“The friend zone”: The term used to describe the point in a friendship where one of the partners wishes to turn the relationship into a romance, however the other may not. So how can you take your friendship to ‘the next level” and turn it into a romance? Read on below as we discuss the psychology behind “like” and “desire”’, the difference between the two, and how you can make them work for you.
Like vs desire
While the terms like and desire may sound synonymous, they are in fact very different. Like refers to the enjoyment of something, whilst desire refers to wanting something. While you may like something you may not necessarily desire it and you may desire something yet not necessarily like it once you have it. A study was done to prove this theory. In the study, researchers took a group of people and split them into two groups. Both groups were promised a reward, however only one group succeeded in obtaining the reward whilst the other group failed. The researchers then measured the desire for the reward in the group that did not obtain it and found that they had a higher desire for it than those who had succeeded. They then gave the reward to those who had failed and surprisingly, they found that despite the desire for the reward being slightly less in those who had obtained the reward at first, their enjoyment of ‘liking’ of the reward was higher. The opposite was true for those who were given the reward after failing to obtain it at first. Their desire for the reward was much higher, but when they actually had the reward, they showed fewer signs of ‘liking’ it, even trying to swap it or exchange it.
So what does this mean?
The study shows us that people may like those who fulfill their needs and expectations, but if those are fulfilled too quickly or eagerly, they may no longer desire or pursue the person. The opposite is also true. If someone doesn’t fulfill a person’s need, only hints and teases it, the desire for that person will grow, however, they may not actually like or enjoy spending time with the person.
Person A and Person B are friends. Person A always caters to every need of person B, sometimes even before they express their needs, Person A has fulfilled them. Person B will now like and enjoy spending time with Person A, but they would probably feel no desire for them, leading to a friendship with no romance.
Person A does nothing to fulfill the needs of person B. They make no effort to assist or help them and can sometimes come across as selfish. However, strange as this may seem, person B actually desires person A, but when it actually comes down to it, person B will probably not like or enjoy spending time with person A, thereby removing any friendship and probably causing any sort of relationship they may have to end on a negative note.
In conclusion, the trick to going from friends to a relationship lies in balance, making sure that you are there for the other person and fulfill their needs, but also remaining semi-distant, not over-eager, thereby increasing their desire to be with you.