Tabatha McGurr is a Brooklyn bred-writer currently residing in Bed-Stuy with her boo and dog Coco. She's been running to the Married To The Mob blog for the past six years. In her weekly column, she gives Complex readers insight into what today's young women really think about love, sex, and relationships.

Oh, the Friend Zone. Sadly, we’ve all been there at one point or another. It’s inevitable in the realm of platonic relationships. That's not to say that you can’t be "just friends" with someone of the opposite sex, but for the most part, it’s extremely difficult. Plus, the person with the crush usually keeps it on the low out of fear that revealing it would end the friendship entirely, and for good reason, because that happens. It’s important to play your cards right. After all, you’ll probably get one chance to make your move. If you expose yourself and get denied, you'll have to fall back for a while, which is embarrassing. If you're looking to get lucky, the following tips are your best bet for going from friend to fuck buddy...

GRADUALLY INCREASE FLIRTATION

As someone with a lot of guy friends, I admit that the friendships can have flirtatious undertones. It’s not like that with everybody, but naturally, when a guy and girl have known each other for a long time, there’s a playful sexual tension that grows over the years. If you’re seriously trying to take the friendship to that next level, just slowly increase your flirt and start macking on her. Not in an annoying, gross way, but in a smooth, subtle way. The point is to be different from all the other scumbags constantly trying to get with her, so you can’t just dump it all on her at once. Leave little hints here and there, and if she’s receptive, keep on going. If she gets weirded out or doesn’t reciprocate, drop it and accept that you’re just a friend.

PROVE HOW WELL YOU LISTEN

The advantage that guy friends have over random strangers is that they’re already equipped with all the knowledge of what makes a woman tick and what turns her on. It’s like getting to look at the answers while you’re taking the test. Think of all that information she divulged over the years as intellectual ammunition to use against her when the time is right. When men remember the little obscure shit, like our favorite designer or ice cream, it sends a rush to the romantic part of our brains, where suddenly we’re thinking about you in a whole new light. Any girl can find a man that’s interested in her sexually, but a dude who wants to smash and knows which Spongebob character she likes best? Those are harder to come by.

CATCH HER WHILE SHE'S VULNERABLE

For some guys, vulnerability may be the only opening they’ve got. As emotional creatures, women are prone to needing a shoulder to cry on when they’re dealing with failed relationships or other life issues. I personally find it foul to take advantage of a chick that’s wounded emotionally, but sometimes it really happens on its own. We’ve all heard the story: a broad breaks up with her man, gets drunk, cries to her homie about it, then wakes up the next morning in his bed wondering what the fuck happened. Some friends might be able to brush it off and act like nothing ever happened, but from what I’ve heard, it usually happens the other way around. If you truly care about her and feel bad about her situation, don’t hook up with her when she’s wasted. She’ll only hate men more the next day. Be that dude she can talk to and maybe make out with a little bit, but then respectfully tuck her in bed and keep it moving. She’ll appreciate and remember the kindness, which can only play out in your favor later on.

PRETEND YOU'RE TAKEN

If all else fails, just pretend like you’re off the market and make yourself out to be an incredible boyfriend to some random lucky girl. You’ve basically gotta seem like an upgraded version of yourself. Chicks can’t stand when a guy they sort of have a thing with suddenly gets taken off the market. We love feeling like we’re the only ones. Tell her about the awesome dates you’ve gone on, activities you’ve done together, and maybe even sexual exploits you’ve gotten into. Not only will she get jealous, but she’ll start wondering what she’s been missing. Simply wait for her to start showing interest and take it from there.

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Whether or not you can crossover from buddy to boyfriend ultimately depends on the chick you’re chasing. If there’s a possibility that she might be interested, the signs will present themselves. If not, don’t push things to the point of making it uncomfortable and getting her irked. If she’s not trying to have it, just take the loss, stay close, and keep proving you’re the type of dude she can count on. Maybe all that patience will pay off down the line.