The Friend Zone
Being stuck in the friend zone can be like hell. With this guide we will show you how you can avoid this trap.Conversation Starters
There is this one person that you feel for. You get along wonderfully, you take very good care of them and show that they are important to you. But even though you’ve tried so hard, you suddenly become aware of something terrible: You have winded up in the friend zone. What went wrong?
It can feel like a stab in the back once you realize you have been “friendzoned”. You wonder what you did wrong or if you didn’t try too hard. But the explanation is usually much more mundane.
Are you afraid of being in the friend zone? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will show you what the friend zone is; signs that you are in it; how to avoid it from the beginning, and - most importantly - how to get out of it.
Have fun and good luck!
🤔 What is the friend zone?
You probably already know what the free zone is, but let’s recap so that we have the same understanding of it:
The friend zone is a platonic relationship in which person A wants more from person B - be it something romantic or sexual. On the other hand, person B does not have this desire, and only sees person A as a friend, and has thus “friendzoned” person A.
Person A is therefore unhappy with the situation. If person A didn’t care that they are just friends with person B, person A wouldn’t be in the friend zone. So the friend zone is a negative state for person A.
Although a person, regardless of gender, can be in the friend zone, it’s mostly men who suffer from it. The main problem lies in the fact that many men believe that just because they are nice to a woman, she owes them something. But never forget: Love cannot be bought.
The friend zone became famous through the sitcom “Friends”.
😱 Signs that you are in the friend zone
How can you tell that you are in the friend zone? It could just as well be that the other person is already interested in you, but has not yet expressed or shown their feelings. However, if most of the following apply, you are almost certainly in the friend zone.
No trace of romance
If the two of you haven’t had a single romantic moment together or nothing romantic has come from the other person, but maybe from you, this can be a good indication that you’re in the friend zone. However, that also depends a lot on the person. For example, if they’re generally not the type of person for something like that, that might as well mean nothing.
The touch barrier has not yet been broken
You may not be aware of it, but touching people is extremely important. If you never break this barrier, that is, the person never touches you on their own - be it on the elbow, shoulder, or anywhere else - it could mean that they are not interested in you. Because if you have romantic or sexual feelings for someone, then you tend to want to touch that person. Then you usually touch them often and love to do so.
Nothing comes back
The person you adore often asks you for help or favors, and you are always willing to give them a hand, but as soon as you ask for something, they won’t help? So, strangely enough, when you ask for a favor, they don’t seem to have time? Then you may not only be in the friend zone but also be exploited. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you!
You jump immediately
If the person calls or texts you, you respond immediately. They, however, always take their time to answer? Take this moment for self-reflection and ask yourself why that is. No, they’re not just terribly busy. You are just not a priority to them, but they are to you. If a person means a lot to you, you make time for them.
Talking about unattractive things
An unmistakable sign is when the person frequently talks to you about things that would make them unattractive to others. Ergo, they don’t care if you find them attractive or not because they only see you as a friend.
You could argue that this only means that the two of you enjoy such an immense intimacy level that they open their heart to you. That might be true, but if nothing happened between the two of you, that is, you haven’t kissed or slept with each other, then you are most likely just a very good friend to them.
When they talk about other men/women that they find attractive, that should be a red flag for you. Note that this can also be an attempt to break down your reserve. But that depends on how manipulative that person is.
You are never alone
When you do something together, is there always at least a third person with you? Is it maybe even strange between the two of you when you’re alone? Most of the time, when you find someone attractive, you want to be alone with them and enjoy that.
However, if the person is timid, it can easily be that your presence makes them very nervous. However, if they are a very self-confident, affable person, then this is an unmistakable sign that you are in the friend zone and that they may even know about your feelings, but cannot reciprocate them.
Your emotional needs are not being met
This sign is mostly the reason why most people suffer from the friend zone. If your own emotional needs are not met, and you invest more and more in the other person than you get back, it can be extremely stressful. Often this leads to a vicious circle so that more and more of your feelings/time/money are invested because you believe that you can “buy” their love in this way. Forget that, because once again: Love cannot be bought.
Does the person want to set you up with others all the time? This can mean that they know you’re into them and want to get rid of you that way. But it can also mean that they just see you as a friend and want you to be okay. However, when it comes to the latter, they don’t even think about the fact that the two of you could be a couple and don’t even consider that. So both options are terrible.
Appointments will be postponed
If the other person cancels appointments a lot, especially at very short notice, while you always make time for them well in advance, then that’s a red flag. This means that you are not a huge priority for them, and it may even be nerve-wracking for them to meet you. It is particularly severe if they do not propose an alternative.
👀 How to avoid the friend zone
Even if it’s mostly nothing personal, as there can be thousands of reasons to end up in the friend zone, it is advisable not to slip into it in the first place. But what should you keep in mind so that it doesn’t get that far in the first place?
