I want to respond to aura218’s comment about the Brian and Albert hypothetical that if Brian had been more honest and not supplied contact info he wouldn’t be in his situation. I’ve been in Brian’s place, and I did not know at the time that…
I think people are confusing two things, one is someone accidentally mistaking a relationship for something that it isn't and if this person is warned about it they will respect it, maybe it was a misunderstanding or the result of a disability that needed someone to say what they meant clearly, it happens, it’s wrong but it can be fixed, it can just be embarrassing or worse but in the end it has a solution because the person listens.
The second thing is people who act like they are entitled to a relationship, they ignore no, they ignore consent and boundaries and manipulate the other person, it doesn’t matter that you do they will ignore it for their own purposes and everything will prove their are right because they already decided they are.
Those are different things for me but some people are acting like they are the same.
Yes, this. The latter is what I mean by imaginary friending. When someone considers the other person’s consent to a friendship irrelevant.