This week, the guynecologist received the following question:“How do you move a relationship with a friend out of the friend zone if you realize you want to be more than friends?”
Ah, the friend zone. A place of masqueraded feelings, platonic hugs and most of all, friendship. While the descent into this relationship status is usually organic, sometimes it feels like you’re stuck.
But the thing about friends is that you enjoy spending time with them. A common worry in any attempt to alter this relationship status is jeopardizing the future by making things awkward, or even worse, ending the relationship. But if left un-acted upon, there is also the possibility that your feelings could fester and convolute your existing friendship. So just like James Franco in 127 Hours, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
A philosophy that I like to live my life with is to leave no stone unturned, without regrets. You might never know if your friend could admire you too. So, if you do decide to put on your brave face and tell someone your true feelings, I think we can all agree that the best case scenario is that they reciprocate your feelings. But if not, I can imagine a guy acting in two possible ways.
1. He could be mature. I know that this could seem like a rare concept in guys, but we have the potential in this situation to just be like, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and just move on with our lives. At the very least we’d take it as compliment. If a guy takes this mindset, there should be no reason why future interactions should be tense or awkward.
2. The less appealing possibility is that he’d say no, but then clam up and act all embarrassed and bashful next time he sees you. This isn’t the mature option though; it’s more like what you would expect from a second grade playground crush. When Alexa tried to hold my hand on the swing-set, I giggled and skipped away and proceeded to cry to my mother later. Not exactly the type of response you’d want; we’re all in college here. My advice in this scenario is to realize that if this is the way he handles the situation, then he obviously could not have handled being in a real relationship.
Also, if someone can’t navigate how to say “no” in a mature manner, this person might have a difficult time with other parts of a romantic relationship. These types of fellas are definitely better suited in your life under the friend category. So before asking out someone you have been friends with for a while, instead of considering whether or not they’ll say yes, consider how mature they would act telling you no.
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