Why do you feel you are giving out the wrong signals? What signals do you want to give out?
I like your approach of doing the friendship first thing - so many people try to skip that part - friendships have been the foundations of the best relationships I have had!
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb