Are you in love with a person who doesn’t think of you as anything more than a friend? Are you tired of it? Well, obviously you are. Nobody likes being called a friend when you want more. But how to get out of the friendzone? That question can give you many a sleepless night.
A study describes the friendzone phenomena as a situation where an individual covets a romantic relationship with a close friend that never evolves. You may be all too familiar with that definition, but don’t get disheartened, there are ways to move out of the friendzone.
Typically, the situation includes a male seeking a potential romantic partnership with a female. Now, if you are in such a position, or even if it’s the opposite, we’re here to help you in your effort of getting out of the friendzone. However, before we figure out how to get out of the friendzone, let’s take a look at what it exactly is.
What Does “Friendzone” Mean?
Chad had already developed a bit of a crush on Jen before they started talking, and once he gathered up the courage to start a conversation with her, he had hoped things would go his way. He helped her out with assignments, had lunch with her every other day, and was slowly building a deeper emotional connection with her. All the while hoping for a romantic relationship.
During a late-night texting conversation, Chad felt like it was only a matter of time before he asked her out and she said yes. However, in the same conversation, Jen said, “They don’t make guys like you anymore. That’s why I can’t find anyone to date.” “Why not date me?” Chad asked, “Duh, we’re friends!” Jen replied.
What we’ve just described is the infamous “friendzone,” a place that people almost always find themselves in without knowing how they got there. It’s when there’s a friendship between two people, but one of them also has unreciprocated romantic feelings toward the other.
It’s a difficult place to be in, one that might leave you pulling your hair out trying to understand what to do next. With every kind gesture, you seem to fall deeper into the friendzone, when you had hoped it’d do the opposite. Every time you make progress, a text like, “You’re such a good friend!” can send all your hopes crashing down.
When you’re in it, all you’re thinking about is how to get out of the friendzone. Before we get to answering that all-important question, it’s important to ascertain whether you’re actually in it or not. For all you know, this person may just have a thing for you, but you’ve misread the whole dynamic.
Related Reading: 10 Useful Tips For Dating Your Best Friend
How Do You Know You’re In The Friend Zone?
When two people like each other, there’s going to be a bit of flirting, a bit of mutual attraction, and a few compliments that set the tone. “You’ve got beautiful eyes, I could just get lost in them,” are things you might hear when there’s a mutual interest. In the friendzone, however, you’re going to hear something like, “Why are your eyebrows like that? You look like a chump!”
The point is, that the difference between a mysterious build-up toward a relationship riddled with sexual tension, and the platonic (at least according to one person) relationship that has been formed in the friendzone is very apparent. Here are a few ways you can tell that you’ve found yourself in this unfortunate place, assuming you’re the one who’s got the hots for this person:
- They’ve explicitly told you that you’re just a friend to them, nothing else
- This person has a lot of banter with you, much like how friends tease each other
- They’ve never initiated any physical contact that may be suggestive
- They’ve never flirted with you, or are uninterested in responding to your attempts at flirting
- They know about your feelings toward them and have told you they just see you as a friend
- They talk with you about people they’re romantically interested in all the time
- Their friends and family know of you as a friend — and have asked why you don’t start a relationship
- You’ve slept on the same bed without cuddling/holding hands
- There’s zero sexual tension from their end
- They’ve tried to set you up with other people
- It’s never just the two of you, other people are always invited when you’re meeting
- You’ve been called a “brother” or a “sister” to them
Of course, the signs of a one-sided dynamic that you see depend on your relationship with this person. The indications you see won’t necessarily be the same as the ones your friends may see, that’s because each dynamic is different. If this list has helped you ascertain that you’re in the friendzone, the next step is to try and find a way out of it
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to get out of the friendzone with a guy or how to get out of the friendzone with a woman, we’re here to help out. Read on to know what you must do.
18 Ways To Get Out Of The Friendzone
We have all heard many stories where people fall in love with their friends and make great couples. At times, loving a friend turns out to be a one-sided affair. In such situations, the most common culprit is the dreaded friendzone. Most people who have been in love with a friend but failed to win their affections regret not being about to get out of friendzone in time. Once someone becomes accustomed to seeing you as a friend, changing that perspective can become hard.
