Can You Get Out Of The 'Friend Zone'?
The "Friend Cage"?
If you are a healthy, live and kicking human being, I can almost guarantee you that you have found yourself in a position where things with a friend of an opposite sex may have crossed that line. It is that concrete in reality, though blurred conceptually, line between friendship and … more than that. Yes, I am talking about when you hook up with one of your friends.
Lets define friend in this situation, simply as someone where the end game, was never to end up in bed together. Maybe you have similar hobbies, enjoy the same social situations, or maybe you even work together. Either way, you like this person as someone to talk with, go about activities with, but at the end of the day, there is this invisible set of bars around the situation: the friend cage. If you have found that one of more of those bars have been removed in a moment of human weakness, or even a crazy night of throwing all inhibitions to the wind, you will most likely find yourself questioning which way is up.... and what to do now.
First thing is first, GET REAL (with yourself that is). Lets be totally honest and recognize that the first thing you are going to have to do is get honest about how you feel about this movement in an otherwise comfortably stagnant relationship. If you act without your hearts consent, you're screwed anyway, so you may as well take one minute with yourself to decide: Do I want that to happen again?
If you do want it to happen again, you need to be real straight and clear with yourself that if you pursue this avenue there is NO TURNING BACK. If you do this and it works, it could change the course of your life, you may have had the man or woman of your dreams right in your life all along. Ding Dong! Ring wedding bells! If you do this and it doesn’t, well, two mature adults should be able to recover friendly relations after a failed attempt at a new situation, but that is rarely ever the case. It could be the end of the friendship indefinitely.
More often than not the latter situation deters people from even dealing with the fact that you bedded your best friend last night. Guess what, it will not go away. You will never be able to say that it didn’t happen, so my advice is deal with it. After you have figured out how you feel about the situation, proceed from there, but don’t expect things not to be changed indefinitely.
With that said, there are typically only 3 possible outcomes from this situation.
1. “It happened, it did because it did, learn and live.” Continue to be non-sexual friends with a growth experience between you to speak of, but the foundation of the friendship has remained unharmed because all parties involved were actively involved in making this decision.
2. “Friends with benefits” Attempt the convenience lay. If the rules are clear cut and defined and both parties involved are on the same page about the arrangement, very rarely, but sometimes, the foundational respect of a friendship can remained untainted.
3. “You're in a whole new ball-game” Realizing that maybe somewhere deep down your friendship had started developing a life of its own already. Possibly one, or both parties’ feelings had already grown fonder before you slept together and now you’re in a totally new ball-game.
If there is one concrete fact that will not change though, the friend cage is a one-time deal. Treat the ones inside of it the way you would want your most precious jewels to be treated and select very carefully which ones to let escape.