10 Tips for Avoiding the Friend Zone
Flickr/Intel Free Press
While escaping out of the friend-zone is only slightly easier than scaling the walls to escape the pit in The Dark Knight Rises, there are times when we accidentally place ourselves deep in the friend-zone when we could've been so much more.
We're not saying these will work in every scenario -- because sometimes it's just not meant to be. But here are 10 of tips for avoiding the friend zone in the first place.
See also: 10 Signs You've Been Friend-Zoned
This is particularly true for guys. As much as they seemingly hate to use emojis, we've found that nearly every other text we send to a person we're interested in involves some form of smiley face or random food item. The fact is, it's 2015 and emojis are an absolutely acceptable tool for flirting.
Communicate that you're attracted.
You'd be surprised by how many times you hear someone say "so-and-so always thought you were cute" and the person had no idea. There are a lot of people out there who view themselves as significantly less attractive than you think they are. If you tell the person that you think they're hot and they just want to be friends, then there's a fair chance they'll just take it as a compliment (as long as you weren't creepy about it). Trust us, it's better to know and not be interested than to find out that both of you were holding back after it's too late.
Be confident, but not cocky.
It doesn't matter who you are or what you're into, confidence is attractive. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, which isn't one to be overstepped, but remaining humble while projecting confidence is one of those intangibles that can make a person a thousand times more attractive. Call it swagger or bravado or whatever you like (please though, not "swag" as an adjective), but you're going to be a lot less likely to get stuck in the friend zone if you have a positive attitude (even if you don't feel so awesome) than by talking about all of your problems right off the bat.
Know what topics to talk about.
While we're on the subject of talking about your problems, one of the most overlooked aspects of friend-zoning yourself is what your conversations with the person consist of. By no means are we saying that you need to start talking about how hot the person is or anything of that nature, but sometimes it's good to remind them that you're both really, really ridiculously good-looking. If you're constantly talking with them about things they'd likely discuss with their friends, then you're more likely to end up as a friend. Guys and girls will at least give you a chance just because you're "interesting," so keep the conversation out of the friendly monotony.
Did you know there's a website that keeps track of almost everyone's past relationships? It's called Facebook.
Look to the past.
An easy way to tell if a person may or may not be attracted to you is to look at people you know they've dated in the past. You might not always have that data readily available, but with social media, it's a lot easier to find than it used to be. If all of the person's exes are relatively similar to each other and totally different from you, you might be fighting an uphill battle. If a good portion of them would be lumped into the same general "type" as you, then you might have the inside track. Sometimes, you'll find someone with so few (or many) previous partners that you won't be able to draw a conclusion, so this is certainly not foolproof.
Give the person space.
If you're anything like us, there are some days when you really don't feel like dealing with people, including your friends. During those days, you probably won't be the one to text them first, you might not respond to a message from them immediately, and you're definitely not looking to hang out unless there's a superb reason. On the other hand, if you're interested in someone, you're probably going to be really intent on texting/talking/seeing them as much as possible. We're not saying you should talk to someone for a day and then ignore them, but if you've been chatting up the same potential partner for a week or two and you notice that you're always the one texting/calling first, try not contacting them for a little while and see how long it takes for them to reach out to you.
Spend time one-on-one.
It's a lot easier to hang out with someone you're attracted to in a group setting. There's less pressure on you to not say something stupid, and your romantic interest will have other people to entertain them while you gather your thoughts to say something profound. That said, it's a whole lot easier to fall into the friend-zone if you're always hanging out in groups. If you meet through mutual friends (or coworkers, etc.), then you'll probably want to go out with the group once or twice to smooth out the transition. After that, try flying solo with the person as much as you can for a while. If nothing else, it'll give you the opportunity to see whether they're into you or just looking to be friends.
Use the word "date."
It's amazing how many people underestimate the English language. Sure, asking someone to "hang out" or "chill" or "get food" might sound like a date to you, but to them, it's also something they would do with their friends. We're not saying you have to come right out with "Would you like to go on a date with me?" or "We should go on a date sometime," but it can be a good thing to say something along the lines of "Hey, I had fun on our date the other night" if you're not sure whether the two of you were on the same page. For those on the fence about whether they're in the friend zone or not, this can both answer your question and, perhaps, swing things in your favor.
Actually make a move.
If you want to stay out of the friend zone, make it clear that you don't want to be in there. It doesn't have to be a physical pass (although, going in for a kiss at the right moment is a pretty surefire way to find out). But you might want to remain under the assumption that the person you're attracted to is utterly blind to the supposed "hints" you've dropped so far and show (show is always better than tell) them how you feel at some point. The worst thing that can happen is you get rejected, they think you're disgusting, and you have to move on, but hey, at least you're not in the friend zone anymore.
Know when to move on.
You know that person (celebrity or not) who you think is incredibly gorgeous and perfect and you'd do anything to be with them? They've probably been turned down or struck out before. We have yet to encounter the person who could have anyone they wanted, so you have to come to terms with the likelihood that there will probably be some people out there who don't want to be with you romantically. It's entirely up to you whether you maintain a friendship or move on completely, but the point is that there's no sense in pursuing a lost cause. Just because you gave it your all doesn't mean the person is going to change the fundamental principles of who they find attractive.
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