It is arguable that romantic relationships can and often do hurt the most when they don't go the way we want them to. But many of us still get back up, dust ourselves off and continue the hunt for that one special person.
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One shady area in this department is known as the dreaded Friend Zone. Many women automatically put men there because it's easier for them to form romantic attachments with friends, while guys all dread being just a friend and assign every girl they meet to the Potential Girlfriend Zone. This complicates the relationship before anything ever happens and leads to some interesting communication difficulties.
A lot of guys invest considerable time and effort to escape the friend zone, often surprising the girl of the depth of their affections. Some guys are content to be friends for awhile but eventually find themselves wanting more. And some of the girls start looking through their friend list for potential boyfriends but are uncertain of their reception after being just friends for so long. Then we have friends with benefits which is a completely different shady area.
To help simplify things, here's 15 ways he's trying to escape the friend zone and five that we're just friends forever. The most obvious sign that a guy wants to escape the friend zone is when he asks us out on a date. This could take us completely by surprise or be a question we've secretly been wanting for him to ask for some time. Either way, it's a bold move for him and we need to handle our response carefully, especially if we don't return his feelings of interest.
Being friends is comfortable, being more than friends can become complicated very quickly—plus it's a new place we've never been with him before and new can often be translated into scary very quickly until we try it. Maybe this is the one we've been waiting for and he was here all along. Cue sappy rom-com music. The way in which he'll ask us out will vary from guy to guy; some will just straight up ask with no fanfare or hesitation, others will be all hesitation and shyness, and then there's the few who think that if they wow us with fireworks, cake and everything else we will be more likely to say yes than if we're not wowed by their display of great date-ability.
Depending on the guy's personality, a subtle sign that he wants to be more than friends is increased physical contact. According to Luvze , he'll hug us more frequently like when he first sees us and then again when it's time to go home. He'll casually brush his hand against ours while we're walking or talking.
He'll rub our shoulder if we're in distress or randomly in the middle of a conversation. Basically if he can safely and casually touch us appropriately, then he'll be all over that. He's trying to communicate that he wants to be more than friends and kiss us. Plus once he's in a relationship, he'll pretty much go all octopus on us and never let go.
Or at least, he won't let go for very long in the beginning stages of the relationship.
Some guys are naturally more physical than others and these casual touches might already be a part of how they regularly express themselves. In which case, we should look for increased frequency, longer hand-holding durations once he touches us, he won't want to let go and will prolong the experience as long as he safely can , and newer casual touches that he doesn't display to others.
Sometimes, depending on the guy we're friends with, he'll start using more flirty emojis when he texts us. If he previously only used the simple smile and frown emojis, he might throw in a wink or a kissy face or maybe a heart here and there.
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It can be cute and sort of feels like he's trying on a new shirt to see how it feels before taking the plunge and buying the shirt. Other guys might already use the full emoji language and thus there probably won't be too much of a change in how they word their texts so it really does depend on his personality. It's a safe way for him to feel us out before asking us out. Besides, we all know how fun it is to get a winking kissy emoji occasionally.
Gifs are similar enough to emojis to include here, especially if our guy uses them more often than emojis for whatever reasons. Kissing gifs might be more pictorial than emojis so he'll likely not use them very frequently—making it very easy to tell when he's stepping out of his friend zone boundaries. Of course, he could've just discovered gifs and is sending tons to everyone.
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Let's say that we start looking at our pool of friend zoned guys and decide to see if one would make a good boyfriend or not. The easiest and most obvious way to efficiently find out is to outright ask him if he's at all interested in being more than just friends. If he's interested, he'll tell us and jump at his chance to do so. But if he likes being just friends, he'll tell us straight up that that's the extent of the relationship. We should respect him on this issue and try to be content with the friendship, especially if we value it and don't want to lose him.
One of the quickest ways to lose him, according to Bolde , is to keep pursuing him as more than a friend when he doesn't want to be our boyfriend. Guys are programmed to be the pursuers and while the new dynamic shift is in our favor to pursue equally, they will still strive to be the dominant pursuer and could view our efforts as a major turn-off. It works a lot better with very shy guys who need that boost of encouragement to begin the pursuit in the first place.
Sometimes guys will try to shake up routines to get attention. If their previous habit was to call and text frequently and on a fairly regular bases, Major League Dating advises them to stop that and make themselves scarce instead. This is a subtle way for them to get our attention because they are counting on us noticing the change in pattern. If they have our attention, it's step one and they'll be able to move onto the next step of asking us out or perhaps telling us how they feel. At any rate, if he suddenly stops talking so much, don't assume he's dead and maybe give it a day or two before checking on him.
He could just be working extra hard or he's accident prone and dropped his phone again.
It’s more than casual, but less than serious.
