5 Foolproof Ways to Get Out of the Friend Zone

So, you have a crush on a friend; most of us have at one point or another.

But how can you get out of it? Staying hooked into the fantasy or hope that one day he’ll “wake up” to your sexy awesome-ness is just that: a fantasy. Instead, take action now to preserve your great friendship AND open up to being found by that man who wants to be your partner.

Dating with Dignity has five foolproof ways to get yourself out of the friend zone ASAP.

1. Shift your focus.

Accept your friendship, but treat it as just that: friendship. Enjoy your guy as a friend. As you begin to transition away from seeing him as your crush, it’s time to set more boundaries. Stick to activities that are friendly only; stop going out to dinner with just the two of you, cooking together, hitting the grocery store to pick up a few things, and movie nights in the theatre (or even worse, at home).

Instead, focus on doing platonic activities such as watching a game together or hanging out in groups. When something goes awry — or even when you get the best news ever — try to avoid going to him as your “first call,” reaching out instead to people with whom it’s appropriate to make deeper connections.

As you start valuing your friendship in a non-romantic way, you’ll have more time to make yourself available to date, strengthen your other friendships, and as a bonus may find that you either don’t actually like him “that way” once you begin to create some distance. Over time, your crush may start to see you in a new way as he also detaches from the friend zone, which could lead to his actually asking you out on a date or enable you both to create a truly equal and platonic friendship.

2. Go on real dates with other men.

This is not a game, Dignity Daters. It’s really just to pique your so-called friend’s interest and gauge his reaction to you dating other people. If he’s super supportive of your dating other guys, chances are he sees you as just a friend–and you’ve done yourself a favor by figuring that out. This way, you’re also actively opening yourself up to new opportunities in love. If he seems jealous or doesn’t seem to be enjoying hearing about your dating adventures, ask him why he hasn’t asked you out yet. Often this scenario can set the stage for an honest conversation that perhaps has been a long time coming.

3. Have a conversation about it.

This doesn’t need to be a conversation where you literally say “I like you as more than friends; what about you?” You can start by talking about your overall dating and relationship goals and asking him what he’s looking for in his love life. Another more direct conversation to have with a friend you have romantic feelings for is to say “I could like you as more than friends; what about you?” Men say what they mean and mean what they say, so you can count on an honest answer from him.

That said, if he says he’s NOT interested in you as a romantic partner, it’s critical you don’t shut down or close yourself off from him emotionally. If you want to maintain any sort of real friendship, make sure the conversation continues in an open and direct way. Let him know that while you’re sad and/or disappointed, you’re relieved that you can now shift the relationship into a truly platonic place. Let him know you don’t see him as the “bad guy” while keeping the line of communication open.

Wrap up the conversation with something like “I’m glad we had this conversation. What can we do to ensure our friendship stays intact?” Making sure he knows you’re okay will reduce the chance he disappears because of imagined hurt feelings or lingering feelings he can’t return.

4. Take a step back

If you’re loving on a friend and he considers you his gal pal only, chances are you value your relationship more than he does. So turn down the heat; stop dropping by his place with take out, be less available and see what happens. He may realize that you aren’t so available as he thought, which will in turn make him have to work harder for your attention. If he doesn’t, see #1 above!

5. Change your OWN your life.

No, don’t chop off your hair and buy all new clothes. But DO take this opportunity to get yourself in shape and really own your look. When your confidence grows, it can increase your attraction factor ten-fold. Women who turn over a new leaf broadcast a new vibe of sex appeal and sassiness. Your friend may not know what hit him, and that can catapult you right out of the friend zone. Also, take this opportunity to fill your life with things you love and stop catering to your friend only. Start catering to you, make sure your needs get met, and once you do that, he would be silly not to follow you!