Valentine’s Day is over, so it’s a wonderful time to talk about the dreaded friend zone. I’ll start with a definition – confessing your undying love to your beloved, and then they slap you with, “I think we’re better off as friends.” The friend zone has been around since the dawn of time, and it never gets any easier.

The funny thing about the friend zone is the different responses you’ll get from each gender. If you ask a guy about the friend zone, he’ll describe a hellish atmosphere of unnecessary rejection, and harshness.

On the other hand, if you ask a girl, she’ll either immediately go on a huge rant about how the friend zone does not exist, and that anyone who believes in the friend zone is a huge baby; or you’ll get a very straightforward answer like, “If you don’t like them, that’s just the way it is.”

Personally, I believe in both the friend zone and love at first sight. How are these related? I don’t know about anyone else, but the first time I see a new person, I decide if they’re physically attractive. During and after the first conversation, I decide whether or not you are a friend or a possible romantic interest. That way it becomes a situation where it’s nothing against you. It’s just the way I feel.

What really bothers me about the friend zone is how after being friend zoned, the friendship is usually over. Then again, they’re hurt and the heart needs time to heal. What people also need to realize is that the friend zone works both ways regardless of gender. One stereotype I hear all the time is that “women can just walk out of the friend zone, while men have to make huge leaps.” That’s not true at all. The friend zone does not discriminate and it’s equally hard on everyone.

The real question left is – can one escape the friend zone?

It’s different for everyone, but I believe you can.

Is it easy?

Absolutely not, and in all honesty it’s not worth all the heartache waiting on that one person. People tend to love so fiercely that they ignore all the flaws the other person has. No one is perfect (except for Beyoncé). If you get friend zoned, don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s nothing you can change about yourself, you just have to be the best you that you can be.

Basically, it takes time, but eventually the right person will find their way to fabulous you.