Ask The Celibate: Is he conflicted or insensitive?

The Celibate mailbag received this email, requesting advice. I already sent her my reply. Admitting that I do NOT know everything, sigh, I post this for my wise readers. Please comment with any sage words. I will post my response tomorrow. (O the suspense!)

All right, here it is. I have a thoroughly extraordinary male friend. He is brilliant, funny, charismatic, handsome and talented. The first year we knew
each other, he was dating someone else. Nonetheless, we always had extraordinary chemistry and a very intense rapport. The friendship became so stressful that I decided to move to another city to take a job.

About two months before I moved, we had a very intense evening during which we confessed our feelings for each other. We both seemed so happy, though he was still with the other person. Half a week later, they had broken up for other reasons. We had two or three wonderful evenings together...and then he disappeared completely until I left town. I thought he was depressed about his break up and terribly conflicted about me as I was leaving.

A couple of months after I left, he got back together with his ex-girlfriend.
This was all very painful for me, but I had moved away. All of the above occurred a couple of years ago, and now I am temporarily in my old city for a couple of months. We've seen each other off and on and been friendly. Here is what happened to me last week:

We find ourselves at the same social gathering. We have a subtextural tiff as part of a larger group conversation about this chick who flew in from out of town to meet him around the time of our strangeness two years ago, and I wander off for a bit. Anyway, he buys me another glass of wine just as the party is breaking up and then it is just him, me and this other guy. He suggests at 1:20 in the morning that we go to out dancing. All three of us go and dance for half an hour or so 'till the place closes. The music ends with a schmaltzy slow song and he pulls me in for a close dance that turns into sort of a hug. The music ends, lights go up and we are still standing there holding onto each other. He won't let go! It is very sweet and intense. Finally I pull away and lead him out the door.
> We get to his house and he says, "This is us." I say, "Well, this is you, anyway." He invites me in for a drink at 2:30 in the morning. We go out on the patio and chat for the next couple of hours about all kinds of fun things. His hands keep brushing mine while we are talking, so I brush his back and then he takes my hand in between both of his and we just hang out like that for a while, holding hands and grinning at each other. He mentions it is late and I get up to go. I ask him to walk to the
sidewalk with me. He does and I say goodbye and then he kisses me on the mouth.
> So there we are making out on his sidewalk for 15 minutes or so at 5am. It is very romantic and emotional. Lots of stroking my cheekbone and kissing my forehead and stuff like that. He asks if I'd like to stay over and I say no. Then I say, "You don't really want that either, do you?" He avers that indeed he does. I tell him I think we deserve better than that. He assures me with one hand halfway down the back of my jeans that it will be "very platonic." I tell him I'll see him again soon because this [chemistry] obviously isn't going anywhere.
> So, we see each other soon thereafter at a party. He is sweet, we talk off and on, and he finds an indirect way to tell me that he and his most recent girlfriend broke up on good terms. He didn't give me any hint of how upset he may or may not be about this. He asks if I am attending something a couple of days later, invites himself and firmly promises to be there. I am apprehensive, of course, but hopeful. If he is single and misses me as much as he appears to, then maybe we can finally spend some time together.
> But, he doesn't show up and I am crestfallen. I text him that evening to ask if he forgot, and I get no answer. In light of recent events and his firm commitment to come, this is really inconsiderate, wouldn't you say? If he didn't feel up to coming, he should have dropped me a line. Unless, of course, he is standing me up deliberately in order to reestablish emotional distance, which sucks. I email him asking for an honest update about what is going on. The next day he chokes out one paragraph about how he had been really tired and just read and napped all evening.
> I write a very sweet and lucid email back explaining that I had been excited to see him, and that he runs so hot and cold on me as to leave me extremely confused. And, can he help me to decide whether to trust signals like the ones I received the evening of the dancing...or the completely different ones I received in the last couple of days? I also told him straightforwardly that if he was actually single, and if he missed me as much as he appeared to last week, that I thought we should spend some time together in some capacity while I am here. (I need to leave again in about a month)

> It's been almost three days now, and I haven't gotten any response. Obviously given our history, he should not have kissed me if he didn't *really* miss me. And, at the time he seemed very serious, like his feeling for me is something that is bottled up inside him most of the time. But if that were true, why would he be ignoring me now? Either he is *really* conflicted or really being insensitive. Of course I would prefer to believe the former. What do you think?

Men. I've heard many stories like this one from friends and acquaintances. The men in our generation seem to hate responsibility and refuse to grow up. And we women are enabling them. My reply to be posted tomorrow.