There is nothing wrong with the friend zone. I know for many people, it's seen as the signal of death to any meaningful (read emotional) relationship, but realistically, it doesn't have to be. What's better than a relationship with someone who you get on with completely and honestly. Too often, when relationships take the direct route without a proper friendship first...it can last! It can be fun...it can last forever...but it's just not the same as a relationship with your friend.
I think the friend zone is only really strict when theres absolutely absolutely no chance of physical attraction. This usually happens when the person is just totally unattractive. They are not cute...They don't have an amazing body...they are just well below average. It's in circumstances like this that the friend zone can be well and truly useful.
I read an article about how negative it is to be the 'bottom bitch'...that is, you're always there for someone...but they keep choosing other people. Guys can be bottom bitches too...however, I feel it's an unfair assessment of why bottom bitches finish last. Bottom bitches don't finish last because they would 'ride or die'...They finish last because they don't prioritise themselves. Selflessness is up there with fairy dust. You can only love someone else as much as you love yourself (or at least you should)...so ALWAYS putting someone's needs before yours is silly. And for what? The hope that one day they'll realise that they love you? That negates from the selfless angle a bit actually.
In any situation, honesty is key. You have to be honest with yourself...don't become a version of yourself that suits someone else...That leads to you being demeaned in someone else's eyes. Always, always, always put yourself first! There's a time and place for putting your partner before you...and dating is not that time!