So, you like someone eh?
Well, that’s why you’re here! …Or you’re just curious for future possibilities. You never know what life might bring ya!
Sometimes, we can like someone and admire them afar, and although we want to continue with them romantically, we may start a friendship first in shyness.
Maybe you’re already in a relationship, but things seem to be dwindling down to the foundation of friendship you first built.
Or, perhaps you’ve had a long-time friend, and suddenly you start to develop feelings towards them in a new light. You launch yourself into the romantic pursuit. Perhaps you hint at a little romance? Ask them out on – what you thought was – a date. But what happens? You end up landing, face-first, in the friend zone.
So you think you might be in the friend zone? How can you be sure exactly? Don’t worry my friend, (notice the emphasis on friend?) I’m here to help you out.
Here are six signs you’re in the friend zone.
1. You Show Off Your Attractive Qualities. Them? Not so Much
When we like someone romantically, we want them to get to know us. We also want to show them why we would be a great partner. Some people on dates may subconsciously – or consciously – do a little bit of bragging on a date to show the other that they are the right fit for them.
So when Bob says to his crush Susie:
“I do a bit of cooking myself. I like to think I was a sous chef in my other life. *raises eyebrows*
And she responds with a simple shrug?
She may be friend zoning you. Or, she’s just not really into cooking!
So take account how often she may sound like she’s trying to impress you. Is it just a friendly ‘getting-to-know-each-other’?
Or… is she raising her eyebrows when she says it? *raises eyebrows*
Oh, no. I wasn’t interested in you I just like raising my eyebrows for dramatic effect… sorry about that.
2. They Mention How Other People Are Attractive
It’s never a good sign when someone you like mentions someone they like… and it’s not you.
Yeah people mention their celebrity crushes from time to time, and they may even let their romantic partner know they have a major crush on Brad Pitt…
But! If it’s in the early stages of getting to know someone, – friend-wise or what you think is dating – and they’re pointing out how cute this guy was at the supermarket, odds are they’re keying you in to the idea they like someone, but not you.
3. There Isn’t Any Romance
Ah romance! It’s in the flowers, it’s in the clouds, it’s in the air!
*cough cough* Oh what? … That’s just Febreze and air pollution?
Sometimes we can mistake certain interactions as romantic ones. Those texts you receive from your crush may sound flirty in your head when you read them in your devilishly handsome voice. But look at them closely… are they really flirty?
Or are they just answering your question charismatically?
Everyone has different personalities, so when we experience one that is unexpected to us – or when we are expecting it to be something else – we might read their tone as different. You may see your friend Susie as the one who is making all the romantic pursuits, but maybe she just likes hugging people! It is hugging after all.
Or maybe your friend is very open, and you see that as a sign she wants to get to know you more as a partner.
It might be a good idea to make it pretty obvious you’re flirting, or outright tell them how you feel if things don’t seem to be turning in the romantic direction.
Look for obvious signs of romance and flirting. Now, some people simply aren’t the flirty type, so that doesn’t mean everything. But it’s a good start for something to look out for, and especially note this in person, not through texts.
In person you can actually tell if they are raising their eyebrows. Hmm, Hmm, Hmmm.
I know I am!
Not to you… I just, like raising them. Dramatic purposes…
4. You Didn’t Hint You Were Attracted to Them in the Beginning
Did you only act friendly when you first interacted with your crush? Did you not imply or hint at the idea that you viewed them as attractive?
Well, your crush may not be able to view you as a possible partner because she first only associated you as a friend because you seemed to only visibly show interest as a friend first.
This usually has to do with timing. When we meet someone we are attracted to, we should hint fairly soon at the idea that we view them not only as someone we want to get to know on a personal level, but that we view them as attractive too. According to humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman: “If we become too close to that person in a “friend way” too soon, we start caring about them in a way that isn’t associated with sexual interest. If this emotional connection forms before at least a modicum of sexual attraction has, then that person may enter “The Friend Zone.”
5. They Never Touch You or Want to Touch
Okay, this should be a clear sign. If your acquaintance or friend doesn’t seem to have the desire to touch you, be close to you, or want to be touched, they likely see you as only a friend.
