Do you have a friend you would like to date, but you just can't get out of the friend zone? Let Mary Morr and Paul Mongeau of Miami University give you some courage. What these two researchers learned about dating friends may help you take your relationship to the next level.
The first, and most important, step in getting out of the friendzone is communication. Let your friend know that you would like to try being more exclusive and focus more on a deeper relationship. Make your desire known. Communicate in words first.
Once you have said what you would like, the second way out of the friendzone is to show that you mean it by changing how you interact with your friend. Follow the next two steps to show that you really do desire something new, different, and more exciting.
Increasing the Physical Romance
One good way to show you want to be more than friends is to mix up your activities a little. If you have always gone to movies together, going to a movie for a date may not send the message that you are ready for more. Try something new, like a candlelit dinner or a dance under the stars.
Once you send the message that you aren't content with just a friendship, then maybe you can slowly try new types of physical closeness. Don't rush things, but again, make it clear that you want more than you had before. If you held hands before, try putting your arm around them instead.
Increasing Emotional Closeness
We already talk to our friends a lot, so how can we make it romantic? Try thinking about where you're doing all your talking. Maybe you have talked a lot at parties before with others around, but have you ever gone somewhere more private where you can just open up? Or maybe you have to loosen up a little first and need to be somewhere you can relax before opening up to someone. When you do go on a date, try spending some time in a few different contexts so you both will feel comfortable talking throughout the date. Then, try talking about things that you have not shared with that friend before, allowing them to see different sides of your personality. Try sharing deeper emotions and/or opinions than you have before.
So how do you get out of the friendzone? Don't be afraid to do speak up and do something different. Stop trying to avoid the topic and don't act hesitant about it. Make your actions clear and don't be afraid to say exactly what you want. Start slow, but let down your guard and let the connection happen. And always remember, your friend may not feel the same way as you. If you are open in your communication and behaviors and your friend is clear they aren't interested, respect that decision.
The Relate Institute is a not-for-profit organization that revolves around the aim of distributing the Relate Assessment - the most comprehensive premarital/marital assessment available - to as many couples and individuals as we can reach. We believe that all may benefit from assessing personal strengths and weaknesses as relationship partners, and work to help make relationship success a reality.