Is he attracted to you at all?
This is the first question you should ask yourself, because if the answer is a NO you will save yourself a lot of trouble. It is your freedom and right to like someone secretly and be happy about it, until one day you wake up and suddenly realized you’re over him. But that’s it. There is no hope and no future. He will NOT like you back JUST BECAUSE you’re good to him. So why don’t you save yourself some time?
And how to tell if he’s attracted to you?
I don’t believe it is something too hard to figure out. It should be something decently obvious, genuine and consistent. If not, or if you have to think VERY HARD to finally find some slight clues of his feelings toward you, then chances are there is no such feelings to start with.
What if he likes you back?
Here is a tricky one, and here is how you invite yourself into a house of trouble. You can sure tell yourself: “But he is not available” or “I can do better than this”. But it drives you crazy that both of you may have feelings toward each other but cannot be together. Then you come up with all kinds of excuses including: “they’re not married so it’s all fair game for me to be after him, or vice versa”.
But it’s not. And you really don’t want to go down that slippery slope. So what can you do, if anything at all?
Be a friend.
I know, I know. It’s easier said than done. But this is your best bet. Be a friend, bring your ears, try to learn more about him and give him opportunities to learn about you, as a person. Avoid too emotional topics. Support his ambitions and dreams, share his interests, and if you can help, offer the help, but don’t let him abuse it.
So what can you get from all of these?
1) Sooner or later, you might find out he’s not really that attractive after all. And trust me, a lot of people are not that attractive anymore once you get to know them. Then congratulations problem solved!
2) And there is a slight chance, you shouldn’t count on this though, that he really values you as a person and a friend, and at some point if he decides to end his relationship with the other girl, I don’t see any reason why you are not his first choice at that point.
3) Worst case, you win another friend. Because every other approach will let you lose one, and maybe two! (badmouth his girlfriend, behave inappropriately, etc)
Don’t try to tell him that you are into him.
Chances are he knows about this already, if he’s not stupid. He might be enjoying it or he might feel guilty about it or he is taking the time to figure things out too. But no matter what it is once you say it out (something both of you probably already know), there is little chance he can even stay as a friend. Why? Because, what do you expect him to do? To admit he likes you too while he still has a girlfriend? Why do you want to put him in such an awkward and embarrassing position?
I know your heart is in pain. But trust me, saying it out will not make either of you feel better. UNLESS, you have decided to walk away. If you want to walk away, you can tell him that you’re into him and will now leave knowing that he’s not available. Then please keep your promise, if he has a sensitive and soft heart, he will understand and he will even want you to stay. But if you stay, again you are inviting more pain.
How to deal with physical attraction
What if there is this strong and deadly physical attraction? First it is amazing that you are having this feeling and congratulations you’re one of the lucky ones, and while you can, enjoy the fantasies because they need to stay as fantasies.
Then ask yourself, what will happen if you really cross the line. There are basically 3 possibilities:
1) You fall for him more, but he’s still in love with his girlfriend, he ditches you.
2) You fall for him more, he falls for you more too but won’t let go of his girlfriend, tragedy and both of you are miserable.
3) You fall for him more, and he ends up breaking up with his girlfriend to be with you. Is that really want you want? You might not care about what the other girl thinks and I agree not everyone is kind enough to try “not hurt the other girl”. But honestly what does this mean to you? He will constantly miss his ex and you’ll constantly be afraid he’ll go back to his ex, or even worse, someone else!
What if you can’t resist it?
Okay, then just walk away. I know this is sad, as you were so close. But dear you know too that this is for your own good. It’s probably fate that you met each other, but it doesn’t mean anything. It only means something when you want to see it, but again you can’t grab it. It is your right if you choose to go for it anyways, but just understand it will only be an experience, which will fade with time (then I don’t know why you have to hold on to it, while you may as well embrace many other beautiful and exciting things in life, and the people around you).
And I don’t want to imagine you getting hurt again. There are many attractive human beings in this world (yourself being one of them), you don’t need to get hurt by someone who’s already committed to someone else.
You may want to cry. So cry. But you remain intact and you grow stronger. You respected the guy, his girlfriend, and most importantly, yourself.
There is nothing special about this guy, or this situation. But it’s about how special you are. This is a big challenge for you and you did well.
You are a good person, and I want to hug you and cheer for you.