I used to be really awkward when it came to girls. (I’m still pretty awkward, but I’m definitely better than I used to be.) Back then, I had my eye on a girl. We’d started out as friends, but the more time I spent with her, the more I found myself thinking
“We would make an incredible couple.”
I thought I had a shot — we had a connection, we made each other laugh, and it seemed like we could tell each other anything. But I couldn’t work up the nerve to tell her, so I just waited, hoping one day she’d figure it out on her own.
One night, we were getting something to eat. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, there was a guy standing by our table hitting on her. I walked up and the guy started to apologize and back off, thinking I was her boyfriend, and that’s when she dropped the bomb:
“Oh, don’t worry about him. He’s just a friend.”
I was crushed. To make matters worse, I had to sit at the table and play the “friend” role while some guy flirted with the girl I liked, right in front of my face. I sat there listening to her giggling at this guy’s dumb jokes, and I remember thinking to myself:
“If she doesn’t like me, who will?”
I was in the friend zone.
It was humiliating. I was so hurt and embarrassed by it that I stopped asking her to hang out. I couldn’t pretend to be just friends with her anymore, and I definitely didn’t want to watch her flirt with somebody else again.
Even though I stepped back, I kept holding out hope that she would reach out to me. I had this fantasy that she would text to tell me she missed me and ask what was wrong, and I’d be able to tell her (via text, because I had zero confidence) how I felt about her.
But after a couple of weeks of moping and constantly checking my phone to see if she’d texted (she hadn’t), I figured that was it.
“In my mind it was over”
I swore that I wouldn’t be put in that position again. I didn’t know exactly why she wasn’t interested, but I knew there had to be something. Women always talk about wanting to be with their best friend, so obviously something about me made her think twice. I made a conscious decision to embrace the things about myself that I liked most and improve the things that I didn’t.
I hit the gym (and lost 20 pounds in the process). I learned how to cook and started reading more, doing things that would make me a more well-rounded person (no pun intended). I put more effort into my appearance — after I lost the weight, I had to buy new clothes, so I restocked my wardrobe with nicer clothes that would help me look my best.
I also read up on the psychology of dating — I wanted to learn from my mistakes so I wouldn’t repeat them. And learn I did. Here’s a partial list of the errors I made:
I Was Her Emotional Crutch
I was giving her all the emotional benefits of being in a relationship, but it was a one-way street — she didn’t have to do anything to earn them. I was her emotional placeholder until she could find her dream guy.
I Was Too Nice
By constantly doing things for her, I thought I’d demonstrate my value as a potential boyfriend. But what I called me being a nice guy was actually me being a doormat. [R]
I just bent over backwards to do what she needed, without ever considering what I wanted.
I Let Her Think I Just Wanted To Be Friends
I never made a move. People are naturally resistant to change, so the minute she decided we were just friends, I was screwed. Everything I did from then on didn’t make her think “Maybe he’d be a great boyfriend,” it just strengthened her belief that I was a great friend.
I Was Always Around
No matter what I was doing, I’d drop everything to hang out with her. After a while, she wasn’t excited to see me — I was just the person she’d call when she was bored and wanted company.
I probably made a lot more mistakes, but those were the big ones.
Anyway, I started going out with other friends; when I did, because I was feeling better about myself, I was more confident. And that confidence led to me getting more dates with other girls.
Eventually, through mutual friends, word of the “new me” got back to the girl I liked. Out of the blue, she started texting me again and asking to hang out. I figured she just missed having her buddy around, so I came up with an excuse the first two times. Finally, I gave in.
When I saw her, it was like night and day from what our relationship used to be. She kept saying how great I looked and teasing me about what a “player” I’d become. At some point, I made some dumb joke, and she started giggling. It was exactly how she was giggling the night that guy had flirted with her right in front of me.
We started hanging out more, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, and I really didn’t want to go through that heartbreak again if it turned out she still wasn’t into me. Plus, why go to all that effort when I was having (moderate) success in the dating pool, you know?
One night, we were hanging out, and she told me she had a confession: “I always felt a strong connection with you, but before, I saw you as a friend or a brother. But something’s changed with you, and I really like it. You’re a gorgeous stallion of a man.” (She didn’t say that last part, but she did kiss me.)
We dated for a little while, but it wasn’t meant to be — I had a hard time letting go of the past. The old me probably would’ve been thrilled just to have a shot with her, but the new, more-confident me thought, “If I’m good enough for her now, I should’ve been good enough for her then.”
But that’s beside the point.
