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[updated: 3/4/20]

“Why do I get friend zoned?”

Ever wondered that?

Perhaps it’s happened to you just recently or maybe you always seem to fall for people who never seem to fall for you.

Well, I may not fall for you, but I most definitely feel for you.

Because, back in my pre-married life, I not only fell for, but passionately pursued relationships with many girls who turned out to be no more interested in me than a middle school boy is interested in Elizabethan poetry. Or afternoon naps. Or kale cassarole.

Indeed, I began my pursuit of love long before middle school. So I discovered the friend zone early, before it was ever called the “friend zone.” In fact, I was only in third grade when I wanted my first girlfriend, but couldn’t get one until my junior year.

Of college.

Yes. That was 12 years of friend zoning.

Whatever your story (or stories) of friend zone sorrow, here are three common reasons people wind up there. Or keep winding up there.

#1: Are you too eager?

You may be coming on a little strong with the whole “You are my density. I mean, my destiny” stuff. That might have worked in Back to the Future, but I recommend you back off and give this person some space.

To be sure, the ever popular romantic trope showcases the wonder of two people being sucked into the vortex of love like the Millennium Falcon in the grip of a tractor beam.

But  what’s “popular” and what’s “healthy” are miles apart. A healthy person wants to enjoy a special relationship. They don’t want to be consumed by a special relationship.

Perhaps the person you like understands this.

Perhaps you should understand this before you choose your next mark.

Perhaps you shouldn’t look at romantic interests as “marks.”

In short…

When it comes to love, passion is good, but patience is better.

This is why in the “love chapter” of the Bible, quoted at countless weddings, love is described first and foremost as patient.

[If you would like some more perspective to give you peace while you wait in the friend zone, click here.]

#2: Are you too possessive?

Everyone likes to be considered special, particularly by someone whom they consider special as well. That kinda describes a healthy relationship. Right? (“I think you’re special. You think I’m special. Let’s kiss!”) But…

While it feels special to be admired, respected, and perhaps even desired, no one likes to feel owned by someone else.

That’s not special.

That’s slavery.

So be honest about this person you want to hold so close, yet who’s holding you at arm’s length. Do you become resentful when they spend time with the friends they knew before you met? Even their family? And if so, is that because you think those relationships are keeping them from their destiny, or just keeping them from you?

Do you become jealous when they fraternize with other attractive humans of your same gender?

If you suspect a jealous spirit might be your “crime of passion” here are two facts to remember:

Fact #1: Until you’re in a dating relationship, you hold no exclusive claims on someone’s affection.

Fact #2: Making claims on someone’s affection before you’re even dating may be the very behavior that keeps someone from trusting you as their future boy/girlfriend.

And even when you’re in a relationship, don’ t forget: love does not envy!

[If you’d like some help in prioritizing your own relationships with family and friends while you’re in the friend zone, click here.]

#3: Are you too confident?

Perhaps you wind up in the friend zone because it never occurred to you that someone else wouldn’t recognize your undeniable irresistibility.

And the person you’re digging is well aware that you feel that way about yourself.

And doesn’t dig it.

  • Are you proud of your high-powered job you commute to in your high performance car from your high efficiency home?
  • Do you have a body like chiseled marble, hair like Samson, and eyes like pools of liquid love.
  • Does your source of confidence come “straight from God” in the form of a moral or spiritual superiority?

Confidence is good, but overconfidence is a huge turnoff to a healthy partner. To be sure, you can impress some with bravado for a time, but…

Only insecure people who feel a need to sponge off the self-esteem of someone else will be willing to embrace a supersize ego.

No doubt you’re amazing. You’re created in the image of the God of the universe. However, a firm grasp of that incredible truth should inspire awe of your Creator, not arrogance in how he created you.

After all, love does not boast and is not proud.

For a reality check on how pride can do far worse damage to your relationship life than keep you in the friend zone, check out the video below from our LoveEd series: Love Assassins.

Don’t relate to any of the reasons above?

We’ll present three more reasons why you may be in the Friend Zone next week! Stay tuned!

And in the meantime, check out our brand new Hot Topic paged dedicated to dealing with Heartbreak.

Date Night Advice (DNA) series: The Friend Zone Files
Part 1: 3 Reasons You Get Friendzoned
Click here for the next post in the series.


DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better?  And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

[originally published: July 3, 2018]