I probably should have written long ago. Long story short, I have been casually seeing someone on and off for a little over a year and a half. When we first started hooking up, he was looking for something serious but I wasn't, so we decided to keep things casual. A few months in, I started to develop more serious feelings, so I told him that I didn't want to keep hooking up unless there was the possibility of it turning into more.
Basically, we had swapped places. He was no longer looking for something serious. Things just kind of fizzled out. We have the same group of friends so we continued to see each other regularly at social gatherings, but stopped hooking up. A few months ago, one thing led to another and we found ourselves back to our casual hookups. I had thought that at this point my feelings were gone and that I'd be fine with just hooking up this time around. But surprise, surprise, I realized I still had feelings. When I told him that I again felt like I didn't want to keep doing this unless it was going somewhere, he was completely silent. Nothing. He eventually said that he needed to think about it.
After five days I reached out to him, to see if we could meet up to chat. Basically, he said that he doesn't want things between us to end, and we talked about what we're each looking for in a relationship. I considered moving forward with things but I just can't help feeling that if he had feelings for me, and especially after casually seeing each other for so long, he would have had SOMETHING to say rather than silence, and wouldn't have needed nearly a week to think about it. I told him that I don't think we are on the same page and that we should stop seeing each other. How do I know if I made the right choice? Should we give it a try, or is dating no longer feasible because things have been casual for so long?
The silence wasn't great. But sometimes it takes more than a week to think about important things. He could have made your life better by giving you a timeline for his process, but he didn't. He told you he needed space and he took it.
It sounds like you wanted him to say, "Yes! This is what I want! I want you! It's been you all along!" But that's the movie version of this relationship conversation. In real life, it's scary to make promises to a close friend. It can be even scarier when you don't trust yourself with commitment. Making a decision to be together now makes things feel insta-serious. His anxiety about that doesn't mean he's not interested.
I would say it's worth giving it a try, and that casual relationships can grow into more. Forgive him for the week of silence. I'd be more worried if he jumped to a decision about your relationship without understanding what it meant.
Readers? A week?