Don’t take too much time
Often you get into the friend zone because you took too much time or handled the other person with kid gloves. If you clarify what you are looking for from the start, it will be a lot easier. Also, ask them what they’re looking for right away. That way, you probably won’t even develop that much feelings in the end that may hurt you if the two of you don’t work out. You can make yourself vulnerable if you ask them that question, but you also show courage, which is sexy.
And if you haven’t known the person for long, but have the feeling that you are interested in more than just a friendship, then plan a date. And if the first went well, then plan several.
But if you have known each other for a long time and you have only recently developed feelings for them, then you should have a look at the next section.
Be nice without having expectations
It is essential not to be nice because you think that they will owe you something for that. Stop giving that person flowers or always complimenting them, and helping them with every little thing just because you think you might end up with them that way.
Just be friendly and helpful because you are like that, and for no other reason. If you are otherwise not overly friendly to most people, you shouldn’t kiss their ass either. Because if you believe, just because you are friendly and helpful to someone, that they owe you something - to put it bluntly, a relationship or sex - you are on the wrong track.
It should be a give and receive
This means that you see each other as equals. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of or take advantage of anyone. It shouldn’t be that you would do anything for the other, but they never would return that favor. Do not fight for the affection of the other, but try to win each other. You’re a good catch as well!
Don’t be a lap dog
If you jump as soon as your name is called, you’ve already lost. Don’t always be there, especially if you don’t really have time. Dare to say no without worrying about screwing up your chances. Because you only do that by submitting. Stay at eye level!
Do not put the person on a pedestal
As you can see from the last two tips, you shouldn’t submit or praise the other person as if they were the Savior himself. Treat them like a normal person, like a good buddy, as a potential partner. Tease them, joke around, and flirt for God’s sake! Don’t touch them with kid gloves; show that you are as good a catch as they are!
Stop getting your hopes up
Often one gets into the friend zone because one interprets something into everything that the person does or says. It just drives you crazy. Nietzsche did not call hope the “worst of all evils” for nothing.
Tip for men
Unfortunately, many men have a knack for misinterpreting things that women do or say. They often think that a woman is flirting with them, but in actuality, she was just friendly.
Remember the following: Most women were raised to be kind and courteous. This is often misinterpreted as flirting by men. So don’t be mad at her if she doesn’t want more from you. Just don’t be too rash with your feelings.
If you need help figuring out whether a girl likes you or not, here’s an excellent article for you: How to tell if a girl likes you
😉 How to get out of the friend zone
Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, it’s time we move on to what’s most important: How do you escape the shackles of the friend zone?
Basically, the procedure is straightforward. If you follow all of these tips, the person will definitely see you differently. The only problem with that: That doesn’t mean you will end up being a couple or you’ll be sleeping together. The way out of the friend zone is often the way out of a friendship. Therefore the following question arises first:
Do you really want that?
First of all, you have to decide if you really want to get out of the friend zone. Probably the most compelling reason to oppose it is that doing so may ruin your friendship. So if friendship with this person is more important to you than a potential relationship or sex, then you should leave your plan behind and just accept your situation. Get over your feelings.
On the other hand, if your feelings are too strong, speaking to the person about it can be very liberating. If they’re not interested in taking it to the next level, you must come to terms with it. Respect the person’s decision and honesty.
However, if pure friendship isn’t enough for you, cut off contact. Otherwise, you are just hurting yourself and suffering a lot more than is necessary.
Accept that it is your own fault
That may sound like a serious accusation, but it is basically true. It is your own fault that you ended up in the friend zone. Accept this, but don’t push yourself over the edge because of it. Sometimes things like this just happen. You obviously just took too much time to take this crucial step. You should have shown the person that you are not interested in pure friendship.
The easiest way
The easiest, but also riskiest way is to tell the person about your feelings. Talk to them. If your friendship is still very important to you, then you should mention that as well.
Say that you can live with a no, and it’s not the end of the world if there is no interest. You just wanted to know if they might feel that way too. This way, the friendship won’t suffer unnecessarily as you take the pressure off the person. You have to keep in mind that for some it is challenging to turn someone you like away.
If the person is not interested in a relationship or sex, but still wants to be friends. In that case, I advise you to take a little distance to get your feelings under control again. It’s best to meet other people who interest you in the same way. And if there aren’t any, then out into the world with you. There are an incredible number of great people, you just have to meet them.
To make yourself more interesting, it is essential not to be available all the time. So be sure to reduce the contact. Don’t write back immediately when you get a message from them. You don’t have to answer each one, either.
Do more with other people, especially other people who may interest you in an amorous or sexual way. Live an exciting life. Date to say no to things, too. The person needs to realize that your time is valuable and needs to be earned.
Stay true to yourself
That might be a tip that seems too worn out to be true. But it just is: Don’t twist yourself into a pretzel for anyone. You are not doing anything good for yourself or anyone else. Keep it real.
While you want your core self to stay the same, you should always try to be better than the day before. Don’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself. If you’re usually lazy, do some exercise. If you have few goals, be ambitious and passionate. Burn for something. Educate yourself. This increases your self-confidence as well as your happiness. But everything in small steps. Don’t overdo it.
