“I think it would be best if we’re just friends.”
The dreaded friend zone happens to almost everyone at one time or another. However, it can be frustrating when it happens to you over and over again. If you’ve been friend zoned one too many times, you may want to try these strategies to help keep it from happening again.
1. Early on, take your time.
If you’ve not dated this person too many times, take your time getting to know him or her. Getting too pushy too quickly can backfire. He or she will feel that they have to friend zone you without ever really getting to know you. Express your initial interest, but don’t smother him or her right away.
2. Try to spend one-on-one time.
Spending time in groups with someone is good, but don’t let that go on too long. Single him or her out for special treatment within the group, and invite just him or her for some one-on-one time. Compliment him or her, and pay special attention to his or her likes and dislikes to signal to him or her that you’re interested in more than just being pals.
3. Don’t be too available; he or she will take you for granted.
If you’re instantly available and “such a nice person,” he or she may fall into the familiarity trap where he or she sees you as more of a brother or cousin. You may not want to immediately call him or her back every time he or she calls. Additionally, don’t fall into the trap of trying to solve his or her problems for him or her. Make sure he/she doesn’t start seeing you as one who swoops in to make things all better. You want a relationship of equals, and you want a man or woman who can sometimes solve his/her own problems. Jumping in to fix everything sometimes has the net result of being taken for granted.
4. Don’t go on too long with your attentions.
Treat him or her in ways that make it clear that you want a relationship, but don’t take too long to make your move. A few weeks is long enough for him/her to get the idea that you want to be more than friends.
5. Don’t fear rejection. After you’ve figured out that you’re interested in going further, go ahead and tell him/her of your feelings.
Settling for the status quo means that you may always be just a friend. Yeah, it’s scary to put yourself out there. But sooner or later, you have to make a move. If you’ve done all of the above and feel that the time is right, mention that you’d like to pursue something more serious. At worst, he/she will turn you down. However, at least you’ll know where you stand, and you won’t be in the twilight zone of uncertainty. But don’t wait around, hoping for him or her to change his or her mind. Move on to try to find that special someone.
If it does work out, and he or she is excited about pursuing something serious, that’s great! Enjoy your new relationship, and have fun getting to know someone special.
About Jasbina Ahluwalia
She is an Indian-American Attorney-turned-Entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host, and Matchmaker/Dating Coach.
A finalist in OPRAH’S search for a TV Host, she’s also been featured in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
She has also moderated/participated on panels at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Northwestern, and Columbia.
Jasbina previously practiced law in San Francisco and Chicago. She earned her B.A/M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and JD from the University of Michigan Law School.
To learn about Intersections Match by Jasbina, please visit: www.IntersectionsMatch.com.
Jasbina can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.