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Maybe you think this one will finally!


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Either they're not physically attracted to youor something about your vibe just isn't meshing with their own. And a lot of times, attraction isn't just about looks; it can be about their vibe or something that's not as easy to identify.

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But despite its rough reputation for those who have been afflicted, the friend zone does offer a certain comfort to many. Dating expert Jess Carbino, PhDsay labeling something as "the friend zone"—as if it's an actual geographical location with a latitude and longitude—makes us feel like we're standing on solid ground in a situation that's pretty much beyond our control.

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If you flip through your mental Rolodex of couples IRL and in pop culture, though, you'll notice that the friend zone isn't always a life sentence. Just take Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, who were just friends for years before they got together. It's a tale that's at least as old as That '70s Showand both Dr. Carbino and DeAlto agree that it can happen, particularly in friendships that span across many years.

Many people are investing themselves intimately with somebody by being vulnerable with them and by sharing with them—and become attracted to them as a result," says Dr. You may think that your exit route from the friend zone involves a declaration of undying love, and that may be true. But Dr. Carbino says first, you can use your investigative skills to look for micro-clues that the object of your affection may like you, too.

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For example, are their feet facing toward you while they're talking? Are they touching their own hair or making intense eye contact? After you've done your sleuthing, it's time to decide what outcome would hurt more: potentially losing this person as a friend if feelings aren't reciprocated and then ultimately the relationship changes, or never telling them how you feel.

So whatever you decide, remember that your feelings are percent legitimate.

The truth is, no one is obligated to be interested in anyone else, for any reason.

Then, take a deep breath and say it. Carbino recommends a simple: "I have feelings for you. How do you feel about that?

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You know what happens next. Either you'll get an admission of similar feelings existing, or you'll walk away feeling a little bit or a lot a bit defeated.

Go from friend to girlfriend or friend to boyfriend.

If the latter case is what ensues, Dr. Carbino says to prioritize showing up for yourself. This doesn't feel good. It will hurt, but it won't hurt forever. And then it tends to be a lot easier to just be just friends.

2. “friend zone” is not synonymous with rejection

We rounded up 99 ways to take yourself after a breakupand if you're the one initiating the split, here's how to do it compassionately. Your official excuse to add "OOD" ahem, out of doors to your cal. Become an Insider.

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The myth of the friend zone

T he great wide world of internet memes suggests two mutually exclusive truths: First, there's a cat pic to mirror every mood. And second, there's no deflating feeling quite like getting friend-zoned by someone on whom you have a massive crush.

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As proof, I give you this lengthy Reddit threadwherein those who have ended up friend-zoned ask lucky souls who have gotten out how the heck they did it. Answers run the gamut, including hot and decidedly awful tips, like giving your love interest the silent treatment and reinventing your entire personality. I have to assume there's a healthier approach for communicating your desire to make a flame out of friendship, so I sought out two relationship experts who could advise how to locate the emergency exits if you find yourself wanting to leave the friend zone.

1. friendship is different than the “friend zone”

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