Practice self-discipline. Establish basic rules that must not be exceeded. E.g. the person who is more than ten minutes late for an appointment pays the first round of drinks. After all, punctuality is a virtue.
Get more attractive! Now that sounds harder than it is. You can always spice up your looks, for example by buying some new clothes that look particularly good, or by getting a new haircut. Also, pay attention to your personal hygiene! Don’t be afraid to be a little extraordinary.
But also work on your attitude: don’t be jealous, envious, and start to radiate something positive. Work on your confidence as well as your intelligence. For example, read books on topics that have always interested you. Now is the time!
And what is very important is to stop staring at the television or computer for hours in your spare time. Get Productive! Get creative!
Stop thinking about him/her
Don’t spend a lot of your free time wasting thoughts on this person. Also, stop thinking about what could be or what would be different if you had done this or that. Focus on yourself. A little selfishness isn’t just not wrong; it’s healthy too!
Also meet other people you like
While you’re single, don’t focus on just one person. Have a fling, hang out with friends, meet other people, go on dates! Believe me, this way, you don’t block your chances with the person you are into, but show that you would be an interesting partner that others are also interested in. If people are panting for you, the person who sent you to the friend zone will likely soon too.
For example, you could try online dating. That is neither a shame nor frowned upon. Download an app like Tinder, create a profile and write with people you find attractive. Maybe a completely different person is your way out of the friend zone!
What you need to watch out for is how the person you are into reacts to it. If they don’t like it that you drift away from them, maybe even reproach you or want to hog you even more than before, then you should definitely talk about feelings. Do they want more than just a friendship? If so, great. But if they still have no interest in you apart from friendship, then you should break off contact. The exception being a friendship is good enough for you. But then don’t let them engage you too much.
You may very well be in the friend zone because the person doesn’t even know you’re interested in them. If you’ve never flirted with them, now is the time! Make eye contact with them longer than usual, smile at them, and touch them like it’s the most normal thing in the world. Tease them lovingly and tell them exciting stories.
Be cheeky and send them sexy or sweet messages. You just have to dare to approach the matter a little briskly. Too much caution is completely wrong if you are trying to win someone’s heart. As soon as you are afraid of losing someone, you lose them even more likely.
If the responses to all of that weren’t that great, you are actually very deep in the friend zone.
Ask for a date
It’s best to ask that person about a month later after you’ve followed all of these tips if you’d like to do something together. It is important that you don’t wait for just a week. This person will have noticed that you are a little different than usual. If the time span is too short, they will think that you are just a little weird right now. But if you wait longer, then they will accept that this is the new you.
It’s best to be honest, and say that you know you are just friends, but that you are interested in getting to know them better. Honesty is sexy.
If you don’t dare to do that, just keep a low profile. You do you! Then just ask if the two of you - and it is important that you only talk about the two of you - want to do something together.
If you need help with this, we have great articles for you here:
If it still doesn’t work out
So what should you do when all your efforts have been in vain, and you are still not a couple?
If the person still wants to stay friends with you, then you are at least important to them. In principle, this is the ideal case as long as you want to continue to be friends with the person. Just don’t let yourself and your feelings be taken advantage of.
If friendship means little to you, but you would have liked to have been in a relationship with this person, but they don’t want to be in one with you, or your friendship has broken as a result, then don’t get angry. You can’t help your feelings, and they can’t either. Accept this and continue with your life.
However, if you are still looking for a partnership, these two articles will certainly be helpful for you:
🤫 How to friendzone someone
Do you feel that a friend of yours wants to be more than just friends, but you can’t reciprocate those feelings and don’t want to hurt them? I’ll make it short for you: Be honest and don’t try to subliminally push the person into the friend zone.
Why? I would recommend not to send anyone to the friend zone as the friend zone is mostly an undesirable state. It is best if you tell the person very openly and honestly that you have no romantic or sexual interest in them, but that you appreciate them as a person and especially as a friend. If they can’t come to terms with “just” being friends with you, and you definitely have no interest in more than a friendship, you should cut off contact.
I know it can be very difficult to turn someone down. It is particularly difficult if the person has not yet revealed their interest, and you just have this feeling that they want more from you. Be open and sensitive by saying something like:
“Hey, I have the feeling that this is more than a friendship for you. I don’t even want to know whether this is actually the case, I just wanted to tell you that you and our friendship are very important to me, and I don’t want to endanger them.”
You will likely offend the person anyway. And depending on the person, the reaction could be harsh. Unfortunately you have to live with that. But if you put it in a way like this, you’ll at least minimize the risk.
If all of this is too difficult for you, however, you can also claim that you are generally not interested in a relationship or the like, because you like to be alone right now. This is mean somehow, especially if it is not meant honestly, but totally understandable. It would be silly, however, if you end up in a relationship a few months later with someone else. Then, of course, the person will feel very bad, which in turn can lead to negative reactions. That’s why I advise being honest.
✍️ September 3, 2020