Welcome to the real world. This isn’t “Some Kind of Wonderful”, and you can’t offer a smooching lesson in your friend’s garage (no matter how hot the scenario) to get you out of that Friend Zone you’ve dug for yourself. See this girl? Yeah, me. I’ve been there–countless times. But not since post-grad. I might be way off the mark, but I think once you reach adulthood and you don’t share a bus, five classes, or a dormitory with someone every single day, the Friend Zone is largely a relationship myth. Really, by now, what mature adult is THAT clueless about someone right in front of them? Either the attraction just isn’t there and you’re in denial…or maybe you’ve managed to create a Friend Zone without knowing it. Can you cross over to the other side? Don’t ask me! But you can be proactive…
How to Stay Clear of the Friend Zone:
Don’t Facebook him/her.
If you’re REALLY interested, don’t click the ‘Add’ button too soon. The 24/7 contact that is social media is about as close as we can get to the shared bus ride. If it can’t be helped, minimal wall-decorating and status-commenting is best to keep the mystery from becoming the predictable. You always want what you can’t have, right? Those stuck in the Friend Zone always harbor that hope: “maybe if I remind him/her that I exist…” Nope. Keep your distance!
Don’t divulge or accept too many details on your/their love life.
This can be tricky. I admit I sometimes drop a casual reference to see if the guy cares or, er, to get even for an especially annoying reference from their end. However, if I frequently get into a nitty-gritty play-by-play and you’re on a first-name basis with guys you don’t even know…you’ve dug yourself real deep. Gloss over the topic and move on. This isn’t an easy “in” to someone’s heart, it’s an out. Because guess who they’re thinking about when they talk in details about their love life? Not you!
Don’t expect him/her to “wake up”
High school/college is one thing; we’re all figuring out who we are. By now, we know what we’re doing (at least somewhat). Odds are, your object of attraction just isn’t interested. If they really have a lot of growing up to do before you, their reason-for-being, would become obvious– why are you so interested, anyway?
Don’t woe-is-me the situation
Yeah, you’re SUCH a good friend that you’re the answer to all his/her problems? You know what’s best? But real healthy love is not that in-your-face. The funny thing about the Friend Zone is that you are way into the other person and totally self-absorbed at the same time. Do you frequently have “Why doesn’t he/she SEE it?!”-ish thoughts? It may seem innocent enough, but constantly reminding the other person how compatible you are and how much you have in common in not-so-subtle ways just prevents them from seeing the genuine, non-crazy, non-selfish you.
Be a REAL friend
You know, one that can be counted on but isn’t a 24-7, at-your-service standby. Unless you’re that saintly and save-the-day-ish to everyone, inner resentment (you know you harbor it!) will shine through when you don’t get your anticipated reaction. If you have any hope of moving this thing forward, don’t pay any more attention than you would to an actual ‘friend.’
The Friend Zone is like the Catch-22 of relationships, in my opinion. The harder you try to get out of it, the deeper you find yourself in…
Am I wrong? Is the Friend Zone fact or fiction in the adult world? Have you ever navigated your way out of one?