When I first got tossed into the friend zone, I had zero hope that I’d ever get out of it. I thought I was destined to be the guy friend you see in movies: the one who’s madly in love with the girl, only she doesn’t see it even though he’s right under her nose. I just hoped that eventually, someone would realize it. But once she broke my heart, I knew I had to stop waiting around and hoping good things would happen to me — I had to take control of my life. And even though it didn’t work out with her, I’m happier than ever. And if I can get out of the friend zone, trust me, anybody can.
Resources & References
Want to learn more on taking your relationship past being friends or just interested at looking at our sources? Here they are:
- Understanding the psychology of how to get out of the friend zone by Richard LaRuina
- The nice guy syndrome (no more mr. nice guy) by Dr. Glover
- The friend zone: Why you are there and how to get out of it! by alpha m.
1. What is the “friend zone”?
The “friend zone” is a situation where one person in a friendship or relationship desires a more intimate relationship with the other person, while the other person does not want to or is not interested in pursuing a more intimate relationship. The “friend zone” can be seen as a type of unrequited love and can be frustrating for the person who desires a more intimate relationship.
2. How can you tell if you’re in the “friend zone”?
The “friend zone” is a term often used to describe the relationship between two people where one person is interested in becoming more than friends with the other person, but the other person only sees them as a friend. There are a few ways to tell if you’re in the “friend zone” with someone.
One way to tell if you’re in the “friend zone” is if you find yourself always being the one to initiate contact with the person you’re interested in.
3. How can you tell if someone else is in the “friend zone”?
The “friend zone” is a bit of a nebulous concept, and it can be difficult to tell if someone else is in it. Here is a sign that may indicate that someone is in the friend zone:
1. They always want to talk about their crushes/significant others.
If someone is constantly talking about their crushes or significant others, it may be a sign that they see you as a friend rather than a potential romantic partner.
4. What are the benefits of being in the “friend zone”?
One benefit is that you can get to know the person you’re interested in very well.
5. How can you get out of the “friend zone”?
The “friend zone” is a situation where one person in a friendship or relationship desires a more intimate relationship with the other person, while the other person does not want to or is not ready for a more intimate relationship. The “friend zone” can happen in both platonic and romantic relationships.
There are a few ways that you can try to get out of the “friend zone.” One way is to express your feelings to the other person.
6. What are the risks of trying to get out of the “friend zone”?
There are a few risks associated with trying to get out of the “friend zone.” The first is that you may damage the friendship you currently have. If you make a move on your friend and they don’t feel the same way, it could lead to awkwardness and tension between the two of you. Additionally, you could end up getting rejected, which can be difficult to deal with and could lead to feelings of embarrassment or low self-esteem.
7. What are the chances of success when trying to get out of the “friend zone”?
There are a lot of variables to consider when trying to answer this question, and it’s impossible to give a definitive answer. Some factors that could affect the chances of success include: the strength of the friendship, the reason for wanting to get out of the friend zone, the level of attraction, how each person feels about the other, and whether or not there are other potential romantic partners involved.
In general, the friend zone is not an easy place to escape from.
8. What should you do if you can’t get out of the “friend zone”?
If you find yourself in the friend zone, the best thing to do is to try to get out of it. There are a few things you can do to try to make this happen. First, you need to make sure that you are spending time with the person you are interested in and that you are doing things together that you both enjoy. This will help to create a stronger bond between the two of you.
9. How do you know if you’re in the friend zone?
There are some telltale signs that may indicate that you are. For example, if you find yourself constantly doing favors for your crush or going out of your way to spend time with them, but they don’t seem to reciprocate your feelings, it’s possible you’re in the friend zone.
10. How can you tell if your friend is interested in you?
If your friend is interested in you, they will likely behave differently around you than they do with other people. They may try to spend more time with you, be more physical with you, or share more personal information with you. They may also make an effort to look good around you and make sure you have a good time when you are together. If you are not sure if your friend is interested in you, you could ask them directly or look for signs in their behavior.
11. How do you know if you’re attracted to your friend?
It’s tough to know for sure if you’re attracted to your friend. If you find yourself constantly thinking about them, wanting to spend time with them, and feeling a strong connection to them, it’s possible that you’re attracted to them. If you’re not sure, it might be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings to get some clarity. If you find that you’re still not sure, it’s OK to take some time to figure it out.
Men of reddit how did you manage to get out of the friendzone?
I defeated her boyfriend in a fedora-tipping contest.
For those lucky enough to get out of the friendzone how did you do it?
Friendzones aren't real.
Any advice on how to get out of the friendzone?
Women can get out of the friendzone fairly easily, but men don't usually have a chance.
Guys of reddit how did you manage to get out of the friendzone?
Pro tip: friend zone doesn't exist. It's the letting you down easy zone.