But the thing is I would be 'ending up' with him. When and if I date him I'd want it to be the end game. I'd want to enter that relationship with the knowledge that I was happy to settle down and start a life with someone who I'd be willing to give my all to. Because that's what he deserves.
But I'm not there yet. I'm not interested in a serious relationship at this point in my life. I want to mess around and date a few guys who I know aren't quite right for me. I don't want a Mr Right, I want a Mr Right Now. Which I know probably seems stupid and counterproductive to a lot of people but I just don't think I'm emotionally mature enough for something better. And the last thing I'd want is to hurt my friend by forcing something that I know I'm not ready for.
I'm afraid though that if I don't reciprocate his feelings I'll lose him which would honestly break me. At the same time I would rather hurt myself then do something to lead him on or hurt him in any way and I can't very well explain to him that although I would like to be with him eventually I can't do it now. That would be extremely unfair. He does not deserve to be kept on my hook. I don't know what to do.
Most Helpful Guy
You should tell him what you said here. The thing is, he probably won't want to watch you bounce around from guy to guy for the fun of it and he isn't going to stick around to watch it. And you can't really blame him for leaving. He has poured his heart out and you're not ready, so to protect his emotions, he has to distance himself from you.
Unfortunately, there's no way to do this without causing some pain. You will always wonder what it would have been like to not be tied down to one person, but you're going to have to hurt your friend, and you're not going to be guaranteed he's going to be waiting for you when you finally want to settle down.
I do know that if your best friend is the opposite gender, you're straight, you're happy when they're around, you don't want to lose them in your life, then that's the one you marry.
But you're not ready to settle down. That's fine, but just remember you will hurt him, he won't want to watch you date other people and will stop being your friend, and you can't guarantee he will be ready for you and has not yet moved on to another person. You've got two 'what if' situations on your hands and you have to decide which one you can go your whole life without knowing 'what if'.