Great News, Bros, Science Has Finally Figured Out A Way To Get Out Of The ‘Friend Zone’
Now, thanks to a new study reported on in Psychology Today, there is hope for all of you caught in the web of friendship when in reality you’re seeking something more from a relationship.
Should we stop fantasizing that one day things will change, and just be realistic about these one-sided relationships? Or is there reason to hold out hope? New research examines when one-sided romantic feelings can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In a recent paper, Edward LeMay and Noah Wolf claim that falsely projecting your own romantic desires onto a friend may give you the confidence to pursue that friend by flirting, having more physical contact, or even expressing your desires. This kind of behavior can put into play a self-fulling prophecy. A self-fulfilling prophecy is when your attitudes toward a person ultimately cause that person to behave in a way consistent with your expectations due to the way you treat that person.
There are two links in the self-fulfilling prophecy chain:
1. Your expectations lead you to treat someone differently.
2. That person changes their behavior due to your treatment of them.
For example, imagine that Leonard has a crush on his friend Penny, but Penny doesn’t feel the same way. However, Leonard falsely believes that Penny secretly has feelings for him. This could embolden Leonard to flirt, be more affectionate, playfully tease her, and even confess his feelings for her. Eventually Leonard’s behavior stirs romantic feelings in Penny and she starts to see him differently.
In other words, if you project romantic feelings then the person you are interested in is more likely to reciprocate over time.
That being said, they do warn that if the person of your desires doesn’t see you as a “good catch” it probably isn’t going to matter how much wooing you do.
If you have the confidence to make a move, it may stoke your friend’s desire. However, this is only likely to happen if your friend already thinks that you’re a good catch, but just doesn’t have romantic feelings toward you. If you’re really not someone your friend sees as a desirable mate, you can’t expect them to change their mind about what they want in a partner.
Still, at least now we know that we have a chance to break out of the dreaded friend zone and even some solid tips on how to do it.