Okay, so I’ve known this guy for about two years now and we’ve always been really great friends. Good friends to the point where people assumed we were dating. Anyways, I realized a while ago that I had romantic feelings for him.
I eventually got the guts to tell him and unfortunately he didn’t feel the same way.
However, ever since then he’s become even more flirty and touchy feely. I’m trying really hard to move on and just get over it but it seem impossible. I still really want him in my life, he’s one of my best friends, but I don’t know if I should just give up or continue to hope for something to happen.
What should I do?
Hey Lauren, First let me say I really don't believe in hope. It's nice to be optimistic and maybe it's just semantics, but to me "hope" makes it feel like we've given up doing something.
Almost like we feel helpless to change something and are now relying on luck from the universe.
But that's just me.
My suggestion to you would be to first find out or think about a few things:
Is he physically attracted to you?
Physical attraction is not entirely important for lots of men but since he's become touchy and flirty with you, you need to know this if he's physically attracted to you.
You see when some guys find out a woman likes them they start to act more confident around them.
Almost like they have something on her.
When you told him that you had romantic feelings for him in a way, you gave him higher status than you.
You gave him a boost of confidence... at least when he's around you.
IF he is physically attracted to you then there's a chance something is going to happen.
Is he generally good with women?
Guys who are "generally" good with women are less likely to give up a friendship.
They have more choices and can be more selective.
I'm not saying they're all that selective, just that the options are there for them.
Now, if he IS attracted to you but he's NOT good with women then I would just stay patient.
Stay his friend.
Remain close and sort of (pretend) nothing happened.
If he is attracted to you but he is generally really good with women then it's more likely a friendship will all you will ever get.
If he is NOT attracted to you AND he is good with women, the odds of something happening will drastically reduce and if that's the case, it's best for you to immediately start looking elsewhere.
Make sure you take the time to read my home page where I explain the difference between guys who are good with women and guys who are not - it's very important in this situation and many more to know that first.
All that said, If you still want a chance with him...
If your heart is set at something more than just a friendship with him.
Refrain from telling him again you have feelings for him. (That is until you're both a level of intimacy where it's appropriate.)
Here's the truth about friendships, romance, and attraction which goes for both men and women...
Telling him you have romantic feelings for him will NOT make him feel attracted to you in that way.
“Ever tell a guy you like him and he pulls back?
What is the eww factor?
If you want to know how he feels about you do something to attract him. Before you confess your feelings to him…
Learn about choices and the paradox of attraction.
Don’t trigger an emotion in him that repels him.
Don’t get heavy with him.”
A Secret About Men Women Do Not Know – The Paradox Of Attraction by Christian Carter
Chances are things have become awkward for both of you with regards to your friendship. Just how awkward depends on how he handles it and how he feels about you.
Either way you must admit it has become a little strange just being around him.
Don't go down that road again at least until he admits openly he feels the same way.
Make sure you are available and ready to date other men.
Find some suitable men you like and forget (as best as you can) that this ever happened.
Keep yourself busy and stop yourself from over-thinking his actions with regards to you because it will not only drive you crazy, but it will stop you from wanting to see other men.
This short article will give you a few reasons why you need to date around AND why you must start trying it immediately because of the friendship/romance situation you're in:
“Stop settling for dating one guy and start dating many men. This will help you eliminate being needy. Give you choices. Allows you to be the chooser. Opens new surprises. Let’s you take things slowly.
No more sabotaging the commitment which will get you the intimacy you desire.
Just by dating many guys.”
AND... here's something critical to consider:
Now that he knows how you feel - the awkwardness and the tension will make it much more difficult to see or interpret his signals - meaning you can read into things which don't exist or mean something entirely different.
If you're not dating around, keeping yourself busy, working on your own thing - you'll be more likely to over-think or read into everything he does and how it relates to you which will in turn make attracting him AND figuring things out much more difficult or practically impossible.
Pull back a little from the friendship.
Don't be drastic about it.
Just pull away far enough so he notices but please don't feel like you have to explain yourself to him.
If he asks, just say... "I've been busy. You know me."
The way to get a guy to come to you and possibly realize he wants something more with you is as simple as luring him in to your challenge.
Challenge him by remaining unaffected by his denial of you.
Brush it off.
Sure it happened, you said some things, he heard it, but it's NOT the end of you by any means whatsoever.
The mindset you want is,
"Hey I told you I had romantic feelings for you but that doesn't mean I wanted a relationship. I still want you to DO something more. I still want to be courted a little. I still want to be the WOMAN and I still want you to BE the MAN."
Here's a real problem of your situation.
He's thinking you're an instant relationship.
You're already friends so that part is done. Once you add intimacy to the friendship you must admit it's going to be hard to not want a commitment quicker than it probably should happen.
