Whoever coined the term "palcatraz" needs to be given a medal. It might be the best descriptor of being friend-zoned ever created, but it doesn't have to be a life sentence. Staying out of the friend-zone is not for the faint of heart however. If someone has a tendency to be put in relationship purgatory, avoiding it from the get go is going to be a challenge.

You Have to Ask

Never asking for a date equals never getting a date, which is just one more way math can be difficult. If the idea of asking someone out causes shortness of breath and panic attacks, it is probably time for deep breaths and determination. Save the anxiety for when "yes" is the answer. You also want to be clear about your intentions. Offer to pay and use the word "date" when you ask. Being too vague could lead to just another friendly get together.

Fear Is Not Your Friend

One of the big questions is, "But what if I lose the friendship?" The answer is, "So what if you do?" If a friendship can not withstand a request for a date, it is not much of a friendship. Do not fear the rejection. At least if you get a "no" you know where you stand and can continue the friendship while moving on romantically to other things. Being afraid of what could be lost is giving up entirely on what could be gained. Do not let fear cause relationship paralysis. Safe can be lonely.

Do Not Put Yourself There

Here's a news flash: The friend zone is often self-inflicted. It is pining away for someone from "anear" instead of afar. The only thing that keeps it from being stalking is the invitation to hang out as friends. Tell your friend how you feel and see what happens. Never saying anything is like locking yourself in jail and handing someone else the key. The best view from behind those bars is watching other people date.

Bold Is Better

Jerks never get friend-zoned because they never want to be friends. Nice people can get friend-zoned because they often want to please everyone. The first thing you need to remember is being nice and refusing to be taken advantage of can coexist just fine. If your friend is constantly complaining to you about life, do not always try to make her feel better. Ask questions like, "What are you going to do about that?" Be seen as someone whose opinion is valuable and not just someone who is available at all times to meet everyone else's needs. The ability to say "no" can be very attractive.