Romantically admiring a friend from a distance can be a frustrating situation, especially if that friend shows no signs of interest in you. Whether you’re long-term friends or just met, it's possible to make a transition from friendship to romantic relationship. However, to accomplish this goal, you will need to change the way your love interest perceives you by altering the way you interact. Some of the strategies you use can also open the door to other dating opportunities if this one doesn’t work out.
Balance Out the Relationship
If you want romance, but he's content with just friendship, your relationship isn't balanced. This imbalance blocks you from negotiating a potential relationship. You have to create balance or tip the imbalance in your favor. In other words, you need to rework the dynamic of your relationship. Most likely, you are already giving too much because you are enamored by your "friend," notes Jeremy Nicholson in his Psychology Today article, "Escape the Friend Zone: From Friend to Girlfriend or Boyfriend." Begin asking your friend for favors, such as giving you a ride somewhere, instead of always being the accommodating one. Spend more time tending to your own needs and interests rather than his. Also try making yourself scarcer so he has to come looking for you.
You need to avoid being needy or coming off as desperate for your friend's attention. Remember to stay social. Show an interest in other potential relationships. Not only may you find another person with whom you can bond, but you might also stir a bit of jealousy in your friend. Jealousy is also a way to gauge your friend's interest. A lack of jealousy shows that he really isn't interested in advancing to a romantic relationship with you.
While there are many things about yourself that you can’t change, some of the most important elements of attraction are aspects that you can control. For example, good grooming habits, stylish and flattering clothing, good posture and a positive attitude can all increase your attractiveness in the eyes of your friend. In addition, since you're focusing more on your own needs anyway, take the time to get in shape, if you aren't already.
Make Your Move
Hopefully, your friend will pick up from your new look and attitude that you want to take your friendship to another level. Perhaps, this will intrigue her, or perhaps it won't. If she doesn't realize that you desire a different type of relationship, you'll likely have to come right out and tell her. You should choose a time when you're alone to let her know how you feel. Suppressed feelings can lead to barriers, increased conflicts, and the deterioration of the friendship all together, according to "Expressing Feelings," a publication of the University of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Keeping your feelings hidden too long can also distort your perception of the relationship. You might begin to think that there's a chance for more between the two of you when in fact there isn't.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, when you finally get up the nerve to express your feelings, you might not get the response you want to hear. It's essential to keep in mind that your reaction to the rejection is in your hands, suggests licensed clinical social worker Claire Arene in her 4Therapy article, "The Most Important Step to Overcoming Rejection." Rather than blaming yourself or your friend for the lack of romance, wish her well and continue to focus on other interests, such as hobbies or even other potential dates in your social network.
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Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.