How to Transition From a Friend to a Girlfriend

Transition from friend to girlfriend with a conversation about your feelings.
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If you are stuck in the "friend zone" -- a place where you are a guy's friend but want to be more -- it can be hard to know how to break free. You want to become his girlfriend but aren't sure how to broach the topic or if he is even interested in you that way. Often the best first step is to be honest about your feelings, and let him know you see him as more than just a friend.

1 Tell Him

If your friend doesn't know you are romantically attracted to him, take a chance and share your feelings, says behavioral scientist and dating expert Christie Hartman in the article "Staying Out of the Friend Zone" on her website. Sit down and have an honest conversation, ask him on a date, or just give him a spontaneous kiss if he seems receptive. There is nothing worse than staying friends while your love goes unrequited. You may even have the numbers on your side. Research shows men are more likely than women to be attracted to a platonic friend, as discussed in the study "Benefit or Burden? Attraction in Cross-Sex Friendship" published in the "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships."

2 Give Less

Sometimes when a person is stuck in the friend zone it is because she is giving too much of herself and not expecting anything in return, says social and personality psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in the "Psychology Today" article "Avoiding the Friend Zone: Becoming a Girlfriend or Boyfriend." This creates an imbalance in the relationship, leaving one person to take the other for granted. People also value others when they have to put in effort or an investment to be with them. Try doing a little less for the friendship if you are always the one giving 100 percent while your friend does little in return. For example, if you usually help him with his homework or choose which movie to see on the weekend, suggest that he tackle the next assignment on his own or make the plans for your next outing.

3 Date Others

If he still isn't showing signs of wanting to be more than friends, consider dating others to see if it stirs up a bit of the green-eyed monster, say Nicholson and Hartman. Your friend might suddenly become aware that you are desirable to others, which could spark intrigue and interest that previously had been hidden. If he doesn't come chasing after you, take heart -- you will have met some new people and potentially even found another love interest.

4 Back Off

At some point, you will need to back off if your amorous pursuits are being rebuffed, Hartman advises. Chasing after a friend to become your boyfriend will only push him further away, so spend some time apart and make yourself scarce. If he truly values the time you spend together, he should eventually be the one tracking you down -- and perhaps wanting to initiate something beyond friendship. If not, it could be that you are simply not a romantic match.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.