There's not a lot of help to be had for the accident prone guy but the workaholic is salvageable. If we're okay with routine shake-ups and do them frequently ourselves, his little ploy to get our attention probably won't work as effectively as he was hoping it would. Besides, if we guess his game, giving it an extra day or two to reply gives everyone involved some extra thinking time.
Another subtle sign that he's ready to ditch the friend zone occurs when he starts learning more about us. According to Luvze , this can take different forms from listening intently to everything we say to following us on social media and asking us questions about our interests.
Usually he will just ask more questions about us, our personality and our childhoods for example.
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This increase in interest can be flattering but remember, he's learning about us and storing that information away to use later on gifts comes to mind , so it's wise to pick and choose what to tell him—especially if he'll stay a friend and never graduate to the next level. We might have to tell him that eventually, hard as that conversation will be for both of us. Occasionally we'll find a particularly curious guy on our hands who asks us questions willy-nilly with no ulterior motives beyond satisfying his natural sense of digging up the unknown.
This is usually when bluntly asking if he's trying to escape the friend zone comes in handy; it'll either surprise him completely or catch him off guard enough to reveal if that's what he's doing or not. After he's done gathering info on us, he'll likely start applying it in the hopes of gaining our attention and winning over our affections.
One form this often takes gifts. If our birthday is close and we mention something we need or would like, he'll save that random conversation note and probably get it for us. Or if it's a Tuesday and he's out shopping, he might pick up that candy bar we really like. According to Luvze , he'll drop a good chunk of money on us trying to impress us and win our attention that way. It's important to not take advantage of him at this stage, especially if we're going to stay friends.
If we decide to reciprocate his affections, dating will definitely be a lot of fun. Everyone loves gifts and it's sadly very well known that shiny things are often our weakness even if that shiny thing translates to a new book, a whole chocolate cake or a set of wrenches to work on our car with. Clever men will know this and try to use it to their advantage to win us over like birds do with their colorful display of feathers and vocal talents.
If we've known our guy friend for long enough, he'll likely have developed several nicknames for us—most of which probably aren't very flattering. According to Bolde , if he refers to us as his little sister then we can kiss our chances of dating him goodbye. If we're comfortably in the friend zone and simply looking for any restless signs from our guy friends, this is one where we can relax and continue being friends with.
However, if we were hoping for more than just friends with him then we'll have to reevaluate our friendship and figure out what we actually need. Big brothers are nice and all but they aren't our boyfriends and if what we truly need and want is a boyfriend, we'd best start looking for him elsewhere and send big brother after him if things go south. Even if he's attractive and would make the perfect boyfriend, he might have more and better uses as our adopted big brother in the long run of things.
Every girl should have a hunky guy around to send after dead-beat ex-boyfriends for some intimidation. Plus if we're moving to a new apartment he can help haul our furniture inside for us. Some guys will be okay with being our friends and doing friend things with us but most of them will draw the line at doing "boyfriend" things when we're only friends. For a guy, doing all the boyfriend stuff without the status and benefits of being a boyfriend isn't rewarding.
It's an arrangement that benefits us more than him and therefore isn't balanced enough to be healthy in the long-term. According to Getting Out Of The Friend Zone , what constitutes as boyfriend things include frequent communication and always being there for us. If we take our problems to him to solve all the time, he might consider that boyfriend stuff too and stop solving all our problems.
Also, telling him all about the guys we're dating isn't fun for him if he wants to be dating us. Other guys can be irritatingly helpful and jump to solve all our problems even the ones we're unaware of till he brings it up for us so very helpfully. As long as we don't have one of those on our hands, picking this escapee out from the crowd should be a piece of cake.
follow site Occasionally if the guy is so deep into the friend zone that he can't find the door or doesn't know where to begin looking for the door, he might approach us with a cute little hypothetical scenario of a guy trying to escape the friend zone and he'll ask us for advice on how his hypothetical friend should escape.
While it's cute and flattering to be sought out for advice like this, it can often be a very subtle sign that he wants to escape the friend zone himself and date us. Watch for some of our advice to play out in real life with him and that will be our confirmation that he's ready to move on and branch out. From there, we'll have to do a little soul searching ourselves to decide if he's the one for us or not.
While soul-searching sounds like an awful lot of work, it doesn't have to be. All we need is a bottle of vino and maybe twenty minutes of uninterrupted thinking time in which to fully decide if he's dating material for us or not. If we're perfectionists or overachievers, we'll need an hour, a journal, and some neatly lined pros and cons lists. When guys start getting antsy and wanting to move on from being just friends, they start trying different things for attention—sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously and all with varying degrees of success.
According to Major League Dating , one thing they try is dating other girls.
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We might think this is healthy and gets him out more, especially if we won't ever return his feelings. But what he's hoping will happen is that we'll see him as boyfriend material and notice the parade of competition he's subtly showing us.