5 steps to getting out of the friend zone

Follow these tips and you’ll go from best friend to boyfriend in no time.

EDGAR staff July 22, 2014

The dreaded friend zone is a place where no man wants to be, yet countless guys find themselves so deeply entrenched that escaping it seems tougher than breaking out of Alcatraz.

The friend zone is the kind of relationship purgatory that can drive an honest man to distraction, and if you find yourself stuck in that hole, the sad truth is that it's probably one you dug for yourself by being too scared to make your feelings known.

But never fear, there are ways and means to break free of these shackles. Here's how to do it in five easy steps:

1. Assess the situation


The first and most vital step of the whole process is to take stock of where you are right now. You've already identified that you are well and truly in the friend zone, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article, but the next thing to make clear is how your female friend sees you.

If she sees you as a kind of back-up boyfriend - a shoulder to cry on who is always there whenever she needs you - then this is easy to change. However, if she sees you as a brother or father-type figure then changing that will be more difficult, but is still well within the realms of possibility.

2. Alter the dynamic

42-23831575 Once you've established the role you play in your friend's life, it's time to shake things up a bit. If you're the guy she always counts on to be there and listen to her stories of failed dates, that needs to stop.

While this might seem counterintuitive, at this point it's usually wise to take a step back and be less available than you have been previously. This will give you time and space to work on point three.

3. Change yourself

42-15222522 While you're spending less time with your friend, you have the opportunity to make some changes that will hopefully affect the way she sees you when come back onto the scene.

Change something about yourself that you're not happy with. It might be changing the way you dress, losing a bit of weight or even just learning to act more confidently by dating other people.

4. Return on your terms

42-58282211 Once you're pleased with the new you, it's time to start spending more time with your friend again, but instead of going back to the way things used to be, make sure you see her on your terms.

Asking her out on a formal date straight off the bat is probably a step too far, so start things slowly by seeing if she'll accompany you doing something you'd do anyway - picking up some clothes from the mall, for example. After a few of these informal meet-ups where you've had chance to show her the new you, she's more likely to agree to go out for dinner.

5. Make your move

42-33311863 OK, so it's make or break time. Before you make your move you must realise that this will put your friendship at risk. However, failure to act this time will undoubtedly condemn you to a lifetime in the friend zone, and you've not come all this way just to fall at the final hurdle have you?

If she agrees to go out with you on a proper date - no more mall trips, we're talking dinner and drinks - then you know she's not completely turned off by the idea of you being a couple, but there's not a chance in hell that she'll make the first move, so it's down to you to make your feelings known.

If the worst happens and you get knocked back, then you should be content with the fact that you've actually changed yourself for the better during this process. We know it's an old cliché, but there really are plenty more fish in the sea, and now you're far better equipped to catch them.