How to Handle Being Friend-Zoned

JanaBontrager.FriendZonedDating in college is tricky…that is, if you can even call it dating. Our version of dating doesn’t involve flowers or restaurants.  No, no. Our dating involves a party and a mutual attraction. We flirt, subtly get to know him and then decide if we are both interested.

It then escalates from seeing him out at night to the occasional hangout during the week. But what if, just when you think things might be getting serious, he slaps that ugly and mind-blowingly confusing title on it, just friends?

We’re girls. Naturally, this freaks us out. We’ll start running through everything in our heads, trying to pinpoint exactly where we went wrong. But as with all things male, there is no definite answer. After our short-lived bout of insecurity, what are we to do next?

First, we need to assess the situation. If he wants to keep his options open, you’ll probably feel a little offended at first. But take a step back for just a second. He says its because he’s in college… but so are you. He says he needs to experience life… well so do you. Having a label-less relationship might not be as awful as it sounds. If you think you might be able to enjoy it, though, you need to talk to him about it.

A label-less relationship can work, but it takes a different kind of commitment than an exclusive one. You both need to be on the same page and communicate what lines should and shouldn’t be crossed. Respect is a major factor in a situation like this. Your ultimate goal is to feel like you have him to go to without simultaneously feeling like you’re getting played.

If you’re not okay with that, you need to make it known. Have an honest conversation about where you want to be, and see if you can work it out that way. If he clams up and can’t seem to find words beyond excuses, run for the hills. Once he realizes what an awful mistake he’s made by letting you go, he’ll come back crawling.

Photo by Jana Bontrager

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