I know though, at the time of writing this there is currently a worldwide pandemic.
Oh… – no I don’t have the virus. It’s just allergies. Don’t go!
It’s just allergieeees!
(And that was for ‘moving on’ purposes… *cough cough* not the virus. …That too.)
Intimacy is an essential part of a relationship. With intimacy, “both males and females experience increased doses of pleasurable, bonding hormones, and these neurochemicals foster an increased sense of closeness,” says Dr. Stan Tatkin, assistant professor at UCLA School of Family Medicine, and author of Wired for Love.
So if they don’t look like they’re drawn to you, if their gaze doesn’t linger, or their hand doesn’t reach out…
They may see you as a friend.
6. You Are Always Wanting to Please Them with Favors
So, Bob – upon boasting about his culinary skills – finally says to his crush Susie:
“I can cook for you sometime, if you’d like?”
And that sounds like fun to her, so she agrees.
But you often notice, you are always the one going above and beyond to make the other person happy, doing favors, acting overly helpful, while they stick to the basics of friendship. Likely because it is a friendship to them.
Friends love doing favors for their other friends, but if you know you’re being more than willing to always drive them to work or cook them their favorite meal, without any of the same willingness on their part, then you are likely being friend-zoned.
7. They Always Have a Third Wheel
So let’s have a little hypothetical scenario here, bear with me:
So, Mike finally gets enough courage to ask his crush Bella out to the movies. He starts out with some small talk perhaps, a bit of joking, and then finally goes all in and asks her.
To his joy she says yes! But then immediately ends up inviting her entire group of friends to join along.
What ends up happening? Mike has to tortuously sit through an action flick titled Sucker Punch – ah, a classic – with his crush and her random friend Jacob. The whole time wondering if he has indeed been sent to the friend zone.
Now, is this an accurate sign of being sent to the friend zone? Highly likely. Did I steal this hypothetic scenario from The Twilight Saga? Absolutely.
It’s important to notice that if she doesn’t make an attempt to be alone with you, she’s probably not interested in you romantically. If they like you, they’ll want to spend time with you alone more often than with others.
So when Susie shows up with her friend Derrick to your little romantic cook-out dinner date? He better set the table for three. Because he just got friend zoned.
8. Their Attitude and Language is Only Friendly
When someone likes someone, there may be a bit of flirting or complimenting. The language can change from casual and friendly, to flirty and romantic.
If someone is making it a point to call you ‘friend’ or ‘buddy’, they are trying to let you know that… well, you’re their friend or buddy.
This friendly language is usually accompanied by a good ole pat on the back or a playful nudge of the elbow. If that nudge is paired with the phrase ‘friend’, it’s time to admit you’re both just friends.
Take it from Bob. That night at dinner? Susie couldn’t help but call him ‘buddy’. And the only time Susie did feel the urge to touch Bob was when she gave him a good ole friendly nudge and laughingly remarked:
“Isn’t Derrick just the cutest?”
Ouch! Take it from sign number two Bob, take it from sign number two.
So, are you in the friend zone? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re not sure, it’s best to let the person you like know how you feel. Don’t feel discouraged if it turns out you’ll only be friends. Who doesn’t want another friend? And I’m sure there’s someone out there – for you, and Bob – who may just want to be more than friends. 😉
Uhhh, that wink was friendly though… Uhh… buddy?
Written by Michal Mitchell
Check out my other articles: “6 Habits That Can Make Someone Like You” and “5 Signs You’re More Likeable Than You Think!“
- Julie Peirano More Articles July 26, 2017. “10 Signs You’re Headed for the Friend Zone Instead of a Romantic Relationship.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 26 July 2017, www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/signs-youre-headed-for-the-friend-zone.html/.
- Kaufman, Scott Barry. “How a Hopeful Lover Ends Up a Disappointed Friend.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Aug. 2008, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beautiful-minds/200808/how-hopeful-lover-ends-disappointed-friend?collection=162648.
- Julie Peirano More Articles February 24, 2016. “Sex Talk: Why Your Relationship Needs Intimacy to Survive.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 25 Feb. 2016, www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/sex-talk-why-your-relationship-needs-intimacy-to-survive.html/.