So yes, for a guy, it makes perfect sense that one gradually grows more romantically attracted to previously non-romantic friends. For girls, it just doesn't happen the same way (there are even some who will admit they see the logic in the male version, and maybe would prefer it if it were a matter of choice, but their nature is just not set up that way).
Concretely, then, what you gradually learn to do is get adept at spotting the characteristics in a young lady you've recently met that would make her seem like someone you'd particularly like to be around. When you've gotten to know her a little bit, then instead of 'buddying up' and winding up in the friend zone, ask her on a date. You'll get to know each other on more of a one on one basis than you would a friend (where it'd likely be more of a group), so that's something to get used to. However, you're used to getting on well with girls. That is transferable, and by slightly switching things up, you've dramatically reduced the friend zone dynamic. (now of course she might end up saying "let's just be friends" but that's a whole different kettle of fish, and you can consider actually being 'normal' friends at that point; sometimes people just don't match romantically - and you're much more likely to both realize it together if you've started out dating rather than as friends, which of course makes everything easier - but do work as friends).