That must not happen AND he must feel and understand there will still be a dating phase.
He must still feel like he has to win you over a little because that gives you a real value in his life.
A big problem of getting out of the "friend zone" is the "instant relationship" a guy feels like he's getting into when he gets with a friend.
Don't get me wrong, the NUMBER ONE OBSTACLE of getting out of the friends zone is having a gut level attraction for a friend. It needs to be there BUT another thing getting in the way is him feeling like it will be an instant relationship and not given a chance to court - date - or attract YOU.
A guy NEEDS that challenge and by revealing your feelings before the dating process has happened eliminated it so it MUST begin.
Another problem is... he knows you all too well.
Which means he might have privileged information about you and some of it may be "deal breakers" when it comes to relationships AND he might know your sexual history... for some men that's hard to overcome.
Not impossible, just difficult.
I'm telling you all that because, I'd say from experience...
It's tougher to get out of the friends zone (especially with a guy) than it is to usually just move on before you get too wrapped up in it all.
The choice of course is entirely yours (as you already know) to make and I will wish you all the best.
"The best cure for this horrible situation is PREVENTION.
And that means that you have to prevent yourself from slipping into a platonic friendship with a man you consider potential boyfriend material (or even husband material) RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO."
My tips for escaping the friends zone have never changed.
They are based on my worldly experience of being "just a friend" so I can honestly tell you this problem has been researched and tested to all my means and beyond.
Here is my three step (program) procedure or process for getting out of the friends zone.
This will give you the best chance of it happening BUT you must follow it consecutively. No skipping around. No trying it differently. No fudging the rules a little either.
AND... as sad and painful as it is to say (knowing I've been in it more than you) there are NO guarantees.
Sorry, but it's better to start with a fresh realistic attitude than a positive "I'm going to get that guy!" mindset because doing these steps from that point of view will only have you doing things for him and not yourself.
That is key to successfully getting out of the friends zone AND attracting men in general.
Do the steps or whatever you must for YOURSELF and not with the hopes of attracting a certain man.
As I always say... take them OUT of the equation.
The process is simple but the real work sometimes requires a lot more to be done in some areas so just do your best.
Phase One: Distraction.
This guy is on your mind and probably a little too much. You're also spending way too much time with him making things difficult on you and making you feel awful just being around him, right?
That needs to stop IMMEDIATELY but it also has to happen naturally.
You need a boost in confidence.
An objective look at your dating life.
A separation from your anxiety.
A complete and total dedication to YOURSELF.
A healthy way to slowly remove yourself from your friendship with him.
Distract yourself from him and the friendship by focusing on YOU.
It's not complicated so don't make it into something more than it is.
Increase your happiness and inject some positive emotional experiences into your life while removing the stuff which is causing you to think about him and the friendship.
Don't be afraid or shy away from meeting and dating other men. In fact it's HIGHLY recommended you continue to date and see other men.
Don't put your dating life on hold with other men hoping this guy will suddenly be your one and only.
Develop or increase your social life so you're busy and having fun too. Balance in a little alone time for yourself and just ENJOY it the best you can everyday.
The purpose of this step is to:
- Separate yourself from him naturally.
- Get him to miss you a little.
- Take a break from your problems so you can heal quicker and develop a fresh new approach.
- Encourage him to see you a little differently than he has in the past.
- AND... free your mind for the next more difficult stage.
Again - I STRONGLY encourage you to seek out other men.
One of my best articles on doing this centers around getting out of your own way which also includes a template on how and where you can meet lots of great men PLUS within the structure of it will give you tools on how you can distract yourself.
You'll find it here:
I'd also check this page out:
A reminder about the rules above: No skipping around. No trying it differently. No fudging the rules a little either.
Sorry you are not allowed to skip dating other men... period.
That's all for this step... onto the next one.
Phase two: Attraction.
There are probably a few good reasons why or how you found yourself in the friends zone with this guy.
One might've been - when you met it didn't go as well as you planned because you were not expecting it. We'll chalk this one up to a little back luck and timing as in this case:
"She was so intimidated by how frumpy she was feeling that she just sat quietly on the couch, hugging her knees to her chest, and hardly said a WORD. Not one inkling of her normal sparkling, witty personality came through: as she said later, she felt “at a horrible, underdressed, unattractive disadvantage.”
HERE’S THE LESSON IN WHAT HAPPENED TO DANA:
Because she was feeling frumpy, she TOTALLY shot herself in the foot and lost an opportunity to make a connection with a real live attractive man right in front of her!
Who knows what could have happened if she’d been feeling confident and attractive and had participated fully in the conversation?"
That's one case which could've easily been avoided.
The other case, which is very common for men but I'm not sure or convinced it's always the case for women BUT it's still REAL.
