The friend zone is a common dating scenario where one person develops feelings for someone with whom their relationship has always been purely platonic. The friend zone can also refer to a situation where one person openly reveals a romantic interest for someone else only for those feelings not to be reciprocated. This second description is commonly referred to as the “let’s just be friends” syndrome, due to that phrase being a common response to unwanted romantic interest from a friend.
It is generally people with less dating options who easily become infatuated with a single person, and a lack of dating experience makes it more difficult to differentiate between emotional attachment and sexual attraction. A high percentage of my dating clients come to me wanting advice on winning over a specific person. My initial advice to those people is usually the same: in order to attract one person, become better at attracting all people!
This article will dissect the psychology behind having romantic feelings for a friend before describing the only reliable techniques to starting a relationship with someone who you are firmly in the friend zone with…
The reason why you are in the friend zone:
Romantic relationships form through the distinct progression of several different stages, namely attraction and rapport. Someone who finds themselves strictly in the friend zone has generally skipped the attraction phases and has instead created deep rapport with the person in question.
Deep rapport refers to being comfortable talking in depth with someone about meaningful or personal topics. The opposite of deep rapport is wide rapport, which is talking about a variety of topics in a casual and informal manner. Although rapport is a sign of friendship, attraction can be created through these methods too. It is specifically deep rapport prior to any sexual attraction or physical escalation that will triumphantly lump you in the friend zone!
To distinguish this muddled order of relationship phases more clearly, someone will be in the friend zone if they have failed to successfully progress the relationship at certain points, specifically regarding physical comfort and intimacy.
Making physical advances on someone you are interested in is a common anxiety for both men and women. Without knowing what you are doing, there is a genuine risk of accidentally overstepping personal boundaries, hence why most people do nothing.
If a certain window of opportunity has passed by with nothing being said or done to communicate romantic interest, friendship will always be implied!
Why do you want to get out of the friend zone?
If you acknowledge that you are in the friend zone and you really feel infatuated with one specific person, before I reveal a few methods for turning things around, there are a number of concepts worth thinking about.
First is to make sure that this isn’t a case of dating avoidance. Turning a friendship – one where you are already comfortable together and enjoy each other’s company – into a relationship may seem easier than finding someone else, but is that a good enough reason?
I advocate a proactive approach to dating, but putting yourself out there, developing adept social skills, and then embarking on the arduous task of finding the partner you really want is a tough thing to do. It is also time-consuming for someone who wants to be in a relationship NOW and wants to spend their time on other aspects of life. For some people it is not only easier to date a friend but it is also less painful than dealing with the fear and rejection that a proactive dating life entails.
More often than not, infatuation with a friend signifies a lack of options in the dating world. Be honest with yourself as to whether it really is the person you are attracted to and not just the opportunity. Revealing interest in a friend – and if all goes to plan, dating them – WILL change your relationship. Be honest to yourself about your situation and desires before proceeding.
How to get out of the friend zone:
The truth is that getting out of the friend zone is a particularly tricky thing to do. Your friend may have no idea of your true feelings. As I stated earlier in this article, in order to attract one person, become better at attracting all people. What I mean by this statement is that there was a fundamental reason why your relationship headed towards friendship rather than anything more. In order to turn things around you have to ultimately change the whole basis of your relationship.
There are many real-world examples of couples who were originally friends before becoming lovers. If these relationships don’t stem from the methods I am about to describe then they have usually developed from a temporary insecurity or emotional vulnerability in the less amenable of the two people. Although there is nothing wrong with a fulfilling relationship blossoming this way, you don’t want to be sitting around waiting for that unlikely opportunity.
The easiest way to start to get someone interested in you romantically and sexually is to start to show the more attractive sides of your personality rather than the affectionate sides. Be willing to break rapport and slowly start to become more physically intimate. Obviously there are respectful ways to do all of this. An article that will give you some idea of the required shift in attitude can be found here: Nice guy or bad boy – find the perfect balance.
The best way to practice having a more attractive presence, which will also be the healthiest method for your psyche, is to remove your feelings from the situation completely and practice attracting OTHER people as part of a more proactive dating life. You may just find that if you’re meeting other people, it could be best to remain friends after all… 🙂