Being in the much dreaded ‘friend zone’ is one of the worst feelings ever. But what is the dreaded friend zone? And could it be true that many of the times that you felt you were being led on, the other person was just trying to be friendly and the only one who had sex on their mind was you?
Here’s how to know the difference between being flirted with and the other person just being nice.
1. Personal Space
Flirting: You can tell the other person is flirting when they’re all up in your personal space and trying to initiate physical contact. If you hang out in groups together and they tend to move towards you, then it’s not just friendly.
Friendly: If those groups are office meetings and gatherings that they are obligated to attend, and those touches are the kind you can imagine anyone (a co-worker, a family member) making.
2. Common Interests
Flirting: When they go out of their way to discover or bring to your attention any shared interests, they’re trying very hard to make conversation with you, meaning they are very much interested in you. You love travelling and they went to Singapore last autumn, what a wonderful coincidence!
Friendly: If the whole office knows about their guitar playing prowess, and they chipped in to compliment the choice of tune you were humming, it’s best to wait for clearer signs.
3. Phone Number
Flirting: If they try to get your number by direct means, like asking you for it without any context, they’re definitely into you. If they ask for your number to share a picture of a common friend or details about a concert that you might be interested in, yup, they want to chat.
Friendly: If they get your number off a directory or co-worker to tell you about some routine news and nothing more, news that you instantly forget upon the call ending, then it is plain friendly.
Flirting: So you’re at this really happening party surrounded by loads of people, yet they seem to gravitate towards only you with the intention of chatting; you have yourself an admirer.
Friendly: A quick chat, even if informal, when they’re fiddling with their sandal strap, worrying their drink and have the time to acknowledge two other people, before moving on. There is a chance they’re into you and very shy, but it’s a stretch.
Flirting: If you find them constantly teasing you – without being mean, of course – about little things, and always picking you out of groups to answer questions and talk about stuff, then there’s a really good chance they’re into you.
Friendly: If they’re married and do this to everyone else as well.
Flirting: You can tell when someone is genuinely happy to see you, a sign that they’re into you. If they’re constantly beaming when they’re around you and you can see the twinkle in their eye, they totally dig you.
Friendly: Sometimes people have a smile plastered across their face at all times, but it’s more of a mouth movement than a sign of anything. That’s fine, offices and industries would collapse if people allowed their face to reflect what they thought of most other people, but for you it means they’re just being friendly.
Flirting: If they always seem to find the time to help you out with stuff, whether it’s with the jammed copier at work, or any help you might need fixing your bike, or even free guitar lessons, they’re definitely into you.
Friendly: If it was a one off (small) favour where the two of you happened to be at the right time at the right place.
Flirting: There’s glancing around to look at stuff and catching someone’s eye for a second, and there’s flat out staring. If you catch them doing the latter, and several times a day, there’s lust in those eyes.
Friendly: They happen to catch your eye for a second one time, but you never, ever caught them doing it again, even if you were actively looking out for it.
Flirting: Their generally reserved and shy self telling you about the time they once caught a giant fish or made a jenga tower so high they couldn’t even reach the top.
Friendly: They’re a braggart and everyone else gets the same treatment.