person standing in a cirlce, a zoned off bit

What is the ‘Friend Zone’?

Ooh, the friend zone… You’ve probably heard about it either in a film, through a friend or have maybe even experienced it first-hand.

But what actually is the friend zone? How do you define it and can you get out of it?

Defining the friend zone

Say you’ve been on a few dates with a match from a dating app and you feel you really hit it off. You hope that this connection will grow into an awesome romance. But then, you get this message from them: 

“Hey there, I’ve been loving getting to know you, but I don’t feel that spark. So I was wondering whether you’d want to hang out as friends?”

Great…that’s really not what you wanted to hear from someone you’re romantically interested in. You mull it over and then think to yourself that they are a cool person and that you would like to stay friends. So, you decide to be friends.

And that is what many refer to as being friend-zoned. But others may argue, that actually, if you’ve talked about it and you’ve both agreed to be friends, then you’re not really in the friend zone. 

So, when is the friend zone actually the friend zone?

The friend zone is usually associated with unrequited love and when one person is rejected. It often has many negative connotations and definitely isn’t a zone you would want to be in.

Every situation is different and some may be similar to the above example, however, the most common friend zone stories are when two people are friends first and then romantic feelings start to develop. One person wants “more”, but the other isn’t interested in a romantic relationship.

This kind of situation can be very uncomfortable for both sides.

For the person who is rejected, it hurts and they might feel somewhat embarrassed or awkward. And, the person who did the “friend-zoning” will probably also feel very uncomfortable and, depending on the situation, may have to deal with more than just that.

For example, guilt-tripping, shaming or making the other feel bad for not loving them back is not a healthy way of dealing with any type of rejection. It’s also not the way to someone’s heart and may only cause growing resentment or anger on either side. 

Getting out of the friend zone

The secret to getting out of the friend zone, like with many other things in life, is communication. No one wants to be stuck in the friend zone, so the best way out is, to be honest and talk about it.

 When you’re ready, explain how you feel and see if your feelings are reciprocated. 

If not, it may be painful and difficult, but in this way, you’ve got the answer you need to be able to move on and avoid further hurt. 

If your feelings are reciprocated, then yay!

Either way, you’re out of the friend zone and can choose how to move on.

Whether you’ve been friend-zoned and have friend-zoned someone – it happens. Not everyone you like will like you back and vice versa.

The main thing is to be honest about how you feel and not shame someone else for having or not having any feelings for you.

If you want to learn more about the intricacies of dating, friendships and love, sign up for the Lovedoc waitlist. You’ll receive updates about the app’s launch and a sneak peek at what’s to come.

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