How To Get Out Of The Friend Zone — 20 Real, No-BS Tips

So you like a guy and would love him to be your boyfriend, but you’re stuck firmly in the friend zone with no way of getting out. He seems happy enough being your platonic bud, but you were picturing more of a storybook romance that ends with you two walking down the aisle together (or at least being happily coupled up for a while). What’s a girl to do?

While there’s no guarantee that you can flip his perspective and make him see you in a different light, there are some things you can do to help your chance of making it happen.

How to get out of the friend zone with a guy you like

1. Figure out if you really do like him romantically.

Before making any moves, take a moment to genuinely reflect on why you want to transition out of the friend zone. Is it a fleeting feeling or something deeper? Ensure it’s not just loneliness or the idea of a relationship that’s enticing you, but genuine feelings for this specific guy.

If you’re bored in your life in general, you’ve been single for a long time, or all of your friends are coupling up, it’s way more likely that you’re going to want to latch onto something for the sake of not being alone. Needless to say, this is not the way to go.

2. Subtly make it clear that you’re feeling him as more than a friend.

If you want to get out of the friend zone, it’s important that you make it clear that you see him as more than a friend. You might not want to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about your romantic intentions, but you can at least sorta hint at the fact that you’re available and interested.

How you do this is up to you — only you know how to best communicate with him and whether or not he’ll pick up on what you’re putting down, so to speak.

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4. Flirt, but don’t overdo it.

Subtle flirting can be a playful way to test the waters. However, it’s essential to keep it light-hearted and not come on too strong. The key is to strike a balance that feels natural and authentic to who you are. This is part of the dropping hints that you’re trying to get out of the friend zone with him by showing romantic interest.

Touch him (not inappropriately or without consent) when you’re laughing at his jokes, give him some genuine compliments, etc. You know how to do it, girl.

5. Spend quality time together.

While you likely already hang out, try switching up the environment or activity. Engage in activities that allow both of you to connect on a deeper level, breaking the usual “just friends” routine. It’s especially a good idea to plan some one-on-one hangouts if you’re always in a group setting.

You don’t need to go for a candlelit dinner at a super romantic restaurant, but find a way do do things together that are meaningful and give you a chance to really connect.

6. Look the part.

Without changing who you are, put a little extra effort into your appearance when you know you’re going to see them. Sometimes, seeing someone in a new light (or outfit) can subtly shift perceptions. It seems obnoxious and sorta anti-feminist to say that you need to look good to get out of the friend zone, but I did say “no-BS” up top.

Men are visual creatures and the first thing they’re going to notice is how you look. If this guy sees you looking hot AF, he’s going to change how he sees you. It just makes sense.

7. Get feedback from your friends.

Talk to mutual friends or someone you trust. They might offer insights about how the guy feels, or at least give you some perspective on the situation. However, take their feedback with a pinch of salt; everyone will have their own take.

You’ll obviously need to play this right, as well — you don’t want to ask his friends if he’s into you because that will get back to him and you’ll be mortified. Maybe chat to your own friends — they can offer some objective feedback and will hopefully give it to you straight.

8. Chill out about the final outcome.

Prepare yourself mentally for all outcomes. Remember, even if he doesn’t share your feelings, it’s not a reflection of your worth. It’s essential to respect their feelings and decisions, even if it’s not the answer you were hoping for.

This has the added bonus of making you seem way more relaxed, which is attractive in general. You want to get out of the friend zone with him, but you’re not so caught up in it that your life depends on it, if that makes sense.

9. Give it space if needed.

If you’ve shared your feelings (or he’s somehow discovered them) and he needs time to think or if things become a bit awkward, it’s okay to give the relationship some breathing room. A little space can sometimes offer clarity.

That doesn’t mean you should give him the silent treatment or start being awkward, after all. That’s only going to push him further away. The key is to be cool, calm, and collected (even if you feel like screaming inside).

10. Avoid being overly available.

It’s easy to be always there, always available in the hope that it will make them see you differently. However, ensuring you have your own life and priorities can actually be more attractive. If you want to get out of the friend zone, he needs to not be your entire world.

You have a job, other friends, hobbies and passions, etc. In other words, not only do you have other things to occupy your time, but you’d bring a lot to the table in any potential relationship and he should be so lucky!

11. Showcase your best self.

Focus on self-improvement in areas that matter to you. Whether it’s fitness, a new skill, or dressing with confidence, enhancing yourself can pique his interest. Of course, it should go without saying that you’re doing these things for you, not for his benefit.

Letting him see all of your incredible qualities should come naturally. If he’s not attracted to them, that’s really his loss.

12. Be a bit mysterious.

Keep a bit of mystery about your life and interests. Share parts of yourself gradually, leaving him wanting to know more. Avoid the urge to info dump or tell him too much too soon. Keep him guessing.

The weird thing about many guys is that while they want to know you, they don’t want to know you too well, too soon, or they get bored. A little intrigue goes a long way and could help you get out of the friend zone.

