Everyone needs great friends. They make our lives so much better. But what happens when you start to fall for your friend? What then? How do you get yourself out of the often feared “Friend Zone,” and into their arms? The answer may surprise you.
But first, let’s explore what exactly is the Friend Zone. It’s generally accepted that someone finds themselves in the Friend Zone when they have feelings for a friend that are much more than friendship, yet not returned by their friend. Unlike “Friends with Benefits” were there may be a casual friendship along with sex, yet without love, romance or commitment; the Friend Zone does not include sexual activity of any kind. The Friend Zone can be a clear case of unrequited love, where one person harbors romantic feelings or love that the other simply does not. But the Friend Zone can also be quite murky and confusing. Some people have been placed in the Friend Zone even when their relationship has shown some promise of reciprocity. The friends may have excellent compatibility in many areas and care deeply for each other, yet they may fear losing a great friend if they explore a more romantic relationship. In other cases, it may be that the friend is seeing someone else, but enjoys the companionship and connection with their friend and wants to keep them as an “option” for the future. But most often, if friends are both single and not in a committed relationship, and one friend has feelings beyond friendship, whether expressed or not, they have arrived in the Friend Zone.
Well if you have found yourself in the Friend Zone we feel for you! It’s a tough place to be. But there is good news. First, you can avoid the Friend Zone altogether by not settling for friendship-only when you sense you have stronger feelings than that from the beginning. Instead, flirt, tease and joke around, but create a little sexual tension in the process. Don’t go for the “safe zone” which leads to the dreaded Friend Zone! Friendship is a very important component of a successful love relationship, but cannot progress to love without passion. When you leave this important ingredient out of the equation out of fear or lack of confidence, you are eliminating the possibility for a romantic relationship in the future in most cases. Often people end up in the Friend Zone because they settle for just being close to the one they want rather than stepping up and putting their heart on the line. Sort of an attempt to slide into a romantic relationship by proximity. But this rarely happens can can even kill your chances! In order to develop a strong emotional bond and connection that goes beyond friendship you must have passion and you have to step up to find out if you have that level of interest in each other.
But what happens if you unintentionally fell into the Friend Zone? You really started out friends and it’s exactly what you both wanted, but over time, you realize that your friend is an amazing person that you have started to have romantic feelings for–what then? How do you escape the Friend Zone you so carefully built? Well the answer is simple, but the process can test your nerves and resolve. Assuming you have thought this through and are certain you want more than a friendship, you can take one of two approaches. You can talk about you growing feelings for your friend, or you simply take the risk and make a move. Ask for the date. Go in for a kiss. You may be pleasantly surprised. And even if the feelings are not mutual, you have given yourself a gift. You know where you stand. Now you are in the driver’s seat. No more wondering or longing. You either are now dating or you decide to remain only friends (and yes, this means you must give up on your desire for more), or you may decide to part ways. There is no loss in any direction. You either have the solid foundation of a friendship that you can now build a relationship upon or you can put your attention and energies into someone new that you can build a great relationship with that has both friendship and passion. Honestly it’s a win-win.
What are your experiences with the Friend Zone? We would love to hear from you. Add your story in the comment section below.