The dreaded "friend zone." You've been hearing about it for months, but you weren't sure it was a real thing -- until you found yourself unhappily stuck in it. Many others have also found themselves in this undesirable position, wanting to become something more with someone who is perfectly content with the friendship as-is. Regardless of the details, the friend zone isn't an easy place to dwell, especially if you've developed deep feelings for your female friend. But don't throw in the towel just yet. With a little extra work and dedication, it may be possible to get out of the friend zone with a girl.
Figure Out How She Sees You
Dating experts Jet and Star, also known as The Wing Girls, stress the importance of identifying how your friend sees you. Examine your relationship with your friend. If she sees you as a sibling, parent or therapist, it may be possible to get those feelings to change. If she sees you as a fill-in boyfriend, a shadow or a human teddy bear, the chances of changing the dynamic of the relationship are more slim, but still possible. Once you figure out what role you play in her life, you can take steps to change that role so she'll start to see you as a potential boyfriend instead of just a boy who's a friend.
Give Her Some Space
Citing the principle of scarcity -- the idea that people value things more when they are rare or taken away from them -- Jeremy Nicholson, a doctor of social and personality psychology, suggests spending time away from the girl when trying to get out of the friend zone. Nicholson says that making yourself scarce in a friend zone situation will make your female friend miss you and want you more, if she really appreciates having you in her life. If pulling away from your friend has no effect on her, at least you'll feel better about moving on to someone who is willing to reciprocate your feelings.
Make Her Work for It
Jealousy is a very powerful emotion. Making yourself less available to your friend while socializing with other girls at the same time may help you get out of the friend zone and into her heart. Once she realizes that you're enjoying the company of other people -- especially girls -- your friend might be more motivated to seek out your time and attention, advises Nicholson. However, it's important for you to actually get out there and make new friends. Pretending to be out at a movie with friends when you're really just sitting on your couch isn't going to fool your love interest.
Confess Your Feelings
Being honest with your friend about your feelings is a key step in getting out of the friend zone. However, it's not an easy thing to do, and there are plenty of wrong ways to do it. Blurting it out on the way home from the bar or while you're both studying for finals isn't a good idea. Sexuality counselor Ian Kerner, Ph.D. suggests confessing your feelings in a fun, romantic context such as at dinner or on a walk.