So, I'm going to make this short and sweet ladies. As women I don't expect you to fully understand why the opposite sex feels so different, but you're going to have to just take it on faith from mankind.
PRELUDE: No, no one can FORCE you to be their friend. The Friendzone doesn't mean that someone is forced to be friends with someone--it means that one person has genuine romantic desires towards someone who has genuine platonic friendship desires towards them. That's what the "Friendzone" is. It doesn't require months or years of friendship to be so--all it requires is one person who wants a romantic relationship, and one who wants a friendship.
1. Friendzone is real. Yes it is.
Let's make this short and sweet. Friendzone is when you have two people, Person A and Person 1.
Person A genuinely likes Person 1 as a platonic friend, and genuinely likes spending time with that person as friends.
Person 1 has romantic feelings towards Person A and wants to have a romantic relationship.
That's friendzone. Granted, upset girls have told me I friendzoned them. I've been friendzoned too. It's a viscous cycle. However, it is real.
2. No, no one has a duty to be your platonic friend. People have freedom of choice.
Girls, I don't expect you to fully understand the why, but you need to understand that just as you have the freedom and every right to not date someone because you see them as a friend, that person has the freedom and every right to sigh, walk away, delete your number, and not look you up again. A girl snarking about "Sorry my friendship is such a crappy consolation prize!" Is every. Single. Bit. As pathetic as when I see a guy post about how girls only want bad boys with lots of money and such. I indeed was told the same thing--a girl told me to grow up and realize I could be friends with a girl without sleeping with her. I asked her, "You say we're friends. Can you tell me something nice you've said to me this year?"
She could not, and turned the question around, asking me to name the same--then she quickly regretted it when I was able to answer easily. The "friendship" ended.
3. No, your friendship isn't worth it if we have feelings.
"You should be happy at least you get to be close friends with her!" Cries some well meaning teenage girl. Here's the problem. For men, largely, our romantic feelings and feelings of affection are intertwined when it comes to women. You know how you can have platonic guy friends you would never kiss but you adore them? No, it does not work like that often for men.
The vast majority of the time, several things happen. A. We will only spend time with women we are somewhat attracted to. Even if we don't want to date you a lot, if a guy is down to spend time with you, he's likely physically attracted on some level. B. No, it's not "he just wants in your pants." If a guy legitimately likes you and legitimately cares and legitimately has romantic feelings for you, he most likely cannot separate that and just be happy to hang out.
Pictured above--how it mentally feels for a guy to know that a woman he cares about and has romantic feelings for is with another man.
4. Yes. Being friends with an ex is different.
Simple example--I dated a girl for a year or so. I was in love with her at one point. She was in love with me at one point. We talked for hours, we were great together. But The reality was we were not the perfect fit. She refused things that were dealbreakers for me, and I accepted she was not the woman for me, and she (I think) accepted the same. However we did indeed remain friends and chat sometimes. When a romantic relationship does not work out is NOT AT ALL the same as unrequited love. Unrequited love is painful and agonizing.
5. Have a heart, girls.
Girls, I don't expect you to understand, just as men find it hard to understand many things about women.
But now you know, and if you get a male friend...
If you have a male friend who develops romantic feelings for you... and you don't reciprocate... if you truly have any compassion or platonic caring for that man--walk away. He will be hurt. he may shed tears. But by distancing yourself sharply, you're being the kindest person you could be to him aside from setting him up with a cute single friend. You're stopping him from having a tortured hope things will change--you're freeing him to find someone who will return his affection--and you're helping him mature and be able to walk away, which is a skill men need.
Maybe he will return one day, older, wiser, with a girl of his own. Maybe you'll want him one day. Maybe you won't see him again--but you'll know that you did the right thing and treated him as a true friend. And knowing you did right by someone you cared about is it's own reward.