Boris Jovanovic

The Friend Zone Will Actually Do Wonders For Your Dating Life

So, you were put in the friend zone, huh? Did you ever stop to think maybe that could be a good thing?

You just landed a new friend of the opposite sex. Take that friend zone, and turn it into a friendship, because friendships with the opposite sex are extremely valuable and can teach you a ton about dating.

For example, a common mistake we make when selecting a partner is focusing solely on whom we have an intense chemistry with and putting those we feel physically attracted to on a pedestal.

Although the chemistry, the connection and the attraction are all integral to a relationship, you shouldn't settle for someone who doesn't treat you right simply because those three ingredients are present.

In other words, just dating all the hot people is a big no-no. But what does having friends of the opposite sex have to do with any of this? Let me explain:

If you find you're always pursuing relationships solely based on physical attraction, and you're stubborn when it comes to dating outside of your “type," you might not be dating the right people.

But by fostering more friendships with the opposite sex, you can figure out what you want in a significant other besides physical attraction. You might even realize geeks, dorks and nerds are kind of sexy.

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Not all of you have friends of the opposite gender, but all of you should, because it's these friendships that can teach you a lot about what type of romantic relationship you ultimately want.

By seeking out friendships with the opposite sex, you're teaching yourself there is more to a romantic connection than the physical.

When you spend time with friends of the opposite gender, you'll learn it is possible to feel those romantic feelings for someone who is not your type, physically.

Think about it this way: When you choose friends of the opposite sex, you're not typically choosing them based on how attractive they are.

You're choosing them based on personality and character – and they're often the opposite of what you consider physically attractive.

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However, the more you hang out with these friends, the more likely it is a flicker of desire or some sort of romantic inclination toward them will cross your mind.

If you put some thought into what it is about them you find attractive (if it's not their outward appearance) you'll have learned something important: You'll have learned what qualities you find attractive in the opposite sex.

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Discovering what you want in a partner can even stem from the time you spend with your friends' partners.

You'll end up learning a lot about what you seek in a partner based on the traits of theirs that you perceive and admire.

You spend time with them, since they're dating your friends, right? And while physically speaking they might not be your type, they might sometimes seem attractive to you when you observe them.

My guy friends have taught me so much about dating and relationships.

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They've taught me when you're dating someone, you can't disregard someone's bad behavior just because the chemistry or sex is great.

If you know you aren't satisfied with the way they treat you, then deep down, you know a relationship with them probably won't work long-term -- even if the attraction is fierce.

If you find you're still pretty shallow when you choose your partners, and you notice you're pursuing people based on looks or sex, you might not be ready for a meaningful relationship yet.

Eventually, when diving into the shallow end of the pool results in nothing but bruises and scrapes, you'll be ready to test the waters of the deep end, and that is where you'll find something meaningful.

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If you have trouble with being too focused on the physical, try this: Write down the top 10 qualities you would look for in a significant other, aside from physical attraction.

Pay attention to the qualities and character trains your friends of the opposite sex have, which you find attractive.

Choose the qualities you'd need a partner to have in order for there to be any chance at something long-lasting.

You'll find the simple act of writing out this list of desired traits can be quite powerful in reminding you the person you're with needs to offer more than just physical appeal. All your friends who have great personalities, a cute laugh and a lot of ambition will teach you this.

This article is an excerpt from Erica Gordon's new dating tell-all book entitled "Aren't You Glad You Read This: A Complete How-To Guide For Singles With A History Of Failed Relationships Who Want Their Next Relationship To Succeed."