We’ve probably all heard of the dreaded ‘friend zone’ and the stigma of failure it carries. The fear being that once you are ‘friend zoned’ any chance of successfully dating someone is off the table. In my opinion, that’s actually not true. It can feel like a type of rejection and sure it sucks but it’s not the end of the world and might not even be the end of the relationship
I’ve experienced rejection and it has made me realise several things about the friend zone. The best way to avoid it is to stop overthinking things and live your life, not worrying about it.
Here are three suggestions for avoiding or dealing with the sting of the friend zone:
- Make your feelings clear early on
Nothing is worse than keeping your feelings to yourself and this is especially true when you like someone.
Of course, putting yourself out there is scary and it’s easy to talk yourself out of it because rejection isn’t fun.
But I’ve learnt the risk is worth it. So, go for it – ask them on that date (also, use the word ‘date’, or she may ask who else is coming!).
The last girl I asked out did say ‘no’, but she appreciated the courage it took to put my feelings out there. I don’t regret asking. Infact, I felt better knowing where I stood. If you don’t ask the person early enough they may assume that you’re not interested and will begin to start thinking of you just as a friend. They may even start dating someone else, so you might want to get in there quick!
- Don’t sit around waiting if you get a ‘no’.
Just because you two managed to continue to be friends it’s best not to expect that one day they will want to light some candles with you and put on ‘Careless Whisper’.
If it happens, great! But more often than not, it’s the case that they simply aren’t into you and may never be. Ouch!
But it’s actually quite freeing. You can just appreciate them as a friend and start to set your sights elsewhere.
So, my suggestion is don’t wait around for them to change their mind. If they do – they can do the chasing and if they don’t – you haven’t put your life on hold.
- Listen to your friends
It’s great to talk to someone you trust about someone you’re into. Your friends can be more objective and help you to see if the person is stringing you along, not into you or genuinely interested.
Your friends care about you and don’t want to see you get hurt. I used to think their warnings were just my friends putting a downer on things but I’ve learnt that they really do have my back.Above all, if you do end up facing rejection, make it clear you’d be happy to stay friends.
The friend zone isn’t all bad, and hey, we could all use another friend!