Girls get more of a reputation for enforcing the friend zone than populating it, but this perceived platonic purgatory is co-ed, and it's not always a bad place to hang out. The friend zone comes with many benefits you would not otherwise be able to access if you were romantically involved. It might be a different relationship than you imagined, but it's no consolation prize, and here's why...
It takes the pressure off.
Embracing the fact that you're not a romantic prospect for a dude is way more fun than obsessing over it. Wear what you want to wear, shower if you want to shower and save the makeup for someone you're not comfortable eating hot wings in front of just yet.
You can still ask him for favors.
Even if he friend-zoned you, there's no reason he can't help you move or fix something in your apartment. You'd ask any of your friends with that skill set. (He's also not required to say yes to the request, so everyone wins.)
You get access to an honest male perspective.
Does this outfit make me look fat? Does my outlook make me seem crazy? Would I look better with bangs? These questions can act as powder kegs in romantic relationships, but are perfectly productive platonic ones, because it's not a test with only one right answer. The friend zone is a one-stop shop for typically tough (but fair) advice you can't get anywhere else.
The satisfaction of giving him good advice.
Conversely, whether you're helping him pick out a Mother's Day present or telling him to burn all of his graphic tees, it feels good to boss your buddy around. It feels even better knowing you're right.
You have someone to be gross with.
Friend-zoning may as well come with a fart flag to wave. Now you can freely claim yours, along with discussing whatever disgusting topics you desire. It's fun, freeing and good practice for being grossly comfortable in a long term relationship, only not with each other.
He can introduce you to other guys.
One of the best parts about getting friend-zoned is that you can now freely admit to being attracted to his friends without hurting his feelings. The odds are that he feels a little guilty for rejecting you, wants you to find someone awesome .... and is happy to hook you up with a friend who's a good dude.
You also have someone to introduce to girls.
As the saying goes, "If you love somebody, let them go." When your gal pals complain about there being no good single guys out there, now you can brag and say that you at least know one. Just be sure to warn them about the possibility of being friend-zoned, in case it's a pattern in his relationships.
It gives you insight into what you want (and don't want) in a partner.
Getting close with someone platonically can teach you a lot about relationships outside of the friend zone. Being that comfortable with each other shows you the gap between how people present themselves and who they actually are. This often reminds you of why you were drawn to him and why it would never work, which is important information to apply to your romantic search.
You get practice at opening up to someone.
The emotional transparency required in romantic relationships can be intense and challenging over time. The friend zone give you a chance to be honest with far less pressure and consequences. Your guy friend can't get that annoyed at you for talking about your feelings too much. Just tell him you're letting him practice listening ... for the ladies.
It makes you more sensitive towards people you reject.
Getting friend-zoned can hurt if you're not ready for it. Now that you have some insight on how it feels, you'll approach it with the care of an actual friend next time it's your turn to shoot someone down.
The future may surprise you.
While you don't want to actively pine for a person, it's not impossible that you'll grow more compatible over time. You can't talk, fight or seduce your way out of the friend zone; you have to appreciate your friendship for what it is. And if someday it becomes something else, well, better late than never. Slow burn or no burn, it's win-win either way. You still have your buddy.