The dreaded dilemma of friend zone is very much real
Especially when you have desired a real relationship for so long.
It can put you in a never-ending trap of hope and agony. You feel like you have a chance when in reality, you don’t.
But here’s the good news: you can get out of it.
How. When. What. Where.
All your questions will be answered. Just stick with me till the end and I guarantee you, you will be able to crawl your way out of this exhausting situation.
So, before we jump onto the solution, let’s first understand the problem from the crux.
What Does Friend Zone Mean?
Friend zone is the middle space between friendship and a relationship where you do things like a romantic partner would do without being one.
Put simply, Friend zone is a mismatch in romantic interests between two people
…a form of unrequited love
…a kind of rejection.
…a situation where one party has developed romantic feelings, while the other “only wants to be friends.”
But no matter what people tell you, remember…
Friend zone is not a threshold that guarantees your chance at a romantic relationship and it’s definitely not a queue people put you in because you are “on hold”.
It’s just a space you find yourself trapped in when your love interest trusts you enough to confide in you but doesn’t see you as a romantic or sexual partner.
It might not be permanent but it’s not really temporary either unless you choose to make it. Some people have definitely been successful in taking it forward with a full-fledged relationship but that doesn’t mean you can be one of them too. (you might or might not be).
The longevity of the friend zone may depend on your personality, your partner’s feelings or maybe just good timing.
So, you never know.
In my opinion, even if there’s a romantic relationship waiting on the other side of the shore, the damage from friend zoning is still not worth it.
Before we move ahead with the details of the subject, there’s one more definition that you must be aware of.
and, that is…
Friendzoned – What Does It Mean?
Friend zoned or being in the friend zone sucks.
Really really sucks.
Especially for the guys.
Like Imagine, you like a girl > get attracted to her > fall in love > show interest > propose to her > She says ‘I like you but as a friend!’
You are friend zoned… just like that.
Whilst you can’t stop dreaming about her in your arms, she sees you as a great friend. She even shares all her deep secrets with you and also the guys she really likes – while you just listen and let your romantic dreams die in lieu of “I don’t want to ruin the friendship”.
For girls, it’s not so easy either unless she is the one friend zoning you. This means the pain is equally tormenting for her when she is the victim.
Yes, girls also get friend zoned. It’s rare but not non-extinct.
But hey, it’s time to ask yourself: Is it really worth it?
All that mental trauma and emotional turmoil… Do you think you deserve that?
If all this while, you have been convincing yourself with “No, I am not in the friendzone… She is just flirting!” – here’s how you can tell the difference.
Flirting vs Friend zone
It is possible that the other person is not sure how to proceed or initiate a romantic relationship and thus hides it in the form of friend zone. (But, that’s only when you are lucky).
…and you are not always lucky.
You can tell when you are. Here’s how!
|They find excuses to be around you or spend some alone time with you.||You find excuses to spend time alone with them or are usually situational.|
|They compliment you with a strange energy, sometimes playfulness, and some shyness.||The compliments are bold and straight, they don’t feel embarrassed about it.|
|The touch is different and not familiar. They do it just with you.||They are not unique in physical contact and do it with everyone else.|
|The response to your teasing is triggering.||They don’t respond to your banter with eagerness. It is rather dull with no intention to further the flirting.|
|You have never been labelled as a “friend”. Instead they usually call you a “great guy or girl” while introducing you.||You have often been characterized as a “good friend” in parties or group meetings.|
|In parties or group meetings, they naturally gravitate towards you and are always near you.||They don’t flicker around you, nor find the reason to be near you.|
|They try to trigger jealousy in you by vague talking about romantic crushes.||They don’t shy away from discussing other romantic interests and are usually clear about how they are seeking someone else.|
|You feel the nervousness in them when you try to further the flirting.||They don’t care about your advances and show no positive responses.|
So now, it must be clear to you…
…what is flirting
and, what is friendzoning.
But wait, are you hiding the truth in lieu of friendship?
So here are some telltale signs that can tell you the difference.
