“You’re such a great friend” are the dreaded words to emerge from the lips of the guy or girl you have a fat crush on.
While it’s great you are obviously close to your crush, being in the friend-zoned means you watch them go on dates, hear them complain about their relationships, and counsel them through love life – powerless to make a move in fear of ruining your well-established friendship.
As tempting as it may be to blurt out, “But I love you!” during a tear-stained ice cream sesh, breaking the friend zone takes intuition, tact, and charm. Here are some steps to identify if breaking the friend zone is a move you should take, and how to do it once you’ve decided to move forward.
Are They Really Into You?
First, you need to figure out if your crush would be into you. This is definitely the trickiest part and requires some savvy, sleuthing, and intuition. Some ways you can decipher if they’re into you – does he/she like physical affection? Most friends don’t enjoy hugging excessively, cuddling, or placing their hands on each other’s arms. Usually, these signs of affection are reserved for people with romantic interest in each other. Pay attention to body language: even the slightest brush of a hand on your knee or shoulder could mean they would be interested. If she ever makes comments like “you would be the best boyfriend ever” or “you’re such a great guy, I’m so lucky to have you,” these are also signs that she might be romantically interested in you. Friends compliment each other, but some compliments can mean more than just a “hey, you’re great.” Being invited to family gatherings is another signal that you’re more than just friends. While people are close to their friends’ families, being invited to family gatherings frequently is usually something only significant others get to do. If it’s important to them that you meet and get along with Uncle Steve and Grandpa Joe, it could lead out of that friendship and into a relationship.
Recruit Their Friends
Guys, if you really, really can’t tell what she’s thinking, sometimes it might be necessary to recruit some extra help. Talk to one of her closest girl friends and tell her your plight. Ask for advice or what she thinks – has your crush ever mentioned she would be interested in you? If her friend can’t decipher it either, have her ask your crush straight up, or find out whatever way she thinks is best. Since they’re close friends, your crush would probably be willing to talk to her about her feelings and would tell her honestly how she feels. If she says she wouldn’t be interested, quit while you’re ahead and don’t pursue breaking the friend zone. Your friendship is more valuable if a relationship isn’t in the cards, so keep it and don’t endanger it by attempting to rush into something she isn’t ready for.
Win Them Over
If she isn’t sure how she feels, which is not unlikely, you are faced with a difficult task: to win her over. Sometimes it can be confusing to have a close friend of the opposite sex. She might not be sure if she just likes you as a friend, or if she could see it being something more. In this case, you need to show her that you can be more than just a friend and it would be great. The key here is to be subtle, and not overpowering – since she isn’t sure, you don’t want her to get really turned off by aggressive flirting and make things awkward. Be cool, be casual, but start to make small changes in the way you interact. Flirt a little, joke, make her laugh, and try to take her to places that couples go so she can start thinking about what it would be like to date you. Don’t make these outings a big deal; after all, you guys are still just friends, but a one-on-one trip to the beach or a winery instead of watching tv or hanging out in your basement could make her see that you could be more than just friends. Offer to pay for food, be polite, and go out of your way to be chivalrous and treat her like a girl you would be dating. If you’re successfully able to win her over this way, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step – actually asking her out, and breaking the friend zone.
Have “The Talk” and Ask Them Out
Once you have figure out your crush is into you, breaking the friend zone is actually the easiest part. You’ve done your research, you’ve flirted a little and made them start thinking about what it would be like to date you. Now all that’s left to do is talk. Depending on how you see this going, you could either ask to go on a date or ask if they’re interested in being something more than friends.
Decide what it is you want, and bring it up sometime when you are both alone. Feel out the vibes and make sure your “friend” is in a good mood before saying a very thoughtful statement on why you want to date them, followed by the question, “What do you think?”
Open with how great it’s been getting to know them the past few months or years, and how much you’ve enjoyed being such great friends. Then, weave in a few compliments and how you see them as an amazing person you’d want to be with, followed by the inevitable, “So how do you feel?”
If he/she doesn’t respond the way you think, don’t freak out. If you are truly great friends, it won’t be hard to get over the awkwardness of misreading a situation. But hopefully, they’ll feel the same way, and you’ll have done one of the most feared and difficult tasks: breaking the friend zone.
Have you had to break the friend zone before? Share your experiences in the comments! We’ve all been there.