When I was in high school, I was good “friends” with a freshman cheerleader named Erin. She was cute and we got along well. I put friends in quotes because I didn’t really want to be her friend, but date her instead. If you asked me, I was “stuck in the friend zone.”
I hate the term “friend zone.” I’m not even really sure the friend zone exists, except in the mind of the guy (usually it’s a guy) who feels like he’s being confined to the “horrors” of friendship instead of dating the girl instead. The woman, however, sees him as a friend and is usually shocked when he either declares his love for her or abruptly ends the friendship.
Still, I do feel bad for those stuck in friend zone thinking. After all, it sounds like a good dating strategy: be friends first, then date. Not only that, but ideally being friends first would be a great way to date. Reality, however, says otherwise.
However, the term friend zone is still useful if you want to date your friend or have a crush. And, this article will explain the signs you’re in the friend zone.
This article is written from the guy’s perspective. So, these are friend zone signs for guys. But, they are also friend zone signs girls too. They apply to both. That’s right. The friend zone crosses all lines. Even supermodels have been in the friend zone.
A good friend of mine was “just friends” with a girl, but he’d get upset and jealous every time she went out. He would try to explain it away, but it was obvious to everyone. He got upset because she was going out with other guys when he wanted to date her.
If you get jealous seeing your friend go on dates, meet new people, get sexual attention (even on social media), then your feelings are more complicated than you think. You probably are feeling this way because you secretly want to date your friend. You’re in the friend zone and might not even realize it.
One time a buddy of mine was talking to a girl at a bar when this guy came over and starting asking questions. My friend apologized thinking her was her boyfriend. She laughed and told my friend that he isn’t her boyfriend, just a very protective “friend.”
This kind of behavior is called “mate guarding.” Guys will do it when they feel like another guy is trying to hone in on their woman. If you find yourself doing this with your friends, then you are probably in the friend zone. She isn’t your mate, but you’re acting like it.
Sure, you might tell yourself that you’re just protective of friends. But, do you do this for your guy friends or unattractive girl friends? Maybe you do, but it’s highly unlikely. We only mate guard with those we find highly attractive.
When you really like someone, it’s easy to want their attention all of the time. When that occurs, there can also be a subtle shift towards needing their attention. When that happens, you can become very needy. Usually when you’re needy, your feelings for someone go beyond traditional friendship to something deeper. And, neediness indicates an imbalance in the friendship at the very least.
A few signs of neediness are: double texting, getting sad or mad when your friend doesn’t get back to you quickly, and jealousy when that person is giving others attention. It can also lead to feelings of anxiety, mania, and desperation. If you feel desperate and panicky when your friend isn’t available, something isn’t right.
While people do get needy with their friends, extreme neediness comes with physical and romantic attraction towards someone you can’t have…when you’re in the friend zone.
You Treat Them Differently
When I was in the friend zone with Erin, I let her use my locker, took her places in my car, and did other little favors for her. Let’s just say I didn’t do these things for my male friends or unattractive female friends. In fact, if a guy friend wanted to use my locker, I’d tell him to use his own!
If you find yourself treating one friend differently a lot, bestowing special favors and gifts and giving her a ton of attention, then you might be in the friend zone. When you do something sweet for your friend, ask yourself: would I do this for other friends?
The Relationship Is Frustrating
Do you get stressed a lot because your relationship with your friend seems unfulfilled? Is something missing? Do you have feelings that you don’t understand and can’t quite articulate? Welcome to the world of the friend zone! You probably have feelings for your friend, but haven’t acknowledged them yet. Having an unacknowledged crush can wreak havoc on your feelings and mental health!
So, if you have a few of these signs, you likely have greater feelings for your friend. If you have a crush on your friend, there’s nothing wrong with that! Check out our article about whether or not you should date your best friend. That should help you figure out what to do.