Don’t pretend to be a girl’s friend as a (highly ineffective) tool to get a romantic relationship; Instead, if you’re interested romantically, clearly set that tone, let the chips fall where they may, and accept the consequences.
Guys are in “the friend zone” because they choose to follow a fake-befriending strategy that doesn’t work, doesn’t meet their social, physical, or emotional needs, and isn’t even a real friendship.
So instead of the “I’ll pretend to be her buddy” strategy, set the tone from the beginning that you’re date/boyfriend/sex material in addition to friend material. Don’t randomly message girls you barely know with romantic propositions, instantly get sexual, or declare your love right away (because those don’t work), but you must make her view you as wanting something more than friends, even if she rejects this.
“But,” you may say, “it’s not that easy! What if I flirt, escalate physically, etc, and she rejects me?” My response is “so what?”
First, you really don’t want to be her “good buddy” anyway. Second, the “friend zone” is just a long, drawn-out rejection that wastes both of your time. If you’re her “buddy,” romantically you’re somewhere between one of her girlfriends and a sad puppy dog. No length of time being viewed this way will increase your chances of dating her. It’s better to know something fairly quickly and sort it out from there rather than draw it out.
Plus, no woman wants to be fooled into becoming friends with a guy only to find out awkwardly months later he really is interested in romance.
How do you “set the tone” romantically? There are many ways, including escalating physically, flirting, making it clear you are interested in her sexually in addition to emotionally, and doing things that (to use the language of author Mark Manson) “polarize” the relationship in a way that makes it clear what your intentions are.
If she doesn’t respond the way you like, you have two authentic choices: move on or be satisfied with real friendship without pretense.
In some situations, for a variety of reasons, I’ve become friends with girls I was interested in (with sexual tension in many cases). In other cases, if I didn’t really want friendship, I’ve moved on, at my discretion. The important thing is that it is my choice, and it should be yours too: you can’t get “friend-zoned” if you aren’t choosing to be her fake friend with an ulterior motive to begin with.