While what he did isn't great, unfortunately I think it is very…normal.
OLD makes getting a date pretty easy. People go on OLD for many, many reasons and most are on OLD for external validation. They (or "we) are on OLD because we are lonely and think this will "fix" the loneliness. Or, we are out of bad marriages and our former partners have moved onto greener fields and we think we should too.
I believe men are much more guilty of trying to date before emotionally ready. This is what happened to the last several guys I've dated. They have been poofing at the second date kiss. They WANT to be ready, but their emotions haven't caught up. Then they think that dating will MAKE the emotions catch up. Then they want "friends" while they figure this shit out. We all like the company of the opposite sex, so it becomes confusing easily.
So, I see the situation a little bit differently. IF you liked him, I don't see anything wrong with keeping him as a friend. I wouldn't sleep with him again (unless you want a FWB…). He MIGHT be someone for your future if he figures his crap out, BUT, I'd keep in contact because he just might INTRODUCE you to a single friend of his. I would not pursue the friendship, just tell him you are open to "friends ONLY" then back off and see what he does.
Some men are truly slow, and I have hit this over and over in post-divorce dating. They want sex, but then the emotions get confusing and they back off. For women, we sometimes see sex as external validation that we are attractive, then our emotions start us bonding OR we feel like we are "supposed" to have sex because it is XXX number of dates. Plus add in the "first time" post D. It is a confusing mess.
After a year of off/on OLD dating, I look at it much more critically. I try very hard to stay away from anyone that is still separated…even if they are damn cute with all the bells and whistles I like. I tend to find a way to ask a few questions to gauge their emotional…stability if they are D'd.
"So, how long have you been dating on OLD? How has it been for you??"
I wait to see if they discuss their ex. That is a dead ringer for a problem if they bring up the ex really early on.
Here is an example, (I've been chatting with about 4 guys right now). This guys wasn't my physical type, but listed himself as D'd, had some good photos up, graduate degree, Dad, athletic. All things I like. So, although not that cute, I decided to respond.
( I do tend to hold them off until I get some basic information, most will ask for a date in the first or second email. I tell them I like to chat just a little before agreeing to a date. I am very selective. Which…I am.)
*He was asking good questions, "How long have you lived in City?", etc. I generally mimic their questions. He answered the first few emails really well.
*BUT, I noticed on his profile that he is 47 and said he would date a 30 year old. Yellow flag for ME, so I asked, "Have you dated a lot of 30 year olds from OLD? How do find younger people view OLD?" I don't want to judge him, I just want to see how he answers. I don't attack his choice, I want to explore the choice. Asking leading questions will give you a peek into their emotional place.
He replied, "Well, I dated a 33 year old for 1.5 years. We just broke up so I feel like I should put myself back out there." *Ding, *ding, *ding. Houston we have a problem!!!!
Then I asked, "So how long have you been D'd?" (Honestly, I assumed he had cheated on his wife…) and he replied, "Oh, I'm not divorced yet. My friends all told me to put D'd so I wouldn't scare off women. My ex and I have been S'd for 2 years, and I guess one day one of us will 'pull the trigger'". I tell women on the first date I don't know when I will D. None of them have cared."
NEXT. NEXT. NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I politely told him that I don't date S men. He replied back, that he hoped I would change my mind. I didn't respond.
Clearly this man is just trying to fix the loneliness.
Now, I went back and thought about the last guy that wanted "friends" after the kiss. I saw almost no yellow flags with him, he IS further out, but the truth is he is still healing. I remember asking to meet him at a SBux close to us and he replied, "Oh, I avoid that place. My ex goes there sometimes." So what?? If he isn't ready to show up on a date somewhere that his ex MIGHT show up to? NOT ready. I get triggering, and working through the trigger, but it is just a small glimpse that he is probably not ready. I probably ignored that yellow flag because I HOPED this guy was healed…he had everything I look for. But, he freaked out when the kissing started.
At this point, I would only end dating someone after the first date if I have NO physical attraction or I hit a red flag. It does take time to learn about a person. The last guy couldn't give me a reason WHY he didn't want to see me again. He admitted that he found me attractive and smart. We talked for hours, but he is looking for "something that might not exist". Which, lets face it, if you are going to knock someone out for no real reason…he isn't really ready to date. I did exactly what I told you to do. I told him I was interested in a friendship, and now I have backed off. Let him pursue the friendship if that is what he really wants. He might introduce me to a cute single friend of his. :)
I am just more careful now. I stay away from separated men. I ask a few questions to gauge emotional health. I do not have sex with guys, or even kiss them before the second date. I kiss them and see what happens next. A lot of time, just kissing will trigger them to back off. I tell them upfront I am selective in whom I meet, but I will meet them EARLY if I have an interest. I don't want to wait to meet them because there may be no physical attraction. So, I don't make them jump through a bunch of hoops, I just want to see if I can weed out the ones that are clearly not ready, meet to see if there is physical attraction, then see what happens.
I pretty much know to not get too interested in someone until we have made it past date 3 or 4. Those seem to be critical dates for all involved.
I've been emailing with a man for about a week now that I initially had very little interest in, he only had one photo up that wasn't good. BUT, he had some great emails. I asked for additional photos and he said, "Why don't you just meet me, I'm told I'm cuter in person. I hate how I photograph." Yellow flag.. I replied, "I don't think you would have contacted me if I only had one kinda blurry photo up and I asked to meet you. I'm sorry, I'm not interested. "
So, you know what he did? He had someone take some photos of him, updated his profile and sent me an email to check out his photos and updated profile. Guess what??? THAT got my attention. He listened to me and "fixed" the problem without calling me names or walking away. I'm going out with him next weekend now.