The friend zone is king of awkward college social interaction. Realizing halfway through a lecture that you’re in the wrong class? Walk out like a boss. Sneaking up on a friend from behind in the library only to realize it’s a complete stranger? You’ll never see that person again anyway. Someone put all your underwear on top of the dryer in the laundry room? Oh well, everyone else is jealous of Batman underwear.
Your deep, romantic profession of love just got summarily rejected and now you have to go back to (trying to) be friends? Embarrassing.
It’s tough to ever come back from putting yourself out there only to be relegated to the friend zone, but it helps to learn from others’ mistakes so you can make sure you never end up there in the first place. We've gathered six signs you’re in the friend zone, just keep in mind that guys can put girls in the friend zone too. (The signs remain the same so just replace “she” with “he”!)
1. She mentions that you’re friends all the time.
Sure if you ask her if you’re friends, she’s going to say yes. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the times she brings up the fact that you two are friends out of nowhere, and constantly. It’s a major indication that she wants to keep it this way. If she says it after you’ve done something overtly romantic, it’s an even bigger sign of being in the friend zone.
2. She always brings friends along.
Does this scenario seem familiar? You ask her out for coffee and she happily says yes. You’re thrilled as you walk to her dorm room to pick her up. You’ll probably pay for her coffee and pull her chair out for her since you’re the classic chivalrous date. Wait — who are these other people? She says, “ I hope you don’t mind, but some of my friends are going to come too!”
If she turns potential dates into group events, especially without telling you, it’s a certain sign you’re in the friend zone.
3. She talks to you about boys and personal problems.
This one depends on the girl, but people who are interested in romantic relationships don’t usually talk about love life problems with their love interest. You want to present the best side of yourself to a potential partner. If she’s always complaining about everything and asking you to help her with her problems, she might not see your romantic potential.
4. You only hang out when she wants and not when you suggest it.
Consider this scenario: Whenever you want to do something together, she cancels or turns it into a group event, but you always jump at the chance to hang out when she asks, which typically involves helping her with homework or gossiping about her ex-boyfriends.
Real friends have a two-sided relationship where both people are taken into account. If you only ever do what she wants, you’re probably friend-zoned. You might not even have a real friend.
5. If you hear any of these phrases directed at you.
- Why can’t I meet a guy like you?
- You’re like a brother to me.
- Best friends forever.
- I don’t want to ruin what we have.
- I officially place ye in the friend zone and want to date someone who is not you.
6. There’s no physicality or attraction.
Flirting is, for the most part, totally innocent, and doesn’t always indicate that someone is interested in a romantic relationship. However, if there’s no flirting at all, that’s a sign that there’s no chance.
Likewise, innocent touching on the arm or shoulder is a great sign that there’s some physical attraction. No touching doesn’t mean you’re friend-zoned, but taken with other signs, it’s a good indicator to notice.