The first step in How to Get Out Of the Friend Zone is to ask yourself why you ended up there in the first place. Now it may be you genuinely did not have romantic feelings for this person in the first place and that is fine. Some great relationships can grow out of friendships. But it is not the norm! First impressions count and as a general rule of thumb you should start out how you intend to continue in a relationship. Committing yourself to asking someone on a date is risky, but it sets the tone from the beginning that you have a romantic interest in this person, and gives you both the chance to be on the same page from the beginning. Continue reading to find out exactly How to Get Out Of the Friend Zone.
Was it your choice to be friends and if so, why? Perhaps you have been unclear of whether you two would be a good fit romantically. It can help to write out a list of ten qualities (no more) that you really want in a romantic partner and then choose the three qualities you can’t live without. You can review and change the list at any time, but knowing what you are looking for will make it much easier in the future to recognize what opportunities you want to go for, when possible romantic partners cross your path. It will give you courage to go after what you really want and avoid the confusion that the friend zone can bring.
If you are honest with yourself and recognize you are afraid of commitment, it would be worth working on some of your issues before attempting the transition of your friendship into something more meaningful, because if things go well, the next stage of your relationship will involve a greater commitment. You could start out by committing to a pet, something as small as a goldfish can help develop responsibility and the idea of having someone (or something) else’s interests at heart.
Now to help you prepare for the moment where you are going to make your move, you can start by taking some risks in other areas of your life first to build up your courage. How about sky diving? Paragliding? A trip to some place new? These mini experiences will build your confidence and set the stage for moving out of the friend zone.
The second step is you need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How is this revelation going to affect them? Have they given you any indications they share your feelings? If so, great. If not, it might be wise to put some feelers out there. Are you friends with their other friends? Try and find out casually if they have mentioned being interested in anyone. (You don’t want to find out they are actually in a relationship you didn’t know about when you make your move). Be assured, it will filter back to them that you were asking, and work in your favor. It might even open the conversation for you to make your move then and there, but at the least it will awaken their curiosity.
Do they have a favorite activity like ice skating? Planning a date around an activity they enjoy shows you know them and is going to give you an edge over other people who haven’t built that friendship first. If there is something they always wanted to do, plan this as a surprise date. Even if they don’t reciprocate the romantic feelings they will appreciate the gesture.
Bringing flowers, or a single flower to the date is a gesture that will drop a major clue you have romantic interest in your friend. Try and keep the gesture small but thoughtful, remember you don’t want to overwhelm them on the first date, but you do want to make it clear you are ready to change tracks and have a romantic interest in them. It is better to be more obvious in your gestures so there is no mistaking your intentions, because half-heartedness or being too subtle is only going to create confusion and awkward embarrassing tension between you.
Now, bonding takes place through shared experiences. If you have ever watched the Bachelor, you’ll notice they plan impressive dates, and with the individual dates, it usually has a meaningful personal twist. Sharing a helicopter ride, a tour of a new place or city, a hot air balloon ride or other adrenaline type activity, something outside of the everyday routine, will help you bond over a new experience together. Don’t feel pressured that it has to be something big, because the most important aspect is going to be the talk, but be aware if you have been friends a long time, you may need to make a big effort to show your interest has switched to a romantic interest and that you are serious and ready to commit if they are willing.
Next comes the face to face talk. Forget the laziness of texting, emailing, or sending the message through a mutual friend or third party. This is the time to man or woman up and give your friend the respect of face to face communication.
You could plan the elaborate ploy of a blind date, or some other white lie to get them there (as long as it is harmless), or you could describe the date you have planned, watching for their reaction and then reveal you would like them to be your date. If you have chosen something they enjoy, it will be easier for them to say yes.
Be prepared for shock, confusion, emotion, embarrassment or reactions such as silly giggling. The Worst case scenario of How to Get Out Of the Friend Zone is they may turn hostile if they don’t enjoy surprises being sprung on them. Hopefully you know your friend well and where they stand on surprises before you spring this on them. When people don’t know how to respond, they may laugh, or cry, or simply flee. Don’t take it personally but seize the moment and tell them clearly and concisely (don’t quote a Shakespearean sonnet) how you feel about them. Let them know your feelings have changed and choose a few qualities you love about them as a sincere compliment. Most important is to just be honest and vulnerable in this moment. Resist the temptation to put too much pressure on them. Your only goal right now is to win them over for the first date. If all goes well you can ask for a second date.
Remember when learning How to Get Out Of the Friend Zone if you are rejected, your friendship is going to take a knock. Back off for a while and give them some space and allow them to make the next move. But put your shoulders back and hold your head high because you had the courage to be true to your heart.