Dear Forever Friend-zoned,
Just to clarify what it means to be in the friend zone:
The friend zone is a place in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unrequited romantic or sexual interest in the other.
So here you are, stuck in the muck, floundering in the deep end, hands tied and legs shackled in the dreaded friend zone… AGAIN. You keep ending up there and you want to know why. I will tell you why. You are trying too hard. I know this because I have been friend zoned before, I have watched my friends become friend zoned before and, yes I admit it, I have friend zoned someone before. It happens, it has always happened and it will keep happening until the end of time.
Why does it happen?
Have you ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally? If you haven’t, watch it. It is a movie about how a man and a woman form a friendship. There is a lot more to the movie, and it is bloody brilliant. The character of Harry has a speech where he talks about how men and women can’t be friends because the sexual element always gets in the way.
I agree with Harry about the sexual element, I don’t agree with the friendship argument. The sexual element happens when you meet, before you can establish what kind of relationship you are about to have. This may come as a shock to you, but at one point or another your friends of the opposite sex have had a sexual attraction to you. Even if it was just a glimmer, a glimpse, a fleeting moment, it happened. People are attracted to each other because of personality similarities, the ability to communicate with each other on the same level and, yes, the physical attraction has to be there too. When people establish a relationship, be it friendship or romantic, it is because of an attraction. When you meet someone new of the opposite sex, you stand at a crossroads of where your relationship is going to go. You then have a very small window of opportunity where you can avoid the friend zone, if you play your cards right.
You are forever becoming friend zoned because you put yourself there. The friend zoning happens very quickly, so you need to make it clear from the VERY beginning that you want a romantic relationship.
The secret to getting out of the friend zone is to never let yourself get there in the first place. Once you are in the friend zone, it will take years to get out if you even can get out. It is a place where many venture and few return. The only way to get out of the friend zone is to change who you are, and for them to change who they are. This is not something I condone. There is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing you should change about yourself and you shouldn’t try to change anyone else.
Steps to avoiding the friend zone:
Step One: Make your intentions known right away. I’ve already mentioned this previously. Tell her you are taking her out on a date. Don’t say anything like “wanna hang out.” This implies friendship. Friends hang out, lovers go on dates.
Step Two: Don’t be overbearing. When you meet someone for the first time and feel that twinge of attraction,it is easy to become addicted to them. You feel like you want to talk to them constantly. You may even have the urge to see them all the time or buy them things. Stop it. Keep things casual or it will seem like you are hunting them. Spending a lot of time together and gifts will come later. I mention gifts from personal experience. I have friend zoned two different guys because they bought me gifts right away for no reason. I must admit it was a nice gesture, but I felt like they were coming on WAY too strong.
Step Three: Put the ball in her court. Really all you can do after steps one and two is leave the next step up to her. Ask her out again and gauge her reaction to going on another date. Your instincts will tell you whether she is into you or not. DON’T TRY TOO HARD. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you force the situation on her, all she will do is balk. Do not act like a boyfriend before you actually are one.
Something else that I want to make clear is that I am not telling you to be a jerk. A common misconception is that girls only want to date assholes. This. Is. Not. True. There is a difference between being nice and being overbearing.
The friend zone isn’t all bad. Let’s say you follow the above steps and you still find yourself in the friend zone. What’s wrong with that? It’s not like this is the only woman who will ever waltz into your life. Now you have a friend who can possibly help you find the “one.” Or, you simply don’t have to be friends with her. You can just close that chapter and move on, having learned something from your experience.
The day will come when you are not in the friend zone. Figure out what kind of relationship you want as soon as you meet that certain someone and go for it. What have you got to lose?
What did you think about Robyn’s advice? Comment below and check back on Friday for Skippy’s advice.