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What to Do When You’ve Been “Friend-Zoned”

In Dating, Relationships by Debra Fileta

It’s happened to the best of us at some point in our lives.

That awkward moment when you pour out your heart and soul only to realize that, well, the feelings are not reciprocated.  All your desires, hopes, and interest find themselves headed down a one-way street, because unfortunately, the person you’re interested in doesn’t really like you back. In fact, they say, how about we “just be friends….”

Ugh. The “just-friends” zone. It’s like a punch in the gut. Sometimes you’d rather be enemies than “just friends” when it comes to someone you are interested in. Especially if you’ve been led on to believe that there was something more going on.

So, how is a person supposed to react once they’ve been ushered into the friend-zone?  Here are some things to consider, and let’s just put it out there: I speak from experience.

1. Keep your boundaries firm within friendship. In other words, don’t give them what they haven’t asked for.  If they tell you they just want to be friends, than pretty please, just be friends. I’m always amazed at how much people invest in relationships where commitment has not been expressed or even desired.  This can mean physical, emotional, financial and even spiritual investment and intention that goes far beyond the level of friendship.

There are certain things that must be earned in a relationship, and why would someone work to earn them when they receiving them without the necessary commitment?  If you’re called a friend, then be sure to be just a friend.   Save your time and energy for someone who is ready for the work and commitment a relationship entails.

2. Remember that there is one person out there for you who will end up being the right match.  Though the initial shock of being friend-zoned can be painful, remember that at the end of the day it can actually be a HUGE blessing.  Looking back on my life, getting “friend-zoned” by a guy (okay- many guys…) I was digging in college was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  It opened the doors for me to meet my future husband only a few months later.

For me, it was God’s way of getting me to stop fixating on that person that I “thought” was right for me, and freed me up to think outside the box.  Think of it this way, being just friends gives you one less person to consider when it comes to finding your life partner.  And remember, God’s plans are seriously much, much better than we could have thought up on our own.

3. Be on the lookout for someone who is as crazy about you as you are about them.   The most important thing I have learned about being friend-zoned is that it’s better than the alternative of entering into a mediocre and unfulfilled relationship.  Because the absolute best relationships are made of two people, each believing that they are the lucky ones!! I’ll tell you what’s far worse than being “friend-zoned”: being in a relationship with someone whom you have to convince to like you. But there is nothing more invigorating than being in a relationship in which you know you are being loved just as much as you are loving, with someone who is passionately and wholeheartedly committed to you. Wait for that kind of relationship, because it’s what you deserve.

So, be okay with the friend-zone, because in reality, it may be bringing you one step closer to finding love…the real thing.

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter