5 Tips for Staying Out of the Friend Zone


Written by Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe.com

If your relationships constantly sway towards the platonic rather than the romantic, then, sorry to say it, but it’s probably because of something you’re doing. Luckily, it is possible to get out of the Friend Zone, and stay out for good: it just takes gumption, a bit of bravery and just the right amount of physical contact.

1. Ask Him/Her Out Right Away.

When you first meet someone you might be interested in, time is of the essence in terms of establishing whether your relationship will be platonic or romantic. For shy people, the natural tendency is to slowly get to know the other person, even if your attraction is instant. But this is exactly how people get stuck in the Friend Zone: they wait too long, and then get to the point where any possible chemistry or attraction has (d)evolved into a comfortable, platonic friendship.

If you meet someone, and you think you want to go on a date with them, don’t hesitate and don’t wait: ask them out right away. If you go on a date and discover that there’s no chemistry, it’s easy to develop a friendship from there. But turning friendship into romance is much, much harder.

2. Don’t Be Too Subtle

It might be painfully obvious to you that you have an enormous crush on someone in your friend group, but trust me, there’s a good chance he or she has no idea. People who frequently get stuck in the Friend Zone are often verrrryy subtle flirters, but unfortunately, eye contact and “a good connection” does not a flirtatious exchange make.

If you’re constantly wondering why your friendships never develop into romances, even when you think they should, odds are you’re not coming on strongly enough (or at all). If you like someone, let them know you like them! Don’t give them any reason to doubt your interest.

It’s definitely worth risking a little potential rejection or embarrassment — you’ll never get the romantic attention you want if you don’t send out the signals!

3. Don’t Try to Be Goofy/Self-Deprecating

If you learn one thing from The Date Report this month, let it be this: Everyone wants goofy friends. They just don’t want to sleep with them.

I know, I know, it’s tough to read, especially if your natural inclination upon meeting new people is to act goofy and funny as a way to immediately endear yourself to everyone. This totally works — for friendships. But while both sexes agree that humor is attractive, constantly making disparaging jokes about yourself or acting like the class clown does not make people think, “I have got to sleep with this person, the sooner the better.”

Goofy is lovely, funny is charming — but save those qualities for when you’ve already landed a date. When you’re first meeting someone, focus on friendliness and allure, instead.

4. Don’t Be Too Available

The most surefire way to land yourself permanently in the Friend Zone is to be completely available to the other person, with your emotions and your time. Soon, you’re the one he or she is texting cause they’re bored, or inviting out on Tuesday night cause they have no other plans. You’ll feel like you’re getting somewhere with this person — after all, aren’t you always hanging out, going to movies, grabbing dinner? You probably think that if you just continue platonically dating this person, one of these days he or she will look at you across the table and suddenly realize that they’re in love with you.

Except it very, very rarely works that way.

In truth, they’re just biding their time with sweet, comfortable you, while thinking of that other guy/girl who is still slightly unattainable to them.

If you like someone, give them the option of dating you, or don’t spend too much one-on-one time with them at all. They’ll be forced to consider you in a romantic light, and if they turn you down, trust me: it’s so much better than being helplessly strung along.

5. Establish Physical Familiarity

A good way to slowly inch your way out of the Friend Zone is to slowly establish physical familiarity.

Think about someone you like: does the thought of touching them somehow seem weird, awkward, or impossible? If so, you totally need to work on becoming more comfortable with casual physical contact. Start small — put your hand on their back, rest your head on their shoulder, give them a kiss on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. It’s not so weird for friends to have that level of physical rapport, and once you establish something like this, it’s easy to slowly escalate it to more intense physicality. (In other words, if you put your head on his or her shoulder, and he or she reciprocates by putting their arm around you, and pretty soon half an hour has past and no one has moved, and things progress from there….well, you’re well on your way to being out of the Friend Zone for good.)

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