guy just heard when
I was dating and just about all the people that
we were either a going on dates with. But I
will say is it okay too? Because there's definitely things
that I would say, like this is what I don't
want again? Yeah? Is that okay when you go out.
I'm not saying a guy should just shut a woman

down when the topic comes up, not at all, especially me.
So I met my partner Jess while I was out dating. Obviously,
and as a dating coach, it's normal to talk the
most normal thing in the world to talk about dating,
So it's totally fine to talk about it for a
little while. But I just wouldn't go down that rabbit
hole too much on first dates. It's better to talk

about TV shows, movies, your family, see that stuff. Is
that that sounds just so just not meaty enough, like
that would be I feel like that would not grip
me enough. Like I want to know someone's traumas, and
they're like, what I don't know? Is that like a
bad thing? Like I don't know, I just because I'm like,

I don't really care what your favorite color is. To
be honest with you, like that's I want to know,
Like have you done the work? Are you doing the work?
What do you like? What is like? What's your biggest lessons?
What did you I don't know? Is that just am
I the worst first day? Well, no, you're totally I
totally agree with you. Now you're talking about two people
learning how they've grown, changed lessons. One of my favorite
questions that I used to ask on dates and now

I have my clients ask, is I have them ask
their date, Hey, if you could go back in time
and give your younger self a piece of advice, what
would you say to her ten years ago? And then
the two of you start talking about lessons and growing.
So I'm one hundred percent on board with you there. Yeah.
I used to My big one was what what what?

What was the biggest lesson you learned from? Maybe a
mistake or like I don't like to live with regrets,
but some kind of mistake that you was like, Okay,
this was a lesson I learned from that. And if
someone's like, well, I haven't really done anything, then I'm
like you're done, you're out, you're lying. Yeah. I was like,
we've all done that, we are not proud of so,
and we've learned lessons from it. So if you can't
know that you've done that and not owned it, you

have not done an ounce of anything. Well, owning up
to pass mistakes or lessons is just owning up to
being a human and being vulnerable, which is really attractive
being authentic, which is what I'm all about, just telling
the truth and also showing a person how you messed
up and hopefully grew from it. One of my I

told this for you many times I had. My one
marriage was an nine week marriage. Oh I've had one.
I've had one of those. Can you beat me because
it wasn't nine weeks? Or was it more or less?
It was one week? Oh? Okay, you just you just
beat my record. But tell me about your nine week

I'm so intrigued. I thought I was the only crazy
one with that one week. Wow, I feel humbled now
I got up. So tell me about that. How long
were you with the person? And then let me make
a note, get married for two days this weekend, I'm married.
I married my grad school and then beyond grad school

sweetheart after like Sarah exactly. She seems like a Sarah
from Ohio, just really sweet. We probably broke her heart.
She was actually one of one of a couple different
chrises I dated. Okay, there we go, Yeah, and the
nine week marriage was was both of it was? It

was on both of us. Neither of us wanted to
get married. She was on this track of being in
a relationship and getting married. I was so riddled with
self doubt and I thought I was so unattractive to women.
I thought, well, she's the one woman who seems to
want to be with me. I guess I'll get married
because if I don't, I'll end up alone or having
to settle. And so I said, well, I may as

well get married to her. We had this big Catholic wedding,
and she left me or said hey, this was a
mistake exactly nine weeks later. The joke I made at
the time was the marriage was over so fast that
we fought for custody of the wedding cake. Not as
fast as yours, but really fast. But did you feel
that same thing? Though I know you now go, yeah, okay,

you were young, you didn't feel But in that moment,
did you feel rejection or did you feel like, yeah,
I agree with Chris or whatever? I guess At the time,
I didn't agree because I was so caught up in
my own issues of well, she's my only option. If
she leaves me, then I'm alone. So I tried to
quote unquote fight for it. About three actually, about a

month later, as I'm driving back to my graduate school,
I felt this giant weight had been lifted. And that's
when I realized, oh, she did, we did the right thing.
Thank god she instigated it. If it wasn't for her,
we might have been married for years in a marriage
that should not have really ever happened. So I'm so
thankful to her for having the strength to say, hey,

we made a mistake. Let's call a nine week mulligan here. Yeah,
and now Jess that you've how long you've been with
her for? Are we been together for almost two years? Well?
Do you think she would say, was your biggest when
you guys started dating? Your biggest turn off? Maybe to
her if you're cause if you're a coach, you know,

I'm like, we don't those big so therapists we think
they have it all figured out, but usually there's something
that they do like, they don't do it perfectly right.
So what did you kind of if you could go
back into that dating situation with the Jess and go, oh,
I wish I would have done this? Or did you
just do it to a t like you tell your clients. Well,
the biggest thing about me that bothered her was when
she saw my apartment, she said, are you ever going

to finish decorating your apartment. I didn't have blinds up,
I had almost no furniture, and I thought, oh, that's fine.
I'm a dude. So that's actually the biggest problem she
ever vocally told me she had with me in terms
of our actual relationship. Knock on wood. She hasn't said

there are any giant yellow flags or red flags other
than maybe the lack of kitchen where I still need
to buy. So I have a lot of those guide traits.
But that's the main thing, the big, the big. I
actually did have a dating epiphany, okay while I was
While I was, while she and I were first dating,

