Take this picture here.
Its one that's been floating around the net for at least the last few weeks. It is a picture of three people, one woman and two men. One man appears to be holding his hand out like he's trying to wave a taxi, the other man is sitting on the ground, and woman is sitting on his back as if he were a chair.
Someone has taken the liberty of labeling it "Friend Zone Level 99". The "Level 99" part is a reference to video game terms in which a character starts with a skill or trait at level 1 and gains experience as they play getting to level 2, 3, and so on. Its not too often you see a game where you can take a skill/trait to level 99, meaning that this a really high level of Friend Zone. Now what is Friend Zone you ask?
The Friend Zone is a figurative space in which it is said that a woman will regulate a man to that she sees as a friend. That doesn't sound too bad but there's more. You see it is believed that for men the absolute worst thing that can happen (in terms of male/female relationships that is) is to be placed in this zone by a woman that they are attracted to. The thought is that once a woman places a man in the Friend Zone that means that there is no way he will have a chance with her and that she will probably take advantage of and his feelings for her. Also a lot of this banks on the gendered idea that men can't just be friends with women because men are only interested in romance (or sex) and are only going along with a friendship with a woman for the sole purpose of trying to make a move on her.
So to put them together getting to Friend Zone Level 99 means that said guy has been in said a woman's Friend Zone for a very long time (leveling up as they say) and she is pretty much free to do just about anything she wants with him and he will be fine with it. This is supported by the idea the reason she is doing that is because he is stuck in her Friend Zone and he will let her walk all over him because he is holding out some hope of making more of it. Now let me say that that stuff really happens and it is most certainly foul (yes when it comes to manipulative relationships its not always a guy manipulating a woman) and its certainly possible that that is what's going on here. However I'm not entirely convinced that this picture alone is enough to prove that.
It's entirely possible for a man and a woman to get to the point where she would be allowed to sit on him like that without them being a couple or him being trapped in the Friend Zone. In fact I know it is because I've got a few female friends like that. Yeah there are a precious few women in my life that I would allow to sit on me like that. Why? Not because we're a couple. Not because I'm attracted to them and hope that allowing them to do that will get me in their good graces and possibly create an opening (which could lead to Nice Guy behavior). No its just that the friendship has gotten that close that she is allowed that privilege.
Don't people have long term developed relationships that eventually allow the friends to do things among themselves that people not in that friendship would never get away with (because seriously if a woman that I didn't know tried that with me her ass may quite literally get dropped like a bad habit, right in the street)?
I suppose when you think about it like and consider that there is really no way to tell from that picture if she's taking advantage of him, if they're a couple, if they are really close friends, or something else it might be the case that they do indeed have a 99 in Friend Zone level.
But that might not be such a bad thing...