See, I never saw “friendzoning” to be the potential outcome of some questionable grand scheme to…

That’s fair, but there’s a point where it gets old to think that you’re having a friendship, only to discover the guy was actually romantically interested in you but never tipped his hand, thus divulging that not only did he deal dishonestly from the get-go, but it somehow never occurred to him that women are actually just, y’know, people.

So could I not pity those men? Sure — but I don’t tend to be close friends with people on the basis of pitying them, and it’s definitely never been how I made any dating choices.

For young, insecure men who’d like to dodge the contempt they feel is levelled at “nice guys,” the best advice I can give, in sincerity, is to simply treat women as if we were people, and that’ll shake itself out in short order.