Dear Alaskans,

I need some advice regarding a girl that I have known since high school. It has been about 8 years that we have been hanging out, and our individual groups of friends get along really well. We go on camping trips, rent cabins, go hiking and spend a lot of time together with our friends.

Recently one of my buddies said that he thought he saw a spark between us, and then I started to notice it, too. I have noticed that when I am around her, I am starting to flirt with her more, and starting to see things about her that I never saw before.

I was hoping that you had some advice about how to move out of the friend zone and possibly start dating someone that you have always only seen as part of the group. I have always preferred to date people that I could see as friends, and so this seems like the perfect move. Any help would be appreciated.

— Zoned

Hey there Zoned. We have been in similar situations and it is tough, however there is one major difference in our situations. We don’t believe in the Friend Zone. It is not something that exists. There is no magical Purgatory that people are held in that someone can be moved out of at some point. There are simply people that do not want to have sex with you, or at least do not want to have sex with you “right now.” The term Friend Zone implies that there is a course of actions that you can do that will somehow make a woman feel like you have done enough that now you deserve to hop into bed with her.

It could very well be that this girl is into you as well, but you are missing all of the obvious ways to find out what her feelings are. You could just ask. We understand that is a terrifying prospect because rejection sucks. What also sucks is falling for someone and never letting them know how you feel; constantly wondering what could have been. We have another idea that might work better for you, however.

You stated that most of the activities that the two of you participate in are with a group. Actually, you mentioned nothing but group activities. Have you ever thought of taking her out and doing something just between the two of you? It does not have to even be a typical date. Ask her out to do something casual like helping you pick out a gift for your Mom, or maybe to help you buy some new clothes. Tell her that you trust her opinion and like her style. Then if the afternoon goes well you can ask her out to dinner. Without the distraction of your other friends you could develop a clearer picture of what the friendship between the two of you could mean.

There is one more option, and even though it is juvenile, it can be effective, while also being sort of cowardly. You could ask one of her friends if she has ever mentioned anything about you. In the grand tradition of girls being friends, she will feel obligated to mention it to the object of your desire. It would at least give her a heads up of how you feel, and even if she just calls to let you down gently you will at least have your answer and you can go back to being great friends. This all started with one of your friends pointing out something you didn’t even realize, so maybe involving another member of the group to finish it.

Good luck man. We hope this turns out well for you, but mostly we hope you stop using cringey terms like Friend Zone.


I am a gay male. The other day one of my closest friends told me that he considers our friendship to be romantic but not sexual. I can see where this is coming from. Sometimes we cuddle, and we often have lovely dinners together, and we always consider the other when making plans. In many ways it’s one of the best dating relationships I have ever had, but neither of us are interested in sex with the other, or even kissing, mainly because he is a straight male and I don’t have interest in being someone’s experiment.

Is it possible for people to have romantic feelings for platonic friends?

What an interesting way that you stated that last sentence. By the definition of those words our first instinct is to say that it’s impossible since those phrases are exact opposites, however, we are going to say that the answer is yes. Here are the reasons why.

We completely believe in normalizing platonic affection. Between straight men, women of any sexuality, gay people, bisexual people, pansexual people, everyone. There is no reason that men should be afraid to hug, hold hands, cuddle, or whatever else feels good and gives us warmer fuzzies and ways to show those in our lives how much we care for them.

The second reason that we say yes is because feelings and sex are not always as connected as we think they are a person can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or pansexual and still have a different definition for their romantic feelings. One of us identifies as a homosexual panromantic gender non-binary human. That’s a lot of syllables, so they normally just tell people that they are queer. A person can also identify as aromantic which would mean that they don’t experience romantic feelings at all. There are lots of ways to identify and each of them is valid as long as conversations are being had and everyone is being honest.

In that case it sounds like you and your friend are doing everything correctly.

Well done, we hope more people can follow your example.

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