Dear Lady and The Scamp,
I was seeing a girl for about four months but then she decided to wanted to take it back a bit - so we still meet up occasionally but just as friends hooking up. I want it to be more but I'm concerned that we've fallen into the 'friend zone'. I've confronted her but she said she's not ready for anything more than friends hooking up. Should I move on?
I don't think your problem is being in the 'friend zone'. It's more about being in the "I don't want to go out with you" zone. If you tell someone you want to be their boyfriend and they say "no, thanks" then that doesn't leave you much room for manoeuvre. You're using this 'friend zone' business as an excuse to deflect from the possibly upsetting truth: It's Over. Yes, sorry. Go on, have a cry. You'll feel better about it afterwards.
And anyway, you're not even in the 'friend zone' because you're still hooking up. Do you snog all your friends? I certainly don't, unless they're asleep.
The 'friend zone' can only apply to someone you have never had sex with. Like a work colleague or a postman or a guy called Mark that you play football with who passed out drunk on the team bus and you looked down his pants and then pecked him tenderly on the cheek but he can never know about it because he'd punch your face in. That's the 'friend zone', you are just a bog standard ex.
Admittedly, she's complicating things because she's leading you on a bit by carrying on seeing you. But at the same time, she is not lying to you. She's said she doesn't want anything more. So if that leaves you unfulfilled, it's up to you to show some cojones and say goodbye to her forever. Move on.
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The 'friend zone' - is that like the quiet carriage on a train, where you're not allowed to talk on your phone, listen to music or sing power ballads? Except in the 'friend zone' you're not allowed to kiss her, or touch her, or sing power ballads. So in that sense, yes I think that is where you are. But not because you've missed the moment to make that move from being friends to being lovers, but because you've tried it and she's lost interest.
There's no point beating yourself up trying to work out why, yes it could have been something you said or did, or it might have been a film she saw that made her reassess her life or maybe she didn't like your hair. Who knows? But what's done is done. She really shouldn't have said she's 'not ready for anything more' as 'not ready' sounds like she will be ready at some point and all it requires is for you to wait around and be patient.
Which is very unfair as I doubt this is the case. If you're honest with yourself, you'll agree that's normally what people say when they want out but don't want to be rude.
Getting stuck in a zone is bad, which you'll know if you've ever been in a Shoezone, so get out and find someone else. Sometimes just the act of moving on might make her see what she's missing. She might be overcome with jealousy that you're seeing someone else and suddenly remember that she is ready for something more after all.
Or check out past responses to readers' dating dilemmas.
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