Not understanding attraction, what attracts men, and HOW to connect to a guy while communicating in such a way it naturally happens.
Sight attraction is one thing you know about - looking good, smelling great, smiling, flirting, etc...
But beyond the physical attraction there's much more going on and if you are not sure how it works for men - you WILL find yourself in a lot of friend zones with men.
I know because that was one of my main (out of many problems) which did the same thing for me and until I sorted it all out - never changed. Only the women changed as I went from one painful friends zone to the next unrequited love of just being friends.
The step REQUIRES you to now take the extra time you have being away from your friend, along with distracting yourself to LEARN HOW ATTRACTION works for guys and HOW to create it with lots of men.
Remember the rule above to increase success is to not practice or focus on doing these things for your friend. You must use what you're learning on other men first and really get down your new skills.
There is NO way around it.
Okay - if you feel you have a strong idea about how attraction really works for men BEYOND your looks and you firmly BELIEVE and understand it's not all about physical attraction for men - you can get away with less time in this step.
BUT - don't fool yourself. Please. Be real. Be open and honest with yourself.
It took me years to admit I didn't understand women and thinking back of all those years I missed - kind of hurts now.
If you understand men and attraction then cool - move on BUT if you have any doubts OR you feel like you're only making friends with great guys while attracting losers and the not-so-great guys in your life - then you MUST get this taken care of BEFORE the nest step.
Here's an article I wrote on attracting losers which might help you decide one way or another:
Read it when you can so you're not missing the truth or blinding yourself.
Don't worry. It's OKAY if it is continually happening to you because you CAN get past it and you will, once you understand some new concept and ideas about attracting and understanding men.
My first teacher was David DeAngelo. He taught me about attracting women and staying out of the friends zone and how attraction works for you. Unfortunately, he doesn't teach women.
The ATTRACTION phase or step is the "educational" part.
You're in the friends zone for a reason and if it's because you're not creating the right kind of attraction with men, or you don't understand men all that well, or you keep finding yourself not ready when you do meet a great guy so you "settle" for the friendship...
Then this stage is where you'll get things taken care of so you're ready for the next step.
Keep working on the distraction phase.
This step will take care of it for you because you'll naturally be distracted from him PLUS you'll have more opportunities to explore and attract other men too.
You never know - I don't want to downplay but I've found when the guys who used my steps, most of the time, by the time they reached the last stage found someone better where everything clicked right away making that friend - happily just a friend.
Not saying it's going to happen but it's possible and better because that next guy - be actually BE the ONE.
Phase Three: Re-Introduction.
This is the easiest and hardest step for lots of reasons.
Easy because once you've fully gone through the first two steps - all you have to do is slowly RE-introduce yourself to your friend using everything you learned so far.
He WILL notice a change in you as you start to "hang" out a little more and we're hoping it's in a more intimate way.
Since you've spent considerable time apart - making the shift won't be difficult for him and you.
It will almost be like you're meeting each other again... for the first time.
The hard part is not letting yourself fall into the same patterns which landed in the friends zone AND knowing how to handle the new situations you're in with him.
In this stage you do NOT want to do things together what you've been doing before.
Again, with the distraction phase you might have found new and exciting things to do so feel free to explore those with him - that's the point.
If all you've ever done is hang out at his place or meet up at a friends - don't do it anymore until you've already established dating or are now in a relationship.
Your final step may be a little different from men depending on your last step. For guys - it's where they typically bring their new attractive self and skills - this could be the case for you too but it just might be showing yourself in a way which gets him to see you as a potential date or girlfriend and not just a friend.
Please heed these WARNINGS and practically anything goes at this point:
You must not take the lead. You must not coax or try to convince him you're into him.
You must not push it with him. Let him come to his own conclusions. Let him begin to FEEL the attraction.
You must also NOT forget about the last two steps.
Give him a little time and stay a little distant.
Once he feels something for you he'll want to step up to the challenge of attracting you. Let him work for you but play nice and not hard to get. Just continue to focus on your life.
Do not let him have all of you... just yet.
The dating phase MUST happen first so LET it evolve.
The rest - as he gets more enticed by you and interested WILL happen... or it won't.
Again - the ONLY guarantee I will give you IF you've followed along precisely (to the best of your ability) is you will NEVER find yourself in the friends zone again with another guy.
I sincerely do hope IF he's the right guy for you he sees and you end up together.
I've been in enough friend zones to know exactly what you're going through and I wouldn't wish it on anyone BUT you now have all the tools necessary to get through it.
The Re-Introduction phase is simple a NEW beginning so treat it that way and it will be okay.
Have fun with him or without him.
Give him a glimpse of your amazing self and let him see the wonderful person you are and let the previous steps work for YOU.