Is it possible to break out of the friend zone?

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Answered by: Josh, An Expert in the Advice for Dating Category
Welcome dear reader to one of the most common questions I am posed with; “Is it possible to escape the Friend Zone.” The answer to this predicament might come as a shock to you. It’s entirely possible to move from “being friends” into “being something more” however, it might be more beneficial for both parties to remain friends, and thus within the confines of the zone. The Friend Zone, for those who are not versed in the term, is when one or more parties in an opposite sex “platonic” (that means NO naughty business) relationship develops romantic feelings for the other party. 99.9% of the time, it is a man developing feelings for a woman; though I’ve seen it go the other way too. When this event occurs, usually after an overly playful game of tag, when she shows up to your birthday party that everyone else forgot about, or when you wake up to a teddy bear staring you in the face following an appendectomy, the friendship has officially ended.

This is the biggest problem with escaping the friend zone… you cannot be friends ever again. Sure we’ve all seen the movies on the subject going back to “When Harry Met Sally” all the way to present day’s “No Strings.” It’s not possible. You cannot remain friends, while taking something to the next level. Therefore, if you are resigned to END the friendship and would still like to continue, we move on to our next part.In order to end the Friend Zone, one must first come to understand the nature of it. A friend zone relationship is an entirely different animal than a “best friends” relationship. I have about three people I’d consider BEST friends. One happens to be female. My relationship with any of these people breaks down as such: We have a good time when we are together. We are obligated to attend family/social functions together and react accordingly to the emotional tone of the event, and if six months go by without us seeing each other, no one is offended.

A friend zone relationship however, is pretty much a “romance without any romance.” You need to be at each other’s beck and call 24/7. It’s filled with sexual tension that is never acted upon, and the whole thing is really very needy.

A woman erects a friend zone to keep a guy almost like a “safety school.” He is there for her should she ever actually need him in that way…but she almost never will. The Friend Zone exists for the guy, because it gives him a goal to work towards. People need goals, and tangible reward. Just look at the structure of corporate America. While the guy isn’t getting any of the “fun” parts of the relationship, he is getting so much more than that. He’s getting the trust- She is letting her guard down for him. A friend zone relationship might explore deeper levels of intimacy than a romantic relationship with someone else ever could. Some people even make the argument that maintaining a friend zone with someone while also being in a committed relationship qualifies as emotional cheating.

A number of women I have asked have informed me that the notion of a “best friend” (that’s guy currently in a friend zone) making any kind of romantic move on them would be seen as a complete emotional betrayal. And why is that? Because, the entire time you’ve been her shoulder to cry on and advising her what to do about her “jerk” boyfriend, you’ve just been eliminating the competition and buttering her up for your own desires. Sounds like betrayal to me.

Once you’ve weighed all these consequences and decided “Yup, I still want to do it!” The process is actually very simple.

Feel her out as you would any potential target. Hopefully you can tell if someone is into you or not. Be honest from the get go. Don’t spring any sort of emotional betrayal on her. Explain “My feelings have changed, this is what I want.” If she’s as invested in the idea as you are, it will go swimmingly. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if this is something you are certain about, it’s worth giving her the time to make an honest decision. Avoid putting any other types of pressure on her, and do not try to break up her other relationship.

Remember above all else, it’s a jungle out there, and sometimes your girl next door could be the woman of your dreams. Sleep on it!

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