I’ve often found myself ending up being the “encouraging friend.” I don’t get pushy, I am very positive, but I often stay in the friend zone. I feel like it’s because of my awareness of their “quirks” as you call it…I am hoping for your perspective on this.
This is a very common issue in the world of dating, one that every person at one time or another has experienced. I believe it comes down to authenticity. Sometimes, when we are fully there for someone and allow them (in a way) to use us for our listening ear or our compassion, we forget that a friendship or relationship is a two-way street. We forget that we ourselves are also deserving of someone to be there for us, that we are equally deserving of someone as encouraging as a friend.
I believe people can sense when someone is holding something back — whether it’s frustration, confusion, or vulnerability. If you are going on dates and seeing a pattern of women placing you in a zone of friendship, try and evaluate if you are shielding part of yourself from the other person. I imagine if someone hasn’t appreciated their “quirks” being acknowledged, this may come from a place of neither party being ready to be in a place of vulnerability yet. This comes back to authenticity and being your whole self.
While an intimate relationship involves growing as a pair, it is also essential you grow as an individual. You must reveal to the other person that you prioritize yourself, that you value yourself, and you have passions outside the relationship. Self-worth and conviction are very attractive traits.
If your focus feels solely attached to the person you are dating, they can sometimes feel unworthy. They may feel uncertain of your true, authentic, self. And they don’t get the chance to see the true you, the whole you. I know I spent many relationships in my past being there for the other person, in a way that made me sort of disappear in an individual. Don’t allow this to happen. Be a strong individual looking to connect with an equally strong individual.
A wonderful piece on this very topic is featured on The Page Girls, written by Emily Poule. Check it out!