A Letter to Aaron: On Avoiding the Friendzone

Today I am writing to our friend Aaron at The Confusing Middle For everyone just tuning in, please read I’m Bringing Letters Back!

Dear Aaron,

First, let me apologize that this letter took me a month to get out (I’m like brother Paul now hehe). In my defense, I haven’t been well. You know what’s been going on so I’ll save you the sob story. You are a counselor right? How does one get over such a bad time in their life, do tell when you get time.

Anyways, enough about me- more about you!

Aaron, you gave me the very…fun topic…of writing you a letter…about how to avoid being friendzoned! Hmm, well. I like a challenge, so I’ll bite!

However, for everyone reading this, I want to make clear I am one female in this entire planet so if you like my opinion- lovely, if not- sorry, please do stop by for the other letters and posts.

Okay so Aaron, I can’t really say there is a “way” or a “magic rule” per say. But I can tell you a personal story of how this lovely boy I was about to friendzone turned into a great lover of mine. And maybe, we can apply it into your case.

Towards the end of grad school, after the fall out with “Prince Player” and *ahem* prior to meeting my ex-fiancee, I went on a lovely date with “Scientist”.

As I mentioned in previous posts, “Scientist” was lovely. We had nachos and drinks and I had a pleasant time talking to him about our research, grad school stories, family and our hobbies. But sitting with him, I just couldn’t help but feel that…he wasn’t really my type.

But he thought differently. After our date he offered to walk me home, and I said “no it’s okay” but he insisted AND he kissed me on my cheek.

Oh my gosh now I was really sad. I only liked him as a friend and it was clear he liked me as something more. 15 minutes later when he got to his own place, he sent me a text about how great of a time he had with me. GAHHHHH. Again I felt bad, because he was such a sweet boy and I didn’t know if I liked him in more of a “friends” way.

Ok so I text him back thanking him for a great night and I’m thinking it’s the last text I’ll ever send him. But no, I wake up- and I’m feeling good. I am feeling…happy. I hadn’t been feeling good before my date with “Scientist” and suddenly I did. I shrug, must have just been nice to go out the night before- no big deal.

But the next day, I am on the train, when I get a text from “Scientist”.

“Hey you, good luck dress shopping today!”

My jaw dropped. He remembered. On our date I was telling him how I was going dress shopping over the weekend as I needed FOUR dresses for the various graduation festivities I was attending in the coming weeks.

I was so flattered that he remembered. I continued conversing with him and how hard it was to find a dress, I ended up texting him pictures of the dresses I was trying on and he was giving me feedback. It was fun. But still, did I like him in a “more than friends” way?

Ah. So that was Friday. On that Sunday it was a brutally rainy day in Boston. I was inside doing homework…when around dinner time I get a text from him.

We talked about how cold, rainy, and disgusting the weather is outside. And he, I quote said, “it is the perfect whether to snuggle with someone”. My jaw dropped. “What are you saying? You want to snuggle with me??” I asked.

“I would love to” he said.

Well damn. Ok no point in saying “no”. I was kind of interested in him romantically, kind of not interested in him romantically so maybe this would tell me what it was.

So he came by and everything was great. And then he kissed me. Oh no! I wasn’t ready for that… And I told him. I need space, and I just wanted to be friends.

And he respected that, and left.

The next morning I woke up, and again I had this “happy” feeling. Like my heart was dancing. I couldn’t figure out why. Until…well…a few days later, when I didn’t receive a text from “Scientist” like I usually did- I knew it was “Scientist” making my heart happy all along. I liked Scientist a lot, and I was deeply missing him. And I knew, I wanted to be more than friends with him. So yea you know how the rest of the story fold. We continued seeing each other, stopped when I left Boston but continued talking with each other, started talking to him again and saw him after things ended with my ex-fiancee, and then Scientist started seeing someone else :0

Ok so what am I trying to say here Aaron? Let me pull out the things Scientist did right in making my feelings turn from I like him as a friend, to I like him romantically.

