How to Get Out of the Friend Zone
To some, the friend zone is little more than a myth. To others, it's a spot of pain and heartache. You're close to your desire, but you're not close enough to possess it. The object of your affection is content with the status quo, but you're torn up inside.
We understand the pain and want you to understand it won't last forever. Curious? Well, read on!
What is the Friend Zone?
People are in the friend zone when they crush on their friends, and the feelings aren't reciprocated. The term “friend zone” was popularised in the 1990s. Previously, such a situation would be called “unrequited love” or “one-sided love.” No matter the name, the pain remains.
How to Know You're in the Friend Zone?
It should be easy to know you're in that zone. You could have brought up your feelings with them, and they brushed it aside. But what if you've been quiet and waiting for signs? Well, it's not hard to pick them up.
You can tell your crush has you in the friend zone when:
- They bring their romantic troubles to you. Whenever a date goes wrong, or a lover spurns them, they come to you with stories about it.
- They make statements like, “I want a partner like you.” The complete sentence goes, “I want a partner like you, but I don't want you.”
- They don't make any effort to look or act sexy around you. They wear slouchy outfits whenever they come around and don't put on any airs.
- They're perfectly comfortable around you. And we mean in every way, from familiarity with their family to be able to hold you without second thoughts.
- They play matchmaker with you and other friends. Ouch.
How Do You Get Friend-Zoned?
Just before we move on to how you can escape the friend zone, let's briefly discuss how you get in to begin with.
You aren't upfront
How did you come up to them? Did you extend the hand of friendship, or were you straight about your attraction? It's easy to think you can go from being friends to lovers, but those actions could mean a loss. Now they see you as a friend, and there's no going back.
You were too available
It might be cold, but you need to ghost sometimes. Well, not too much that your crush thinks you're flaky, just enough that you aren't taken for granted. You don't need to listen to all their cries. You don't have to do everything they ask. While showing up is excellent, showing up too much could work against you.
You were scared of rejection and decided to be a buddy
Rather than coming out and telling them how you feel, you choose to hang around and bide your time. Fast-forwarding a bit, and they can't see you any other way. You're their buddy, and the attraction just isn't there.
They just aren't into you
Attraction is a complex thing. It's not guaranteed that spending all that time with your crush will make them fall for you. In the end, you're only a friend. And nothing more.
How Do You Escape the Friend Zone?
The friend zone doesn't have to be permanent. For better or worse, you have forged a bond with the one you love, and that's a good step. Next up is turning that bond around and making the relationship you want.
1. Confess your feelings
Don't be shy. Let your crush know how you feel if they already don't. It could be what launches you into a relationship with them. This step can be nerve-racking, but lead with sincerity and tell them how you feel.
2. Redefine the relationship
Allow yourself to be more affectionate and upfront with your desires. Rather than leaving room for ambiguity, go straight to the point. If you ask them out, let it be known that you're asking them out on a date. When dropping compliments, mix in some flirting with it. And as a final note, incorporate some gentle physicality if you already aren't.
3. Don't show too much affection
While showing affection works, showing too much could have the opposite effect. Work your way through steps gently and watch their reaction. If they lean towards you when you pat them, or they respond to your flirty texts with more flirting, that's usually a good sign. But when the reaction is a bit stale, you might want to back off.
4. Redefine yourself
What kind of people does your crush like? You can take a couple of leaves from their book to glam up. Now, we aren't asking you to become an entirely different person. But by switching some things in favor of your partner's preferences, you could increase your chances.
5. Put yourself first
Learn to prioritize yourself in the friendship. Besides asking them to do things for you, take time off. Don't be at their beck and call, running to their aid whenever they need you. If their requests hurt you, speak up about why they hurt you. Eventually, they may come to see your value.
6. Move on
If all else fails, move on. This person isn't the only one in the world. Rather than spend the rest of your life pining for them, find someone new. Go on dates and explore new relationships. You won't be in the friend zone if you don't love them.
While the friend zone is a place of pain and regret, it's not permanent. With a bit of courage and some grit, you can mold your desired relationship with the one you love.
If this article has been helpful, consider sticking around for more from us!
Is the friend zone permanent?
Some people spend all their lives in the friend zone, but that doesn't have to be the case. By putting in a little effort, anyone can turn their relationship around for the better. If all else fails, it's best to move on.
How do I know I'm in the friend zone?
A tell-tale sign that you have been friend-zoned is them telling you things like, "I wish I could have a partner like you" or "You're like a sibling to me." Worse still, you could have told them how you feel, and they pushed you aside. No matter what the signs are, it still hurts.
Is the friend zone a myth?
Some people believe it is, but try telling that to all the people in love with their friends. The friend zone isn't a physical place, but the pain of unrequited love isn't a myth.