How To Get Out Of The Friend Zone

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Shorter Version

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“The friend zone is purgatory. It is like the mirage of an oasis in a sweltering desert. When your ‘friend’ is happy, it brightens your world. But, when she’s sad, your world erodes. When you look at her, you see utter brilliance, magnificence, and perfectness, but when she looks at you, all she can see is one thing – a friend.”

~ Marshall Wagoner

There is nothing worse than being relegated to the “friend zone.” Whyyyyy?!!!! Whyyyy?!!!! It sucks, I know. It’s even worse when you’re crushing on your “friend” so hard you can’t see straight. But…alas, he or she “just isn’t that into you.” Ouch! But, the thing is, you just can’t shake that you’re meant to be together – not in a “crazy stalker way,” rather, more like in a pining (non-crazy) romantic way.

Your friend hasn’t told you to hit the road…yet, and he/she continues to talk to YOU about every romantic interest and dating disaster he or she has had in the last few months or years. Yikes!

What’s the deal?

You’re young, vibrant, successful, and fun, so what’s the deal? Can’t he or she see you! You’re right here waiting for your friend to see what is right in front of him or her – true love. You are desperate for your friend to notice you but aren’t sure how to make that happen.

Note: Not respecting a person and/or not getting consent from a person is never cool and could land you in a psych ward or worse – prison. If your “friend” asks you to back off and leave him or her alone – DO IT!

How can you get out of the “friend zone?” Are you destined to spend the rest of your life secretly pining over your BFF, or is there actually a chance that maybe one day you can create your own real-life fairytale, starring you and the love of your life.

Can you get out of the friend zone?

Is it even possible to escape this “dreaded zone?” And, if so? How?

If your “friend” appears to be unsure of your place in his or her life, and you honestly feel like you still have a chance, you are in luck because this article will provide you with some much-needed tips on how to get out of the “friend zone” and into the “partner zone.”

Caution: One more time, louder for the people in the back – leave your “friend” alone if he or she tells you flat-out that the two of you will never be “a thing.” You don’t want a permanent police record because YOU refused to take “NO,” as an answer. Be smart and find someone who will truly appreciate you.

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Actionable Steps



One of the best ways to even determine if you can get out of the “friend zone” is to flirt with your love interest. Flirting sends a clear message to your friend that your feelings have changed, and you’re interested in pursuing something more with him or her.

So, start off throwing out a compliment every once and a while. If your friend appears to be receptive towards your flirty words and compliments, gradually increase how often you do it. If you start flirting with your friend and he or she does not take the bait, then he or she just may not be feeling you.
Pay attention to your BFF’s reaction to your “playfulness” before ramping up the flirting or declaring your love for him or her. You don’t want to act too rashly and then get painfully shot down. Take your time, be patient, and pay attention to how the flirting is making him or her feel.

Why? Because that’s super important if you ever want to get out of the “friend zone.” Flirting (in-person, in texts, on social media posts, and/or on the phone) will, hopefully, help your love interest see you in a more appealing light.


Live a little

Wait…what does that mean? It means you need to get out and mingle – meet new people – have fun – and live your life! You’re in your 20s – an age that most 30- and 40- year-olds would kill (no pun intended) to have back.
Enjoy this glorious time because it will be gone in a blink of an eye. And, please refrain from hovering in the background, praying that your friend will look your way.
The truth is, you’ll look more appealing to your friend if you have fun things happening in your life. Conversely, you’ll stay in the ‘shadowy friend zone’ if you spend most or all of your time on your friend’s heels.
Need tips on how to get the most out of your 20s? Look no more because here are ways you can live a little more while you’re still young!


Be honest

The truth is, you’ll never really know how your friend truly feels about you if you’re not honest with him or her about how YOU feel. Sometimes it’s better to come right out and tell the person you have feelings for him or her. Encourage your friend to also be honest with you, then, listen to his or her response.
If your friend tells you that he or she is unsure how he or she feels about you, accept it, and decide how you want to proceed – i.e. stay “just friends,” let the hope of a relationship go, or end the friendship altogether because it’s too painful for you.

Regardless of what happens, at least you were honest with your “friend.” Remember this, you can’t make someone love you, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to find someone else who will love you. Don’t cling to something that never was and will never be.


Read the longer version

You can learn more about “getting out of the ‘friend zone’” by reading the following articles: Ultimate Guide to Escaping the Friend Zone by TSB Mag, Avoiding the Friend Zone: Becoming a Girlfriend or Boyfriend by Psychology Today, and How to Get Out of the Friend Zone by Let How.

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About the Author

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

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