Having a crush on someone can be a fun, wild, and frustrating experience all in one. You have to wonder whether or not they like you back, and it can be a complicated situation to figure out. You’ve known them for a while, and you’ve been good friends.

But the friendship hasn’t been enough recently, because you’ve started to see them in a different light. You want more than a friendship. Suddenly, you’ve realized that this is the person you want to be romantically involved with. And then, the worst-case scenario can happen: you get friend-zoned.

What Does It Mean to Be in the Friend Zone?

What does it mean to be in the friend zone?

Don’t let yourself be consumed with hopelessness! Getting friend-zoned doesn’t mean that it is the end of the line. You still have a fighting chance at getting the person of your dreams.

To be friend-zoned is to be subtly rejected but because of the value that your friendship holds. So it may seem like a brutal rejection, but it can also be seen as quite the compliment. Sometimes, you can get put in the friend zone without the other person even realizing they’ve done so.

A lot of people don’t realize that other people may have feelings for them and can be oblivious to the thought of having something more than a friendship. Sometimes, it’s the chance that they haven’t even considered the possibility of it all. That doesn’t mean that they never want a relationship with you; it just means that they may not have opened their mind to the idea yet.

There’s also the possibility that they are just not interested in you. This could be due to a lack of attraction or just general disinterest. And that is okay! People all have different preferences and desires when it comes to their romantic life, which is out of your control.

Some people don’t even know what they want, ever, and it can complicate their romantic life. Everyone has a different story, and people mess up and confuse each other all the time. Also, it could be life telling you that this person just isn’t the one for you. 

Getting out of the friend zone depends on the type of friendship you have. If you’ve been best friends since you were little kids, it may be more difficult than if you have only recently befriended this person. No matter what, it will not be an easy feat to get out of any kind of friend zone.

It will take a lot of time and effort, and it is up to you to decide whether or not it is worth it to take that kind of risk. If you can’t see just a friendship working out, then go for it. There are plenty of solutions to try to turn things into more than what they are.

How to Escape the Friend Zone

Steps to escape the friend zone.

1. Be Direct.

Nothing will get you closer to an honest answer than asking the question. Asking a person how they feel outright could be the best way to quickly figure out if there is a chance. You may not get the answer you are looking for, but it will help you move on. It is important to be careful with the question, though. Try not to sound too demanding to keep them from possibly becoming defensive. If the situation is clouded with tension, you are much less likely to get a chance at being more than friends. 

2. Test the Waters.

Sometimes, a simple joke can help you sneak into the “what if we were more than this” conversation. If you notice that you do a lot of couple activities together (dinner for two, watching movies together, lot’s of alone time), it could be easier than you think. For example, you could say, “We go out to romantic dinners all the time, we might as well be dating!” and focus on their reaction. It could be quite telling as to what kind of a chance you have at a relationship. Physically, you could take a chance to hold their hand and see if they pull away. If there is a chance of being together, odds are that they feel comfortable being in physical contact with you.

3. Flirt.

This may seem self-explanatory, but being a friend is just that– being a friend. They may only see you as a friend because that is the only version of yourself you’ve presented to them. Start complimenting them more often, making sure they know that you find them attractive. Use their reactions to gauge where you are. If they seem uncomfortable, it is okay to ease off and give it some time before complimenting them again. When people see you a certain way, it isn’t always easy to automatically change that perspective.

4. Give Them Competition.

Someone may not realize what they want until they don’t have the opportunity to have it anymore. It’s okay to date different people and allow yourself to find someone else. You may make your friend jealous and help them realize what they want. On the other hand, you may meet someone cool who you would rather be with. Either way, this could become a win-win situation for you. But be careful because you don’t want to end up hurting two people that you care about. Just make sure that you are as in control of the situation as you can be, and be honest when the time comes.

5. Give It Time.

This may not always work, but it is possible that you just need to have a little faith and a lot of patience. Your friend could be just getting out of a relationship, or they could be going through a lot in general. They may not be ready for that kind of connection at the moment. If you present yourself as someone who can be more than a friend, but you give them the time to figure out what they want, you may just be giving them the time they need to come around to the idea of you two as a couple. They may even be in a serious relationship that prevents them from entertaining the idea of anyone else romantically. And you may just have to wait until they are out of that relationship. Are they worth the chance of waiting? That is up to you to decide.

6. Work on Yourself.

If you’ve been friend-zoned, there may be a reason. That doesn’t mean you are a horrible person, and it just may mean that there are some things you could do to become a better person. Take the time to think about who you are, how you treat others, and whether or not you like that person. And if you love who you are, then that person is simply missing out. You’ll learn that some people may not be worth all of the effort and energy. And in the end, you deserve to take the time to become the best version of yourself that you can be. In any situation, choose yourself because that is the person in your life that deserves the most.

7. Try to Have Fun.

Give your friend the opportunity to have a lot of fun with you and make everything into an adventure. If they can have an adrenaline rush while laughing with you all in one night, they may just start to fall. The more they relate time with you to bring their favorite moments, the more they will want to be around you. And that is always the end goal! Remember that life is too short to get caught up in all of the worries and doubts. Just enjoy the time you get with them.

No matter what, you must start making moves now! The longer you are in the friendzone, the harder it is to escape. Once people see you as just a friend, it’s harder to change that mindset. You only get one life to go for what you want. Take risks and take chances because you deserve to get an opportunity at happiness. Allow yourself to jump and to learn from your mistakes afterward. You never know what could become of any friendship you have, and making a bold move might be the perfect way to open up a window that your friend never even knew existed.

Although, sometimes friends are just meant to stay that way. If they are your friend, then that means you at least appreciate and care about them enough to keep them around. There is nothing wrong with having friends, and staying friends will help to guarantee that it doesn’t end. Entering a relationship could mean greater potential for you to get hurt in the end. You aren’t the only one who has gone through this before, and you definitely won’t be the last. Getting stuck in the friend zone is common enough to happen to almost everyone at least once in their life. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever find anyone, and it just means that this “one” may not be the one for you.