Is It Possible To Retain A Friendship After Sending Someone To The Friend Zone?

Have you ever met someone who liked you a lot more than you liked them? They wanted to be your boo, but you couldn't see them as anything more than just a friend. Or perhaps you're in a romantic relationship right now, but you want to send your partner back to the friend zone. It doesn't matter how you slice it, sending someone to the friend zone can be challenging for both parties, and in many cases, it just doesn't work.


Some people who end up in the friend zone see the decision as a form of rejection, and they can't handle it, making friendship impossible. Others may harbor deep feelings or even love for the other person, which could make a platonic relationship frustrating, especially if the other person starts developing romantic feelings for someone else.

So, is it ever possible to truly retain a friendship after friend-zoning someone? Some people would say it is, but only under specific circumstances — with a list of do's and don'ts attached.

The don'ts: Things to avoid with your friend-zoned friend

If you recently sent or plan to send someone to the friend zone, and you genuinely want to remain friends, there are a few things you should avoid doing. It's important to be considerate of the other person's feelings, which may be fragile upon learning of their unrequited love. Plus, you want to be sure that your words and actions don't mislead them in any way. So, what are the "don'ts" involving the friend-zoned friend?


First, you should avoid spending time alone together in a private setting, such as in your home or theirs. It's natural to be tempted to become physical with someone you like when they're seated beside you on a cozy sofa and there's no one else around. If you don't want to Netflix and chill with this friend, avoid putting yourself in that position altogether. 

You may also want to dodge certain one-on-one outings, such as evening dinners at fancy restaurants or romantic venues, as these could send mixed signals. Opt for a casual bike ride, perhaps with a couple of other friends, instead.

Another "don't" involves how you behave around your friend. While you may be comfortable undressing or being in a swimsuit with friends who don't have feelings for you, it's best not to do the same with one who does. This could be misconstrued as teasing, which can also confuse your friend and end up hurting them.


The do's: Things you should do with your friend-zoned friend

Maintaining a friendship with someone who has romantic feelings may be difficult at first, but it is possible if you do a few things correctly. For example, it might be a good idea to invite other friends when you spend time with the friend-zoned friend to provide some healthy distractions for both of you. Plus, their interactions just might lead to a romantic connection that doesn't involve you, which could make your friendship with the friend-zoned friend easier.


Another thing you should do is to always be honest and straightforward about your thoughts and feelings. Even after being friend-zoned, it's possible for your companion to hope that one day, you'll have a change of heart. So, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you'll never want more than a friendship, make that abundantly clear ... but in a gentle way. Don't give them any false hope by saying things like, "I don't want a relationship right now" or "Maybe one day, I'll feel differently."

One final "do" involving the friend-zoned friend is to encourage them to pursue other interests. They can be interests in other people, hobbies, passions, etc., things that don't involve you, basically. Just because you don't have romantic feelings for them doesn't mean you can't be a supportive friend. So, cheer them on in their pursuit of things that bring them joy — or could bring them joy.