And so, they go around looking for love, dating others, signing up on online dating platforms, while you watch from the sidelines as their love life soars and plummets. All the while, using every strength in your being to hold your feeling in.
Worse still, this friend may confide in your about the goings-on in their love life, completely oblivious of their feeling. Boy, the friendzone is indeed a tight spot to be in! So far, you may have read on the signs that you are in the friendzone or how not to get caught up in the friendzone. But this is where we stand apart now. We tell you how you can get out of the friendzone with these 18 actionable tips:
1. Get out of friendzone by not appearing too needy
To get out of the friendzone quickly, stop acting all needy. When you are in a position wherein you constantly call or text them, there are chances that you might be taken for granted.
Stop acting all desperate. Stop initiating things and make sure you don’t appear too needy. For instance, if you’re looking to get out of the friend zone through text, not texting first but always replying can be a great approach to pique their curiosity and interest.
If this friend you’re trying to court has even some latent feelings for you that may not be aware of, this can surely turn the tables on who chases whom. Just like that, you can begin to reverse the friendzone dynamics.
2. Distance yourself
The struggle of how to get out of friendzone becomes even more daunting if you’ve already fessed up about your feelings toward your friend. At this point, you are torn between trying to escape the friendzone and not coming across as pathetic. The first step is to stop talking about your feelings or talking about how badly you want to be with this person.
Of course, it is important that they know how you feel so that you don’t live the regret of not trying. But if after that, they do not want to take the relationship further, it’s their choice. It is going to affect you badly, so it’s better that you distance yourself from them, for your own well-being. Remember, distancing does not mean you stalk them.
Getting out of the friend zone may involve you taking some time off from this person. It sounds counter-intuitive, but this time may give you the space you need for self-reflection as well as keep this person interested in you.
3. Get back on the dating scene
How can I get out of the friendzone by dating someone else, you ask? Your concerns are valid, but hear us out. Once you’ve distanced yourself from your friend, the next step is to let them know that you are not working on moving on. Getting back on the dating scene is the best way to do that.
When you do that, two things can happen — either they realize that have feelings for you and come running to you or they don’t care and you know you have no choice except to accept being friendzoned. Likewise, when you get active on the dating scene, you will either come to the realization that you like them enough to keep trying to get out of the friendzone or you will find a more fulfilling connection with someone else.
No matter how it pans out, this is an important step in the process of how to get out of friendzone because it gives you a reality check on the viability of a relationship. Though it may be difficult to accept, after a point you just need to face the reality that things might not work out with this person you’re pining for, and getting out of the friend zone is not a possibility.
4. How to get out of the friendzone: Try to push their jealous buttons
If they actually like you and have started thinking of you as a friend because of the rapport you’ve shared, this might work wonderfully. Jealousy in relationships is a tool that, when used right, can yield the desired results. Now, that you’re truly trying to find a potential match or perhaps even going out on dates, touch base with your “friend.”
Give them the lowdown on all that has been happening in your love life of late. Rave and rant about some of your recent dates, and subtly drive home the point that this decision is really working out for you. If they are into you, signs you’re leaving the friendzone will begin to emerge at this stage.
But you have more work to do to get out of friendzone fully. If your active dating life doesn’t rile them up, you need to make a choice between accepting being friendzoned and trying harder. There is a good chance that this person truly thinks of you as just a friend and things may never progress to anything more between you two.
Related Reading: Less Than Lovers, More Than Friends
5. Behave as if you’re really busy
One of the common tendencies when you’re in the friendzone is of prioritizing the friend you’re in love with over yourself. It takes one text or phone call from them to get you to drop everything you’re doing to be by their side. This is also the reason why you’re being taken for granted and find yourself struggling to get out of the friendzone.
If they make plans to meet, don’t reach there on time. Don’t answer their calls on the first ring. And most importantly, don’t be available all the time. Set your priorities, and set clear boundaries. Work for more important things in life rather than making your love interest the focus of your universe.
