The friend zone (or friendzone) is a term in popular culture that describes a situation in which one person in a mutual friendship wants to engage into a romantic or sexual relationship with the other while the other does not. The individual who has had their love advances rebuffed is said to have “entered” (or “placed in”) the friend zone, and they feel trapped there. On the Internet, the friendzone has a strong presence, such as on Facebook, dating sites, and other social media platforms. However, as time has passed, the phrase has spread to middle schools, high schools, and colleges, where young men and women are discovering their dating and romantic identities.
The concept of the friend zone has been criticized as misogynistic due to the perception that it implies that women should be romantically involved with men in whom they have no interest simply because the men were nice to them, despite the fact that the term refers to all forms of unrequited affection, not just a man liking a woman. It’s also linked to what’s known as the “good man syndrome.”