The term "sociobiology" keeps popping into my head; it isn't a thing I have given any thought to in years (and never gave much thought to at all), but it seems relevant here. Now, the basic sociobiological premise, that evolutionary forces are the primary determinant of human behavior, is obviously hallucinatory. But the idea that evolutionary forces have SOME influence on human behavior has to be considered.
So... We throw sociobiology into the blender with game theory, and the "friendzone" issue is suddenly transparent. The evolutionary first solution for men is to have as many sexual partners as possible; the first solution for women is to have the highest quality partners possible. Whoever you are, the lizard in your brain stem KNOWS this. It doesn't matter that, given social complexity, the first solution is often (or even almost always) invalid; the lizard knows, and the lizard WANTS.