It's being described as "the most tragic friend zone" of all time: an Instagram post from a woman taken on an extravagant day out who later thanked the guy for the "friend date".

Despite flowers, dinner, golf and horse riding, it looks like the chivalrous chap, known as Daniel and thought to be from the US, won't be leaving the friend zone any time soon.

To thank Daniel for his efforts, his "friend" Alex, took to Instagram to post a tribute that has left social media users baffled by the pair's bizarre relationship.

Captioning a photo of the pair out horse riding, Alex wrote: "From Top Golf, to dinner, flowers, ice cream and Horseback riding, you outdid yourself on this friend date Daniel!
"You wanted to set a standard for how I should be treated and you sure set a high one. I thank God so much that He put an amazing friend like you in my life. Thank you for making me feel like a true princess! #stillsingletho."


The post has been shared on Twitter with users weighing in on how miserable the situation appears for Daniel.

But Daniel has responded to the barrage of sympathy claiming he's the one who set the "friend zone" boundaries.

His response reads: "This post is to clear up my whole 'friend' date. First off, I am the one who set these boundaries to begin with. I am also the one who made up the hashtag as a joke.

"Leading up to the day, Alex had shared with me her testimony, and because of her past relationships her self worth had diminished. She had never been treated like a lady and I wanted to show her what it was like."