By: Mariela De La Mora, Neqtr Cofounder & Marketing Manager
Many of us still have PTSD from being put in the dreaded friend zone, and it sucks. You start a friendship and somewhere down the line, you see them as something more. You may even find yourself getting jealous hearing about the douchebag they are dating and thinking, that would not be the case if they were with you. While I can only speak from a woman’s perspective, many of these may sound familiar to both sexes.
1. You waited too long.
There comes a time when they have associated with you as a friend for so long, that it’s difficult to change the way you’re viewed. It doesn’t even necessarily mean they would not have found you attractive, they just never allowed themselves to view you in that way.
The other risk in this scenario lies in the risk to the friendship itself. If the object of your affection truly values your friendship, even if they find you attractive they may find themselves afraid to risk that friendship should a relationship go wrong. There is no right or wrong in this scenario.
People carry all sorts of ideas, fears and baggage into dating – some logical, some not. Bottom line is, if you like someone, it doesn’t hurt to throw out a few subtle signals and see if they are reciprocated.
2. You have too many mutual friends.
On a similar note of waiting too long, things get even stickier when you have several mutual friends. There could be a fear that, if/when things go wrong, it will impact your friendships. Not to mention that being in the same social circles means you will constantly see each other again.
3. They know your flaws too well already.
Look, we all have baggage. Normally it takes a few dates, months or even years for our full, unfiltered unapologetic selves to surface. Generally that happens in tandem, meaning you get to know their flaws as they know yours and you decide, bit by bit, whether it’s something you can each deal with.
The problem with being friends for a long time is, they get to see all those flaws too, but without the shiny veil of being emotionally invested in a romantic relationship. Those drunk texts, that short temper, that flakiness, those commitment issues, your tendency to avoid taking responsibility, or to leave your apartment a mess…whatever it is, they’ve seen it all.
If you’re a generally good partner in relationships this may not be as much of an issue. But if you ask yourself honestly whether you are proud of the person you’ve been around them, that may lend some insight into how they might respond if you attempted to cross back over the friend zone.
4. You don’t fit their relationship criteria.
While a friendship is the foundation of a strong relationship, it is not necessarily a precursor to it nor does a solid friendship automatically signify compatibility as partners. That’s because we have a different set of criteria for friends versus partners –you may fit one set perfectly but not the other.
5. They don’t find you sexually attractive (i.e. chemistry).
Now before I say anything, I will say that this only counts to an extent.
If people in relationships around the world were to answer honestly, many of them would admit they never found their partner sexually attractive. Something changes as you get to know the person. They become more attractive, inside and out.
This is not always the case though. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, they just won’t see you in that way. They may even find you physically attractive but not be attracted to you as a potential partner.
6. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you and it’s for the best.
I can think of many women I know, myself included, who subconsciously ran away from “nice” guys who expressed an interest in them. We seek partners who confirm how we feel about ourselves. If you feel unworthy, you’re likely to pair up with someone who confirms that feeling of not being enough. If you are insecure, you are likely to attract cheaters or create scenarios where you question your partner’s loyalty to you, even if they are being faithful. They very act of expressing interest towards an insecure person will sometimes push them away. Essentially, being too good of a friend sometimes is the problem.
If this is the case, just be happy to sit there in the friend zone right where you are because you want none of that – trust me.
At the end of the day, you don’t want anyone who doesn’t want you.
It doesn’t make them a bad person for not sharing your feelings or not returning the hints you’ve been dropping. They have a right to want who they want, just as you do. But there is absolutely no use in focusing energy on what you don’t have. You are so much more than who wants to be with you.
Take it from someone who has experienced rejection on the most excruciating of levels. It always turns out to be a good thing in the end. Once you redirect your energy away from the source of rejection and towards a place of self love and gratitude, your vibrational energy will attract friends and loves who share that wavelength with you.