Popular media, from music to books to television shows and movies, frequently characterizes romantic relationships as desirable or an end goal. Even fictional plotlines that don’t revolve around love, like those of action movies, still manage to insert side flings and gratuitous kissing. As a result, society has been conditioned to rank romantic above platonic love, thus creating the concept of the friend zone.
This imaginary area designated for people whom an individual has no current or projected interest in dating has come to carry a negative connotation. While being rejected surely does not feel wonderful, being “just friends” with someone shouldn’t be viewed as horrendous, either. Meaningful platonic relationships are just as important as romantic ones, and growing up and maturing involves accepting other people’s decisions. Overreacting resentfully to being placed in the friend zone may signify a lack of readiness to date in the first place; it shows that a person has trouble respecting the fact that not everything will go their way.
Ultimately, each individual must delve into introspection to examine whether they really are prepared for a relationship. They should follow their own desires rather than simply pursue romance due to media constantly telling them what they should want. Everyone moves through life at their own pace, and when it comes to romance, sometimes it’s better to take it slow, start out as friends or move on.