Out of the fire and into the friend zone

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Photo illustration: Holly Amarjargal


Living in “Happy Valley,” the pressure to date and get married is so intense it’s almost unreal. Just about every guy and girl scrambles around looking for their “eternal companion.”

Because of this, it’s not uncommon for a romantic relationship to begin as a friendship. But how do you know when the friendship turns into an attraction? This nebulous unknown has been called “the friend zone”— a fragile boundary that many people have been in, or put someone in, at some point in the course of their dating life.

One might know he or she is in the friend zone when they are told “you’re my best friend,” or hears a quick, casual “love ya.” While being a friend to someone you care about is certainly not a bad thing, it can be a source of frustration when you’re yearning for something more.

Sometimes you can arrive in the friend zone without even realizing it. “I’ve seen way too many of my friends friend-zone themselves,” said junior Cam Zollinger. This usually happens when someone places too much emphasis on a single relationship. Obsessing over one, non-reciprocating romantic partner can be emotionally taxing to both parties.

Be a friend, but cultivate other relationships and interests. Be comfortable with yourself and take this as an opportunity to improve yourself: Get hobbies, strengthen other relationships and built a strong individual foundation. These things will often make you more desirable.

If you’re stuck in the friend zone you shouldn’t lose hope, because the transition from friendship to relationship isn’t impossible. Take Ron Weasley for example. He made it out of the friend zone and ended the Harry Potter series married to Hermione. If Ron Weasley can do it, anyone can do it! Here are some ways you can break out of the friend zone:

Let it be known that you like someone as more than a friend. A lot of the times the other person simply assumes you just want to be friends. He or she will never know you’re looking for more unless you tell him or her. Move fast and don’t delay starting a relationship.

“No girl likes waiting months for a guy to ask them out,” said sophomore Ashleah Ann. “By the time they finally do, they’re already too good of friends with you and your other friends.”

Being timid and wishing the other person’s feelings will change won’t solve anything. It’s good to build a foundation as friends, but you can’t blame the other person if their expectations don’t match your own.

Make a move. This doesn’t mean go for a grab—respect their boundaries, but offering to hold their hand or rub their shoulders can indicate the other person’s interest in more than friendship. Just know too much can be bad.

“Casual touchiness is okay, but testing the limits can always just make a girl run from you; especially in Utah,” said freshman Nicole McConkie.

If you let your feelings known and someone just wants to stay friends, respect his or her decision. It might make your friendship awkward for a while, but eventually it will blow over. You can’t beat yourself up because you will never know what will happen until you try.

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