Labeling a new relationship can be an uncomfortable task, as it subjects you to potential embarrassment and rejection. However, with this vulnerability also comes the opportunity for love and companionship. If you are ready to define your relationship, the ideal option is to bring it up yourself in as straightforward a manner as possible. However, if you are too shy to initiate the topic, there are more subtle ways you can encourage the guy to ask you to be his girlfriend.
Spend one-on-one time with the guy you're interested in. Establish a relationship of friendship and subtle romance. Show him that you are interested in him as more than a friend by using flirtatious body language. For example, grab him by the arm to playfully pull him in the direction you're walking. Lean in close to him when you're sitting together at a movie or on the couch. Ask him to give you a little shoulder massage. All these acts of body language will help keep you out of the "friend zone." However, avoid being overly affectionate.
Tell him you enjoy spending time with him and explain how he makes you happy. Don't gush over him with lovey-dovey phrases, but simply say something like "I always have so much fun with you" or "You're one of the funniest people I've ever met." Take an interest in his interests. For example, "Seventeen" magazine suggests cheering on his favorite sports team with him or taking an interest in his new video game.
Ask him what he thinks about your relationship. Phrase your question so it is casual and conversational rather than putting him on the spot. For example, begin with, "We've been spending a lot of time together lately," and ask something like "How do you define our friendship?" If you're too nervous to be so straightforward, use another person as the topic initiator, saying something like, "My mom keeps calling you my boyfriend. What do you make of that?" or "My friends keep asking me if you and I are more than friends."
Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." Kay has recently completed her Master of Theology in media ethics at the University of Edinburgh.