I've been that guy that never did anything, and here are some reasons you might have heard (written to the girls) - in no particular order of importance:
- When things are going well (as friends), why change anything? Some guys are afraid they'll lose what they have now in case girls don't embrace their move.
- When a guy is getting all the benefits, there's no hurry to make it official. Remember the adage "why buy the cow when you get free milk"? Exactly ... Guys will seek out ways to get what they want for the least amount of work. Serious things like commitment can wait if there's nothing else to work for about girls.
- Some guys just don't know girls are interested in moving things along. That'd be the naive category - guys that perhaps just live for the moment and are unassuming. This kind of relationship is probably the happiest for the guy - like having a spotless mind - no expectations.
- Sadly, some guys are just not attracted to their girls or even interested in developing a real relationship. For some reason, they continue to lead the girls on. Whoever said looks don't matter lied. It's the first thing we get before we get to know everything else.
- Some guys have an inferiority complex - they classify girls on various standards and say things like "oh, i can't get with that ... she's beyond me". Maybe she has great looks or does something better than you, but guys bulk at things like this. Indeed sad.
- My friend Nneka suggested "defeatism" - when you give up before you even try. Now that I think of it, I know guys that haven't even said "hi" to the girls they are interested in - and gave up trying long ago.
- Some guys know they are not for you - for various reasons, the guy already knows you are not what he's looking for. You are otherwise great in everything else ....
- Maybe that relationship should have ended long, long ago?
- Some guys will use girl friends to get to someone or something else. Maybe they are really interested in your friend or how you make them look? I hate when politics meets love ... things get dirty.
- The baggage you carry can be cause for haste. Sure, everyone has some baggage, but when it preoccupies your life that it suffocates everything else that could be, I don't know many guys that'll be all for that. Humanly speaking, we'll want to run for safe harbors.
- Commitment phobia: I know I ended an engagement because of this. I don't even remember all the reasons I had, but I found myself running fast ... and it happens a lot more than most people will admit. It's a real issue - maybe bigger than all the others above.
#1 [spoilers]: Should be known that friendships can survive even when actual dating doesn't work. For most girls, friendship -> dating? and once you've crossed that line, it's dating or nothing. I think that philosophy is lame.
#2 [benefits]: Cut back on all the benefits. If you give all of you up on the first date, what else is there to pursue? Believe me, pursuing is more fun than actually having ...
#3 [naivety]: Let it be known what you want. Granted there's few guys that'd totally have no clue, but whatever happened to girls making the move? Fight for your rights. I think that's hot.
#4 [attraction]: I don't know about this - touchy issues of beauty guys should never discuss. But in the words of Greg Lowry, "if a house needs painting, paint it! That's why home improvement is big business ...".
#5 [inferiority complex]: Nothing a girl can do about a guy's inferiority complex. You ought to save this guy's time and move on, no matter what else they do well. This feeds into his ego and his very identity at some levels.
#6 [defeatism]: Nothing a girl can do about this either - because they don't know. Whatever happened to guys that take risks? Guys gotta fess up.
#7 [unequally matched]: Girls will usually get hints of this soon enough. But some ignore such flags and wait for something better. Guys aren't that good at hiding important facts like this.
#8 [non-existent]: Girls can't be clueless about this - mostly they know it should have ended, but I've seen some stick around for whatever reason. Most abusive relationships have this quality.
#9 [users] : You'll know when we're not into you. Just pay attention - these things are not hard to notice - even your friends will inform you to that effect.
#10 [baggage]: No guy wants to date you, your ex, deal with your persistent habits from years ago, or deal with threads (ropes) from ages ago that you don't want to cut loose. Nor does anyone want to date a girl that lives in the sweet old times of yester-year. Every guy deserves a clean slate ...
#11 [phobia]: This is probably the only thing you can help you guy about, if you notice it before he runs. It's a psychological problem that can be 'cured', if you ask me.
I subscribe to the Christian train of thought on matters like this: be open about your intentions, guard your heart, take a risk, have healthy boundaries, and wait for God to do His work. It makes life a lot easier and straight-forward. Who doesn't want that? All the hullabaloo above demonstrates how a simple idea can quickly get messy. But where does your strength lie?