The teen girl's guide to navigating the friend zone
We've all been there. You finally got up the courage to ask the cutie you've been crushing on for ages to grab dinner and a movie and they told you they just don't think of you in a romantic way. It can be just as awkward when you have to tell a really good friend of yours that you'd rather the two of you stay besties. No matter which way you experience it, the friendzone can be stressful, but we have the ultimate guide to navigating the awkwardness.
If you've been friend-zoned...
The situation: You two have been friends for forever and you're sure they're finally going to ask you out when they say they have to ask you a question. Then ask for help with their crush... who isn't you.
The solution: Ouch. It totally hurts to find out you weren't the cutie your crush had their eye on and you might not feel like helping them ask out someone who isn't you. (Totally okay!) Be honest and tell them that you don't think you can give them the best advice. Take your time to get over those butterfly feelings and remember to not compare yourself to the new person your crush likes. You're perfect in your own way!
The situation: You two have been talking for a while and you always have the *best* chats. You've hung out one-on-one a few times and you're pretty sure you're getting flirty vibes until they mention that they just see you as a friend.
The solution: So you weren't as subtle with your feelings as you thought.... don't sweat it! Put on your breakup playlist for a few days and call your squad to rant about feelings. Your friendship might not be as close as before, but you two can still send each other TikToks you know will make them laugh without the added nervousness of talking to your crush.
The situation: You put on your cutest fit, put on your hype song, did your hair and finally told your crush how much you like them, but they say that they don't want to ruin your friendship.
The solution: Although it wasn't the response you were hoping for, this person doesn't want to lose their friendship with you, which shows how much they care about you. After the awkwardness wears off, you two will be able to laugh about the whole thing and will be even closer because of it.
If you need to friend-zone someone...
The situation: Your best friend forever has been complimenting you a lot lately and always seems to be trying to stand close to you. You love your bestie, but you only like them as a friend.
The solution: You don't want to embarrass your BFF by confronting them directly, so subtle hints can let them down easily. Mention in passing how much of a wonderful friend they are and that you're grateful for their friendship. Make sure you're not giving off your own flirty signals without realizing it. Hopefully, they will get the hint and you two can move on without an awkward situation.
The situation: You're super comfortable with your bestie and think that you might have feelings for them. They ask you out on a date but you just aren't quite ready for a relationship yet.
The solution: Be honest! If you're not looking for a relationship right now, you don't need to enter one. If you feel obligated to date this person, the relationship won't go well for either of you. Tell your friend that you really value their friendship but you need to focus on yourself. It's the truth and it's totally valid. Self-love comes first, always.
The situation: They've asked you out on a few dates and you don't want to ruin your friendship... so you keep saying yes.
The solution: Don't lead them on. If this person is truly your BFF, being direct with them will show just how much you care for them. Tell them that you think a romantic relationship might make things awkward and you would love to hang out... but just as friends. They'll totally understand and it will save them the heartbreak of thinking you were crushing on them back.
Stay confident. Having to deal with being friend-zoned or friend-zoning someone is tough, but nothing you can't handle. Always remember even if things are rocky with your friend for a while, you two will make it through.
Need more crush advice? Read: 5 pieces of advice every girl with a crush needs to hear rn.
Slider image via: @thegirls.inspo