I started dating a guy over the summer. For two months, things went great - we had fun together, great chemistry, and loved each other's company, etc. Two months in, I had the suspicion that he was dating someone else. I was confused because things seemed getting serious - he treated me like a girlfriend (hanging out a few times a week, planning trips, talking about things we'd do together months in the future, introducing me to his friends, telling me how excited he was to be with me because we were such a good match, etc.) So, one night I started the 'seeing other people conversation.'
I told him that I liked the way things were (I wasn't looking to speed things up) but that I wasn't comfortable with him seeing other people. He told me that yes, he was dating one other girl but that it was not even close to serious (they only saw each other once every few months). He also told me that he was very cautious about getting serious - his college ex and him had dated for 7 years and been been engaged before they ended it a year and a half ago (apparently the breakup was mutual - they just outgrew each other). He said he really liked me, that he wanted to be with me, but that he wasn't sure if he was ready for a relationship. With nowhere else to go with the conversation, I left.
After a week of not talking, he emailed me to say that he really liked me but just wasn't ready for 'seriousness'. He didn't want to hurt himself or me. I sent a polite response 'thanks for being honest - I'm glad to know now' and that was that... or so I thought.
Less than a week later he emailed me to congratulate me on a promotion that I posted about on FB. I emailed back a short 'thanks. hope you're well.' Then he emailed again. And again. Since then, we've started a daily email chain that's gone back and forth for the past 3 weeks. Some are long; some are short; some are mildly flirty; some simple. Over the past week, we started texting too.
During this time, I've been very careful to follow his lead. If he emails something short, so I do I. If he waits a day or so to respond, I wait too. My goal has been to be friendly but not overly pushy; to let him feel like he's in charge and that 'the game' is his to control. I've gone along with this because I like him and my gut says that he's still interested. (After all, we both liked each other when we stopped dating - it was just a bad timing thing). I know I can't wait around (I've started going on dates - he doesn't know) but I would really like to be with him again.
So I'd love some feedback: What does he want? Is this the 'friend zone' (do guys even have a 'friend zone'?) Am I wasting my time emailing him or wasting my energy thinking about what his emails mean? How long can this keep going without a change...?