Even More On The Dread. Awful Friend Zone.
"Your're a fun guy, good company, and I like hanging out with you. But you want more than I am willing to give. So we need to end this right now. Best of luck finding what you want in life."
And the immature, not sensible and insensitive way:
"Aww let's just be friends."
I am throwing this up here as yesterday I read one writer's argument that friend zoning was merely setting a boundary.
I am a big fan of boundaries, I think boundary setting is one of the most important elements of maintaining healthy relationships. And I can see why, in theory, someone might think and or argue that friend zoning is merely setting a boundary. But in practice it still results in an ongoing state of partial rejection, that is likely to end badly if not go full on toxic.
So ladies, and men too (but it usually works ladies to men). Please set healthy boundaries. And when I say that I mean do not set unhealthy boundaries, like trying to find the middle ground in an unrequited love situation. Realize that once the desire part is out there, then that is the most important part of the now doomed relationship. Not whether or not you want to continue to enjoy the good company of the person who desires you who you do not think of in near enough the same way. That is where shit gets fucked up. Trying to get someone to betray and deny their feelings, so you can enjoy their company without having to feel uncomfortable because your feelings do not match their feelings? That shit is at minimum manipulative.
Don't do it. Set that boundary where is should be. Farther out there. Like at the Just Acquaintances Ring. Not any where near the Just Friends Ring.