By: Natasha Archary
Reverse psychology. Play hard to get. Stop making plans. Don’t hang out with them for a while. Can any of these methods actually help you escape the dreaded friendzone?
If every Hollywood romcom is anything to go by then the answer would a resounding absolutely. Who writes these movie scripts? Because real-life does not always end with the guy and girl hand in hand, walking off into the sunset, all smitten over each other.
The primary reason most friendships go belly up is when one of you catches feelings you had no business catching. More often than not the other person does not know about these feelings and goes about time spent with you as he/she usually does. Leaving you all puppy dog eyes and gaga over your friend.
Sometimes the feelings are just sexually motivated. You feel physically attracted to your friend and as is expected these feelings only intensify with time. The more time you spend together, the more likely some kind of attraction develops.
Science does deem it possible for platonic friendships to be maintained and we’ll cover this at a later stage.
The saying the strongest love is built on a lasting friendship isn’t misguided. When you start off as friends, you get to know each other. Friends have this sense of comfort in each other and there aren’t any pretenses.
It’s easy to misinterpret a friendly gesture as being open to something more. Essentially all relationships are a give and take agreement. In other words, a social exchange. This means that people set the terms for the social exchange they are entering, at times without even discussing them. It’s just assumed.
People who are friend-zoned enter a social exchange where the playing field isn’t even. You may find your male friend attractive. You crush on him hard, thinking about every quirky trait he has. What is it about him that just oozes sex appeal?
But, he may just see you as being one of the boys. Sure, he calls you before he makes a shower gel purchase, wanting to check if the scent is a turn-on but this does not mean there’s more to it.
Is it worth risking the friendship?
No. It never is. Relationships today are vulnerable at best. People are calling it quits for the smallest reasons. Gone are the days where relationship longevity is a priority. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We’re more empowered to leave relationships that are not fulfilling and while the argument may be that you’re such good friends and have weathered so much together, a relationship is not in the same league.
When you’re friends you’re aware of the little nuances that drive the other person crazy. You know the character traits they’re looking for in a partner and in your mind this is you, without any doubt.
And then you decide you’re going to share how you feel. Revealing your intentions for more. You’d like to date them and act on these feelings. Will they or won’t they friendzone you?
Putting yourself out there
Gwendolyn Seidman, PhD armed, with an essay in Psychology Today, put together some research that supports something called a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’
To sum it up, this is when your attitudes towards your friend ultimately moves the person to behave in a way consistent with your expectations. Her research also points to the possibility that we project romantic feelings onto our friends without even realizing it.
Then there’s the fact that you can only escape the friendzone if the other person saw you as a catch. If your friend sees you as nothing more than just a friend, nothing you do or say is going to change that.
So, yeah escaping the friendzone is literally 50/50. It could go either way. One thing to keep in mind is the tiny nugget of sage advice, once you cross the line of no return, there’s no erasing it. It’s out there. All awkward attraction and rapid heartbeat and you giddy over someone who has made it known that the friendzone is here to stay. Or not and you’re planning your life together because said person thinks you’re a catch too. Because 50/50.