Feminism rejects the friend zone concept and rightly so, as it’s used by men who pretend they want to be friends with women they are attracted to, in order to enter their circle, gain their trust, wait until they’re feeling vulnerable and then try to get them to have sex with them. This is lying, manipulation, betrayal and, of course, misogyny. I’m not talking about this. What I am talking about, is the accidental friend zone, when you didn’t take action and show initiative early on, and then you find the momentum is gone. That said, here’s my advice.
1. Start as you mean to go on
Yes, it’s scary and you risk rejection, but you need to communicate your romantic interest sooner rather than later. This can help avoid misunderstandings and mixed signals, and show her you’re not just looking for friendship.
2. Be clear but not creepy
Don’t stop being friendly and smiley, many men turn creepy when they want to express interest. Build a special connection, flirt, be funny, compliment her or, even better, tease her lovingly (meaning without impacting her self-confidence, it’s called benevolent teasing). Ask her out making sure she understands it will just be the two of you.
3. State your intentions
Expressing your feelings directly is the ultimate challenge. If you want to minimize the risk, try asking “have you ever wondered what we’d be like as a couple?” or say you had a dream that you two were kissing. You’ll judge if it’s a good idea to proceed by her reaction.
4. Respect her decision
If she doesn’t feel the same way about you, you have to accept her choice and respect her boundaries. You can do this by giving her space and focusing on yourself, on your hobbies, or meeting new people.
5. Time to move on
If you have feelings for someone, it’s very hard to stay away from them, especially if they seek out your company. But remember, if you like them romantically, it’s not friendship. You’ll be torturing yourself if you try to remain friends, and it will keep getting worse. Do yourself a favour and move on.