You like her a whole lot more than she likes you. Now what?
Picture this: A man lives next door to a delightful single neighbor and boy, does he like her. They chat as they water their flowerbeds. He helps her fix her sink, stack wood and shovel the driveway. And on Saturday nights he watches her go out on dates with other guys. She calls him on Sunday morning and invites him over for coffee; she then spills all the details he does not want to hear about last night’s date. Why on earth, he wonders, does she not get how hard that is for him? Why doesn’t she see him as date material?
Being in the Friend Zone is a frustrating place to be. You want to have a romantic relationship with someone who only sees you as a “good friend,” and nothing more. You wonder, “How on earth did I get here?”
You desperately want to get out of the Friend Zone and have the relationship you want! And who can blame you?
Let’s look at how you got there in the first place.
- You did not make your needs, feelings, and intentions a priority.
- Instead, you made the other person’s comfort a priority.
- Right from the start you gave more than you got out of the relationship –by doing everything for the other person and asking for nothing in return.
- You put in 99.9 percent of the work to maintain the relationship, which includes being too available.
In order to get out of the Friend Zone and have the relationship you want, there is one thing you must do. And there are no substitutions! It involves total honesty – with yourself – and then with your friend.
What does that mean exactly?
A direct approach is best. Have the conversation – explain how you feel and what you want. Then wait to see how it lands for them. Be prepared for any answer. It will go one of two ways, either you will get a real date or you won’t.
Tough as this sounds, it is the only winning proposition for you because you valued yourself enough to find the courage to speak your truth.
What if your friend wants things to go on as before – in the Friend Zone?
Well, you can decide if you want to continue the relationship as is, or move on. Remember that rejection is a myth – no one can make you feel rejected without your permission. This is clarification, not rejection. Now you both know where you stand and can act accordingly.
To get the relationship you want, it’s best to be assertive, not passive. If you find you are just along for the ride, chances are you are heading down a road you did not choose. On the other hand, if you are doing all the work, is the other person really all that invested? Both options can lead to the Friend Zone if you aren’t careful.
Two people cannot both be in the driver’s seat, so think of the navigation away from the Friend Zone as a collaboration—the two of you paddling the canoe, or pitching a tent, or cooking a meal together. Communication, mutual understanding, and honesty are the keys in any relationship.
A previous version was published at Be Free to Love