How to get out of the friend zone according to people who’ve done it

They might just not fancy you

Does the friend zone even exist, or is it an excuse for when someone’s just not that into you? According to dating guru James Preece (here is a link to his website), it’s a thing. While he says it could be a result of someone not being attracted to you, it also could happen because “nobody is clear about where they stand.” Assuming you don’t fancy them, they’ll “pigeon hole you as a friend to protect themselves from getting hurt.”

And if his theory’s correct, this means it’s also possible to get out. So, here’s his expert tips on how to get out of the friend zone, as well as advice from people who’ve done it.

Spend more time with them as the attraction can grow

According to dating expert James, it’s worth waiting it out. He said: “don’t try to rush anything or it could backfire, just take things slowly until they start giving you indications it’s OK to start flirting again.”

Harry a fourth year at Manchester, met his girlfriend at a party and waited seven months before it became romantic. He said: “She wanted to meet my dog and through consistent dog walking together we became friends. I liked her throughout it, and she knew that.

“I did ask her out a couple of times as we continued to get closer but things hadn’t changed with her, so there were seven months or so of nothing romantic happening between us. Then perhaps over a period of six months we got off a couple of times but afterwards she stressed that she didn’t want anything.”

“Then that summer we spent so much time together and would kiss as a norm. After two months of summer we started going out, so it was a very gradual process, there wasn’t a flash point or anything.”

Stop acting overly matey

James says “It will take time for them to see you differently, but the longer you spend together the more things you’ll find in common. Stop acting like a friend and trying to solve their problems and focus on making them feel special, even a little jealous every now and again.”

Jamie, a fourth year from Glasgow Caledonian, used to be best friends with his girlfriend. They would wingman each other on nights out and set each other up with friends, until they began to get jealous. He told me: “Due to us hanging out all the time, we started to become known as ‘that couple’ in work with everyone asking when we will get together and if we’re shagging etc.”

Joe, third year Economics at York, also managed to swerve a friendly conversation in order to present himself in a romantic light. He said: “At sixth form there was a girl who always used to complain to me about the boys she was seeing (vintage friend zone material) and then one day got to talking about a risqué dream one or other of us had had and I sensed a window.

“I steered the conversation toward the two of us. She saw me in a different light and then we moved into a sort of best friend/friends with benefits/semi exclusive type scenario. But I literally could not have been more in the friend zone in the build up to that point.”

Make it really clear you want to date them

“Flirt like mad and show a real interest” dating expert James told me.

Chloe from Sussex, told me about her crush who was a year older than her: “After about two months of solid flirting he revealed to me he was vaguely seeing someone but was never specific with details. Instead of sensibly leaving him be, he passed his driving test shortly after so I begged him for lifts home twice weekly.”

“As the months went by it transitioned from a quick drop off on my drive way for him to him coming round and spending about two or three hours round mine a night. After nine months, I asked if he would get high with me for the first time by making weed brownies. So he said he’d stay over and bring his tent so we could sleep in the garden and my parents wouldn’t find out. As we lay in the tent, waiting for the effects he told me he could hear my heart beating and wanted to feel it. Cue hand on boob and some quick humping to follow.”

Remember, sometimes people are better to have just as friends and things often happen for a reason

So, listen to the expert, some things can’t be pushed but you can always try, so long as you listen to them and it’s done respectfully.

For more advice on your love life, visit James’ website, or follow him on twitter: @jamespreeceguru.