Important Lessons I’ve Learned From Always Being Put In The Friend Zone

For a long time, I was always the designated best friend, the “sister from another mother,” and never the girlfriend when it came to guys. It sucked, but here are things I learned that might help you if you’re always stuck in the friend zone.

  1. Friendship isn’t a pit-stop. When I was interested in a guy soon after meeting him but I went along with being his friend, this often caused us to lose momentum. Maybe there was never any momentum. I thought we could progress from being acquaintances to being friends and then become more, but guess what. It doesn’t usually happen that way!
  2. You shouldn’t chase anyone. I used to think that since the guy was treating me like a friend, I could take more control by making a move or flirting. In the end, it sucked because it always ended up being that I would be chasing him and he’d be chasing other women.
  3. If they talk about other women, they don’t want you. With one guy I had feelings for, I used to listen to him talk about other women he’d been dating or had broken up with and I thought this meant he trusted me. In reality, it meant that he’d never see me as more than a friend.
  4. If they confide in you too much, you’re a friend. The same guy used to vent all the time. He’d send me blocks of WhatsApp text, talking about his problems for hours. I thought it was cool that I was the person he was turning to, but what would I get after this? He’d thank me for always being there but he’d be asking some other woman out.
  5. You’re not supposed to be one of the guys. I’d try to treat the guy I was interested in who was my friend in the same way that his buddies treated him. I’d laugh with him and tease him, but I realized this was the worst way to try to bring us closer because it just made him think we were like family or something. Ugh
  6. Being too available doesn’t make you girlfriend material. When my guy friend called me up to invite me out at the last minute, I’d always say yes. Bad move! This gave him the idea that I was his number-one doormat. Those girls who are super-available all the time don’t become the guy’s girlfriend.
  7. Friendship can be a crappy foundation for more. We always hear that friends make the best partners but that’s not always true, especially if you think (like I did) that being friends first is what’s on his mind. If he wanted more than friendship, he wouldn’t have needed to use friendship as a foundation!
  8. You can flirt without it meaning anything. One friend of mine used to flirt until the cows came home. It sometimes messed with my mind, making me think that it meant he was interested, but then all I got were flirts, nothing more. It proved that it was just lighthearted stuff and didn’t have to mean anything important. Hoping for that was just a waste of time.
  9. You need to have your own life. This is linked to the earlier point about being too available. Whenever I thought that spending all my free time with my crush would make him want to be with me, it always backfired. The guy probably thought I had no life. And what kind of girlfriend would that make? A boring, clingy one.
  10. Maybe staying friends is the best choice. Being friend-zoned isn’t always negative. No, really. It taught me that sometimes the worst things are actually not that bad. For example, with one guy I realized that he actually made a horrible boyfriend (because I saw what he was like with women he dated) even though he’d been an amazing friend to me. Ugh. Maybe our platonic friends should stay that way instead of us trying to make them something they’re just not going to be.
  11. It can be awkward to take things further. Then there are those friend crushes that actually get reciprocated. Yay! Or maybe not. With one guy, our friendship was awesome and comfortable, but dating each other felt so wrong. It actually ruined our friendship and made me wish I’d never caught feelings for him. FYI: Sometimes you’ll miss a friend more than a boyfriend.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.