"This new guy you’re dating sounds like someone you’re intrigued with and would like to see developing into more than “just friends.” ......
If you’re truly interested in cultivating a relationship beyond friendship with him, then the only way to accomplish this is for you to take the lead and directly express your interest and desires either verbally or through a kiss or some other affectionate gesture that breaks away from the purely “friendship behaviors” that have been exhibited thus far.
Only you can decide if that’s what’s right for you; but if you do choose to let him know how you truly feel, I’d do it quickly!
Don’t let anymore time pass by! The more time that the two of you invest in each other functioning as you are now, the more your relationship will be defined as “just friends” because any romantic chemistry that existed will diminish over time and he will only view you through the lens of being a pal.
It’s not easy taking the initiative and putting yourself in a position of risk. You will need to decide if he matches your personal requirements for a partner thus far and if the benefits of making your feelings known outweigh the potential costs of making yourself vulnerable. And when you’re dating, let things evolve naturally and address the issues as they come.
It’s important to have boundaries, but try to avoid setting them up so high that there’s no way to let a relationship grow. Being friends and having separate identities are extremely important for the health of a partnership, so you’re right on for identifying these values as prime for you. But rather than “throwing it all out on the table” within the first few dates by communicating that, perhaps just pace the speed of how things are going by expressing your needs and feelings as they come in the various situations you’ll find yourself in.
Your guy will get the hint. For example, if you’ve gone out on a few dates with someone and he starts giving you hints that he wants to have sex, you could say something like, “I really like you a lot, but I’d like to take things a little slower and get to know each other better first. I’m really attracted to you though, just please be patient.”
Hone your flirting skills, pay attention to body language and eye contact, and assess the guys’ responsiveness to you as clues to a dating partners’ interest. And even when going slow, it’s still important to throw signals of attraction and interest to keep the fires burning and to keep each other validated.
I wish you luck with this! What do you really want from this guy…a friend or a potential boyfriend?
Whatever you decide, go for it and address any fears that may be holding you back. Be the chooser, be assertive! And no matter what happens, the one thing that won’t change is that a friendship has already been established and that’s one more person to add to your support network. My fingers are crossed for you!