Ah, the friend zone.
Being friend-zoned is painful, confusing and embarrassing. Most people struggle to get out of it because they don’t know how they ended up there in the first place.
Could a revolutionary psychological stance on an age-old problem help lovelorn singletons out?
In 2015, the New York Times published an article which immediately went viral. Titled The 36 Questions That Lead to Love, it discussed the research-based hypothesis that a certain set of very particular questions can induce genuine love within as little as an hour, should the two participants be open-minded enough.
The 36 questions were originally devised by Professor Arthur Aron. He painstakingly set them into 3 very deliberate sections, each imperceptibly more profound than its predecessor. Aron invited pairs of heterosexual strangers into his lab. They were given 90 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Alongside the questions themselves was the sole, simple instruction: ‘Your task: get close to your partner.’
The questions themselves start out seemingly trivial, but slide into ever more intimate territory over the course of the experiment. Aron found that many participants came out of the study feeling genuinely lovestruck, head over heels. One pairing married not long afterwards — with the entire lab team in attendance at the wedding.
But where does the friend zone fit in with this?
Araman and the friend zone
Relationship entrepreneur George Araman draws on well-established psychological principles to craft a novel remedy to that age-old dilemma: what if you love them but they don’t love you?
Araman contends that, much like the ions in an atom, relationships survive on the interaction of diametrically opposite — yet irresistibly attracting — energies. Leaving the friend zone, then, is less about approaching a love interest in a rehearsed manner as it is about changing one’s charge, or chemistry, in order to complement theirs.
Araman’s approach to relationships is revolutionary to say the least, as most articles on this subject advise readers specifically to say certain things, act in certain ways. Araman, on the other hand, takes different ways of behaving in relationships and breaks them down into several behavior profiles, somewhat akin to Myers-Briggs-type indicators.
Having been friend-zoned himself, Araman decided to work on developing his masculine energy, which he postulated would react and pair with the feminine energy of his love interest. After practicing his techniques with female friends, responses indicated a fundamental change in his presence, or energy profile. Women were able to detect this, resulting in them feeling significantly more comfortable and open to deeper conversations with him. Both of these behaviors are prerequisite for chemistry and intimacy.
The grey dance
Araman advocates developing different dimensions of chemistry, which combine to create a sense of maximally attractive presence. The dimensions are physical, intellectual and emotional. This comes off the back of research from the Gottman Institute, which found that marital issues predictably arise because of, and can be resolved according to, basic principles associated with physical response, intellectual compatibility and emotional understanding.
Finally, Araman discusses the importance of knowing one’s true self and understanding whether you’re simply attracted to the wrong partner. As he so sagely puts it,
Life is not black and white. Life is a dance between black and white. We all need a certain ‘safety’ and a certain ‘unpredictability.’ Imagine dancing between safety and unpredictability. Imagine feeling ‘safe’ in an ‘unpredictable’ environment.
Araman’s transformative theories on relationships can be found in his seminal new book The Grey Dance of Love. His conclusion? If you can keep moving between safety and unpredictability, the friend zone will dissipate of its own accord.
Escape the friend zone for good
If you’re stuck in the friend zone, it may be that you need to work on building chemistry — or it could be because you’re looking for love in the wrong places. We can help.
The Vida Consultancy is an elite international matchmaking consultancy based in London and New York, with a global network of some of the world’s most exceptional singletons. Get in touch today and be matched with only those individuals who share your deepest-held values, only those singletons with whom you would be most strongly compatible.