Many daters have come to hate this term in recent years. And you can kind of see why.
Dating site Match know this phenomenon is a killer for singles, so have conducted some research to find out a little bit more about the elusive friend zoners who are breaking hearts all over the UK.
Somewhat shallowly, 51 per cent of their singles said they decided whether their date would be a love interest or just a pal within an hour of meeting them. Wow, that seems soon?
And of the Match customers questioned, 53 per cent said they had indeed friend-zoned a potential partner in the past.
Women are apparently more likely to be the instigators, with 62 per cent of single women saying they'd done so compared to just 40 per cent of guys.
But why did most of them decide to keep it platonic with their date?
Lack of physical attraction was the most common reason (71 per cent of singles cited this), 32 per cent said it was because the conversation wasn't very easy and 27 per cent did so because their date had bad manners.
Playing the long game could be a thing of the past, with only one in 10 singles saying it took them longer than three dates to make a decision about a love interest.
It does appear, though, that all may not actually be lost. Over three quarters of Match customers believe you can change your mind about someone, even if you've already friend zoned them.
Match's dating expert Kate Taylor said: "With so many ways to meet new people today, we all have more chances to meet The One, and the Nearly-One. Being friend-zoned by your dream date is always a bash to the ego, but there are plus points too: you could end up building a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
"However, if you keep getting friend-zoned, it's worth asking a friend to tell you why. A few tiny tweaks to your dating style, or your personal style, could move you from friend zone to fanciable."
Here are Kate's tips when it comes to being friend zoned:
1) Learn to spot when you've been slung in the friend zone. Key signs include:
i. They ask you for dating advice about other people. (Anyone who wants to date you would never risk bringing up anyone else.)
ii. They actively encourage you to go on dates with other people.
2) Continue seeing your friend zone mates, but NEVER stop actively looking for other people to date. The worst part of being friend-zoned is all the time you can waste on someone who's not interested.
3) If you have a friend who you suspect might want more, make sure you're very clear with them about your intentions. It can be tempting to keep them safely holding on, but don't. A true friendship will survive the friend zone. So be honest.
4) Don't selfishly hog your friend-zoned friends. Introduce them to your single friends, and actively socialise with them. You might not click physically, but friends often have similar personalities, so they'll probably click with someone you know.
5) If you really fall for someone and they friend zone you, back away for a while until you can see them without pain. Going no-contact is the best and quickest way to break your emotional attachment.
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