All singles fear going from being someone's date to hearing those dreaded words 'maybe we can just be friends.'

Relationships on Female First

Relationships on Female First

New research by Match has found that you may be tossed into the zone within an hour of meeting someone.

The study found that over half of singles decide in the first hour is they see their date as a potential love interest or a friend.

Women are more likely to put their date in to the friend zone faster than men.

It would seem that people are not willing to play the long game anymore as one in ten singles believe it takes them no longer than three dates to figure out if the person they're with is partner material or not.

With this said, nearly half of men would go on another date even if they saw their date as a friend compared to just 27% of women.

On a more positive note- 77% of singles, believe that there is scope to change your mind about a date you've put in the zone. If not- 70% of men and women believe that a friendship is worth hanging on to because you can still enjoy a platonic friendship. Well, that's something.

So why are people friend zoned exactly? It would seem that physical attraction plays a big part- if there is nothing there to give them butterflies- they nudge their date towards the zone right away.

Others say if the conversation isn't scintillating enough, if their date has bad manners, if their sense of humours don't match or for a minority if their date still lives with their parents- the zone comes beckoning.

Dating expert for Match, Kate Taylor gives advice on what to do and not to do when it comes to the dating game and how to avoid being friend zoned.

"With so many ways to meet new people today, we all have more chances to meet The One, and the Nearly-One. Being friend-zoned by your dream date is always a bash to the ego, but there are plus points too: you could end up building a friendship that lasts a lifetime. However, if you keep getting friend-zone, it's worth asking a friend to tell you why. A few tiny tweaks to your dating style, or your personal style, could move you from friend zone to fanciable."

Our top tips inspired by Kate:

Learn to spot when you've been put in the friend zone

You should look out for the signs, such as- asking you for advice on dating other people- if they wanted to date you- they wouldn't ask the question. Or if they encourage you to go out on dates with other people- this suggests that they might not want you to ask them.

Continue seeing your mates who have put you in the friend zone, but don't stop your own quest for the one

There is nothing more time wasting than spending all your time with someone who don't want anything more than a friendship from you- you need to strike a balance.

If you have a friend who you think might want more, make sure you're honest with them about what you want

A strong friendship will be alright in the end even if one of you has been banished to the friend zone- so tell them the truth- they deserve to know where you're at.

Don't hog your friends who reside in that zone- let them meet your single friends so you can both move on

You may not want to take things further but chances are- one of your friends will click with them if you all share the same sense of humour and interests.

If you really fall head over heels for someone- take a step back

Give yourself the time to see them as a friend rather than someone you want a relationship with. If you keep your distance for a while this should help you to break the emotional associations with them.

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