13. Expand your social circle.

Introduce him to your friends and meet his. Seeing you in different social settings can change his perception of your relationship. If you’re already in the same social group, this one is a non-starter since everyone knows each other.

14. Challenge him a bit, but stop short of being confrontational/argumentative.

Engage in friendly debates or discussions about topics you’re passionate about. Intellectual stimulation can spark attraction. Not only will it highlight out smart and engaged you are, but it will challenge his own beliefs and thoughts, which is always a good thing.

That being said, avoid getting too preachy or correcting him. Let him have his own thoughts and opinions — this should be healthy banter, not a school lesson.

15. Stay supportive.

Be his biggest cheerleader in his endeavors and celebrate his achievements. Showing genuine interest in his life can deepen your connection and get you out of the friend zone. Every guy wants a woman who can trigger his hero instinct and make him feel like he could take on the world. He’ll feel like a million bucks, and it’ll all be down to you.

16. Create opportunities to get touchy-feely.

Subtle touches like a playful nudge or a brief hand on the shoulder can build physical intimacy. Again, this should always be consensual, and if he acts like or says he’s uncomfortable, you should stop immediately. However, if he seems into it, this is a great way to shift your connection from friendly to something more.

17. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Share your hopes and fears openly. Vulnerability can create a deeper emotional bond. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to share your deep-seated traumas with him, but it does mean that seeming emotionally available and in touch with your feelings shows him you’re mature and in a good place for a relationship.

This is also more likely to make him feel safe to be vulnerable and share with you, which will ultimately create a deeper bond between the two of you.

18. Laugh with him and share some inside jokes.

Develop inside jokes or playful banter that’s unique to your relationship. These special moments can create a sense of intimacy, and while friends do have their own inside jokes, so do couples.

Laughter is a great bonder, especially because life sucks sometimes and it’s hard not to feel too down about it. Getting out of the friend zone could be as simple as keeping a smile on his face and making him realize how amazing it would be to have that privilege reserved specifically for him.

19. Plan a surprise for him that he’ll never forget.

Surprise him with something thoughtful and unexpected, like a homemade meal, tickets to his favorite band, or a small, meaningful gift. Thoughtful gestures can leave a lasting impression. They also show that you’re thinking of him as more than a friend and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for him.

20. Be unapologetically yourself.

Authenticity is magnetic. Don’t change who you are to fit a particular image. Embrace your quirks, interests, and values, as they make you uniquely attractive. You’re hotter than you think and you’d be an amazing girlfriend. It really is that simple. Any guy who can’t see that doesn’t deserve to be your boyfriend anyway.

21. Highlight your compatibility.

Casually bring up instances where you’ve connected on a deep level or shared similar interests and values. Show how well you align in various areas of life. This should be pretty apparent on the surface, but guys aren’t always tuned into this. Finding little ways to make it more apparent is a good way to get him to realize how good you’d be together as a proper couple.

What if he still only sees you as a friend?

Knowing how to cope when a guy you had your heart set on isn’t feeling you romantically is hard. If a guy still perceives you as just a friend even after you’ve put in efforts to pique his romantic interest, here are some thoughtful steps you can take:

1. Think about what you really want and why.

Start by taking a step back and asking yourself if you genuinely want a romantic relationship with him or if it’s about seeking validation or fearing loneliness. Sometimes, we confuse deep friendship and comfort with romantic feelings. It’s essential to ascertain your feelings first.

2. Consider having an open and frank conversation with him about your feelings.

If you’re sure about your feelings, consider having an open conversation with him. Honesty can be liberating. Let him know how you feel, but also be ready for all possible outcomes, including him not reciprocating the feelings.

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4. Re-evaluate your expectations.

Sometimes, even when we believe we’re being clear, our signals might be too subtle for the other person. Reassess your actions and decide if you were genuinely transparent about your feelings. However, don’t resort to manipulative tactics or play games. Authenticity is vital.

5. Broaden your horizons.

Instead of focusing all your energy on him, try to expand your social circle, engage in new activities, or delve into personal passions. Meeting new people or immersing yourself in hobbies can divert your mind and also provide an avenue to discover potential romantic interests.

6. Accept that while it sucks, this is just the way things go.

If, after all your efforts, he still sees you as just a friend, it might be time to accept the reality. Everyone has the right to their feelings, just as you do. It doesn’t reflect your worth or desirability.

7. Decide whether or not you can deal with just being friends.

Once you’ve processed your feelings, determine the future of your friendship. Can you move past your emotions and sustain the friendship without hoping for more? If not, it might be beneficial to take a break and give yourself time and space to heal.

8. Look after yourself and cut yourself a bit of slack.

Prioritize self-care and self-love. Engage in activities that uplift your spirit, whether it’s exercise, meditation, reading, or traveling. Remember, your worth isn’t defined by one relationship, and love, in many forms, will come your way. In the meantime, let yourself feel your feelings and know that it’ll be okay again soon.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill