Quite recently, I was put in a position that made me very uncomfortable. A childhood friend of mine sent me a semi-lengthy message confessing his love to me…
Although this is not the first (or second or third) time he’s expressed that he has romantic feelings for me, this was the first time he actually got kinda mushy with it. Y’all, I love this guy to death, like I really do, but I only see him as the homie. We’ve been friends for years & known each other longer than that, so you can understand the overwhelming shock I felt when he told me “I can’t do this just a friend anymore.” For a moment I was offended, however, I was quickly able to understand his perspective. With that being said I’m gonna offer some advice on surviving the friend zone; whether you are trying to put someone in the friend zone, you are in the friend zone, or possibly trying to get out, I know this knowledge I’m about to drop will help you out!
- RESPECT BOUNDARIES: This one is applicable in all aspects of life, not just the friend zone. When we respect boundaries that others set, they will most likely return that respect making it easier to have a harmonious relationship, regardless of what type. Everyone’s boundaries are different, so don’t assume that because something is cool with one person that it will be alright with others. Of course, always remember the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
- BE VOCAL: People won’t know your boundaries or your feelings unless you tell them. Don’t hesitate to tell anyone that you don’t like something or that something makes you feel uncomfortable. On the flip side, be sure to let people know that you appreciate them & like spending time with them if that’s the case, everyone likes some reassurance every now & then.
However, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT continue to pressure or nag someone after you have expressed your feelings. If you have expressed that you want to take things further with a certain someone & do not get the response you would have liked, accept that answer with dignity & move on. Just because you like someone does not make them obligated to like or be with you. Rejection is a feeling we will ALL experience in life, take it like a G & move on. Be respectful if you get an answer you don’t like and your odds of keeping a cordial relationship with that person will most definitely increase.
- BE HONEST: My mom always says:
“You never date someone out of pity, it’s not right & trust me, they would not do the same thing for you.”
Through my 22 years of experience, I see that she couldn’t be more right. If you don’t like someone you just don’t like them (whether they want a romantic or platonic relationship). Never date someone because you feel bad for them, & on the other side remember you are a prize, just because someone isn’t attracted to you the way you are to them doesn’t mean you’re ugly or something is wrong with you. There are more than 7 billion people in the world, trust me you WILL find someone else. We all know how it feels to have an admirer that you don’t admire, so think about that before you continue to hassle a person that has given you a no.
- Toughen Up: Sometimes in life, you just have to take your L (loss) & move on. I personally believe there are no losses, only lessons, but that still doesn’t make it feel any better. With that being said, though, don’t keep revisiting the same lesson over & over & then be mad at the other party because you haven’t learned. The same way it hurt when you got rejected the first time is the same hurt you’re gonna feel if you get rejected again. So don’t keep trying to catch a fish that doesn’t wanna be caught, there are WAY more in the sea. I personally stop liking a person in my head the minute they tell me they don’t like me back, & I promise you my heart catches up every time.
- Play Nice: Like I said, we have all faced rejection at one point or another, so remember how that felt & use it as inspiration to let people down nicely. If you realize that your feelings don’t match the other party’s it is most definitely okay to tell them that & I encourage you to do so. The quicker you set boundaries the better, no one likes to be led on so be sure to not blur the lines unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences. Also, remember that if your feelings change you can tell them just be prepared for the fact that they may have already moved on (& that’s okay there are more than 7 BILLION people in the world).
- Shoot your shot: This one is for my shy people. If you like your friend as more than a friend & you feel like they feel the same way, SHOOT YOUR SHOT!! You may alley-oop & you may miss but what do you really have to lose? Put your pride aside & let him/her know how you feel. Always feel out your situation, if the other party involved has a boyfriend/girlfriend, has expressed they are not interested in a relationship at this time, or any other obvious signs that they don’t want to be with you, leave them alone. Decide whether or not you can just be friends, and move on from there. If they are showing all the tell tale signs of taking the relationship to the next level then walk out of the friend zone & prosper with your new boo.
I know that was a lot so I’m gonna give you a short list that’s easy to remember:
- No one is obligated to want to be your significant other so don’t act entitled.
- If you try to leave the friend zone & don’t succeed, don’t be rude because you literally just wanted to be up in that person’s face.
- Don’t bad mouth their love interest or taste in men/women just because it’s not you. That’s corny.
- Be honest about your feelings.
- Respect boundaries, ALL THE TIME!
- Take rejection with dignity (you is kind, you is smart, you is important).
- Be nice, you don’t have to be rude to get your point across.