Just friends: kiss of death?

Does friendship mean it's over? Let's help confused.
Met this woman about 2 years ago at a friend's party. At the time she was involved, and so was I -- but there was some chemistry there. I broke up with my GF last summer and she did the same in early fall. We ran into each other again in November started to hang out a bit. Because she was freshly out of a relationship, we were taking thing nice and easy, seeing each other only once a week. Even with the slow pace, mutual feelings began to develop and it all felt really nice. Then two weeks ago, she told me out of the blue that she was confused and feeling like she could only deal with a friendship at this point. I withdrew and stopped calling and emailing her, deciding to let her be and sort through this on her own. But today I got a nice note from her, asking if we could grab a drink soon -- and it got me thinking that all good relationships start as friendships -- so why not just calm my expectations and see her from time to time. I am conflicted. Is someone saying they "just want to be friends" the kiss of death -- or could it truly be that she likes me and is just scared to jump back in? Should I stick to my original plan and just let her be, or is her and I going out for drinks still a good idea -- since we are still getting to know each other and it can only help us get closer? Confused in Cambridge :-)

Do I think friendship is the kiss of death? Probably. Sorry. But if you can, as you suggest, "calm expectations" and "see her from time to time," I say go for it. Have the drinks. Be her friend. Just be sure you're being honest with yourself about your intentions. If you spend every outing with her wishing and hoping that she'll change her mind, it's bad news for both of you. You sound like you're open to hugs instead of kisses. And maybe you're right -- a real romance could develop from a great friendship. It's been known to happen. People change their minds, for sure, and it sounds like she might be more confused than you, Confused. But in the meantime, start considering other options. She has put the brakes on. Take a few eggs out of this basket. Readers? Do you agree? Should he go for drinks with his "friend" or cut her off? Share here. Also, Hopeless is still looking for help. You can submit your own letter here. -- Meredith