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We all have an idea of the person we’d like to date, and often we meet people who we like–even love, but don’t see as potential mates. When people are relegated to the Friend Zone, it’s usually more about your personal preferences than it is about them. The types of personal preferences used to distinguish friends from possible mates are very common:

*Physical attraction

*Career type/Income

*Age

*Race

*Religion

*Children

However, one common trait among those who are regularly relegated to the Friend Zone is being seen as a great friend. Following are traits we find in people who are great friends.

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*A person you can totally be yourself around

*A person who understands and accepts you for who you are flaws and all

*A person you can trust with your deepest secrets

*A person who shares your interests

*A person who gives love, freely

*A person who is supportive, encouraging, and non-judgmental

When most people meet a great friend, they want to keep that person in their lives, forever. But as we know relationships are far more tentative. Most of us seem to be attracted to people who are different from us, and that creates a tension in the relationship that initially seems interesting, but can quickly become divisive. Many people are more comfortable with having to work for and earn the love they receive, so people who are great friends just don’t offer enough of a challenge because they give love so easily.

The wisest people are those who can see past their personal preferences and find a mate who can also be their best friend. If you always seem to find yourself in the “Friend Zone”, you have a choice: 1) Keep being a friend to everyone and sooner or later, your chance at love will come, or 2) Refuse to be just the “friend” again and end any relationships that don’t include the possibility of romance–save your love for the one who views you as a potential mate.

Above all—avoid becoming a “friend with benefits.” It’s a dead end for anyone with hopes of a relationship.

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