Guys, Can a woman help a man get his guard down if he has feelings but is not ready?

Challywally
So to try to keep this short.. I have had this friend for 4 years. We had mutual friends and he lived nearby and we met over Facebook. We chatted a lot and instantly connected. We never dated but often spoke of the feelings and connection we had. Over the years things were complicated for us both with different things so it was a bit "on and off" in terms of us speaking. It was never bad just more of a flow because we were only friends anyways. A few weeks ago, after 4 years, we met the first time (it was funny we never physically met before but this honestly was never that weird or there was no particular reason why) we connected, ended up kissing and things went well. We hung out more and talked everyday.. not a ton, but we spoke everyday. He is not super expressive with his emotions, which I already knew. But said things here and there confirming he cared.
Well one day he ghosted. Stopped answering.. everything. No reason. I was baffled. I reached out one more time to say like hey I wanna save our friendship if anything. Well I waited two weeks and went to his house to talk unexpectedly. We had known each other a long time so I wanted to work it out. He was kind about it and apologized for how he handled it but his mind was "going a million miles an hour" He said he had real feelings for me and things were going so great and he got scared. He said he can't be there romantically right now but we can be friends. He just said he realized he still had walls up etc. I know he was in a relationship like 5 years ago that reallllly hurt him and gave him trust issues.
I get this. I left on a good note but we did not speak again until I reached out the other day sharing about a new job. He started talking to me like normal.
I 100% respect that he is not ready and where he is at. I in no way want to push him but for as long as I have known him he has had walls up. I care deeply about him. And it is hard to move on knowing we both feel the same.
Updates:
1 y
is there a way to "help" him put is guard down? To be there and not be pushy? I realize this very much is something he needs to deal with on his own and I respect it. I also feel he has avoided it so long. He is not great communicating about feelings and I think has shut it off. Is there hope for this situation or something I can do? Or not?
1 y
Also I feel part of this is because he always has a dream or a goal and he goes for it and he is not where he wants to be yet. But I love that and 100% support him in it and would never try to get in the way or stop him. I wanna be behind him or by his side cheering him on.
Guys, Can a woman help a man get his guard down if he has feelings but is not ready?
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