It’s not easy telling you I want to be more than your BFF.
Hello, it’s me, one of the Nice Girls (NGs). I’m here, on behalf of all the NGs sitting in the corner. When you get your heart broken, we are the friends who listened to your drama and your life dreams.
There may be a chance we want to step outside of the friend zone and date you. What happens if your NG friend has romantic feelings for you? If you do not have the desire to run into her arms, I have a request. Please do not break our hearts.
I still believe in the inherent good in all people and realize that it is not your intention to hurt a woman, especially an NG friend. I am not lecturing you as a brain doctor or mindfulness teacher, but as a woman who has had her heart broken. I thought I would share the wisdom I learned while healing the pain in my journey.
NGs are different from drama queens.
I was his close friend for almost three years. We supported each other through career and relationship transitions. We shared a love of trivia, Sting, and the Sunday New York Times. All of a sudden I was left feeling confused that my text messages and phone calls were not being answered like they once were when I was a friend. I did not know that I had to now engage “the game.”
NGs don’t play “the games” because we don’t know the rules or have time to learn the rules. We show up as our real and authentic selves, and it is likely why you chose us a friend. NGs are successful in our professional lives, pillars of the community, God-conscious, and often single mothers. We recognize that if men are serious about dating and a potential relationship, they welcome honestly expressed feelings. We hope you feel the same way.
If you don’t have similar feelings, please don’t try to play games with us. Leave that to the women who enjoy playing those games. Yes, those women exist, but they can also be the women who bring all the drama, trauma, and stress into your lives.
Forgive us if the timing is awkwardly imperfect.
It took me over one year to build up the courage and try to find the right time to tell him the secret in my heart. I was sure there was more chemistry there than just our friendship. I was so nervous that I randomly and awkwardly vomited out my authentic and humble feelings when he called me during a business trip. I wasn’t sure if he was dating anyone else or in still in love with the last woman who broke his heart.
In trying to please everyone, we NGs build up courage and wait for the perfect time. The perfect time is the moment to say those scary words, “there are more feelings and chemistry present, could we move beyond the friend zone?” There is no perfect timing. Likely, the statement of admiration we rehearsed in our heads never flow out with the same grace and ease that was present in our imaginations.
Take a moment to process your response (and to get over your shock.)
Initially, I exhaled relief because I spoke my truth to him. Then the fear took over, “oh crap. I just broke every rule in all of the dating books.” Cue my analytical rationalization, “I don’t have to play by those psycho-babble rules. I mean Steve Harvey couldn’t even read cue cards correctly? Why should I listen to Steve tell me to, ‘think like a man?'” I am a mindful woman. Being mindful is being present in truth, love, and compassion. (gulp, it turns out you were right Steve.)
I understand that if you have been thwarted into a place of conflict and confusion. Here is a beautiful, kind and smart woman; why didn’t you notice her feelings? Do you have similar feelings? What are you supposed to do next? Will this ruin your friendship?
Whatever you do, pause, think, and tell the nice girl in front you the truth. Let her know if you feel caught off guard. Ask for time to process the information.
Sex may not be on the menu.
Unless we specifically invited you to join us as a friend with benefits, please do not cross that line. If you are not feeling a genuine connection beyond sexual attraction, be very careful about sexual intimacy. Let me spell this out—do not lead us on with all the smooth lines. NGs may want sex only in the context of monogamy. Even if you both agree on becoming intimate, take things slow. Rushing into intimacy, a relationship, and sex could cost you a friendship.
Be honest, even if you are scared.
Transitions out of a stable friendship can fuel fear in both individuals. Dishonesty, lies, and seduction only feeds fear. Avoid heartache, confusion, and ugliness with honesty. Be upfront if you are still dating or in love with another woman. She may not be aware that that a long-standing friendship doesn’t move her to the top of your list of women that you are interested in dating.
Don’t feel guilty if the feelings are not mutual, just speak the truth. It may cause temporary disappointment but will keep the friendship intact in the long run.
The mindful path teaches us that disappointment in life is inevitable if we are attached to a desired outcome rather than just going with the flow. This journey showed me that life gives us painful lessons not to stew in sadness, but to grow and build a more resilient heart.
If you have recently had a drive-by-love proclamation by a sweet girl you put in the friend zone, please proceed with caution. If you are not ready to settle down into love and a relationship, we hold no judgment. Just drive thru, and please don’t run over our hearts. In the end, there is an NG inside of us women still holding on to hope for love.
Photo: Getty Images