Friendship vs Friendzone
The other person might seriously consider you a friend and a safe place to confide in. But that doesn’t mean he/she hasn’t friend zoned you. They have. You are just trying to play it cool because you are afraid of breaking the friendship.
|Both of you consider each other good friends.||Whilst you have developed a romantic interest, they still consider you as a friend.|
|Both of you discuss about your romantic interests and potential partners||They discuss their romantic interests but you don’t|
|Both of you refer to each other as friends (just like you should)||Since you are seeking more, you don’t refer to them as friends but they do.|
|You both don’t mind hanging out alone or in groups||You want to hang out alone while they want to go out in groups|
Now let’s get to the crux and jump to the most awaited question –
Am I in the Friend zone?
I am sure this question has been troubling you ever since you started reading this article.
There are several ways to recognize whether or not you are trapped in this traumatic situation. Let’s begin with what they say when you are the intent is to friend zone you.
1. What they say: Ofcourse, I am interested in hanging out with you. Let’s invite others also. We will have so much fun.
What they really mean: I am not comfortable going out with you alone.
2. What they say: Hey you are a great friend. Never doubt that.
What they really mean: You are nothing more than a “friend”
3. What they say: I love you but as a friend!
What they really mean: [Exactly what you heard]
4. What they say: I am so lucky to have a friend like you who is always there.
What they really mean: You are a friend and you will always remain one. I will keep taking the benefit of you and never revert.
If you have ever heard any of this (or something similar, you know you are in the friend zone.
This was about what they say, let’s find out what they do to make you understand that you are nothing more than a friend.
You can also call this
The Friendzone Test
Friend zone Signs
If you spot two or more of these signs on your current situation, it’s a red flag!
1. You hardly ever get replies to your texts or calls, when you do, it’s very late.
2. They don’t shy away from discussing exes, current crushes, or potential partners (which is not you!)
3. You are always referred to as a friend.
4. Meetings are usually initiated in groups or around several other people.
5. Physical contact is very limited or none at all.
6. Always finds excuses to not meet you.
7. Conversations are always one-sided with you making continuous efforts to keep it going.
Now that you are sure, you are stuck in Friendzone, most of you must be asking “Why me?”
Yeah, that’s normal.
So, let’s find out!
How could you end up in the Friend zone?
Here’s a secret that no one tells you: They don’t friend zone you. You friendzone yourself.
Knowingly or unknowingly.
1. You are always there for them. ALWAYS
So, now you know all that doing errands for them is actually putting you in the danger of friendzone.
If they start to see you as a go-to person for everything, it will instead deepen the friendship and spoil the chances that you have at a relationship.
Surely a relationship also needs friendship but not by being accessible 24*7.
This makes you unattractive and unexciting.
What can you do about it? Limit your availability. You are not a pet dog or spot boy who needs to follow their shadow everywhere.
2. You never fight them. NEVER
You might think this is a good point but it’s not.
If you never argue and readily agree to what they say, it makes you too familiar which increases your chances of being friend zoned.
You just tend to be one of their gang mates who agrees to whatever they say.
What can you do about it? Challenge them. If you trigger curiosity, it will make them believe that you are not a “Yes Mam/Sir” kind of a person and you have a viewpoint of your own. This, by the way, is very attractive to find in a potential partner.
3. You are either TOO much or NONE at all
Yes, in terms of showing romantic interest.
You need to find a middle ground because if you tend to show no romantic interest, you will forever be stuck in the friend zone and if you show too much interest it will piss them off.
Both the familiarity and neediness can turn them off.
What can you do about it? Try to break the communication if you are on the too-much side and initiate (with the intent) if you are on the no-side. Remember you want to tell them that you are interested but not choke them.
4. You try to be a forever-friend.
You are their shoulder to cry on for all the problems
Even the relationship problems.
Before the deep heartfelt conversations turn to best-friends forever, it’s time to alter that and get back to where you belong: a potential romantic partner.
What can you do about it? Don’t become their venting machine (at least not willingly). Your role is not being a comforter ONLY. There are a lot of other ways to offer comfort and earn their trust. Like just dropping a message to make sure they are doing fine or call every once in a while.
5. Your confidence quotient is negative.
If you have always seen them describe their potential partner like you and they still don’t consider you as one.
There’s a problem with your confidence.
Low confidence not only makes you appear weak but also takes away the charm. No one wants their partner to be lying in the corner while the world is battling on the floor.
What can you do about it? Accept your shortcomings and insecurities. No one is perfect, neither are you. Understand that they are just a person, like you or me, and nothing else. Lack of self-confidence can not only jeopardize your present situation but also trigger various relationship problems
Sometimes, (just sometimes) you are not responsible for putting yourself in the friend zone and end up in it nonetheless.
