Obviously if you're hooking up, then he's probably just trying to back out of expectations, but this recently happened to me when we weren't sleeping together or even kissing...
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"Please note I said men, not boys. Boys are looking to have relations with as many women as possible until the end of time. Men are willing to have relations with as many women as possible but are simultaneously keeping an eye out for a good woman they want to be with exclusively."
So what he's saying is, only men as he defines them are always looking for something serious.
If you asked him what proportion of the single male population in your dating range were 'men', I suspect he'd give you a pretty low number. If you asked what percentage of the guys who actually get laid are 'men' it would be even lower.
As for his 'this is code to see if you freak out', sure, this has happened in the history of the planet, but do NOT waste your time chasing after guys like this. Similarly there are girls who really want to be friends first, take it slow, then date (and then magically become super sex goddesses).
Don't waste your time on people who are gunshy about the kind of relationship you want.
Many guys just want to hookup. This is code for nothing. Lets call them 'A'
Some guys are hooking up but open to something serious. If they say 'its nothing serious', you are probably FWB zoned. Lets call them B.
Some guys may be hooking up, open to something serious, but only interested in something serious with a girl who can casually handle it. We will call these guys 'C', though not that even guys in group C, normally if they say 'nothing serious' the girl in particular hasn't qualified.
Then we have guys who are looking for something serious, and will say so. They may say 'I'm not sure where this is going yet, but I like you and want to know you better'. We will call those guys D.
I have a confession. I was a 'D' type guy. If I were single again? I might be a C.
But as a woman, why f*** around hoping a guy who says 'its not serious' is a type C and you have qualified? The odds are 50-1 if a guy says its not serious, its NOT SERIOUS. Hell, even if I were single, I doubt I'd outright lie. I might say sh*t about seeing where it goes and not being in a rush and not in a hurry to settle down with anyone till I know them really well. But outright 'its not serious' as a test? F***, even on the one in 50 chance you are not FWB zoned, why would you want to sit around hoping, that if you're really lucky, he's a f***ing baggage-laden nutcase who is gonna lie and test you to see how you react to things?
If a guy says its not serious, assume he will never, ever, ever be monogamous to you and love you.