I think the religion issues matter because I didn't hear that the guy doesn't want a serious long term relationship with the sister - I heard that he does want that, just not a romantic one. And I don't know that we know whether the sister is okay with that. If she wants marriage, it sounds like this could work. If she wants romance, sounds like it won't.
see, but that's what is puzzling to me about the whole story and why my initial response was that maybe he actually *does* want to continue the relationship
toward marriage but without it becoming "romantic" at this stage.
I am assuming (because i know how these courtships work in the very orthodox jewish world) that there is no *other* kind of relationship
. You either have a "private" relationship
with the intent being toward marriage (and, as verified by the OP, this means no physical contact) OR you don't. but you don't have friendships between man a woman under other circumstances.
ETA - which is why i think that maybe he *is* being honest. if they are both par t of this type of community, then it wouldn't make sense for him to "offer" *another* kind of relationship
. just a thought. is OP able to enlighten us?