Countless times, from childhood on, we as women are forced to categorize men in our lives, often shoving them into the ‘friend zone’ because they attempt to escalate their feelings and move into deeper waters. And sometimes it’s not that we aren’t attracted to them, and we even consider that they would make excellent boyfriends, lovers, and husbands…someday.

But that’s the kicker – maybe we’re just not ready for that commitment to them, and often, we worry that entering into a relationship with him now will ruin everything because neither of you is mature enough or settled enough or just plain enough to handle it. Rather than lose him, you put him in that container full of friends and hope that you can keep him around until you’re ready. But when you find that time, how do you pull him back out of the jar and move him from friend to boy-friend?

How to Start the Conversation

The hardest part is going to be bringing it up to your man-to-be. Before you start that discussion, you need to know where he stands. Has he been clinging to hope? And if so, for how long? Or, has he given up and moved on? If he’s with someone else, you need to assess the seriousness of that relationship before you step in and potentially ruin a good thing. Caring about him means waiting for that to fail on its own, which it will if the two of you are supposed to be together.

  • Be up front and honest. Don’t toy around or beat around the bush. When your heart is on the line, and there’s potential, you need to make the most of every moment and not waste time leading up to a grand proclamation.
  • Don’t remind him of ‘back in the day’. This will either seem desperate on your part, which is not a message you want to send, or it will seem like you’re giving him a chance to bless him or offer him pity. Either way, it’s a blow to his ego, and you’re not likely to get a positive response.
  • Give him a chance to ingest and process. If you haven’t changed your habits around him – gotten flirtier or even closed off – he’s probably got no idea what’s coming. Remember, men aren’t as observant or intuitive about emotions, and while they may take note in changes in your attitude, they could easily miss the signs. So, state how you feel and don’t keep rambling.
  • Make sure you offer opportunity to respond to what you’ve said. Take a breath a couple of times in case he has a question or a comment. This should be a conversation, not a diatribe. That means you definitely shouldn’t talk about why you didn’t want him in the past or anything negative.

In all honesty, it’s far easier to bring a man back into your life in a fuller capacity than it is to stick him in that friend zone. While you might be risking your own happiness, it’s more likely that he’ll at least hop aboard and give it a chance, as opposed to the risk of pushing him too far away by sticking him in that hated friend zone in the first place.

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