Cathy: Some people end up being friends with everyone they’re interested with romantically. It doesn’t ever quite transition to romantic. They end up being buddies. That can be really frustrating.
Reid: The friend zone.
Cathy: Yes. It can be very frustrating. What would you do, Reid Mihalko, from http://wwwReidAboutSex.com?
Reid: I don’t know, Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com. What would I do? What a weird segue. Being stuck in the friend zone. For a lot of people, it’s like a real thing. Certainly been made fun of and been a basis of a lot of romantic comedies and things like that. I mean, are you telling these people that you “like them” like them? What is it about you not asking? Are you not asking them out? Are you not telling them, “I’m romantically attracted to you.” What do you say?
Cathy: It can help to be really specific. I’ve actually been on several dates and I didn’t realize like two years later they were dates. At least for some people, actually being informed that it’s a date can help. I remain friends with those people because I didn’t realize that there was a romantic attraction.
Reid: Which basically meant that they were really horrible at telling you that this was a date. If you share similar shyness, you’re not good at speaking up about those kinds of things, guess what you get to work on because building those muscles and being able to be honest with people and tell them what you’re afraid to tell them, your ability to put those things out there in the universe doesn’t guarantee results but it improves your odds a lot. Obviously if you get stuck in the friend zone a lot, you must be a nice person because people want to be friends with you. Whether you’re picking people that are romantically unavailable and then just kind of pining away for them and you’re a geek with unrequited love.
Cathy: We’ll do another video on that.
Reid: We will? Okay. Yes. If you’re one of those people, really get clear about what are you not saying, what are you not speaking up about? Build the communication muscles and get the communication tools that allow you to speak up because the other thing that you’re doing when you get better communicating like that, you’re also role modeling for the people that you’re in relationships and friendships with that they can speak up to. Often, you may have people around you who are romantically attracted to you that aren’t speaking up either.
Cathy: You may or may not be attracted back. If you could share, we both talk off in about getting your needs met outside of relationship, if you have some of your needs met, and you’re not like so hungry and like, “I really want to go out with you.” Which can be like people get nervous and a lot of people, rather than talking about it, people are always afraid it will ruin the friendship. If you can share from a place of power like, “I’m really happy being your friend. I love being your friend and I noticed that I have some romantic feelings, would you like to explore those?” can feel like there’s a doorway and nothing’s going to fall apart necessarily. You can share it in a way, from a place of power, and without the pressure of, “I have to have you” kind of thing.
The feeling a lot of people aren’t comfortable with saying no, a lot of people aren’t good with boundaries so it can end the friendship if someone’s like feeling pressured or uncomfortable and not, if you can help them feel comfortable saying yes or no and give them the feeling that you’re going to be able to handle them either way. That makes it a lot more comfortable for people to, “Let’s try a date and see. We can still be friends if it doesn’t work out.”
Reid: Yeah, it’s not necessarily easy but it is fairly simple. Speaking of about what you’re actually thinking about, what you actually would like to explore and try can be, oh my God, so nerve wracking. I’m actually being real with people. Honestly, that’s your best bet for having a healthy relationship at all. You need to start speaking up sooner than later and then ideally because you’re speaking up, you start attracting other people that appreciate you for being that kind of person. They also tend to be people who speak up as well and then your entire life what’s possible starts to transform.
Cathy: Yeah, that’s a beautiful place. Even if the person isn’t interested, if you share it from a place of empowerment and that you can handle it, it can still, I mean, people generally feel special when someone sees them as valuable and interesting. So it’s possible it could even deepen their friendship, whether it goes some place or not.
Reid: Comments. Let us know what you think. Bye.
More articles on improving your communication and relationship skills: