Navigating the Friend Zone

31 Jan

So you’re pretty convinced she’s perfect: not to sound like a certain Taylor Swift song, but she gets your humor, you like all of the same things, and you can talk all night. Everything should be simple, except for the problem that you’re best friends. If the numerous Yale FML posts are to be believed, there are many men out there seeking how to move from the friend-zone to the relationship-zone. With successful members of relationships that began as friendships, we hope to help you young men in a similar quest.

If you’ve gotten to the point that you’re considering a relationship with your female friend, chances are you’ve already tried to gauge her interest. You might have asked that mutual friend you have to do a little investigating. If you’ve heard back from said mutual friend that she has no interest, do not despair! We assure—from our own disavowals no less—that she might not be telling the truth. Instead of relying on a go-between, look for signals that she might like you: does she respond to your texts with excessive emoticons, smile at everything you say, initiate hugs often, try to cuddle with you (see the earlier post about no platonic cuddling), drop by your suite with some regularity? More importantly, do you feel like there is a sort of palpable sexual tension in your interactions? That means you have chemistry as more than just friends, and it might be time to make the next move. These are no foolproof cues to determine whether or not she likes you back, but they can help you gauge your next move. The only way you are going to know for sure whether or not she’s interested is, in fact, asking her right out.

If you’re hesitant to make the first move—as many posters on Yale FML certainly seem to be—you are not alone. If you’re in a close-knit group of friends, chances are you’re probably nervous about changing the dynamics of the group or the possibility of losing the friendship if love should go awry. However, if you want something to happen—and for an actual relationship to blossom—you cannot wait for a drunken hookup; she’ll just think you’re in it for the sex. No, you’ll have to have a real conversation, maybe even—gasp—talk about feelings. You don’t need to ask her out to dinner and make a grand pronouncement, just invite her over for a movie one night. There’s nothing like a good rom-com—and there are more than enough of those to make both genders happy—to make her start reflecting on love (May we suggest: When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually, 500 Days of Summer, Pretty in Pink, Annie Hall, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, 10 Things I Hate About You, You’ve Got Mail, About a Boy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, She’s All That, Serendipity, Drive Me Crazy, Kate and Leopold, Never Been Kissed, Moulin Rouge, 2 Days in Paris, Footloose, A Knight’s Tale, and just about anything from the ‘80’s.) When the movie’s done, it’s time to ask her about moving beyond the friendship barrier. Here are some questions you could pose: “What would you say if I asked you to dinner tomorrow night?” or “Yale Woman, I really like you, have you ever thought about being more than just friends?” And if you’re cuddling in your bed/couch, maybe even, “Would be alright if I kissed you?” (Warning: only use this one if you’re pretty sure she likes you back, otherwise things could end up awkward) Whatever words you’re able to put together, it’s better to ask than to live forever in agony. You’re never going to know unless you take the initiative (the same goes for you, Yale Women. Take the initiative to ask!).

Even if things don’t work out the way you hoped, at least you know the answer and you know how she feels. You can absolutely still be friends even if she turns you down; she may even begin to consider you in a romantic light, which may make her end up pursuing you.

If your quest goes well, congratulations! Relationships with someone who used to be your friend can be the greatest thing: there is none of that awkward-testing-each-other-out period, you already know each other.

Love-struck men of Yale, sally-forth! While she should take the initiative just as much as you should, nothing is going to happen until one of you makes the move. Take the chance to make that great friendship into a solid relationship.


4 Responses to “Navigating the Friend Zone”

  1. Quy Nguyen February 9, 2012 at 4:57 AM #

    i want to use part of this post in a facebook group in the “friend zone” section.
    will that be alright?
    here’s the link
    much thanks


  2. September 23, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

    I love this blog. It is for me a secret place where I always
    discover something that interests and enchants me.

  3. TO March 14, 2016 at 8:47 PM #

    Love your website so much!

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