6. You are a friend (maybe best friend)
“Best friends make the best partners”
Well, not always.
If you are too familiar to them, they fail to see you in a different light even after several attempts. It’s primarily because they have been with you for so long that even those attempts seem normalized.
What can you do about it? You would know it better. Yes, since you both have known each other, chances are that you already know their romantic interests. Don’t wait, just get onto it.
7. They just don’t see you as a date
So many dating coaches around the world say that sometimes n matter what you do, you just can’t turn it around.
You both have fondness for each other but it just doesn’t transform into romantic attraction.
As hard as it may seem but that’s a dead end.
What can you do about it? Nothing. Accept that the chemistry is not there and move on.
8. You are just not meant for relationships
In simple words “You are just not a relationship material”
Is that even a thing? Well, yes (unfortunately!)
Circumstances make you like that. Maybe you get too awkward in a committed relationship or maybe you enjoy quick relationships more.
It’s not entirely your fault but it’s not their fault either.
What can you do about it? Gather all the courage and ask your exes or even your recent crush, why they don’t see you as a romantic partner but a friend. If you find solid points, accept them, and work on them.
So, now you know what led you here?
I am sure you are dying to know –
How to get out of the friend zone? – It’s possible!
Sometimes even before you know it, you find yourself trapped in the friend zone by the person you like.
While most would recommend, move on and find someone else, we all know it’s not always possible.
So, can you move ahead with this situation and take it to a real relationship? Well, frankly it’s not impossible but definitely requires a lot of effort (and time!)
Step 1: Check their interests in you.
One thing is for sure, love can’t be forced.
Sometimes, not even when you love them with all your heart.
So, if the other person is not interested in you and will ever be even when you are at your best – it makes no sense trying.
To be sure, ask yourself or ask your mutual friends, think about how close you are, and analyze their previous relationships.
If you get any positive outcomes, keep reading.
Step 2: Change their thinking about you.
There’s a reason why you are friend zoned.
Probably because you appear to them more like a friend and less like a desirable partner.
You need to change that.
How? Examine what they seek in a romantic partner, what attracts them, and what puts them off.
Once you have answers you already know what to do next.
Step 3: Work on yourself
All this while you have tried all means to impress them.
Did it work? No, right? So now, it’s time to shift your focus to yourself and invest time in improving yourself.
Fix your personality, work on your attitude, and improve your social habits.
Give yourself enough time even if it takes a lot longer than expected. Trust me, in the end, it will be worth it.
Step 4: Be Patient
Patience is the key to winning your partner’s heart.
Let all the changes sink in both for you and your partner.
Spend time with yourself and ask whether you still like them especially after all the progress that you have made. Learn to value yourself as a respected individual and initiate small positive interactions.
Don’t show them the “need” or it will again put you back in the same place.
Step 5: Get them to like you
Make real efforts to impress them and get them to like you.
By “real efforts”, I don’t mean keep following them wherever they go or make sleazy attempts just so that they notice you.
No. Trust me, no one was ever impressed by it.
You know what’s really attractive? Respect… for them and your own self.
So, take pride in what you are, and don’t be afraid to exhibit self-discipline. If done well, it will lead you to the final step and give way to the real “business” (if you know what I mean)…
Step 6: Ask for a date
There’s no right time to take this shot. Whenever you start feeling the heat and have a chance: play your shot.
But be very careful, there’s nothing worse than asking this question when your partner is not ready.
Take your time to flirt with them, impress and then ask them out
If you need guidance on it, here’s a think piece we crafted a while back: Comprehensive guide on how to ask a girl out.
This was your guide-book for offline friend zoning.
What about the times you both haven’t met (at least not yet) and yet they have friend zoned you on texts – what then?
Well, don’t worry. We’ve something for everyone! 😉
How to get out of the friend zone through text?
To begin, here’s a small reminder: if you are holding back due to the fear of rejection, remember fear is boring and you are a lot better than that. 😊
So, get back up, and get going!
Step 1: Don’t send the first text
Let them take the lead and if they message you first, there’s a good chance that they already like you.
Even if they don’t, you will at least not be trapped in the friend zone even before you start talking.
They will perceive you as scarcity and the thought of losing you will keep them hooked to you. Apart from that, it will also make them realize that you don’t need them for survival.
