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I don't get this guy, I got the impression that he didn't like me and now he's saying this? Help?

His name is Joe. He is 28 and in the Navy. I'm 24 and a Nurse at a clinic.
So I hung out with Joe, I've known for a year. He lives 45 minutes away in the next city over. He told me that he thinks I'm cute, he likes talking to me and likes hanging out with me BUT the distance makes it difficult. The thing is... he hasn't even TRIED. On the weekends (when we are both off from work and school) he doesn't initiate to see me or for us to see each other. I've hinted a few times but he doesn't message me back. Sometimes he has to do a 24 hr shift and he can't help that.
He claims that he doesn't talk to other girls and it's just me. He did want to see me last week, but I told him no because I have feelings for him and it felt one sided to me. I told him all of that.
Today, this guy that I'm talking to named Matt asked me out on a date. I told Joe about it and he immediately asked me what I said. I told Joe that I was undecided. I asked Joe what his thoughts were and what he would do if he were in my place. He then said "I need to step up my game more." And that was it. What the hell is going on? He hasn't exactly said the words "I like you." to me... I'm confused. Help?
It means he likes you more than a friend!
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It means... something else.
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Also, what should I do? Or what's the next step?
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I don't get this guy, I got the impression that he didn't like me and now he's saying this? Help?
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