Just a thought, assuming we haven't beaten this to death, but, is it possible that the OP's friend could have gotten the whole "His feelings for me are so strong that he's afraid of them and that's why he avoids me," idea from movies / TV / romance novels?
I'm not an expert in the genres, but one example that jumps to mind is Lois and Clark, where Lois is very afraid of her feelings for Clark, and asks Perry to assign her to another partner after their first official date goes well.
And there's a classic (well, it's 30 years old now) novel about two high-school-age lesbi@ns, Annie on My Mind: College freshman Liza reminisces about her senior-year romance with Annie and the grief they got from authority figures and classmates who basically thought g@y = mentally ill. But now the two girls are at different colleges and although Annie has written Liza, Liza hasn't answered her or called her all semester. It's supposed to be because she's still working through her feelings about being g@y, but I can't believe it wouldn't have something to do with just adjusting to college, life being different, and the two being far apart. I was reminded of some of the discussions we've had here about how "Several months of no contact = He or She Is Just Not That Into You" (or has dumped you.) Most columns, etc that give advice about rel@tionships say the same. When they do get back in contact, it's not said this way, but it seems like the message, "Our love is so powerful even not being in contact with each other can't stop it."
While the girls both lived in the same city, they didn't exactly avoid each other for any long period of time but went through a stage of fighting a lot about trivial things because of fear of their feelings.