“You’re such a great friend.”
Harsher words were never spoken when coming from the mouth of someone you love. Or someone you think you could love. Or someone you just consider as a potential date.
The Friend Zone. We’ve all been there, but most of us look back perplexed wondering, “How’d I end up here?!” It’s like a bear trap; you’re walking along without a care in the world and then SNAP! you’re stuck, in pain, confused… and single.
Avoiding, or leaving, the Friend Zone is difficult, but it can be done.
Who Gets FZed?
Certain people are more prone to end up FZed than others, and if you’re one of them I feel for you. However, anyone can end up in the Friend Zone. It’s not exclusive to guys or girls, and it doesn't discriminate against brunettes or people over forty.
In short, the Friend Zone will take anyone.
There are certain characteristics that make a person more Friend-Zoneable than others; over-altruistic behavior, excess open-heartedness, and pigtails, to name a few.
More or less, the Friend Zone pulls in people who’re just being good people. But as lousy as it is to admit, dating has certain qualities of a game, and you don’t win games without a little strategy involved. In order to skirt the FZ and make it to the finish line, you’re going to have to employ a few tactics.
Keep A Little Healthy Distance
If you’re the type of person who loves to gush about your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and fears, that’s wonderful. Don’t change a thing. But tone it down until you've safely passed from friend to possible dating interest.
Most people end up FZed because they share too much too quick with people they don’t know very well. Romantic relationships are fueled by the spark of curiosity—don’t throw water on that spark by drowning your potential love interest with ever intimate detail about yourself.
When you first meet someone you’re interested in, it might be tempting to try to draw them in with earnest honesty and wide-eyed wonder.
You won’t. No one wants to date a baby deer; they want to date a lion. A bear. Or at least an adult, so act like one, and keep an emotional distance-to a point.
Stop Being Cute
Inviting your best friend over to watch sappy movies in your pajamas is cute, not romantic. Playing video games in your parent's basement is cute, not butterfly-inducing. Giving high-fives is cute. Splitting the bill is cute. Helping her dye her hair is cute.
Cute doesn't get you more dates. Cute gets you hugged.
Talk About Hobbies, Don't Go Overboard With Hopes
Keeping personal information like what you’d name your first child and the name of the girl who broke your heart in eighth grade is a must if you want to stay away from being FZed, but chatting up your target is also crucial.
Instead of confiding, talk shop. Tell him about your new-found affinity for kickboxing; “brag” to her about how you’re trying a healthy eating/exercise plan or a great book you just read; talk about your cat.
Well, maybe not the last part.
Give details that aren't necessarily emotional but are interesting. The Friend Zone happens when you become friends with someone. Becoming friends happens when you've moved past casual conversation and into emotional connection, totally circumventing dating possibilities.
By keeping it casual, you’re building up interest and brewing a romantic vibe. If you’re in a situation that feels close to—or is already in—the Friend Zone, banking on a vibe probably won’t get you out of that zone, though.
The best way to avoid the miscommunication of being FZed is to be upfront with how you feel about them.
If you’re just getting to know someone, do it subtly. I know, that sounds complicated and embarrassing. But it’s not. It’s flirting, and it merely involves saying things like
· You look great when you laugh!
· Look at how nice my smile is,
· Are you seeing anyone?
Gosh, that was hard!
If you've known the person a while, of if you've already been FZed by him or her, be a little more blunt. “I’m into you.” Bam. Done. Friend Zone = exited.
Dr. Mike Tremba loves sharing life's experiences from observation of others, as well as personal experience. His true passion can be found at http://www.NaturalWeightLossTruth.com where he is involved in helping others eat well, lose weight, and become more active. From his Truth About Abs Reviews to various other publications, he tries to inspire others to achieve far more than they thought they were able.
About Dr. Mike Tremba
Dr Mike is a writer, publisher, and of course, past (pre-marriage) dater. He can usually be found on the great beaches of Southern Alabama, or somewhere outside getting exercise. Through the failures he's had (as well as the successes), he loves sharing his tips on making life more enjoyable.