Often, the friend zone shows up in romantic or sexual relationships. However, it can also rear its ugly head in standing friendships.
When someone skips straight past potential dating material and into the friend zone, it can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep the relationship healthy.
1. Change the subject
If your friend is avoiding any direct discussion about their feelings, try changing the subject. Make light-hearted comments about other men or women they may be interested in, or talk about your shared interests. This can be a great way to refocus the conversation and show that you are not desperate for them.
If they try to bring up your interest again, be honest and tell them that you want more than a platonic relationship with them. This can be difficult, but it is better to be upfront than to pretend that there are no romantic feelings involved.
Despite the “friend zone” myth that has been around for years, it is possible to turn a friendship into romance. It just takes a bit of patience and practice. If you are able to break out of the friend zone early on, you can save yourself some heartache and possibly a toxic relationship. Then again, you could also just move on and find someone who is actually interested in you.
2. Don’t be too open
If you are attempting to break out of the friend zone, you will need to create some boundaries. This will help to add an air of mystery, which is essential for romance. It can be easy to fall into the trap of becoming too friendly and comfortable, especially if you have been friends for a long time.
For example, if your friend is constantly using you as a sounding board for her problems with guys, try changing the topic of conversation. This will give her the opportunity to see that you are not just a friend.
Another mistake that people make is being too available. This can lead to being trapped in the friend zone because your potential romantic partner doesn’t see you as anything other than a friend. Being her shopping buddy, lunch pal, and a last minute date to her wedding is not the best way to make her realize that you want more than just friendship.
3. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Being thrown into the friend zone can be extremely devastating. Especially after you have had a few dates, locked lips and maybe even spent the night under the sheets with this girl. To hear that she only sees you as a friend can be very hurtful and make you want to lash out at her.
However, it is important not to be too hard on yourself in these situations. It could be that she doesn’t see you as a romantic interest because of her own issues or it may simply be that she is not in the right place for a relationship at this time.
Either way, you must realize that it is not your fault and just give her some space and try to change the ways in which you interact with her. It won’t happen overnight but in time, you can change her view of you from a simple friend to a potential lover.
4. Don’t give up
It can be easy to get stuck in the friend zone, especially with women. They’re more difficult to read than men, and it’s easy to misinterpret signals. But the good news is that you can get out of the friend zone. It just takes time and patience.
If you want to move out of the friend zone, the first step is to talk to them. Ideally, this should be when you’re alone and can have a heart-to-heart conversation. Tell them how you feel, but do it in a way that shows you respect their feelings.
Once they know that you are interested, they might start to see you differently. They might agree to go to a movie you both don’t really want to watch or suggest meeting up at a different bar. This is a sign that they are starting to consider you as more than just a friend. The road out of the friend zone can take weeks, or even months, but don’t give up!