I am 27 and have been with my boyfriend for 8 years. I have become in the past year very good friends with a guy I work with who is 26 and has been with his girlfriend 4 years. We had worked together for about a year before we even spoke to each other and then we got chatting on a works night out last year and really hit it off as we have both have very similar temperaments and interests. We went on a lot of work nights out after that and would spend most of the time talking to each other. We also email each other back and forth every day and lending each other books, films and making each other mix tapes as well as giving each other little presents from time to time. It all sounds like a nice friendship but when we were out on works nights out and we had had a few drinks he would really open up to me as he is quite shy generally and tells me a lot of things about his relationship with his girlfriend and the death of his father etc which he says he feels unable to talk to anyone else about and that nobody understands him the way I do. To a certain extent I feel that I too can tell him things that I can’t talk to other people about although I think I am more reticent than him.
When he tells me that I am pretty and has told me that he is attracted to me on several occasions when he has been a bit drunk. I do find him attractive also but have not told him so. Recently we have been arranging to spend more time together on our own going to see films and concerts that our partners wouldn’t want to see and our partner know about the time we spend together. After one of these nights out he said that one of his girlfriends friends kissed everyone goodbye on the lips as if to say we should say goodbye like that but I suggested he settle for a hug, which he did.
The last time we went out along with his close male friends to a gig we ended up going back to his place alone where we sat up all night talking. He sort of held my hand in the taxi on the way back to his making a joke of it and later engaged me in some physical horse play where he sort of pushed me into his lap. Later when I left in the morning he hugged me goodbye very tightly for a long time when I went to pull away he hugged me again only tighter.
Looking back over what I have written, if it were someone else writing it I would think it was obvious what was going on here, but it’s not as clear cut going through it. I know he loves his girlfriend and I love my boyfriend too but the connection I share with this guy is very intense I find his company very stimulating. Secretly there are times when I would like nothing better than just to hold him but every time we do embrace I am so scared it will lead to something more that I am scared to relax. I would definitely not jeopardise what is possibly the most meaningful friendship I have had in my life by letting anything physical happen but sometimes I feel like it is just a matter of time. I am angry because if I was male or he female we could just be great friends without these other feelings messing things up or raising any eyebrows. I really don’t know what to do, how to progress I am not prepared to give him up but if something happens even a kiss I am sure it would ruin everything.
If things were different and neither of us were in relationships I would jump at the chance of becoming involved with him although I would still worry about losing his friendship if things went wrong. I don’t ever think it is a good idea to break up with someone for someone else either because if things go wrong it would be easy to become bitter. Still I would hate to think I missed out on something special because I was afraid. I am so confused.
Has anyone else ever been in a similar situation? How have you coped with it?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.