Step 2: Don’t reply immediately
Yes, take your own sweet time.
You HAVE to communicate that you have things to do that does not include her. The pause in your messages will do that for you.
This mystery will compel them to send more messages and, on the way, make them realize that they have been undervaluing you.
And if you are lucky, reverse roles for you! 😉
Step 3: Tell them about your love life
It’s time to turn the tables and give them a taste of their own medicine.
All this while when they have been telling you about their relationship problems, you felt a tinge in your heart but never dared complain. Not anymore.
So, tell them that you are going out on a date and disappear. If you notice a change, it’s time to step up your game and move to the next step.
Step 4: Flirt! (FLIRT. FLIIRRRTTT!)
Sorry, if I got too excited.
But if done right, this can be your bait to finally walk out of the friendzone and enter into a solid relationship.
Don’t let them think that you are just “friends”
Flirt up a storm with witty messages.
But make sure, you don’t go overboard or it can piss them off.
Here are a few texting examples to help you get started:
1. “When can we meet next? I can’t wait to see you in that dress again.”
2. “You look way more hot in person than in pictures.”
3. “My friend told me he saw me the way we were coming back. I was so busy looking at you, that he just slipped my eyes”
See how these templates are subtle yet powerful. You can also tell them how you enjoyed spending time with them. Or talking about things that you remember from the conversation is also a good idea.
Depending on your partner’s personality, you should know what will work and what wouldn’t.
So, make your best pick and go on!
But wait, that’s not it. There’s more.
There are a few basic rules without which this process is bound to fail.
8 Rules for getting out of Friend Zone
If you wish to improve your love life, it will require a 360-degree transformation – both on the personal and societal levels.
To help you start afresh, these are some ground rules which if followed is sure to give you the push that you are seeking.
#1 Accept that you are Friendzoned
A lot of times, people fail to find a solution because they are too afraid to accept the situation.
So, begin with accepting that you are in friendzone. There’s no harm in it.
Only when you accept that your own thoughts and actions have trapped you in this situation can you find a solution. Understand that you need a change and it’s not because of the competition with the “bad guys”.
But instead for the “nice guy” in you to shine.
#2 Refuse to be their “Best friend”
You don’t want to be stuck in her girl gang
Or among his bro-gang.
So, don’t attempt to make them feel comfortable by just being there and listening to all their problems. If you want to be the arms that carry them, you can’t be the shoulder they cry on.
So, the next time, they share the relationship problems, you know what to do.
#3 Let them miss you
Yes, let them feel the void.
There are a lot of people on their list who give them attention 24*7. If you want to create a space of your own, you really need to let them be.
Don’t stick to them like bees to honey.
Give them space because when you seek to be equals, they automatically start to miss you and want to talk to you.
The age-old maxim “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” really does work.
#4 Don’t keep calling or texting them
Most people in friend zone create a pattern of consistently calling or texting. The minute you break it, it creates a blip on their minds.
It catches their attention and they are eager to know what happened to you.
You don’t always have to try harder to get their attention.
You just need to try something different.
#5 Stop obsessing on them
You might think your partner is the ideal and put them on a pedestal.
But as flattering as it sounds, it doesn’t work for 99 out of 100 people. (you are lucky if you have THE 1)
On top of that, if you are obsessing over them too much – thinking about them all day long.
It’s time to tone it down and instead think about yourself.
The fact that you keep yourself happy will naturally attract them towards you.
#6 Play it cool
In simpler words “Stop giving a sh*t”
The more you try to take control of things, the more it will seem to slip through.
Whether it’s a guy or girl, they like it when you are the chase and not the chaser. It might sound weird but it is what it is.
If you don’t believe it, don’t bother about what they are doing and why they are doing (starting now!)
And you will witness the change! 😉
#7 Don’t be vulnerable
The moment you let your emotions overpower you and spill the guts in front of them, they will friend zone you.
You don’t really have to “tell” them about your feelings or how much you like them just to reserve a space in their hearts.
While movies favor the contrary, the reality is a bit different.
So, what to do instead? Follow the 50:50 rule, that is, reveal ONLY what they reveal. Never go beyond them. NEVER. Ever.
#8 Stop stressing
No problem has ever been solved with stress.
So, remain calm and take it as it comes.
The more you stress, the more you will overthink which is instead going to make things worse.
