Like he doesn't message me just to ask how my day has been or just hi how are you unless he's asking me after if I'm free on the weekend or to talk about something interesting/funny. he's friendly, and we've only been out once. But I can't tell if he likes me
It might mean that he feels that he needs a reason to talk to you. Some where he might have come to think that he needs a reason to text you aside from just saying hi. For me several of my friends are giving me the text silent treatment after an incident recently so when I text them I usually need a reason to talk. Otherwise they most likely will just ignore me.