We've all been there -- majorly crushing on that chick we're hanging out with, thinking this might actually go somewhere. And the more time we're spending together, the more we realize how much we actually like her: how she talks, how she laughs, that she can chill with us like one of the guys.
And then there's that moment, when we realize that we haven't really made a move yet. Were we waiting for her to go for it? Were we not sure she'd be into it? All of the sudden, she's talking about another dude, and calling us to talk about him.
She Feels Rejected
A girl might immediately put you into the friend-only category because, although she might have initially felt some sort of attraction to you, she now feels that you do not share those feelings and it's hard to switch back after a deep friendship has been formed. Women are fickle creatures and if we feel a rejection, even if it is artificial, it's hard to change our minds back unless something happens to change our perspective.
She's Already Moved On
I have a timing threshold between when a guy becomes a "friend I could potentially date" and a "friend who will only ever be a friend." I have a lot of guy friends, and maybe our friendships started out with one of us having more than friendship in mind but things never progressed there. What happens with the timing thing is that once I become close to a guy, with the "he's one of my best friends" mindset, it's past the point of no return. He's the one I turn to when I have problems with the guy I might be dating at the time, the one I'm not afraid to let see me looking my worst, and the one I can rely on when I need anything. But, this is always with the understanding that he's my friend. Nothing more. Unless I somehow have a crystal ball that shows me the future that he is it for me, I'm not going to risk ruining an amazing friendship for a potential dating relationship. Because let's be honest, we might say "let's stay friends" but it's not easy to go friend-relationship-friend. So perhaps you're waiting too long to suggest the relationship part of things. If you spark up a friendship with a girl who you might be interested in dating, make sure and somehow show your feelings before she moves you from the "potential date/maybe a friend" to the "definitely a friend" category. Even if she is not interested, at least she will know how you feel.
You're Not Being Decisive
Women are into decisive men who know what they want, especially when those men want them. Women want to feel wanted and swept off their feet. The whole "friendship" gimmick is not attractive to women. If that's your approach to a woman you're interested in, you're showing that you're indecisive, scared and don't know what you're looking for. Frankly, women don't want you to realize one day what a great gem they are. They want you to see their potential right away and then pursue them.
You're Afraid Of Dating
You have to learn to date. I know it's awkward and scary, but what you're doing [if you try to be friends first] is trying to find some shortcut or loophole or easy way out that will allow you to avoid doing something that I think you know you need to do. This same psychology is why overweight people keep buying miracle pills instead of getting on the treadmill. By eschewing dating, you're not asking friends for potentially good matches or going online and searching for particular qualities. Which means the women who end up in your life end up there by din of circumstance. In reality, what you're doing is wasting your time.
You Haven't Made Her Feel Desirable
Of course you should be respectful and not treat women as objects, but it is quite possible to do that and act like a man and make a woman feel like she is beautiful and desirable at the same time. Women don't want to be treated as porcelain dolls -- they want to be treated as adults. And in the context of dating, most of them like being treated as attractive, sexy adults by a man who acts like a man, not one who acts like a starstruck boy.
You Haven't Asked For A Date
What you are doing is like the waiter who chats up the director at her favorite cafe every morning. She may like you and may be happy to talk to you, but if she didn't say, "You must be in my next movie," it's because it's not obvious to her that you must be. She's seen a lot of other actors audition, many of whom are incredibly talented, so why would she assume the friendly guy who serves coffee and talks about the weather would be a good actor? Indeed, she may enjoy talking to you precisely because she sees you as a respite from all those actors who want her attention. You could serve her coffee and small talk for the rest of your life without her ever realizing that you wanted to be in her movie let alone that you might even be perfect for the part.
By not asking for a date you are implicitly saying, "I don't want to audition -- don't consider me for the role." Unless you are irresistible, most women will be perfectly OK to have a male friend like that in perpetuity while they continue to search for the right partner.
She Hasn't Seen Your Guns
I suggest accidentally showing off your muscles. It sounds stupid, I know, but I can't even remember the number of times some girlfriends and I have had a conversation along the lines of, "Oh my god, did you see X's biceps/hip muscles/forearms today? Who knew?! So hot!" If you don't have muscles, then work out. At least your arms.
She Hasn't Seen Your Skills
I suggest having them see you in your most natural habitat doing what you do best. Confidence, concentration and skill in action is very attractive and creates some sexy body language that women are responsive to. This can be anything -- although usually not computer/video games. If you're a little desperate or just looking for experience, it might also help to figure out what kind of women are particularly receptive to your skill/look/personality. Some women will be turned on by computing skills, others by artistic ability, some by funniness, others by quiet loner-ness, etc. It's not that hard to figure out.
She's Not Sexually Attracted To You
As a girl, it's always seemed to me that a lot of guys confuse their friend-zoning status for their unattractiveness to the girl in question. The reality is that we do not see you as a potential mate because we are not sexually attracted to you at the moment. It's that simple. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you started out as a friend. I think "friend-zoning" is a myth about women perpetuated by guys and guys alone. You will never hear women talking about guys like this.
So, ask them for a date and/or make it clear that you want to be more than a friend. The worst that will happen is they will say no, and you will have saved yourself a lot of time you would have spent wondering whether this friendship will turn into a romantic relationship.
She's Not Sexually Attracted To You... Yet
The good news is that anyone's relative attractiveness to another is constantly in flux. I think this is a much more positive (and realistic) way of seeing things. There have been plenty of instances where, after months or even years, a guy who I previously thought was unattractive became attractive to me. This can happen suddenly or not so suddenly and most importantly, has absolutely nothing to do with that nonexistent friend-zoning idea.
Anecdotally, there was one guy who suddenly became attractive to me after he'd been pursuing me for a year when I finally hung out with him while he was doing 3-D modeling work on the computer. The look of concentration in his face, his skill, physical dexterity, and definition of his forearm muscles (teehee) while clicking made him attractive. Does this have anything to do with friend-zoning? No. I just didn't see him in an attractive light before. There's another guy whom I didn't find attractive until I saw him interact with his young niece. Another when I saw his biceps (teehee again, but whatever). Another when I saw him play amazing piano. And it goes on.