Plus, if you stay cool, they will understand that you are not all about them and they will naturally gravitate towards you.
After all this, one thing is definitely clear: Getting out of the friend zone is definitely not a child’s play. It’s certainly very difficult and requires real effort and determination.
So, how about I tell you the tricks to avoid it in the first place?
Excited? So, let’s go!
How to NOT get Friendzoned?
#1 Don’t try to WIN them
A lot of times, when you are attracted to someone, you lose your own say in the relationship. You just follow them everywhere, stay available 24*7 – all in the desire that someday all of this will pay off.
Hey, that’s not how it works.
The more you go all in, the higher are the chances of them friend zoning you.
Instead, establish yourself as a possibility by offering a little more than others. But don’t flip over.
#2 Give the best part of yourself
You can’t expect to win their heart by offering them things that everyone else offers.
If you really want to make them weak in the knees, offer them something new.
Analyze yourself as a person and seek to be different from the crowd. Remember to play to your strengths and show them the interesting side of you.
Whilst you can’t force anyone to love you, you can definitely be irresistible! 😉
#3 Pay attention to Yourself
Believe it or not, sometimes your attraction quotient just isn’t enough to keep the eyes glued on you.
There’s no harm in accepting that.
So, keep updating yourself from time to time with some freshness. Anything that keeps you on the books will serve the purpose, like a new hair cut or fashionable clothes or maybe a new gym routine.
You can also work on your emotional and mental state for 360-degree transformation.
#4 Find a “Common ground”
Most healthy relationships work because they find a “match”.
So, there’s a high chance that you haven’t yet found any common ground with your partner which is preventing them from seeing you more than a friend.
So, if you really wish to start dating, share interests, or at least find something similar that will help you both bond.
If you don’t find anything after several attempts, you might want to ask yourself if you really want them.
#5 Seek Balance
Oftentimes, you tend to do all the sacrifices and commissions because you are too afraid to hurt them and lose your chance at a relationship.
This makes you very easily available and they start taking you for granted. (and that is how you get friend zoned)
So, instead, seek equal efforts and investment from the other side also.
If the other person fails to contribute his share, you will lose the balance and also a chance at a relationship.
Master Tip: Just Ask!
Yes. This is a good advice (read it as best advice) if you want to prevent friend zone.
People have different ways of approaching a romantic relationship. While some start with being ”just a friend”, the others begin with “friends with benefits”.
Neither of them is wrong. It’s all about personal choices which can vary from person to person.
So, if you think it contradicts yours. Just ASK.
A moment of courage can save you months of trauma. Like literally.
Before we finally wrap this piece, here are few quotes to lighten you up!
Friend zone Quotes
1. “This was the best date I’d ever been on. And it wasn’t even a date.”– Abby Jimenez
2. “Should I smile because we are friends? Or cry because we’ll never be anything more?”– Latifah Bates
3. “There is boy friend and then there is boyfriend that tiny little space is known as the friend zone. Don’t get it twisted.– Anonymous
4. “Friendzone should be a relationship status on Facebook.”– Anonymous
5. “Ladies, guys are sick of hearing you where all of the”nice guys” are. They’re in the friend zone, where you left them.”– Anonymous
6. “I think once you’re in the friend zone, I’m not sure how you get out. Well, actually, I do know how you get out. You act like the friend back. That’s how you get out.”– Emma Roberts
7. “It’s so hard to pretend to be friends with someone special when everytime you look at the person, all you see is everything you want to have.”– Anonymous
8. “I am so deep in the friendzone that I’ve met her boyfriend’s parents.”– Anonymous
9. “Don’t cry because it is over; Cry because you’re Friendzoned”– Subhasis Das
10. “The Friend Zone: It’s like an employer turning you down for the job, then calling you weekly to complain about the guy they hired.”– Nitya Prakash
Oh, wait. I cannot not add Friendzone Memes.
After all that serious conversation, we all deserve a fun break!
Friend zone Meme
In the end, just…
Remember, it’s not the end of the world!
I am going to say it again, Friend zone is heartbreaking..
But it’s not the end of the world.
Countless relationships are broken every day due to mismatch in interests, different priorities, or misunderstandings.
Treat it like a phase of your life.
Not more, not less.
If you are unable to take it forward into a relationship, embrace the bond that you both have at the moment…
…and move on.
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favourite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.