How To Tell If He’s Friend Zoning You

Hi Heather,

I’ve been friends with this guy since I was little. We’ve never dated or anything or hooked up. But a few weeks ago, for the first time ever, he started hugging me and kind of flirting with me. He started telling me things he hadn’t told anyone else. We were talking every day! He’s not in a relationship and as far as I know he isn’t interested in anyone. But then, suddenly, he stopped giving me as much attention and started giving another girl, my friend, more attention. Does he like me, or does he want us to stay in the friend zone? How do you know when you’re being friend zoned?


“Friend zoning” has become such a complicated term, but for the purpose of making things easier to understand here, let’s just say that it means it’s basic definition, which is when a friend that you have a crush on decides they ONLY want to be friends with you and nothing more even though sometimes, tbh, it seems like they might want something more. In my opinion, I think that the friend zone is created more by the person with the crush rather than the person being crushed on. But that’s a topic for another day. Sort of.

That said, figuring out whether a friend like likes you or just wants to be buddies is not actually as difficult as it seems. Sure, things can get a little tricky when they start acting a little flirty, but at the end of the day, there are some sure signs to watch out for that mean they aren’t interested in being together romantically. Here they are:

1. He blatantly flirts with other people in front of you. When a guy has a crush on you, he will not try to make you jealous by flirting with other chicks when you can see or hear or find out about it. Unless he’s a douche. End of story. This dude is giving your friend attention, knowing that it might get back to you. Not a great sign.

2. He never tries to hang out one on one. If it’s always you guys in a group or you guys hanging out because you’re both in the same place at the same time and not because you decided to meet up, that’s a pretty clear *friend* sign.

3. He only gets flirty once in a while, but never very flirty and never in front of others. Some people are naturally flirty! Sometimes, friends flirt with friends for fun or for an ego boost. When someone is really flirting with you, they will most likely let it be known.

4. He doesn’t care if you talk about other people. I hate playing games in dating, but you can test him a little with this one. Try a random comment, like thinking someone else is cute or something. Just harmless and as casual as possible. See how he reacts. Does he seem annoyed or bummed? Or does he seem like he literally doesn’t care?

5. He has said something along the lines of loving being your friend. If a dude wants to make things more ~sexy~ he’s not going to go on and on about how much he loves being your friend. If he has said any cliche phrase like, “I’m so glad we’re just friends” or “It’s so cool I can talk to you about girl stuff,” watch out.

Of course, as with anything, these signs aren’t ironclad rules. It’s certainly possible that he’s crushing on you, but if that is true, then it sounds like he’s feeling a little confused right now. He’s either friend zoning you, or he’s not interested in getting serious with anyone and is just putting some feelers out there. Here’s what you should do: decide what you want with him. A hookup? A relationship? Just friends? Whatever it is, make that decision. If it’s more than friends, try being a little flirty and see how he reacts. If he pushes you away, it means he’s not interested. If he welcomes it, well, you guys should have an honest conversation and make sure you’re on the same page. Good luck!

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Posted in: Help Me Heather, Love Advice
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