1. You’ll always hope for more. Or wonder if you two could finally end up together one day, when the time is right, while this is a possibility, holding on to it stops you from being fully invested in other people.
2. You’ll never be a good friend. Because part of you will always be a little selfish with him/her, you’ll never completely like the person they’re dating or be as supportive as you should be if they’re going through a break up because part of you will be happy.
3. You’ll always treat them like someone you’re dating. You’ll cancel plans if they want to meet up, you’ll make it a point to look extra good that day and you’ll always prioritize them over your other ‘friends.’
4. You’ll never feel like your friendship is enough. You’ll always be longing for more time together, deeper conversations, more trips and all the quality time you can get with them alone because that’s really what you want. You don’t want to hang out with them in large groups.
5. You’ll be hesitant to introduce them to the person you’re dating. Because the person you’re dating might easily pick up on your vibes and know that you actually like or even love your ‘friend.’
6. You’ll always be a ‘threat’ to the person they’re dating. Because they can also tell that you want more, that you know too much or maybe you try too hard and so you’ll always be the least favorite friend.
7. You’ll always over think things. Or read too much into their actions. Were they a little more flirtatious today? Did they look at you a little differently? You will magnify every little action because you want to believe that you both feel the same way about each other.
8. It’s awkward for your other friends. Because they know or they can feel it, they’re always caught in the middle; they’re either trying so hard to get you two together or trying to make you two avoid each other because they don’t want ‘drama’ or anyone getting hurt.
9. You’ll always compare your dates to them. And that’s unfair because you have a lot of memories together, inside joke, mutual friends and more topics to talk about, so of course you’re more likely to enjoy your time with them because a) you like them and b) you actually have a lot of things to talk about so you’ll never get bored.
10. You’ll never move on if you’re still friends. If you’ve been stuck in the friend zone for years, it’s not going to change overnight and you’re only making it harder on yourself to move on or even fall in love with someone else.
If you want to move on, you have to make the hard decision to let them go, even if it means losing them as a friend — because that was never what you wanted anyway.
Rania Naim is a poet and the author of the book All The Words I Should Have Said.