I think there's only four or five core ways that
all people flirt. This is going to be my second book, actually,
because your first book is remind me the first book again,
it's called dating Sucks, But you don't Dating sucks. Yeah,
but you don't, OKAYO. For men, it's basically a book
for introverted men who are kind of nice, nerdy but
just never had dating confidence. Okay, now the second one,

this is the idea that you're wanting to write about
this epiphany, let's hear it. The second book, which is
for everybody men and women of all sexual proclivities. There's
really only four or five about four or five core
ways to flirt. And one of the ways that I
realize I'm really good at flirting, and so is my
partner Jess, is one of the categories is verbal banter.

Some people just love verbal banter, puns, teasing each other.
Think of the rom com you've started many right, the
kind of couple who has that rom com banter? And
when I was going out with Jess, I realized, why
is our chemistry so incredible? What is it about it?
And I realized we just loved to banter. She even

texted me, I'm sitting in the bar for our first date.
She texted me saying, by the way, I'm really loving
our banter. And we still banter and flirt right now
the way we did when we first met. So the epiphany,
the aha moment I had that once I get off
my button to write it will be my second book,
is how there's only five ways to flirt. And once

you anyone understands how you like to flirt, and you
understand how the person you're on a date with likes
to flirt, if you get on that same frequency, you
can really make sparks happen as opposed to sort of miscommunicating.
Have you ever had a date where on paper you
thought he was amazing, but you just couldn't click, You

couldn't make a click yep. And that's something really interesting too,
because I can tend to be a little much and
not aggressive, but I'm sarcastic. And then again even sometimes
with my questions, I can come off probably a little
too much, a little too soon. So if that other

person doesn't have that same kind of energy, that also
is like whoa or or my sarcasm like no, I'm joking,
I'm from Michigan. I'm just fun and we're like, well,
like you know Michigan girls, and so I'm just like
but with my fiance, our banter is. I think one
of my favorite things about our relationship is because we
just we take the piss out of each other. Like

we we joke, we have fun, we laugh where but
like we both know we know where the line is
to not go over, and then we know we know
where to stay because sometimes it's like I think people
go over the line where it's like hey, that actually
hurt my feelings are making or our banter, but where
how we talk to each other and how we communicate
and how we banter back and forth. It's just like,

it's fun, it's cute, it's flirty's it's sarcastic, it's feisty.
And that's the first relationship where it's been met the same, right.
I like that. I read that as saying that you
probably is your core flirting frequency. Flirting language is a
verbal banter, that verbal sparring, which makes total sense. You're

an actor, you're a singer, you're a podcast host, you
are a very verbal person, and so it totally makes
sense that you would click and connect verbally with a
person like that. But imagine a guy goes on a
date with somebody like you and you're off the charts
with your wit teasing giving him shit, and he's Another
frequency is emotional connection. He doesn't have your verbal skills.

He just wants to connect about favorite movies, puppies, things
you have in common. You might not want to do
that on a first or second I'm so bored already. Boom,
So there you go. Here, So here we have an
example of two people who might be incredible for each
other lives, and you might be great on paper, but
if you don't flirt on the same frequency or something.

Most here's a secret. Most men can't flirt at all.
They just they don't even know anything about flirting, let alone.
I do not. I don't know. I feel like that's
I feel like they they do. Some are very very
good with it, like they know what they're doing. They
can just I guess my guys, my guys, because they struggle.
But you probably men who are more on points. I

think they're just more calculated. They can be a little
I don't I don't flirt, and I'm like, yeah you do, yeah, yeah.
But one of the back to the friend zone issue
that a lot of men struggle with a lot of times,
a guy goes on a date with a woman and
he's really excited about dating, or the conversation is fine,
there's no awkward pauses. He thinks it goes well. Then

the next day he nervously checks his phone and gets
that dreaded Hey, Jerry, it was great meeting you. You
seem like a nice guy, but just didn't feel a connection.
And often that's because she was on one flirting frequency,
he was on another, or not on any of them,
and she just didn't feel what she wanted to feel

in a potential partner. So what I want to do
is help men and women in my second book be
able to just know, Hey, here's how I flirt, here's
my strength, and here's how I figure out what the
other person's flirting languages, so I can get us together
on the same page to see if we really want
to make love. That's cool. I like that. I think
that's going to do really well. I mean because that

makes sense. I've never even thought about it that way
with comparing to the love languages, So I think that's
really cool. Thank you for the girls that are listening

to and they have that friend zone guy right pay.
Let's say one scenario is they obviously they know that
they prob that one friend zone guy probably wants more.
What is the nice way to break it to them
without just breaking their hearts options. That's one scenario, And

