Tired of being just friends with someone you’ve secretly got a crush on? One of the more self-defeating relationship patterns today is the dreaded “Friend Zone,” which is basically the equivalent in dating of consigning yourself to a museum — you can look, but don’t you dare touch. If you’ve been confined to this prison, don’t fret, though — the game isn’t over yet, and there are escape routes. And, much like the ending of The Shawshank Redemption (spoiler alert), the way may be messy, but well worth the smell of freedom. Here’s how to fast-track your way to more romantic success.
Start Saying “No”
If you want her to see you as more than a friend, you’ve got to put up walls she’ll want to peek over. Don’t be available at her every beck and call. Saying “no” will also make her appreciate the times you do say “yes,” which will inevitably work in your favor.
One of the least attractive traits is clinginess. If she sees you as nothing more than a pesky dryer sheet, there’s no way she’s going to exile you from the friend zone. Show her you can be independent by making and keeping plans without her, then telling her how awesome they were the next day. Jealousy is a stinky cologne, but it works.
Don’t Get Desperate
This one should be obvious, because it’s the simplest of the six ways to escape the friend zone — sometimes you get trapped in that ethereal relationship feedback loop where you’re trying to dig yourself out of that spot, but you keep digging yourself deeper. The point is: Don’t beg, and don’t be afraid to take a step back, set some boundaries, and be more aloof – you know what they say about people wanting what they can’t have, and a little distance can help. What’s more, if you show too much desperation, you might not even survive the position you are in to begin with.
Sure, you can vent to your other close friends — maybe they’re stuck in similar predicaments. But keep things close to your chest when it comes to your frustrations with her. It’ll get real awkward real fast if you start complaining about your relationship with her — so awkward that you might even completely vaporize it off the face of the Earth.
Hang Out With Other Girls
See, now this one sounds fun, doesn’t it? And, it works! Just like showing your independence, showing you can have your own female friends will entice her with your sudden desirability. So, go out of your way to make some! Just don’t end up a friend zone local with them, too.
No, not with flowers, candies or small puppies. Surprise her by showing her a different side. Create some mystery. Do things she doesn’t expect. Does she assume you’ll be home on a Friday night? Go out! Does she assume you care what happened on This Is Us? Don’t watch it this week. The point is, she’s already gotten to know a side of you that’s been confined to the Friend Zone–show her that another one exists. She might like what she sees.
There are more than just six ways to escape the dreaded friend zone. Strategize your way out at these links: