"Does he just want friendship or is his body language saying he wants more?"
About three years ago I met a man (we're both in our 40s and divorced). We became friends and after a few months had a fling. Although I wanted a relationship, he didn't and told me he just wanted my friendship. This was obviously very hard for me so I decided to distance myself from him for a time. However, over the past six months we've become friends again and spend time together every month or so - always very relaxed, lots of laughs and no discussion about where our friendship might lead, and no physical contact.
In emails and texts he has always signed himself off with his initial "J" and never his full name. But over the last couple of months he has started to occasionally sign himself off as "Jon" - he never does this when we're in contact about arrangements on where to meet etc (it's always "J" in these messages), but he will sometimes sign off as "Jon" when we're talking about something more personal or when he's thanked me for something.
Also, despite the fact that he still leads me to understand that he just wants us to remain friends, when we said goodbye last week I lifted up my face to get the usual peck on the cheek and he kissed me on the lips. It wasn't particularly sexual, but a sweet little kiss on the mouth. And no, it wasn't a mistake on his part, he didn't miss my cheek! Although I have not received any indication from him that he wants more than friendship from me, these two little things have made me wonder. Is he just more relaxed with me as we've known each other for so long? Or could he now want more than just friendship? What do you think?
I wish I could tell you they were tremendously significant and they really did mean something but I honestly don’t think they do. Your interpretation that he’s just more relaxed over time and thinks of you as a very dear friend sounds about right to me. The thing about body language is that it’s really hard to be objective about it when you’re emotionally involved.
It’s much easier to analyse the body language of strangers, than it is to work out whether someone you fancy, fancies you back. The reason why is that our perception is coloured and the gestures become amplified. I don’t think him signing off with ‘J’ or ‘Jon’ is significant here. Sometimes I’ll sign off with ‘T’, sometimes I’ll sign off as ‘Trace’. There’s no particular reason why I choose one or the other and I don’t think there is any reason why he’s alternating.
You may have got a kiss on the lips because you’d had a particularly nice time together and after months of friendship, he feels it’s now safe to express affection without you interpreting it as something else. Men don’t analyse the way women do. If he wanted to turn it into something more than friendship, he would. He knows you’d be up for it because you’ve made it clear you would be.
What’s coming through most clearly to me is that you’re really into him - and not just as a friend. If this feeling isn’t returned, is it wise continuing to see him as often? If you can put him firmly into the friend basket - refusing to let yourself entertain any fantasises of anything else happening - then you’ve got yourself a great male friend. But if every time you see him, you find yourself analysing his every word and move, is it worth it?
I don’t want you to get your hopes up, only to have them dashed again. Sorry this isn’t the news you wanted to hear but if you turn the energy you’re spending on this guy to getting out there to meet a new man who will appreciate you romantically, I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all!