Saturday, August 28, 2010

Guide to successful navigation of the "Friend Zone"

Some Preliminary Questions:
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  • Are you interested in dating her? If you are only interested procuring sex, find another girl. If you can't honestly see yourself with her, move on.
  • Are you sure? If this is a hard question for you, the feelings you have may be purely platonic. On the other hand, if the answer comes too quickly, you might be infatuated. In that case, you might not be mature enough to handle a serious relationship yet. Give it time.
  • Are you actually friends? If the girl in question is someone you barely know, or if she does not return your feelings of friendship, moving on is probably the best solution.
  • Have you confessed your feelings for her? If you have poured your heart out numerous times to her, written poems and other such dramatic nonsense, this will be significantly harder for you. Falling for someone is much easier if it's a mutual process. She will be wary of your advances and may reject early attempts if you seem obsessive. If so, you will have to take things much slower. Hopefully, the effects of your actions will outweigh any uneasiness she might feel.
  • Have you dated this person before? If so, think about the terms of breakup. If there was a problem with your relationship that caused the two of you to end things, chances are good that unless you've both matured quite a bit, the smame things will still be problems. If, however circumstances (such as distance) were allowed to get between you two, it may  be a matter of convincing yourselves that circumstances should not win out over a relationship that was otherwise healthy.
  • Is she currently in a relationship? If she is happy with a guy who is genuinely good, learn to be happy for them and continue to be there for her as a friend in case things go wrong. If she is in an unhealthy relationship of dating a guy you consider bad, tell her. Don't talk about being jealous or belittle her for liking this person. Instead, tell her that you are concerned for her. Be honest about why. If you don't like him, tell her why not. At this point, one of two things will happen: She might admit to you that there is some truth in what you say. If so, leave it be for the moment, and wait until things get worse to help convince her to end things with him. If she denies what you say, forget about it and wait for thigns to get worse, at which point you may gently say "I told you so". Either way, be sensitive to her needs and don't expect her to immediately gravitate toward you.

Principles to Remember: Be yourself, feel free to make your own adjustments to this plan as you see fit, be quick to react to adjusting situations, and have fun!

Now then, let's get started:

  • Make a conscious effort to begin spending time together in ways you did not before. If you rarely spent time one-on-one, suggest opportunities to do so. If you rarely went out in public together, try to do that. If you rarely spent low-key time in the house together, do that. If you were typically the one to suggest what you did together, ask her to suggest activities. If she typically made the plans, make them before she can. Avoid the term "date" at all costs. At this point you are spending time together as friends, and you must believe that in order for her to. However, seeing you in new situations may lead her to consider you in a new light.
  • If you are confident at this, it is a good idea to increase the amount of physical contact you have with the girl in question. I don't suggest that you grope her or offer massages (she should be the one asking for massages). Likewise, asking for hugs from her sends a vague and sometimes creepy message, especially if you are not good at hugging. However, playful hand grabs when you are excited, sitting up next to her on the couch, or little touches on the elbow or shoulder when leading her places can help establish a less platonic and more romantic dynamic.
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  • Consider adjusting an aspect of your personal appearance. A new haircut or growing your hear out, growing or shaving a beard, or any change in wardrobe that says "I care about how I look" can go a long ways in causing her to see you in a different light.
  • As things progress, it is important to mirror her behavior. If she is shy about touching you, act somewhat shy yourself. If she is hesitant to speak about her feelings, be hesitant as well. While this may sound like deception, you should find yourself getting involved in this process to the extent that your feelings actually do end up mirroring hers. This is a good thing.
  • If things are going well, romantic tension will begin to build between you. There will be a moment that comes where the two of you break off conversation , lock eyes, and forget about everything else. That's right. The kiss. What follows is crucial. YOU MUST BE THE ONE TO PULL AWAY. Laugh it off and avoid talking about it for now. However, call her before the next time you would see her in person. Don't bring up the almost kiss directly, but lead the way into a conversation about how your feelings for each other have grown since you initiated this method (Don't mention the method). You should leave the conversation with no definite plan about your future as friends or as a couple, but make plans to see her as soon as possible.
  • If you have played your cards right, things should go exactly as you want them to at this point. Commence with the kissing, don't take it much further than that. Make plans for a next date, move forward with the relationship.
  • Congratulations, you've beaten the friend zone!

If this doesn't work:

You only have one opportunity to make this plan work. It is not guaranteed to work for everyone, by any means. This plan may simply be too far outside your normal realm of behavior. Alternatively, you might ruin your chances at platonic friendship. However, friendship isn't worth it if you aren't happy with it. Above all, don't blame yourself. Hopefully, you have learned something along the way and will be more successful in your next endeavor.


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