One of the things that everyone is scared of is getting stuck in the friend zone. When you develop feelings for someone and see them as a potential romantic partner, the last thing you want is for them to only see you as a friend.
Most of the time, this starts with them also showing romantic feelings only for them to later decide they don't see you that way. So, what can you do when you have been friend-zoned? Here are some steps to follow in order to escape the dreaded friend zone.
By definition, the friend zone describes a situation where two people have formed a friendship but one of the two has unreciprocated feelings towards the other. Essentially, one of the two friends starts catching feelings but the other person either doesn't return them or chooses to ignore them.
This can be a very confusing and difficult situation for both parties included and it can take a toll on the friendship between the two people. Coming out of the friend zone usually has a couple of different outcomes.
First, the two people decide they are not able to continue being friends as the feelings the one friend holds are posing a problem between them. Second, the second friend decides to give the other person a chance and see if this could lead anywhere. This is usually not the outcome that happens the most frequently though, and it certainly isn't one that can happen overnight.
“Should I smile because we’re friends, or cry because that’s all we’ll ever be?”
If you're wondering whether your best friend has friend-zoned you or not, you are probably looking for certain signs which can help you figure that out. You still hold hope that the two of you will start to date but you are not sure if they actually have any true feelings towards you or are seeing you as just a friend.
They don't want the two of you to go out alone
One of the signs that they have you friend-zoned knowingly is when they always find excuses as to why they don't want the two of you to go out alone. They will always bring mutual friends along, usually when you were least expecting it and they might make excuses as to why they can't come if it's just going to be the two of you.
They keep talking about their crush
Another way for you to ensure that you are stuck in the friend zone is to pay attention to how they talk about any potential love interest of theirs. Are they mentioning another individual to make you jealous and see how you will react or are they trying to show you they are not interested? Mentioning their love life is usually a way someone will go about in order to show you they see you as just friends.
They tell people you're like a sister or brother to them
Another clear sign you're in the friend zone is when the person you have feelings for is always referring to you as a brother or little sister. This can be very discouraging but it is a surefire way to show you that they clearly don't feel comfortable to call you anything more than just a friend.
They are not worried about being a little disgusting around you
One more way to tell if there is any sexual attraction between you and a good friend or if you're simply left in the friend zone is to see how careful they are about the way they behave around you. While it is frequent to be a little disgusting with your partner after a few months of being in a relationship, you most likely wouldn't burp or fart around someone you had a crush on.
This is something that you might do around a friend you are very close with though, so you could take this kind of behavior as a sign that they probably don't have any romantic feelings towards you.
They don't prioritize spending time with you
When someone sees you as a potential partner, they will do their best to be around you as much as possible. They might end up giving you too much attention and try to always find themselves around you. These are probably things you yourself do in order to have as much time with this crush as possible.
If you notice that they don't prioritize you the way you do them, it is probably a dead-end for the possibility of a romantic relationship. No matter if you are always the best version of yourself around them, the attention should never be one-sided.
They continue going on dates with new people
Lastly, another way to identify whether you are in the friend-zone or not is to see whether your friend is open to pursuing a new relationship with another person. If they continue going to the next date and meeting new people without giving you the equal amount of attention, they are proabbly not interested in you in the same way.
The most important thing you need to keep in mind when being someone's friend and having feelings for them is that escaping the friend zone doesn't necessarily mean that you will end up in a relationship with them. Sometimes, things don't work out the way you imagined, and that is okay. This doesn't mean though that you shouldn't fight for this person and giving up too soon might end up being your biggest mistake.
There are things you can try doing in order to potentially convince this person to give you a chance and there are things you can do in order to overcome your emotions for this romantic interest. Here are some tips on helping you out with both situations.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that this person is aware of the way that you feel towards them. They might just see you as a friend and have never thought that the way you treat them could mean anything more. This is exactly why you can't rule out that they couldn't see you romantically.
In most cases, you will probably want to start by finding ways to drop hints and see if there is any chance for them to notice your feelings without making them feel uncomfortable. If you are dropping some very obvious signs and they are not catching up, they are probably either not interested and trying to avoid leading you on or they have just not caught up.
This is where you might need to consider actually talking to them about how you feel. After some time of keeping this secret, it will be very difficult for you to keep ignoring your feelings so being open and letting them know you have feelings is probably the best thing you can do.
Usually, when you reveal something this important to someone who is a great friend, they might be taken aback or need some time to consider their own emotions. Most people are worried that this could create a problem in your friendship in some way. They might also be scared to break your heart if they reject your advances.
