Interestingly enough, today I came across an article that was written before I wrote the first of my aforementioned links:
The writer, Chelsea Fagan, wrote about her experience of being "friend zoned" and said that the concept is not something that only happens to men (in one of my posts, I did mention that men do reject women). I thought it was interesting - albeit saddening, of course - how Fagan discussed how she became attracted to a friend but the friend rejected her. While she said that those being rejected should not turn into jerks, I also found the following passage from her article fascinating:
"We should never take advantage (as can sometimes happen) of the person who is clearly devoted to us, using them as an ego-boost or exploiting them being at our beck and call. We shouldn’t go out of our way to tell them all about our dating follies when we know that they have feelings for us and are doing their best to be respectful and a friend."
Fagan documented how her friend talked about his romantic life with her, in the full knowledge about how she felt towards him. Long story short, the friendship ultimately ended.
I haven't changed my thoughts about the friend zone: I think it doesn't exist, as I've explained before. Romantic rejection is a sad fact of life but it's not the end of the world. Someone else will come along and in the meantime, it is possible for a friendship to survive - even become a better, stronger friendship - when one person has rejected another. It is upsetting it couldn't happen in Fagan's case.