By Susan Winter
Are you stuck in the “friend zone?” It’s a rotten position to play when you’d prefer to be the “lover.” If you want to flip from friend to lover, here’s how to negotiate the mechanics of that choice:
Should you tell them?
Yes. Speaking up and owning your truth is the hallmark of empowerment and confidence. Courage and conviction show you know yourself and have the internal strength to speak your mind, without fear. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If love is your goal, better to take the chance to attain it than stand by sadly, mute and frustrated, as you watch your “friend” date others.
How do you to tell them?
Use “The Monologue” approach. This is a term I use for a one-sided admission of your feelings. This approach is effective as it’s not a discussion that requires a response. It’s a monologue. Therefore, it eliminates the tension of “hunting” for approval and acceptance.
Make it a statement of fact:
The beauty of a ‘statement of fact’ is that it requires no response. Your “friend” may be surprised or need time to adjust to this new input. Perhaps they had no idea you felt this way. It’s just information. After you’ve stated your feelings, stop speaking. You’re not waiting for an answer. The power of “The Monologue” is that it shows you have no attachment to how your message is received. This approach has worked in every case I’ve had, with every client, when done with conviction and confidence.
Make it short:
Boil your statement down to three or four definitive sentences, max. Get to the point and shut up. Don’t elaborate. Don’t explain. Don’t plead or bargain. Again, you’re not waiting for a response. You’re simply stating the facts… with the same tone as warmly placing an order for a meal. Directly, confidently and without hesitation.
Don’t play the “Sex Card:”
If you tell your “friend” they’re hot, sexy and you can’t stop thinking about how they’d be in bed… you’ll shoot yourself in the foot. This frames your intention in the wrong light. The better approach is to highlight the qualities you admire in them and the characteristics they have that inspire your affection. It’s a value-based assessment that drives you to see them in an expanded light. Focus on what their “friendship” has brought to your life that makes you want partnership beyond what you now have. Your statement must include this specific information to be effective. It shows this person that you see their true worth and that is the basis of your desire, not sex. This powerful observation of the inner being is what induces a “friend” to see you as relationship material.
Never ask how they feel about what you’ve said, or if they find you attractive:
This is a cardinal rule! Never, ever, give another person the power to validate your worth. Asking shows you doubt your value. It’s a sign that you’re begging for their approval. There’s nothing sexy about weakness and a lack of confidence.
Look them directly in the eyes, if they are in front of you. If this conversation must be made via the phone, make sure there is a pause in the conversation to allow for the power of your statement:
Flipping from a friend to lover doesn’t work in a text or email. It may seem like the easy way out, but don’t do it. You will fail. They need to either see your face or feel the warmth and conviction in your voice to make your statement work.
Once you’ve made your statement, take a long beat:
You want to punctuate the power of your admission. Then, resume your former conversation or activity. Your friend won’t hear what you’re saying anyway. They’re still processing the new information. This shows your special friend that their response is irrelevant. You know your power. You know your worth.
What if they don’t want you in that way, and now your friendship is damaged?
You have other friends. Losing one person you’d rather have, as a lover, isn’t a loss at all. It’s a clarification. Move on. You want what you want. If it’s love, then you should create a possibility for love to flourish. You have many friends and you have a life. One person less is of no consequence.
Continue to be yourself with this person, as before:
Your friend needs time to process this information. No pressure, and no demanding an answer on your end. They now have the information they need to assess the situation. Stay calm and let the winds blow between you. Your friend will address this situation. Either way the dice rolls, you’ve spoken your peace and will have clarity. And, possibly the friend you wanted to flip to a lover.