I was having a short conversation with friends about relations between people and basically I have complied an interesting little model for the way we think about people. I call this the model The Zones. Each interaction (or lack of) yields a specific relationship with a person and hence a specific zone a person will fall into. Now people can move into one zone or another depending on circumstances (i.e. breakups, run-ins, etc.) Here’s how I break it down (and no this is not technically a hierarchy):
1. The untouchable zone: These are the people you might have stared at, fantasized about, or just think about, but know nothing will, ever, ever, happen between the two of you. You will never even be just friends. Classic examples are the captain of the football team, the head cheerleader, or a celebrity. Sorry, but that’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes.
2. The approachable zone: Then, there are people you can see occasionally and say hi too, and maybe they’ll say hi back. However, you’re not good friends with them and it will take some considerable effort on both parts to form any kind of bond what so ever. Good luck with that. Examples include jocks and cheerleaders sometimes, as well as just people with high profiles.
3. The dating zone: Basically, anybody who you be would interested in romantically and is attainable. This includes friends who you harbor some feelings for, that cute guy/girl you ran into some place, or just somebody you met in a bar.
4. The friend zone: When you say, “we’re just friends and nothing more” (and mean it), then that person has reached your friend zone. You know the person and you are glad you know him/her and like being around them; nothing more, nothing less. Best friends, just people you talk to occasionally, people you can stand to be around for an hour, and more are in this zone.
5. The enemy zone: You have no interest in this person in any way, shape, or form so you lock him/her up in this zone and hope never to see them again. Your archenemies, that weird person you met in a bar, and your ex could all receive this dubious distinction.
Simple isn’t it? Of course, it’s also possible to be moved from one zone to another like dating pool to friend zone (though I think it’s impossible to go from approachable to untouchable, but I could be wrong). Now, it’s sometimes hard to define certain people’s zones, as it does get a little gray sometimes, and of course, each person interacting will have their own ideas as to where they place a person (or where the other person placed them). There probably wasn’t much of a point in making this classification scheme, but I think it’s interesting.