the other scenarios is what if this girl too wants
more and she's afraid to ask for more because he's
not asking, and so they're both stuck in just this
like maybe friends with benefits or they're just in that okay,
both of us are not saying something so does she
make the first move? Do you wait for the guy,
like will the guy come around? Or what do you
do when you're both kind of in that I don't

know friend zone but want more. If it's the first
scenario where she just isn't feeling it, then I think
the kindest way to let somebody down is to shut
the door firmly but gently, so she might say something like,
it's OK. And here's the thing that really hurts when
somebody turns you down. It's misinterpreting that turning down as

you're not a tract. If you're not worthy of somebody
like me, that is the that's really the big bad wolf.
Everybody on some level fears, Oh am I enough? Am
I attractive? Do I have worth? Am I good enough?
For love? So if you're gonna if you have to
let somebody down, you could basically say it's sort of like, uh,

give it a little sugar, Say hey, I've enjoyed going
on these one or two dates with you. You're clearly
a fantastic guy. However, I just I'm just not feeling
the connection that I need to feel in the chemistry.
But I know you're gonna find somebody amazing who's as
great as you? And I think we should call it here.
And that pushback or that you know, letting them down easy,

makes it not about hey, you're not good enough for me.
It just makes it like it's a chemistry issue, which
it might actually be. So it still might sting, but
that's a gentle way to do it. Now in terms
of a woman who is just not getting what she
wants from a guy, like, can you give me a
hypothetical just so I can answer you as best I can.
So a girl friend of mine has someone they're like

a friends with benefits, but they're friends, like I said,
with benefits, but I think she wants more. She doesn't
know if he wants more. So what if that it's
set in between gray, like does she say something or
does she wait for the guy? She he's prettying he's
putting her in a tough position where she basically has
to come come forward and put a card on the

table and say hey, I would basically tell him what
she wants, Hey, I would like to see you this often,
or I'm looking for a relationship. Do you see this
going to that place? And it would be nice if
he had taken that lead or was taking that lead.
But he's not. Okay, he's a guy, he's clueless in

some ways. He also might just he might also just
be enjoying the casualness of it. The no string's a aspect.
So yes, I would have her go to him and
she can texted him where she can say in person
whatever she wants. And I just think there's nothing more
powerful than a person with good intentions saying here's what

I want. I want this, and I want it in
a way that's win win for both of us. Do
you want the same thing? It's vulnerable, it's scary, but
it might be necessary in her case, especially if the
pattern has been set of casual situationship be sure, and
it might be a case where he doesn't know maybe friends,

but I guess friend zone is no sex. But yeah, yeah,
he's out of the friend zone. She she wants him
in the relationship zone. Yeah. I think at the end
of the day to what we have to all know
is that everyone gets rejected, right, So it's like I've
rejected people. I've been rejected, So I think it's it's
not what you said too, It's it's not even about rejection.

It's about Okay, this just didn't work and we tried it,
and but not to take it on as I'm not
good enough, because you are. It's just that, right, You
just weren't for that person, and that person wasn't really
for you, so they did you a favor in the
end too. Yeah. I haven't advanced how to make him
your boyfriend tip? Oh okay, okay, just popped in your mind, right,

this is more show not tell, So tell is Hey,
this is what I want? What do you want? And
logical is good for men because men are logical robots,
but I show can be really powerful as well. So
instead of telling him what you want, you can show
him by inviting him to do boyfriend girlfriend activities with you,
so getting out of the dating or the just sex

mindset or I should say dating pattern. Invite him to
join you for yoga class, Invite him to go shopping
with you. Ask him if he needs to buy any
new shirts, and your services are available to help you
find some new shirts. There's a holiday Christmas party coming up.
I don't know. Do you want to come? Yes? Introduce

him if you have an already to your social circle.
Show him what it would be like if you were
the woman in his life, and then he might feel
what he needs to feel and realize, Wow, the way
she's talking to my boss, she's so intelligent. We just
we fit together. Wow. I think we need to I

think we need to make this official or exclusive. So
perhaps the show don't tell technique is more powerful. The
show is going to be more powerful than tell with
a lot of men. Sure, okay, I like that. Well,
those are some really good tips. And then where can
where can men especially find you? And then where can
our girls come find some do some inter digging on you.

My website is dating transformation dot com and that's where
anybody can find out more about me. And I specialize
in basically how I coach my younger self. I coach introverts,
nice guys, and nerds. I say that as a card
carrying nerd, and basically I help those kinds of guys

find some confidence and get a great partner and do
it all with authenticity, do it all without any toxic
pick up sketchiness, because I just believe that your most
authentic self is going to be what attracts the best
partner for you. So Dating transformation dot com is my
website and that's plenty for now. I love it. Well,

thank you so much for coming on. I'm glad we
got to find really do this, so thank you so much.
Really appreciate you. No my pleasure. Okay, talk to you soon,
all right, take care bye,
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