Most certainly, you’ve been rejected at least once in your life. You met someone, started feeling attracted to them, and worked up the guts to approach them, only to be rejected and learn that they would prefer if you stayed friends instead.

The word “unrequited love” was occasionally used in the past, but today we use the term “friend zone” instead.

Anyone who has been there will tighten their shoulders just by reading those two sentences together. Why? Because it has a reputation for being a location you shouldn’t be, the buddy zone.

In many respects, it’s associated with rejection and for some people, it’s an intolerable condition to be in. Having stated that, it is not a need that it be so.

The friend zone does have certain advantages, so you might want to sit down before you read the remainder of this phrase. Yes, you read it right: Rather than being a place of unhappiness, the friend zone may also be a place of promise.

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked a few dating gurus to help us understand this, from what it really means to be in the friend zone to your possibilities of turning your friendship into something more.

There are several reasons why you could find yourself in the friend zone, but not all of them are unfavorable. The friend zone sometimes serves as the prelude to a satisfying relationship, despite feeling like a bleak wasteland of dried-up, passionate fantasies.

Being trapped in a forced relationship can be the worst so finding a middle ground such as a friendship could be best.

Relationships that begin on a friendship basis are sometimes considerably more enduring than those that begin just out of physical desire. Many people rush into sexual activity in a new love relationship, and when the physical aspect of the relationship has settled, they wonder whether there is still any real connection.

While shared beliefs, the capacity to connect as friends, and the ability to view them as more than just physically attractive are all crucial for a successful love relationship, attraction is also important.

When you believe you have met the ideal person, but the timing may not be right, being in the friend zone might be helpful. Safran advises not to push things in that situation and instead to provide them with the support they require in the form of a buddy while waiting to see if something eventually materializes.

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