  1. He followed up after our first date as soon as he got home- This showed me he had a great time with me and was potentially interested in me.
  2. He remembered something I mentioned on our date, and used it to strike up a conversation with me after our date- This showed me he really cares about the things going on in my life and is a great listener.
  3. He made a move- This is risky. You need to assess where you are in your relationship with your partner before you do this. With me and “Scientist” I did agree, we would “snuggle” therefore it was fine.
  4. He stopped when I was uncomfortable with the move- This showed me he respects my feelings and it’s ok if I don’t like him as much as he likes me.
  5.  He gave me space- I think this was the most powerful thing “Scientist” did. He didn’t push his feelings toward me when I suggested we stay “friends”, he respected it and gave me space. In the end, this is what made me come back. Space made me realize how much I wanted him in my life.

I tell you Aaron, boys that did not do some of these things were downright friendzoned or never contacted again (particularly # 4 and # 5). The most important thing in any type of relationship you try to pursue is respect. With respect, everything that is meant to be will follow.

I hope these helped Aaron! Like I said, I am only one female on this planet and I speak from my personal experiences. Female readers, do feel free to comment if you have tips for Aaron!

And Aaron, thanks for giving me this interesting challenge and allowing me to to write you this letter.

Until next time,


7 thoughts on “A Letter to Aaron: On Avoiding the Friendzone

  1. I totally agree with these 5 points! I had a guy friend who was showing interest when I was getting over someone. I told him I’m not ready to date but he insisted we can still be friends. Like I was in an “I’m not leaving the house unless it’s for work, lay on the couch and cry” place. Not good for dating. Anyways he was patient and didn’t bring anything up for about a month and then he asked if we could just hang out. So we went to a book store, for FIVE hours! It was amazing! I started to change my mind about him. He was so sweet and attentive and remembered silly little things I had said weeks before. And I missed him when I wasn’t around him. So I asked him out. Like I didn’t say it was for a date but I got ready like it was one. We went to the movies and there were butterflies, but this is where my story is different. He started getting too pushy. When he went to drop me off, he practically forced my to kiss him and when I tried to pull away from the slobber-fest happening on my face he wouldn’t let go of my neck. Wrong. Move. Dude. He totally ruined it. He went from friend to potential boyfriend to don’t ever call or text me again in a matter of a few days lol.

      • I know! I even knew he wanted to kiss me, it was SOOOO obvious, and I dodged it. In a very real way. And he decided that wasn’t how he wanted it to go. I was so upset. And he just couldn’t see it, even after I told him off for it. Some guys lol

  2. Shaz! Thanks for the letter!

    I think the issue for me is that I’m being friendzoned by the wrong women. What I mean by that is I’m told they want to be friends, but then they don’t actually want a friendship. Last couple times this happened, I felt like I was giving space… Maybe my idea of space was different than theirs. I’ve definitely never been pushy. Oh well… not meant to be. And I’m back to the comfort of “I’m gonna die alone,” and that’s okay.

    Okay, counselor hat is on… There’s no right way to get over a bad time in your life. Just like there’s no right way to grieve a loss. Which is really what you’re doing right now. You’re grieving the loss of a fiancee. You’re grieving the loss of a job. You’re grieving the loss of this potential life and future that I’m sure you’d started planning out. Now those things aren’t there anymore. The hard part about it is, the only thing that really helps is time. And who knows what length of time that will mean for you. I hope, my friend, that it’s truly not long. I do know that it helps to stay busy. It helps to find someone you trust in whom you can confide. Because, no matter how much time passes, if you’re not genuinely dealing with the emotions that have arisen because of your last year, it’s just not something you’ll get over. I can only compare this type of grief with the loss of my father. He passed away back in 2006. Do I still miss him? Of course. But does that shape my day to day activity or choices? Absolutely not. My dad died once upon a time and, once upon a time, it was really hard to deal with. But time has passed and it’s not what defines me. Shaz, you were engaged and you had a job and you had world of possibilities that had opened up to you in San Francisco. Suddenly, those possibilities were closed to you. And it sucks, and you should never let anyone make you feel like you’re not allowed to think that it sucks. But I’m here to tell you, you can’t let it define you, either. Take the time to grieve your loss. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back into the world and kick its ass.

    Counselor hat off. I hope that wasn’t too much or over the line in any way. Let me know if it was. I just don’t like to see you hurting, you know?

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