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Dark. Lonely. Unbearable. The friend zone. We’ve all heard of it before. The friend zone is an area where people go when they’re restricted to a platonic relationship with someone. Usually, when someone is put there, they have interest beyond a platonic connection. But for various reasons, they’re placed far behind boundaries that don’t allow progression beyond friendship.

Question is: Is the friend zone really as bad as people say it is? Or is it a blessing in disguise? Let’s explore.

Often times, a person has desires, cravings and yearnings to explore more intimate territory with someone but due to a failure to take action soon enough or a lack of a clever approach (for example), they’re placed in the friend zone. Usually, they never escape the platonic net set over their heads. It’s become increasingly known that we often lack a complete comprehension of not only what the friend zone is, but how one ends up there in the first place.

Typically, one believes they’re put into the friend zone because they aren’t good enough to be anything more. They also assume that their friend’s boy/girlfriend who was chosen over them, must be ‘better’ than they are. That, isn’t entirely true. It’s never a matter of being good or bad enough. In most cases, the victims of the friend zone are not only good enough to be more than friends, but they’re actually better than their friend’s boy/girlfriend altogether.

For example, a man is attracted to a woman. In approaching her and engaging in conversation, she explains that in a relationship, people should be friends before anything else. She continues to explain how she wants her man to be her best friend as well as her lover. He acknowledges, agrees and develops a friendship with her first. He agrees that the friendship is a necessary step. At the very least, to determine whether or not there’s common ground between the two. Over time, he does such a good job being a friend, she begins to cherish the friendship and fears that moving beyond the platonic stage may jeopardize the entire friendship.

Her concern is very rational and understandable. The friendship may never be the same if they moved into a more intimate direction and things went south. However, there lies the issue. When one says they want a friend and a lover, it contradicts the reasoning of placing them in the friend zone altogether. In short, how can one yearn for a friend and a lover but restrict someone to only being a friend? It’s basically punishing them for being too good of a friend.

On the flip side of things, the question arises as to whether or not they were put in the friend zone because he really were too good of a friend, or was it because they weren't attractive enough to begin with. Suffice it to say, sometimes people are friend zoned because they just didn’t meet a certain criteria and people are afraid to tell them.

For example, a woman has been an employee with the company for a year or so. She continues to apply for a promotion but is constantly overlooked. In her eyes, she’s not only qualified, but she has a degree and much experience with the desired position. Nevertheless, she’s continuously rejected. When she finally questions management about why she was overlooked, they say “you’re such a valued asset in your current position that we need you to stay in your department”. Instantly, she feels as if she’s a victim or her own success. Not long after, she questions whether or not that was the genuine reason or if it was all bullshit. She begins to wonder how people get promoted if being so great in her current position wasn’t good enough. More so, she begins to notice how the one’s who were promoted were far less experienced and qualified but management still brought them on board. Over time, she eventually resigns and accepts the desired position with a different company. She quickly realizes how the new company recognized her worth and wasted no time placing her in the appropriate position to not only utilize her experience and skills, but to make their company better.

Is this not the same practice that we as a people are guilty of? We often complain about not having a decent man/woman in our lives but continuously overlook the one standing right in front of our face the entire time. “He’s too short for me”. “She’s not thick enough for me”. These are but a few excuses we use to keep some of the best people at a distance while we instead entertain non-qualified individuals and grant them a full access pass to our hearts, mind and souls. Meanwhile, the friend has to painfully watch from the cage called friend zone while they continue to conjure up ways to get the same full access pass.

To specify, what we’re doing is depreciating our own self worth. Here’s why. The person we’re with is a reflection of ourselves. When we use the phrase “I want someone who compliments me” it means that the person we’re with matches our level of sophistication. When we choose to be with someone less than qualified, it shows that this individual is who we’ve chosen to be a representation of ourselves and is what we believe we deserve. Thickness, height, weight, finances, these are all items that may prove completely irrelevant if that person has no comprehension of what a relationship truly entails. All the while, you have that one friend to cry to about all the issues your incompetent employee is causing.

People, bear in mind, the friend zone isn’t always a bad concept. Sometimes, after being friends with someone for so long, you become fortunate that you didn’t get involved with them. There’s much to be learned from being friends with someone. For example, you may learn that they’re completely unfaithful and cheat on their mates all the time. These are things only friends would know. If things would’ve went the way you wanted, that mate could’ve been YOU… Food for thought.