Setting A Casual Frame For Dates & Escalation

 Setting A Casual Frame For Dates & Escalation

Imagine meeting up with 3 girls at the same time for a formal date at, let’s say, a restaurant… How would most guys handle this? How would the girls react? Awkward.

Now imagine meeting up with 3 girls just for a casual activity like shopping in malls. You can take photos with each other, go crazy, try on clothes, and you can hold hands with at least one of them while walking between stores without anyone making a big deal out of it. And all this… In public.

That’s the difference.

Friend Frame

In the book The Message Game, the following definition is given for the ‘friend frame’:

  • “Setting your relationship with someone as informal from the beginning as if you were friends in order to bypass the unnecessary bullshit that comes with the dating frame. Example; when you hang out with a girl as friends instead of coming from a dating frame so that your interaction and time together is less serious and has no expectations. Coined by Ice White.”

Don’t get this confused with ‘friendzones’ or being a dickless friend who she won’t have sex with. That’s nothing to do with this. This is about being potentially ‘friends with benefits’ at the very least without assigning any labels consciously or subconsciously through your actions. This is not just a frame, it is a mindset.

What this means is that it’s better to come from a frame that is casual. When you take a girl on a date, a girl might have a lot of worries. Things tjhat go through a girl’s mind might be questions like… What does he want? Does he want a serious relationship? Is he just interested in sex? How should I leave if I don’t like him? 


No Labels

The point of the friend frame is you need to drop all the unecessary labels and focus on the fact that you’re a man and she’s a woman. You’re taking her out not for a dating job interview, but for fun, like a friend. This alone will dispose of insecurities for both sides. No more expectations, no seriousness, no formalities. You’re just focusing on having a good time. And while you are on the date it should be like you are best friends, and that, my friends, is how dates should be.

Let’s make this part clear. This is not about being just ‘friends’. Relationship types have nothing to do with sex. Sex is a physical activity, relationship types are a social-psychological construct. It is an undeniable fact that you can have sex with your female friends. Just as long as you have a sex organ to use. Friends can be sexual or non-sexual.

In France the term for ‘fuckbuddy’ or ‘friend with benefits’ is ‘sexfriend‘.


Cobra Kai

In the TV show Cobra Kai, based on the Karate Kid movies, Miguel asks out Sam using the dating frame. She then rejects the offer. But Miguel turns away and comes up with an idea. Miguel then goes back to Sam and proposes the friend frame, and she says yes. This is a great example of how it can be done.

Miguel’s dating frame in Cobra Kai: ❌ Failed

Miguel’s friend frame in Cobra Kai: ✅ Success

Both of his frames pointed to the same outcome he wanted; the date, but only one succeeded because he framed it as a date that’s not a date.

(But it’s still a date, but it’s not a date, but it is a date)


Sure, it’s just a scripted TV show, but this is a great portrayal of how it works.


Casual Is The Way

Here is an extract from the chapter Ice Game in the book The Message Game:

  • “Let’s redefine what a date is. A date is when you meet a girl, by arranging to meet, to do something together with the purpose of potentially building some form of relationship. That relationship could be mainly casual sex, or that relationship could be a more classical long term relationship leading to marriage. But ultimately, at the very least, you are friends. If you choose to meet as friends, that’s okay. It has the potential to become more than friends, therefore it’s important to still think of it as a date. If you interact with a female using a friend frame, there will be no expectations like those labelled onto the classic dating frame. I believe it is better to build a relationship with someone without expectations than to build a relationship with someone by having expectations. If you are expecting the other person to kiss you, pay the bill or anything else, then your expectation will either be fulfilled or not be fulfilled, which therefore means it can fail. If you have no expectations for the other person because you are just treating each other like friends, you have nothing to worry about because friendships do not ever truly fail. Friends can either be friends or become more than friends. The friend frame is informal, and the dating frame is formal.”
  • This is not to say that you should be using Tinder or dating to make friends, it is to say that it is better to come from more of a friend frame than from a dating one. The point of dating is to find sexual partners, either to be just a sexual partner or to be a sexual partner that will be your long term best friend. Following this logic, it should be better to come from a frame that sees you and who you may be dating as best friends, not two people interviewing each other for two job roles or life roles. Having an informal relationship is best.”

A ‘dating frame’ is simply to describe the normalities and formalities of dating. It’s too formal. That’s the problem. When it’s too formal, it’s not as fluid or free as it can be. It is not ideal.

Take away the expectations, formalities and seriousness, and you end up with having a worry-free, fluid date. This fluidity means that by having the mindset of seeing each other as besties, nothing can go wrong. No judgement, no panics, no hit or miss.

Escalation will also be easier because of this fluid nature. Instead of eating at a restaurant and telling each other your life stories, you can do something genuinely fun that best friends would do, such as cooking together, going to a party, axe throwing; anything enjoyable and engaging. The atmosphere then becomes undisguised. Both parties show their true selves and not their formal selves. There should be nothing to cause judgement. You can hold hands and take it from there a lot easier this way, whereas a dating frame, due to seriousness, makes it impractical or sudden.

Using the friend frame, even if the escalation doesn’t work out, you can still be friends with her. You can then meet her friends, the friends of her friends, and so on. This is a much more efficient way not only numerically, but also in practice when it comes to the date itself.

Whatever happens, just happens.



Dating Frame:

  1. Has higher expectations
  2. Can easily lead to the princess mentality problem
  3. Is a lot more serious and formal
  4. You can only continue dating or never see each other again
  5. There is very little potential to grow beyond dating
  6. There is a lot of potential for the relationship to collapse

Friend Frame:

  1. Has lower expectations
  2. Is far more equal
  3. Is far more casual and informal
  4. You can, at the very least, be friends forever
  5. There is a lot of potential for the relationship to grow beyond friends
  6. There is very little potential for the relationship to collapse


On that note, join the Facebook group!

Ice White

Ice is a Canadian bestselling author, and founder of Game Global. His book, The Message Game, is the most practical book on online dating and has helped thousands of men around the world get dates within days of reading it. He is also the creator of MGAI, the AI wingman for online dating.

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