In my view, there is only one way to secure a girlfriend / boyfriend; to make it screamingly obvious you think they're hot from the start. If you make your feelings clear, you do away with the friendship barrier and dive straight in the deep end (ie, a relationship).
I'm not the type to hold my cards close, and so I figure that if I don't keep anything secret, why suppress something as simple as desire?
I think that to be in a relationship, you absolutely have to find the other person attractive physically, otherwise all you have is friendship when you could be out there looking for more. You need to be able to think; 'Yeah, i'd tap that' instead of shying away from the thought like it was measles.
I may not be an expert, but from my experience, I can tell you that playing the long game doesn't work. You confuse friendship with a relationship and it tends to get messy.
I know that for some people, this method can work. But it would take so much time and work, their friend may not be worth it in the end.
I've tried being friends and then inching my way in to being more and I've been cast aside. Apparently they didn't want to ruin the friendship. The fact is, they didn't want a relationship with me because they weren't attracted to me.
I find that people I used to be attracted to have turned into friends so much I no longer think of them as anything more than that. And this is what happens by waiting to make a move; it is always made too late.
When I did go out with a friend once, it really didn't feel right. I knew I liked him a lot as a person, and it seemed like the next step. It wasn't. I didn't even want to kiss the poor guy, and I definately wasn't interested in anything more with him.
No, it is much better to go from being aquaintances to having a thing for eachother. It feels more natural for one thing. And you get to know the rest of them as you go out with them.
Relationships are meant to be an adventure, so finding out new things about them adds to that sense. After a while you learn to love the things you didn't think you would, like a quirk in their behaviour, for example.
Beginning a relationship in this way means you also have a lot to talk about, and you gain a friend and a lover without gaining a line to cross, unlike those friends who turn into more. In fact, I find that the realtionship that begins as friends only ever turns into friends with benefits.
I know people say that to have a good marriage, you should marry your best friend. But I think that if you did marry your best friend, it wouldn't be a relationship, just a partnership, without the lust or romantic love that comes with it. You need to make your other half into your best friend, not the other way round.