In the dating world, I often see that one of the most common reasons men pull away is that they find the woman to be challenging, and she gives in because she likes him. She starts settling and making excuses for his lazy or inappropriate behavior. There are many times I see a woman dating a man, and he shows all the signs that he is not ready for a relationship with his behavior and his words. Instead of pushing yourself towards him in the hopes of changing his mind, I believe the right thing to do in this situation is to dig deep into your feelings. If you can control your feelings by maintaining a friendship, then go for it. (And I’m not talking about being “friends with benefits.”)
To be honest I don't think he is scared to take the next step. I do think he likes you and has feelings for you but it seems to me that you are not setting boundaries and voicing your opinion and standards in this relationship so he will eventually take you for granted. I know this isn't the answer you want to hear but I am here to give you the truth through years of experience. Right now, he has you when he wants you and he does not have anything pushing him to be with you. Some questions I would ask is why does it not bother you that he is touchy feely with other women? Becuase you don't want to push him away? Or Don't want to come off bossy, controlling, or needy? If so, then this will push a man away because he will take you for granted. Now, if you are open to open relationships then that's ok too. Just trying to touch all bases here. But moving forward you need to know your good enough and not an option to this man. Go radio silent for 30 days! Also, challenge yourself to do some new activities to keep your mind busy. I know this will be hard but do this. :) I invite you to reach out to me for a coaching session too if you would like so we can get some actions into play.
Another frequent error is wanting to talk constantly about the past in your messages. You have to stop focusing on your nostalgia and on what you’ve experienced together. You ex needs something else. It’s of course tempting to send a little message saying, “I miss you,” “I love you,” or “My feelings for you are still strong.” Truth be told, during this stage these types of things can damage your odds of success so refrain from sending them.
If a man is honest and tells you he does not want a relationship, then as a woman you should honor his truth in telling you this and take a moment to reflect and understand that you may need to pull away. Not to mention, if he also gives you the popular one-liner by saying, “I’m just seeing where things go,” proceed with caution. This is not a committed answer, so why would he want to commit to you? This is just an answer to lure you away from the truth in hopes to keep you around for what he is in search of pleasure and attention.