My boyfriend started pursuing me months before we even started dating and I blew him off the first couple of times before finally agreeing to go out for dinner with him — but only as friends, because I was honestly done AF with the dating scene. Needless to say, it quickly turned into more. I realize how that this guy is basically one of those ever-elusive unicorn guys… and I accidentally almost friend-zoned him. Here’s why I think it turned into love anyway:
He was consistently persistent but not in an over the top way.
He started out conversations casually and in a non-flirtatious way — he genuinely seemed like he enjoyed making conversation and I honestly didn’t even know he was into me at all. Because he wasn’t in my face about pursuing me like so many douchebags before him, it got me to drop my guard when I didn’t even know I had my walls up in the first place.
He was patient about getting my undivided attention.
Even though I blew him off in the first couple of conversations over the course of a couple months, he still kept initiating contact — but not in a pushy or demanding manner. Things felt really casual and friendly from the beginning. The way I saw it, he was just a guy who I shared mutual friends with and enjoyed talking to and that was it (and it was kind of nice).
He wasn’t pushy or aggressive.
I get annoyed AF when a guy is too aggressive or too flirtatious right off the bat because my experience has taught me that these are clear signs of player behavior. Thankfully, my guy wasn’t showing any of those warning signs. Instead, he treated me like a fellow human being instead of a piece of meat to get himself laid.
Because we were only chatting casually, I was my complete self around him.
I had no assumptions about what was happening between us because he wasn’t ever in my face at any point. It allowed me to open up to him in a real and honest way without fear of judgment. I’ve always felt a bit reserved around guys that I’m actually dating but because in my mind I wasn’t actually dating my now-boyfriend, it allowed me to say and do whatever I felt like without worrying how it would impact us or how he felt about me.
I opened up to him in the ways I would with a trusted friend.
The thing about starting out as friends is that most of us usually treat our friends in a more relaxed and uncalculated way, which is what was happening with us. As I got to know him, I confided in him and didn’t hesitate to tell him things about my past that would otherwise be considered “oversharing.” He actually loved every part of me that I would normally be afraid to divulge to a guy I was dating early on and it made him open up to me the same way.
He showed me the undeniable respect I’ve been looking for.
He truly has treated me with a real level of respect and decency that I wasn’t used to. It went beyond him holding doors for me and showing me common courtesy — he actually listened to me and remembered the things I shared about myself. I felt like who I was actually mattered to him.
I don’t feel like I’m guarding my heart with him.
Maybe there is something to this whole friendship first thing, because if I’d let the friend zone barrier blind me, I wouldn’t have noticed not only how wonderful my guy is but also how completely raw and exposed I allowed myself to be around him. For the first time in a long ass time, I wasn’t terrified of being hurt again.
The was zero pressure and zero expectations, which made the surprise of who he was that much better.
Perhaps the fact that there was no pressure and no expectations of what we were was what led to that complete shock and awe moment I got when I finally clued in that this guy is trying to definitely escape the friend zone — and I was all for it. It really did feel like that “happens when you least expect it” cliche moment people have been going on about for years, much to my annoyance. Go figure.
I’m so glad I paid attention closely.
My experience with my boyfriend makes me wonder how many amazing guys with the exact qualities a woman is looking for is staring them right in front of the face, sitting idle in the friend zone. I’m so grateful that I paid close attention and gave my guy a real chance in the end because even though I wasn’t really interested at first, he’s actually the exact unicorn I’ve been writing about for years.
I’ve never been more in love.
It’s hard to believe that I could have completely missed my chance with this guy. I’m disgustingly happy that he kept trying — the third time really is a charm. Maybe the key to escaping the friend zone for those guys who are wondering is just to be a decent guy and treat women with complete respect and courtesy. It worked for my guy, anyway.
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