Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Getting stuck in the friend zone is the WORST. So if you find yourself wanting to jump from the Friend Ship to the Relation Ship, abide by these four strategies to make the tricky transition go as smooth as possible.
1. Assess the Situation
- First, is your friend available? If your friend is currently in a relationship or even getting over someone and is confused about his or her feelings, then don’t make your move just yet. Otherwise you’ll look like you’re trying to seize an opportunity, which could leave her or him feeling betrayed. If, however, you spend lots of one-on-one time together, your interactions often feel like dates, or they have a romantic energy about them, those are good signs that you could become something more than friends.
2. Test the Waters
- In conversation mention, ‘Gee, if I were dating you, I would do x, y, z,’ and see your friend’s reaction to it. If it makes her/him uncomfortable or your friend laughs and says, ‘Oh stop!’ with an awkward smile, you may be crossing the boundary and need to respect that he/she may simply just want to be friends with you. But if your friend seems genuinely interested in how you would treat her/him—for instance, your friend asks follow-up questions to your hypothetical scenario—then your friend may already be thinking you’re girlfriend/boyfriend material.
3. Make a Pact
- You have to know going in that there’s a risk of ruining your friendship if a relationship ultimately doesn’t work out. Make a pact to not let that happen. If you’re going to risk a great friendship, make sure two elements—respect and communication—are always there. Because hopefully they’ll still be there and you can go back to being friends.
4. Find the Right Moment
Telling your friend you want to date him/her while drunk and standing in the middle of a crowded bar surrounded by a group of friends: Bad idea, buddy. Women, especially, are often very sensitive to context, so even if she feels the same way about you, she may not feel comfortable telling you in that moment. Your game plan: Confess your feelings when the two of you are alone. Make sure you’re in a fun, romantic context such as out to dinner, on a walk, or shopping together to help set the tone. Then, depending on the situation, put your arm around her, hold her hand, or say, ‘I’m just going to do something here,’ and lean in for a kiss. It may be a different scene if you are a girl, men generally wants to feel masculinity even to situations like this, so make it simple and straight. These actions give them the opportunity to reciprocate if they feel the same way.