Men frequently complain about the friend zone.
However, there's a new twist to it.
It typically happens when a woman is spending a lot of time with a man.
They grow closer and closer, until one day, the man wakes up, petrified about the fact he has somehow landed in a relationship.
Instead of ending the relationship altogether and giving you a chance to move on, the man wants to keep you in his life in case he changes his mind.
It's a great thing for him, but it's a toxic relationship for you.
Of course, it's great to be friends before dating, and it's even nice to be friends afterward.
But, you need time to heal and be on your own.
Know the signs before you get sucked into a pattern of confusion and heartache.
These are the ways in which you find yourself in the new friend zone:
1. He starts acting cold and distant.
He texts less often when he gets off work, and he doesn't call you on his way home.
He doesn't text you "good morning," and he stops asking you to come over as often.
You sense a shift in his behavior, but you are hopeful he's just going through a phase.
2. Instead of completely ghosting you, he'll text and call occasionally.
Although his communication has fallen off the map for the most part, he hasn't cut you off completely.
Instead of seeing each other five times a week, you now see each other only twice a week.
3. Eventually, you'll have "the talk."
He will tell you how incredible you are because let's face it: You rock.
However, he just isn't "ready" for a relationship.
Things maybe moved too fast for him, even though it was the pace he had set in the first place.
We've all heard the talk. This time, he declares he wants to still be "friends."
You are important to him.
He respects and values you, but just not enough to commit.
4. He'll still want to act like your boyfriend.
This means he'll still go on one-on-one dinners with you, he'll typically pay for your dinner and drinks and he'll even want you to go home with him.
Before you know it, you're waking up the next morning in his bed, confused by what it means.
This doesn't mean anything has changed with your relationship status.
He probably won't text you for the rest of the day because he wants to make sure you know you are still just friends.
You go home feeling like a booty call.
5. He'll only hang out with you if it's his plan.
He still loves spending time with you, but on his terms.
If you want to spend time with him, he is usually busy or doesn't answer your texts or calls at all.
Seeing you will only mean last-minute plans.
He doesn't feel obligated to see you or text you back because you're "just friends."
6. He'll seldom bring you around other friends.
To avoid all the awkward questions, he won't bring you around his boys.
His friends probably don't even know you are still in his life because unlike women, men don't ask each other about the ex.
Keeping your time together one-on-one keeps things a lot less complicated for him.
He can hang all over you and shower you with affection without having to explain it to anyone later on.
These relationships can be treacherous for your ego, but eventually, you'll discover you deserve more.
It's another way for a man to avoid commitment and explore all of his other Tinder options.
Unfortunately for him, your relationship gives you time to be on your own and see that your life truly goes on without him.
You are a hot commodity, and there are many guys out there who would love to take you out of the friend zone.