Well, this is more of a comment than advice .. but I guess there's advice in it somewhere too. (Haha)
So I've been friends with this girl online for 3 years .. we live over 5,000 miles apart so even if we did move things to bf/gf .. the distance would still be a major problem. We've met in person once and it went okay .. though it was a bit awkward at first for us both.
Anyway, I basically put myself in the friend zone a long time ago by doing virtually EVERYTHING wrong. BUT .. the one thing I never did was quit. I adjusted and began to shift my approach, focusing more on her and her feelings rather than my own and what I wanted to say. And of course, NEVER as manipulation but to really give her what she wants .. because I know it's what I've got already. Time and patience .. focus and paying attention have been the key elements. Yesterday marked 3 years since we became friends and to mark the day, I made her a little something as a token. When I gave it to her, I said if you accept this, it means we're dating now .. not as boyfriend/girlfriend but, not just friends anymore. She agreed saying, "Yeah (in a kind of, "now that I think of it, you're right" tone) .. I guess we ARE more than friends." Nothing earth-shattering like, "Oh God I'm in love with you!" Lol! But to me .. that is a HUGE admission and signals the first step OUT of the friend zone!
I posted this not for bragging rights or any other nonsense but to encourage others .. if there's a special someone in your life and things aren't where you would like them to be .. don't give up! It IS possible! After 3 years of, "I love you as a friend but not as a bf" to hear the words, "Yeah, I guess we ARE more than friends" was a really big deal! So never give up .. focus, adjust and persevere and there's a good chance things WILL turn around.
That's all I got. Later!