The best thing you can do is be open and honest with them and let them know how you feel. After you have done that, it is up to them to figure out how they feel. If they feel the same way then you can discuss going on a few dates and seeing where it goes from there. If they don't, you can simply discuss it and see how you wish to proceed.
Whether you have let the other person know of your feelings or not, you can always just try asking them to go out on a date with you. You don't have to have an entire conversation in order to explain why you want them to see you in this way. You can simply let them know you think they are a great person and you would like to see if you could go on a date as something more than friends.
It is very likely that they will have questions about this, especially if they hadn't suspected you had any feelings. Answer truthfully and let them know you have no expectations from this date. You simply want to be around them in a more formal setting and see if this could possibly lead anywhere between you.
If they are up for it, this is a great opportunity to spoil them and have an amazing time. If they don't, don't lose hope. You have planted a seed in their mind and they will definitely come back and reconsider your offer.
Apart from the things you can do which relate to you letting them know how you feel directly, there are also plenty of indirect things you can do. Keep in mind though that some of these can be considered as acts that a great friend will do and that you might still need to explain your feelings to this person.
The one thing you can do is always be available when they need you for emotional support. When they associate you with someone who truly cares, there are much more chances for them to be interested in you romantically. They might come to find out that the answer to the one they were looking for has been there all along.
When they go on a bad date or have any issue in their romantic life especially, make sure to always be there and offer your support. Remind them of all of the things you find amazing in them and make them feel special. This could help them see just how supportive and loving you are and maybe help them start to think of you differently.
Another thing that could help you gain a lot of points in their eyes is always remembering important dates. Make sure that you never forget their birthdays and other important events in their life such as a graduation or celebrating when they get a new job.
When they have something important coming up, make sure that you have time to spend with them and celebrate their successes. Surprise them with something nice or spend time planning a party or special event. While they might see this as you being an amazing friend, you can always tell them just how much you mean to them and hope they see all the effort you put into making them feel special.
One thing you can try doing that might help you see if they will show any hint of being interested in you romantically is trying to make them jealous. If this is anything more to them than a platonic friendship, they will probably feel uncomfortable with seeing you flirting with someone else.
Try to maintain eye contact with this other person and see how they react if they see you being truly interested in someone else. You might come to find that they will not show signs of jealousy immediately. As a matter of fact, it often takes such a situation for someone to realize just how much you mean to them and how they could lose you to another person.
While this is not given to work with anyone, it is certainly worth a try. If you see them being genuinely happy for you and actually encouraging you to go after this other individual, they might see this as a chance for you to develop feelings for someone new.
After some time of trying to deal with your emotions, you just feel the need to stop acting as if you see them like any other friend and you need to take some time off to figure your emotions out. There isn't a single person who would blame you for wanting to keep some distance and see how you want to proceed.
At the same time though you need to communicate to them why you need to spend some time apart. If they are aware of your feelings, they will be much more likely to understand. In this time, they will also see a glimpse of how life would be without you around them and they might think of the same things you do in this time apart.
If you have not spoken to them about your feelings, you should explain to them that you simply feel overwhelmed with certain things in your life and you need some alone time. It might confuse them but if you need the time to reflect away from them then you need to set some boundaries and look after yourself first.
When you start flirting with other people, you are also getting in the mindset of being exclusively interested in this one individual . They might have a lot of amazing qualities and you might have the best communication, but at the same time, if they are not emotionally available for you then you shouldn't let your world revolve around them.
If you have already had a talk with them about how you feel and you've taken a good break from dating while you were sorting your feelings out, you might want to slowly start getting back into dating. You don't have to look for a relationship immediately.
There are many people though who will hold the same amazing qualities you saw in this one individual and you will only be missing out if you don't go on a few dates with new people. Moving on with your life is also part of getting out of the friend zone.
Sometimes you end up keeping a great friend and other times you end up with a new partner. Don't let the outcome of this relationship affect your self-worth and make sure that you surround yourself with other friends who will introduce you to new people and help you get your mind off things.
While you might have very strong feelings for someone, they might just see you as a friend. Staying in the friend zone can be hard, especially if you imagined a future with this person. You can choose to keep them as a close friend or keep some distance and sort your feelings out.
Either option is okay and there is no reason for you to hold a grudge if they simply can't reciprocate your feelings. Instead, focus on yourself and the ideal partner will find their way to you in the most unexpected way.
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