Reduce the amount of attention you are showering on them. Treat them just like any other friend. This will make them see you in new light and appreciate all that you do for them, regardless of whether you’re trying to figure out how to get out of the friendzone with a guy or a woman.
6. If you are friendzoned, be the friend
Sometimes, we don’t understand the value of friendship itself. It is where everything begins. Realize that it is important that you be there for them in their tough times, if they want you as a friend, then so be it. You cannot force your emotions on someone else. If they are really into you, they would want to move things ahead gradually. If not, acceptance is the key. Bring back the best of your friendship in the relationship.
When the object of your affection sees that you’ve been by their side through thick and thin — when other love interests have come and gone — it can change their feelings for you. Sometimes, the best approach to escape the friendzone is to just be your authentic self.
7. Respect their choices
It is important that you respect their choices and life situations, no matter what. If they are seeing someone else, don’t try to play the villain in their love story. Tactics such as exploiting their fights or differences in their relationship to break them up, bitching about their person or badmouthing them in front of others always backfires.
These things have a way of coming out, sooner or later. When your friend realizes that you’ve been trying to sabotage their relationship, they will resent you for it. Remember, true love stems from respect. That includes respecting who they choose to be with.
On the other hand, try to treat being friendzoned as a good sign and use your proximity as a friend to comfort them when they’re distressed over their current relationship. This will prove far more effective in getting out of friendzone than any sly tricks.
8. Understand that they don’t owe you anything
Remember, what you do as a friend for them is supposed to be selfless. Don’t use your friendship as a tool to pressure them to return your affection. This will only push the person away from you. In your endeavors to reverse the friendzone, you may end up losing a genuine friendship. Always remember that you cannot force someone to fall in love with you. These things happen organically or not at all.
Related Reading: 12 Signs It’s Time To Stop Pursuing The Girl You Like And Back Off
9. Stop overthinking
You need to, right away, stop seeing yourself as the victim in this situation. Yes, one-sided love can hurt. But that is not your friend’s fault. Do not be that hopeless romantic who just can’t stop singing sad songs and hogging on tubs of ice cream.
When you hold against your friend their lack of feelings for you, you will start grudging them for it sooner or later. In this situation, even if you do succeed in getting out of the friendzone and start dating, there will be so much baggage between you two that umpteen relationship issues will crop up. You have to tell yourself every day that you are a gem and not everyone can find one or recognize one.
10. Stop expecting
Expectations hurt the most. If you constantly expect them to call you or text you or shower you with the attention that you keep giving them, you are going to get disappointed. Chances are they don’t even spare a minute to think of you. Don’t fixate over what they ought to do for you. This will only leave you feeling hurt and heartbroken. If you feel like giving out love and positivity, do that. But don’t expect to receive the same.
This may not seem like the best advice when trying to get out of the friendzone, perhaps that’s because it focuses more on getting your mental health in order. If you keep letting your expectations get the better of you, you’re bound to feel hurt sooner or later.
11. Don’t make your decisions based on their likes/dislikes
A lot of people, especially teenagers, tend to take major life decisions rashly when they’re caught in the throes of love. It’s one thing to try to pick a movie you’re not even interested in watching just so that you get to spend an evening with your crush.
But basing major choices such as which college to pick or which organization to work for just so that you can be around them is a whole different ballgame altogether. What if things don’t pan out between you two? You will end up with nothing but regret.
Besides, following your love interest like a little puppy can make you come across as needy and clingy, neither of which is a desirable quality in a potential partner. Remember, love and career and life are not the same things.
What stream to choose for higher secondary education or what job to take should be based on what prospects can you get not on what your crush has decided to do in his/her life.
12. Stop being possessive about them
It is okay to be someone’s well-wisher. Being protective comes with the territory of love. But you have to understand the difference between being protective and possessive with someone. The latter is a toxic tendency that can cause irreparable harm to your equation with the friend you’re in love with.
