"I'm not ready to settle down" & other signs that you're stuck in the Smash/Friend Zone.

"I'm not ready to settle down" - well, that's something folks should say early and often if that's what they really mean. But if that's being uttered right after naked aerobics, it could mean something else. That Law & Order "doink-doink" sound you hear? That is someone being placed firmly in  "friend zone" or "smash 'n dash" limbo. Buddy or booty call, those are the only options made available to some. Let's take a look at some other phrases that are the difference between Mr/Mrs Right and Mr/Mrs Right now.

I love you but I'm not in love with you - I'm sad to say I have used this one and received the laser beam side-eye. What you're really being told is that while they have feelings for you, there's not enough sparkle/chemistry to make it work as a romance. Chemistry (generally) is either there or not, hard to manufacture (worse to fake).

We're so good together... in bed - Anytime a qualifier is tacked on, you already know. If you were hoping for more, don't stick around. Just pick up your boxer (or panties) and roll out. Beware of follow-up statements such as, "I have to get up early in the morning" and "Let yourself out." Hmpfh, may want to double-check the nightstand for services rendered payment. Just sayin'.

We just weren't meant to be together... that way - Again, a qualifier but in a different way. Simply put... they aren't feeling you like that - keep your clothes on. You may also hear,"You're such a great person" and "You're the best friend ever." Enjoy the Friend Zone, you're in deep.

I don't think I'm cut out for marriage - Please see "I'm not ready to settle down" above also refer to "I'm not marriage material", "I have years before I'm going to think about that", "Commitment is not my thing." Come on now, do they really need to tell you more than this? Do they need a sign saying "I'm just a player" tattooed on their nether regions before you catch a clue? 

I don't want to ruin our friendship - Resist the urge to say "This conversation isn't helping" and listen. Is it that your friendship is so great, it can't go to the next level or that the person isn't feeling you that way or that they are truly scared they can't be what you need and the friendship will be impacted. There's generally always more to that statement than what's on the surface.

I should've met you years ago -Also disguised as "Our timing is never right" or "Maybe if things we're different." It's terrible to hear but it doesn't always mean the person isn't interested in you in that way. I have heard cases where the planets did eventually align and folks were able to make a go of it. 

I'm glad we're keeping this casual - Sometimes stated as "Let's just keep things simple." Stock up on flavored massage lotion and Trey Songz tunes, you're the cut buddy. Simple = naked when needed. Casual = you're not the only one I'm naked with. If you're cool with it, cool. Now, the casual cut buddy can be elevated to legit relationship status but one (or both) of you is going to have to keep your clothes on long enough to talk about it. Good luck.

We'll have to take time one day to talk about the non-verbal signs that you're stuck in the friend zone (the back pat vs. the hug, the cheek vs. lip kiss, among others). The non-verbal signs that you're "just the smash 'n dash" maintenance worker are fairly obvious... or they should be.

So tell me BougieLand, what catch phrase clichés have you heard that let you know exactly where you stand? Have you used these? Have any tales of escaping the friend/smash zone? Do share.

Tomorrow: "What happened was..." & other signs that some sneaky-freaky may be going on.