A space that you create in your mind when you lack the proper social acumen to understand that what you want, is not always yours to have. It's a tragic form of self victimization, a less romanticized version of unrequited love.
Does it exist.....
Well, no. What the reality is, is there is a point where a relationship hits a fork in the road for an individual. Maybe one person starts to develop certain feelings for a person, sometimes the feelings are mutual. Other times they aren't. Either way you have some options.
The Fork in the Road
Just stay with me for a while. Imagine a fork in the road, and you and a friend stop at it, both weighing your options. Than out of nowhere that person makes a decision and starts walking, but that's not the way you wanna go. You'd much rather see what that other road might show you, and your really sure that it could possibly lead to something made of unbridled intrepid beauty. However, this other person is not convinced, they want you to venture down another road with them, as they like the journey that they are on, wanting to stay the course.
This is a quite a mess your in now, here's this person with whom you already share a bond with, and now there's this possibility that you could potentially change the nature of said bond, forever. You've been given this impossible ultimatum, keep the path, or start your own. Neither is a bad thing, but only if it's a pure decision will you be made better.
The Friend-zone Teaches Us What?
It teaches us nothing, but it provides a space for self improvement. It tests the limits of your hearts maturity. That road you want to take, is really just letting you know that your life has more options now, that your ready for something more, and that maybe you should explore that. However if you decide to go with your friend, you will be tested everyday, and it will hurt.
The Older You Get...
It matters less, because school, work, or both will usurp most of your time. As your priorities set, and you know what you want, you know which road to take from the go. You don't hope, you just make your intentions known early, and if it's not a match, it's not a match. So you keep looking honestly, until you find him/her.
If this is a problem you are facing, it's fine, no one is in the wrong here, sometimes sacrificing a friendship in search of something more is what we all must do at some point. Just know that it's all in your head. Just be straight up with this friend, and see what happens, either way it's a beautiful thing to know your ready to love.