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30th Apr 2018

What is ‘family-zoning’ and how is it different to ‘friend-zoning’?

Jade Hayden


First things first, friend-zoning is not a thing.

I mean, yeah, you do technically place somebody in the zone of friendship if you’re not into them romantically but that’s grand like, you should be able to say no to people’s advances, whatever.

Still though, the term ‘friend-zone’ has been doing the rounds for at least a few years now.

And even if you’ve never allegedly ‘friend-zoned’ somebody, or been placed in the ‘friend-zone’ yourself, chances are you still know what the term means and what it stands for.

And if you don’t, it’s basically a way for people to complain about someone they’re into not being into them but expressing that they still want them in their life because they’re a good person.


As it turns out though, there’s another term for what happens when someone (let’s be honest, it’s usually women who face all the flack in these situations), decides they’d rather just be friends.

… And apparently, it’s even more ego-bruising for the guy on the other end of it.


The term in question is ‘family-zoning’ and, yeah OK, you can probably go ahead and guess what exactly it means without getting us to explain it to you.

We’re still going to though… just for the sake of it.

According to Urban Dictionary, the family-zone is:

“Similar to the friend zone, but when the girl considers you such a good friend that you’re like a brother to her. Or a father. Whatever. You can get so close to this girl that sleeping in the same bed is a non-event, because it’s just like sharing the bed with a sibling.
“Sarah: Thanks for taking care of me, you’re like my big brother or something.
“Jacob: Perfect. I love the family zone.”


So, essentially by this definition, the family-zone is even worse than the friend-zone because you’re actually getting to sleep in a bed with someone but not getting anything out of it.

Except intimacy and respect and a familial-like love but whatever, that’s nothing compared to riding.

And in fairness, we can see why this zone can hurt – after all, if you’re into somebody and they turn around and say you’re “like a sister” to them, it can be a bit of a slap in the face.

Just think of that annoying McDonald’s advert where the lad is delighted and then the girl says he’s like her brother and he howls in agony to the heavens.

Bit dramatic but you get the idea.

But, at the end of the day, it’s also grand because sometimes people just aren’t into other people and that’s fine.

It could be worse, like – you could be ghosted. And nothing’s worse than being ghosted.