How to escape the friend zone
Have you started developing feelings for a friend? It’s a tricky situation and one that can risk ruining your friendship. But if you do feel ready to make a move, here are our top tips for escaping the friend zone
You could be friends with someone for years before starting to develop romantic feelings. Or you might have met someone and fallen into the friend zone without even realising. Whatever the situation, falling for a friend can be painful and awkward. Should you make a move? Or forget about it and try to move on?
If you do want to pursue a relationship with a friend, there are things that you can do to find out whether they feel the same way. However, these things do involve taking emotional risks that might change the balance of your friendship. But if you’re sick of living in limbo and want to take steps towards escaping the friend zone, check out our top tips…
Examine your feelings
Investigate why you want to move things out of the friend zone. Is your great friendship not enough? What would you like to change in your relationship? Look ahead and assess what it is you want from your friend that you’re not getting now. Is it just a physical thing? It’s important to know exactly what you want before you make a move. After all, people behave differently in friendships than they do in romantic relationships. This person might be a great friend but an unreliable boy or girlfriend. Consider how they acted around previous romantic partners and whether they have the qualities that you want in someone you’re dating.
Why hasn’t it happened?
There are probably a number of reasons why your friendship hasn’t already turned romantic and it’s important to know what these are. Were both of you in relationships when you became friends but are now single? Perhaps you were both waiting for the other person to make the first move but no-one ever did. If you’ve been friends for years it might even seem strange to broach the subject now. Whatever the reasons, you need to be certain that you really want to escape the friend zone. Think abut the bigger picture too – will mutual friends or children be affected?
It’s not easy but you need to be emotionally honest. Be honest with yourself first, and then with your friend. If you don’t feel brave enough to talk about – or you’re worried about ruining the friendship – things might sour anyway because you can’t be open with your friend. A good friend will notice if you’re holding something back or not supporting them when they enter into a new relationship. Take the risk and tell them how you feel. You could talk it through with another friend first so that you know exactly what you want to say.
Telling the truth
You don’t have to be dramatic or overly emotional. Choose a time and place where there are few distractions and stay sober (drunken declarations of love can get very messy!) Ty starting a conversation about ideal partners and ask you friend what they’d want in a partner. You might need to be very clear that you’re interested, especially if, for whatever reason, they’ve never looked at you that way before. Don’t rely on hints or subtle innuendos. You need to be prepared for any outcome and remember that, whatever happens, you’ll feel better by being honest.
If your friend doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, don’t beg, plead or try to persuade them. Retain your dignity and consider whether you can still be friends or if it’ll be too painful. Back off for a while and mix in different social circles so that you can rely less on that friendship for emotional support.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to escape the friend zone and use your friendship as the foundation for a lasting, happy relationship. In this case, make sure your relationship feels different from your friendship. Date. Go out as a couple, do different activities, flirt and woo one another. It might feel a little weird at first but, just like any other relationship, take things at your own pace and enjoy!
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