Face it—friend-zoning sucks. It’s the dance between that awkward line of “he’s a great friend” and “I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole.” Instead of gushing over other guys, outright shutting the poor lad down, or drawing zits on your face, friend-zone him through baking. Bake-zoning is $3.99, simple, and works because guys think it’s: 1) too grandma, 2) too wifely, and 3) not sexual enough.

The Grandma Factor

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Image from WikiCommons

First, baking reminds guys of drooping skin, fireside knitting, and red lipstick that bleeds onto wrinkles. Baking grandmothers are stereotypes for a reason, so arm yourself with cookbooks and measuring cups to dodge the date queries. Assemble those goody bags of cookies, candies and confetti around holidays that remind boys of elementary school parties. Don’t be that sexy Food Network lady (i.e. Giada de Laurentiis)—be a buttery Paula Deen girl.

Baking for guys serves a dual purpose—it’s more humane than friend-zoning in other radical ways. It’s also more cost effective than splurging on baggy clothes that rev up the ugly factor. Bake buttermilk cornbread for your male friends, and they’ll be saying “Thanks! I’ll have to bake you brownies from my grandmother’s recipe” in no time. That, my cold-hearted ladies, is how it's done.

Channel Your Inner Wife

bread, pastry, sweet
Mackenzie Patel

Second, guys hate commitment. This applies to males of any age, but college ones are especially prone to flyby kisses and short-term relationships. Even if a steady girlfriend will supply sex and a high quality social media life—no. It’s still the idea of dating that makes players cringe. Therefore, use baking as a secret wife weapon. Embrace your older female vibe by whipping up innocent cupcakes with icing beds of abstinence.

Subconsciously, they will associate your food with future wedding vows and David’s Bridal. To freak them out even more, put your baking goods in those lockable Tupperware that only their moms use—crush avoided. College guys find the word “wife” so frightening, like a lifetime partner will decrease their sexual prowess or make them pushovers. Bake those homemade croissants and foreshadow their future evenings of "Honey, how was work?" and "Be a darling and fix that damn sprinkler."

Plain Jane Was Right About One Thing

Finally, “Food is the way to a man’s heart.” For the most part, that adage is 100 percent accurate. However, tight jeans and a smooth midriff are way more convincing than any corn soufflé. Most foods do not have any sexual overtones—just don’t deliver aphrodisiac oysters or hot dogs to their apartment doors.

It’s a fact that a girl donning Urban Decay eye shadow and dressed scantily would make any muffin look succulent. But a regular girl with a ponytail braid and a 70 percent off Target outfit? Banana puddings drop all phallic connotations like a hot potato. Those German girls with the Michelangelo busts and braids from heaven are the exact opposite of what you need to do—throw on a long sleeve shirt and jeans, and those guy friends of yours will gobble down casserole without any thoughts of the bedroom. 

Complete all of these suggestions, and your friendship won’t blur into flirtation. Use Betty Crocker cake batter to safeguard all of your inside jokes, innocent texts, and effortless hangouts against petty ruin. It’s not about losing a guy friend. It’s about making one.