#ThankUsLater: This is how to leave the friendzone

by Tolulope Lemikan

It’s not uncommon to hear young people talk about the “friend zone” these days. For some people, the switch from friend to lover isn’t so easy. I usually enjoy “Friend Zone” on MTV and I see the pain in the eyes of the person when his/her friend rejects the offer to turn their friendship into a relationship

‘Friend zone’ refers to a platonic relationship where one person wishes to enter into a romantic relationship but the other doesn’t ”  – Wikipedia.

“If one can become your friend he/she can easily become your life partner” – Michael Jackson.

After a hectic day of hustle on the streets of Lagos coupled with crazy traffic, I got home at 9:45 pm feeling like planet earth was placed on my shoulders. I decided to take a shower and end the day by going to bed earlier than usual. As I was slipping into my night wear, my phone started crying (ringing) from inside my bag, I just ignored it and continued with what I was doing. When it didn’t stop after the second ring, I reluctantly decided to pick it up.

Alas! It was my older cousin Jibola calling, I haven’t seen Jibola for almost 2 years and I was happy to hear from him, even in my tired state.

“What’s up Coz”, I said in a very happy tone.  “I’m not too ok jor, we need to talk”, Jibola said in a serious tone.

By the sound of his voice, I could tell that the call was not centered on knowing how I was doing, my cousin had something on his mind and that something was really serious.

He narrated the story of how he has been friends with this Moyin girl for 5 years and over time, he has become so drawn to her, more than anyone else. Although, Moyin dated other guys all the while, he still had his place in her life as “best male friend”.

The main issue now is, Jibola (now a grown man) is ready for a serious relationship, but his friend (Moyin) is stuck in an unhealthy relationship and doesn’t seem to realize it.

“Tolu, I can’t bear seeing her suffer in the hands of these other guys when she’s the only one I have ever loved”, Jibola said to me.

That statement touched me so much.From the sound of my cousin’s voice I could tell that he was really hurting. As time went on, Jibola and I were able to discuss and find out ways to help him escape the friend zone trap. To cut the long story short, Jibola and Moyin are together now. And guess what? He has proposed to her.

It’s not uncommon to hear young people talk about the “friend zone” these days. For some people, the switch from friend to lover isn’t so easy. I usually enjoy “Friend Zone” on MTV and I see the pain in the eyes of the person when his/her friend rejects the offer to turn their friendship into a relationship. Usually, they say it’s because they don’t want to ruin the friendship.

What are your thoughts concerning this? Does the switch always ruin the friendship?

So are you trapped in the closet? – erm, sorry, I mean… in the friend zone?

Ok let’s talk about the escape route from the friend zone. My cousin and I were able to dig some things out at that time and luckily,it worked for him.

I’ll share some with you; first let me say you have to realize that every relationship (friendship, customer/client to organization, man to woman e.t.c) is a negotiation. So when the terms and conditions of such a negotiation is about to change, it is essential that each party must be well informed. That’s the re-negotiation stage.

I’ll also like to add that, most times, people get trapped in the friend zone because they are meeting the needs of the other party and they on the other hand, are not satisfied.

Try the following recommended tips by Jeremy Nicholson (the attraction doctor)

  • Make yourself scarce: when you are too available to your friend, soon you’ll be taken for granted. Try and occupy yourself with other things.
  • Act less interested: Don’t always show interest in what he/she is doing. Sometimes you can decline an invitation to go out with him/her, by giving excuse of another engagement (something irrelevant).
  • Create competition: Make other friends and hang out with them often, naturally, this will affect your friend a little. People tend to give more value to something they think they might lose.
  • Get the other person to invest: Don’t always be the giver, allow your friend to do things for you and make sacrifices for you as well.
  • Be rewarding: Show appreciation when he/she does things for you and make it clear that it means a lot to you that he/she is there for you. Don’t see it as right, it’s a benefit of true friendship.

I believe that by applying the above tips, you will be able to create balance in the value and exchange of friendship between you and the person. It will make your friend realize how valuable you are. From there, you can take a bold step to express your feelings to your friend. You may decide to do it directly or indirectly. You can ask for a date and express your feelings. You can also decide to do it indirectly by using a card or a message. Personally, I prefer the direct approach to this;because it will make him/her take you seriously. This can only work if you have made your friend realize your worth and what you really are to him/her.

I wish you the best, it works for some and for some it doesn’t, but you can never tell, until you do something about it. No one likes to stay in a forever friend zone. There’s no harm in trying. No matter the outcome, you’ll be able to make him/her realize how valuable you are.

All the best!

“Love is an everlasting friendship” – Jackie Chan.

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Tolulope Lemikan is a freelance writer on relationships. Follow her on Twitter @lqueen

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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