Besides, it can make them feel uncomfortable and lead to them pushing you away further. No matter what your intentions are, you have to give them the space to make their own mistakes and learn from them. If you’re trying to get out of the friend zone, you must let this person know that you’re not a toxic influence on them, rather, you wish for nothing but the best for them.
Related Reading: 10 Ways a Guy Reacts When He Thinks a Girl Is Out of His League
13. Don’t flirt creepily
Flirting can either be a turn-on or a complete turn off depending on how you do it. Chances are you messed up when you started flirting, and it made you seem unattractive. Perhaps, you had a thing for this person right from the beginning, but you couldn’t get the point across to them. As a result, you’re not stuck in the friendzone.
To win your love interest over, work on your flirting game first. Take tips from friends who are actually good at it. While flirting, the idea is to make the other person blush, feel good about themselves, and make them enjoy your company. So, that they look forward to spending more and more time with you.
Flirting can become that much harder if you’re already friends with the person. For you don’t know how they’d react. What if they burst out laughing as you try to make a pass at them? So, start subtly, and if you see your friend playing along, gradually up the ante. This skill is especially important when you’re figuring out how to get out of the friendzone with a woman.
14. Make sure you are not being taken advantage of
With all of this in mind, also take care of the fact that your vulnerabilities are not taken advantage of. Make sure they are not using you for their own benefits. Do not be a standby lover.
Sometimes, in the hope of things moving forward, we lost sight of reality. Don’t let your friend breadcrumb you into sticking around while they around having a flourishing love life. If you get a sense that your overtures are meeting a dead-end, decide to try harder or move on. Don’t stay hanging in the middle.
15. Stay away if it gets too painful
It can be difficult to stay in a zone where you are not too special and you see someone else taking the place you wanted to be in. If you have already expressed your feelings and you see them with someone else, it is a clear sign that they are not into you.
That can be very hurtful for you and you might lose hold of your emotions. So, it is better to stay away until you heal. If you cannot tolerate it, if it makes you feel jealous, it is okay. Embrace your emotions and take a break. Divert yourself, give time to your hobbies.
Related Reading: Why Is It So Hard To Let Go, Even If The Person Doesn’t Love You?
16. Accept it – maybe it’s best to be friendzoned
If nothing works out, accepting being friendzoned is the only choice available to you. At least for now, Trust me, sometimes being friendzoned works. If they are not into you, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make them fall for you.
But if their current relationship status changes, having stuck around as a friend gives you the perfect opportunity to swoop in and make a move. If you’re both single, and your friend still doesn’t feel for you yet, being in their life as a friend is your best chance at changing that. So, hang in there and keep trying until you’re ready to move on.
17. Don’t lose hope
We know how hard it is to get out of the friendzone, but remember this is not the end of the world. It is okay to be considered a friend. It is normal to not have feelings reciprocated.
The trick is to never lose hope. Perhaps, someday you’ll find someone who’ll value you for who you are. Someone way better than your current love. True love will find its way in your life, sooner or later.
18. Work on yourself and your goals
While you are trying to escape the friendzone, start working on things that matter the most. Work on your body and practice self-love. Start making goals and work towards them. Don’t let one rejection lower your morale. Make sure you start improving your mental and physical health.
We know that it is easier said than done. But friendzone is not something that can stop you from being the best version of you. It is important that you know your self-worth and look out for more things in life than just focusing your entire energy trying to make one person fall for you. If it is going to happen, it will happen. And if it doesn’t happen, something better awaits you.
If you want to avoid being put in the friend zone, make your feelings known from the get-go. Make it apparent that you’re not pursuing a friendship, and that a romantic relationship is what you’re after. If you have already been friends with them since before you developed feelings for them, try to back off and tell them how you feel after dropping in a few hints.
Back off and be a bit mysterious. When you meet him next, initiate a bit of physical contact, and try to flirt with him a little. To not let him think that you’re only in it for physical reasons, back off at the right times. Make sure you’re not taken for granted and don’t be too desperate to get out of the friendzone.