Why do guys say one thing one min then the complete opposite the next min?

My friends with benefits turned into something more a little over a month ago. I’ve been staying at his place almost everyday for the past month. We go on dates, he’s told me I can keep come of my stuff at his house, he’s brought some of his friends around me but recently him and I have actually been hanging out with his friends together, we hang out almost everyday and check in with each other at least once a day. The other day we were bashing each other (joking around nothing serious) and he made a comment “guess that’s what I get for dating a child”. I’m 22 he’s 34 so we mess with each others age whenever we can. Anyways a few hours later I casually brought up him saying the date word. How I brought it up was “so we’re dating now”? And he said no and I left it at that. He has referred to me as his girlfriend many many times before. We never had the “are we officially boyfriend and girlfriend talk”. I’ve asked him if he sees a future with me talk and he’s said he could. I have asked where he sees this going and he’s said he doesn’t know but wants to take it slow. He’s told me he’s not ready for a relationship off the bat which I still respect. He’s just being hot and cold and I don’t wanna waste my time on a situationship that’s not going anywhere (which I’ve told him).
Why do guys say one thing one min then the complete opposite the next min?
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