By telling you that he wanted to be friends, he may have felt that way initially.
This guy may have been either dating someone else at the time or may have been more interested in someone else.
However, he may have understood that things may not work out with that person.
He does notice that he is attracted to you but doesn’t have a particularly strong level of romantic interest.
Hence, he decides that he would rather be friends at this time.
He knows that he may want more in the future if things don’t work out with who he is currently dating or more interested in pursuing.
This is one of the more popular reasons why a guy would tell you that he wants to be friends but would tell you that he really wants more later on.
Another reason why a guy would do this is because he may want to give the relationship he has with you some time before he moves it into romance.
He may be the kind of guy that is very cautious with who he chooses to date.
Perhaps he has had bad experiences in the past by getting into relationships too quickly and getting hurt in the process.
He may believe that it is better to be patient and build a friendship before entering a romance.
He may want to get to know you more and observe your mannerisms.
He may want to gauge how well your personality matches or interlinks with his own. Again, he may be practicing caution at this point.
If he is a guy who you know has tended to be more selective in who he tends to date in the past, this would be why.
He may be more of a relationship oriented kind of guy but he doesn’t want to get into one before being entirely sure of the kind of person he is dealing with.
He may want this time to get to know you so that he can also learn about who you tend to hang out with.
He knows that the crowd that you keep is most likely a reflection of who you are.
When he puts himself in these environments as your friend, he gets some firsthand experience of the kind of people you associate yourself with.
It is in these moments that he can judge your character.
He may ask himself some questions.
Are these the kind of people that he would want to be around if he were to be in a relationship with you?
Does he have anything in common with these people?
Would he be comfortable bringing these people around people he knows?
He is being cautious.
When he realizes over time that he does have some compatibility with you, he makes the decision.
He may decide that it is time to tell you that he really wants more.
You may become confused and wonder why he would tell you this now after having initially told you that he just wanted to be friends.
This may frustrate you but remember that you can use his dating history to guide you.
If he tends to have long term relationships, this method of being friends first may be how he has always done it.