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'Just good friends': How to get out of the friend zone

The friend zone. A nightmare for many. But let’s get something straight: being friends with the person you actually like-like isn’t a downgrade. The friend zone is an end goal in itself, and a winning one at that. We could leave the story there. 

 

But.

 

Life is complicated. Sometimes romantic feelings develop, and however hard we try to ignore them, it could be time to get out of the friend zone and explore a different side of your relationship. Where to begin in this brave new world? And how to avoid the friend zone altogether? 

 

Take a seat, my friend.

 

How to know if you’re getting friend-zoned

We can all be prone to selective blindness in relationships: seeing the signs yet ignoring them just to keep that person around. When it comes to getting friend-zoned, the warning flags tend be the colour of a red-hot flame, that is to say, painfully obvious:

  • They avoid time alone together, bringing other friends along to stuff that was meant for the two of you. Netflix and chill with the whole squad just isn’t the same vibe.
  • They shut down any kind of flirting or romantic talk and start telling you about their type, which — guess what — is the polar opposite to you.
  • They try and set you up with someone else.

 

Yeah… we’d all agree it’s uncomfortably obvious. And the best thing to do if these things happen? Roll with it. Better being in the friend zone than nowhere at all. And if you like this person for who they are, let go and respect the friendship for what it is. Plenty more fish in the sea. 

 

How to escape the friend zone

Maybe, just maybe, the scores on the doors are different. The best thing to do on this occasion is to be upfront and honest about how you feel. They might be giving you mixed signals if they themselves aren’t sure about what’s going on. In this case: 

  • If this person is a friend, they’ll value honesty. It’s scary… but sit them down and tell them how you’re feeling. Worst case scenario is that it’s awkward for a short time. But at least you know where you stand (or sit). 
  • Don’t press the issue. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. It’s better to save your energy for someone who’s actually into you and might be just sitting there, waiting for you to finally notice…

 

What to do if you can’t get out of the friend zone

Yeah, so basically, remember that all is not lost – chiefly, your friendship. Plus, we’ve now opened up the way for new romantic connections to be started – a nice safe distance away from the friend zone. 

 

So, how to avoid the friend zone from happening all over again? It’s pretty natural to be friends before you start dating but, if possible, try dating someone who isn’t in your immediate friendship group. That way, you’ve still got your mates, as well as that certain someone else.

 

And remember, in most getting friend-zoned cases, being ‘just friends’ is just enough.