Exiting the Friend Zone [ADVICE]

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Exiting the Friend Zone [ADVICE] Empty Exiting the Friend Zone [ADVICE]

Post by patrickreynolds on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:24 pm

One of DNL's best topics, but no home in the NerdLounge yet! I've got an interesting situation that might spark some discussion. There are so many angles to consider with this topic, I'll do my best to touch on all the relevant points.

First off, I fully agree with DNL that there is no "The One". However, if there was, for me it would definitely be my friend in question. I have known Julia (name changed) for almost 10 years. We met overseas on a work exchange and fast became good friends. I was attracted to her, but was involved with someone at home at that time, so never acted on it and we were soon both back home on opposite sides of the country. We kept in touch over the years and we saw each other on the rare occasion that one of us was traveling close to our respective homes. At no point was any mutual attraction discussed, but I have always had a very special relationship with her. We tell each other everything and she helped me through (and eventually out of) an emotionally abusive relationship. Julia moved to my city a few years ago, and we've grown closer and closer in recent months. I am fully aware that I'm in the Friend Zone because it's been established that I am her best friend here.

Since we met, neither of us has been single at the same time - until recently. We are extremely emotionally and intellectually compatible, and there is definite attraction on my part. It seems like the perfect fit, except that I have no idea if she's ever felt the same way, or even thought about it - the best friend thing doesn't help.

I also want to make it extremely clear that I am her friend first - potential boyfriend second. I've never been her friend for the purpose of trying to turn it into something more. Part of my internal conflict is that I feel if I try to go for this, I am betraying her as a friend. Guys get a really bad reputation for not being able to just be friends with a girl, but I've never had ulterior motives.

In line with my views on "The One", this hasn't kept me from dating other women. I continue to pursue other women, but I do often come back to the "what if" scenario with Julia.

My challenge is that we are so firmly entrenched in being friends, I'm not sure how to go forwards. Despite DNL's advice, I don't think I could get much distance from her in order to reset some of her perceptions about me. Partially, I'm just really curious to know if she's ever been attracted to me. I've had advice from more than one friend that I'll have to make a move at some point, but that could be very awkward given our friendship. I'm very tempted just to talk about my feelings with her and see what she says, but no one has supported this tact yet.

As she is still getting over a serious breakup and isn't ready to date anyone seriously yet, I feel like I have some time. Very interested to hear some perspectives from this community. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:38 pm

It's frighteningly simple. Just ask her out when you feel she's reasonably over the break-up, and if she says 'no', see how you feel and ask for some time to sort it out before the friendship pops up again.


Last edited by BasedBuzzed on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by waxingjaney on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:40 pm

I'll venture this: the "friend zone" isn't a place you can get in or out of; it's a mismatch in attachment trajectories.
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:43 pm

Wait until she's had some time to recover from her breakup and start dating again. Say something like, "We've always been good friends, but I think there may be something else there too. Do you want to go on a date and explore that?"

There isn't really a friend zone. Either she sees you the same way and has also never acted on it because of the lack of mutual singleness, or she doesn't and probably never will.
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Post by UristMcBunny on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:56 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that you're not "in the friend zone". You're her friend. That doesn't need qualifying, regardless of whether or not you and her end up together.

That said, what eselle and basedbuzzed have both said is true. The way to deal with this, if you have feelings for her, is to tell her that you have those feelings and ask if she'd be interested in dating you. If she says yes, hooray! If she says no, then at least you have your answer and, given time to heal any heartbreak, can continue having an awesome friend.

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Post by reboot on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:01 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that you're not "in the friend zone".  You're her friend.  That doesn't need qualifying, regardless of whether or not you and her end up together.

That said, what eselle and basedbuzzed have both said is true.  The way to deal with this, if you have feelings for her, is to tell her that you have those feelings and ask if she'd be interested in dating you.  If she says yes, hooray!  If she says no, then at least you have your answer and, given time to heal any heartbreak, can continue having an awesome friend.

Or hopefully you are her friend!

I 3rd or 4th or 5th the just ask her if she is interested in dating. Also give some thought as to how you will feel if she says no and how to manage that if you want to preserve the friendship
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Post by patrickreynolds on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:22 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that you're not "in the friend zone".  You're her friend.  That doesn't need qualifying, regardless of whether or not you and her end up together.

That said, what eselle and basedbuzzed have both said is true.  The way to deal with this, if you have feelings for her, is to tell her that you have those feelings and ask if she'd be interested in dating you.  If she says yes, hooray!  If she says no, then at least you have your answer and, given time to heal any heartbreak, can continue having an awesome friend.

So good to hear that my instincts are not totally wrong. Nothing better than open and honest communication!

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