1. He's clueless.
Entertain the notion that he has no idea asking you out is anything but laughable. He might think you're out of his league or not interested. He might never have thought of you "that way" but he totally could think of you "that way" if he had a little nudge. You could be one of those women where, five years later, while he's shopping over in the fruit aisle picking out whatever the latest superfruit of 2021 is (I think it's going to be grapes, watch out for grapes) and he's like, "Oh, shit. She had a thing for me." But there's an alternate splinter universe in which you are both buying grapes together, because you're married. Maybe drop a thinly veiled hint or two his way if you're really vibin' on this future.
2. He just wants to be friends.
Believe it or not, sometimes men and women can be friends, and it's just like, whatever.
3. He's way too nervous.
He might want to ask you out, but he's scared of rejection or screwing up your friendship, and he's just playing it safe. So safe, he's not even going to take the risk.
4. He's waiting to get confirmation that you'll say "yes."
He's hoping you'll both have one too many drinks and confess your love, or a series of zany events will bring you two together, rom-com style.
5. He's also sort of seeing someone else.
He might be casually seeing a few people right now.
6. He's crazy-busy.
He might have a big project at work, or a he's taking a year off to backpack through Europe, and he doesn't want to start anything serious until after he comes back.
7. He's keeping you on the back burner.
He likes you ... enough. But he wants to see how things pan out with someone else first. And no one wants to know they're a "second choice" so he's just stringing you along for as long as he can.
8. He's a sociopath.
He just likes stringing you along because he's controlling and manipulative. It's probably (hopefully) not this one, but it's certainly possible.
9. His friends talked him out of it.
For whatever reason, he's into you but his friends have given him pause. They probably introduced some weird, arbitrary, but mind-blowing "rule" into his life that he's now following. So he thinks he needs to wait X amount of time or establish Y amount of contact.
10. He's got a thing for one of your friends ... or maybe he had a thing.
It's possible you've got a few mutual friends and he just doesn't want to complicate things.
11. One of his friends called "dibs."
The idea of calling dibs on a human sounds kind of gross, but it's really a guy's way of saying, "Hey, I like this girl a lot but I can tell she likes you ... can I please have a shot at wooing her?" Except way less formal.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.