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What does this mean? I have an idea, but there are so many ways to interpret and misinterpret...

I have known this guy and have been friends for over a year. I have suspected that he has been interested in me in the past, and other friends of mine have noticed the same thing. I have been cushing on him as well. It wasn't until recently we started hanging out quite a bit more on an almost regular basis. There were even a few occasions where I was pretty sure it was a date. It had been bothering me if we had been dating or just close friends, so I messaged him on Facebook (I didn't feel comfortable asking in person especially since he's pretty shy.) if we were just friends or casually dating. Here is his response:

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I don't like putting labels on things, but right now I'd say we're just close friends. The idea of something more has crossed my mind, but right now I'm not looking for anything beyond friendship. So I hope and look forward to just hanging out more sometime. And happy new year to you too. And good luck with accounting...lol. And I hope you get your computer fixed soon.

So men...what is the hidden meaning if there is one? What is going on inside my guy friend's mind?
Updates:
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Thanks for all the replies :) I guess what I mean by hidden meaning is more so that guys don't always say exactly what they mean or feel. I know girls don't either... but obviously that is why I am asking. I was more wondering if it was a code for a "nice" rejection, or if he honestly wasn't sure. I guess he's really the only one that knows that answer...
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I think it is obvious that I care about him more than just friends, and I'm assuming he has figured that out as well. I think for myself, that I need to distance myself from him because I need to move on. I still want his friendship, but if we pick-up where we left off, it's not fair to me because I want more. It will be in the back of my mind if I don't give myself some space as well and I'm afraid my emotions will get the best of me. So with that being said, should I...
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separate myself from him as far as communication and contact all together without telling him and assume no explanation is necessary, or should I let him know briefly that I'm going to be MIA so I don't ruin the friendship?
What does this mean? I have an idea, but there are so many ways to interpret and misinterpret...
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