I hate to be so cliche and post about dating advice on Jezebel, but this is a community of intelligent folks and even though I probably have never met any of you in person (unless you were at the fashion swaps in New York or are secretly my cousin or something) I do value your opinions/suggestions/advice.
A little background info. In September, I met a guy named on OkCupid who I absolutely adored. We hit it off immediately in our message exchanges and when we met in person, we REALLY hit it off. I ended up having sex with him after the 3rd date and we continued to go on dates throughout the week, talk throughout the day, hang out on weekends and do random things like go to the planetarium, art shows, and orchestras. Things were going seemingly well and we never put a label on anything, just dating. Then, the week before Thanksgiving, we talked about what we were doing. He said he wasn't ready for a serious relationship right now, he just wanted to be casually exclusive. Whatever that means. He was like we could be exclusive but not serious. OOOOKKKKAAAYY. I just went with it, I just didn't want anything to change. And nothing really did. We still hung out, had sex, and talked just as we had previously.
Then, about two weeks later in December, he told me that he was going out to a concert with another girl and he didn't know if it was a date or not and he felt guilty about it. I was confused so I asked him about what exactly we were doing and the terms he wanted for our 'relationship' because dating other people wasn't discussed previously. He said he felt like we were getting really serious and he was just trying to see someone else to make it feel less serious. He told me that he would love to have a serious, more meaningful relationship with me, but he wasn't ready for that. He talked about how much he cared for me and still wanted to be in my life, but the longer we kept dating, the more serious it would naturally get and he wasn't ready for that so we should stop there, but he still wants to see me. I still can't comprehend how it was getting too serious when nothing had changed.
I didn't like it, but it seemed like he had some internal issues to work out so whatever. I went to lunch with him once after and then I went back home for the holidays. We were still texting and keeping it pretty friendly. But then he started making a few jokes that were sexual in nature. They weren't distasteful but they did allude to us hooking up again. I just ignored them. I guess he noticed that I wasn't going for it and he apologized for being flirtatious when he was the one who didn't want to move forward. He asked if we could meet for drinks or a meal. I let him know that I appreciated the apology, and that it wasn't very fair to send those messages, even in jest because it's almost like he's trying to have one foot in and one foot out and I'm not okay with that. I told him that while I still have the urge to have sex with him, that's not an option and I would like to just get that off the table altogether. He responded that he missed me emotionally and physically and because he's not ready to date in a more serious fashion, he needs to man up and get over the fact that sex isn't an option and he'll respect that boundary going forward. He doesn't like it but he'll do it for our friendship.
What in the actual fuck? I really like this guy, but the mixed signals are confusing. He doesn't want to date me, but he still wants to hang out under the guise of friendship. He wants to have sex with me, but doesn't want things to get 'serious'. He said he didn't want nor need to date other women and would be perfectly happy with dating only me, but he's feeling anxious about getting into a true, committed relationship, so we need to revert back to friendship. I didn't put any pressure on him for this to turn into a 'serious, committed relationship' but he feels like it was becoming that whether we liked it or not.
I feel like an idiot because I really like him, and I still want to hang out with him, and part of me just feels like going with it. I would love to just have sex with him, grab drinks with him every once in a while, and just chill out. But how is that even possible without it becoming 'too serious'. Is it even worth it? Am I being a fool? What is happening? Someone please help.
ETA: This might be a stretch, but my friends suggested that because he's white and I am black and he's never had a serious relationship with a black woman, he may be avoiding that situation. I don't really buy it, but could that be a real consideration?