It's social skills man. I believe her story because I've seen shit like that work before IRL all the time. Looking good helps. But most of it is subtle social cues, body language, tone, timing, reading her nonverbal cues, responding to her vibe, navigating boundaries, showcasing certain personality traits while saying things. Reading a text transcript on Reddit, you miss 90% of what went on there and you won't understand why it worked unless you see something like that with your own eyes IRL.
That's how making friends helps, indirectly. Having IRL friends helps you master social cues and social skills. You also get to watch other guys interact with women and see what works and what doesn't work. Friends won't get you laid, but they'll level up your social skills a lot.