Eventually, that acquaintance became a friend.
That friend became a member of my regular group of friends.
She then became a close friend, that I would invite to eat pizza with and stay up late talking about life and stuff like that with.
That close friend went on to become my best friend.
When we were finished with college, my best friend and I both made sure to stay in contact with each other.
I began to notice that this best friend of mine was incidentally very attractive (6'1", looked like a model, shared my passion for art, emotionally honest, intelligent), and that her descriptions of her ideal guy sounded suspiciously like me ("I feel really safe around you," "I want to marry a guy who's into adventure," etc.).
You can see where this is going. Naturally, this story ends with her dating a guy who's a lot like me except more successful at his job and more charismatic.
There are a few morals to this story. Firstly, I'm not a big believer that the fairytale romance is on-size-fits-all. I'm not referring to the old fairytale of love at first sight; I'm referring to the modern fairytale that all good romances start off as friendship. It works for some people, but it isn't for everybody. Some people can't really make the transition to dating because they don't want to sacrifice a friendship to make it happen. Others know right away when they're attracted to someone and can't start off as just friends, because it wouldn't be a real friendship when one party wants more.
Also, there's such a thing as taking a relationship too slowly, especially if you know that you're romantically interested. I know that it can be easy to start off as "friends" so that one can earn points toward leveling up, and that's not a good strategy. In my mind, that's being manipulative. Taking things too slowly could also be a sign that you're just too timid, or that your fear of rejection outweighs your earnestness to be in the relationship. If you take too long, the other person will eventually find someone else, so if you really want something, you darn well had better pursue it.
Finally, there's the moral about making things happen. One thing that some people like to claim is that relationships just happen naturally and that you can't make them happen. While agree that it's true that you shouldn't try to make something happen that wasn't meant to be, I otherwise strongly disagree with this principle. Every friendship that I have exists because I went out of the way to form them, because I took initiative and pursued them. The same ultimately has to happen with romantic relationships. They never just happen automatically, because at some point one of you two has to consciously redefine the relationship by asking the other out. My best friend wasn't just going to become my girlfriend by default just because our relationship kept on getting closer and closer, and the transition from friend to romantic partner isn't as seamless as the journey from casual acquaintance to friend. If I was really interested (and I had mixed feelings about the next step, so I wasn't), I would have to take the the very conspicuous next step of going out on a limb and taking that risk.
Anyway, that's all.