Let's preface with a few facts. Said guy friend (we'll call him B) and I are both 24, both share a few mutual friends and did a professional program together, during which we spent a lot of time together. We're not immature, but we can both be a little dense about emotions and cues.
So, the obvious fact is I like B. I only realized this recently, when I went on a date and could only think of how B wouldn't do that, B would say this, B would never let this entire date get awkward (by the end of it, I felt bad for the guy). And when I would try to get to know other guys, I was never fully interested in trying. The whole idea of me liking B hit me like a brick. I started to panic. We've known each other about 2 years now, and while we do have our differences (he can be superficial or unaccommodating, and I can be overly moral sometimes), we enjoy a lot of the same things and there's undeniable closeness.
Early in our friendship, our mutual friends always insinuated or teased me about our relationship, asking me if I would ever be interested in dating B. For the sake of our professional relationship and the program we were both in, I closed that off. He was always attentive, he let me rant all the time, we did a lot of fun things together etc. I didn't want to lose that.
Two years later, we still hang out. We're probably closer. Except, we don't ever talk about our love lives. He will mention his ex once or twice. I will talk about some of his coworkers, who I think are attractive. He will discuss how this girl has a great rack, and I'll talk about how I like good forearms. We're... friends. Like actual "friends" at this point. Like, I would help him date if he asked friends. Even if it kills me.
Yet, now that I know how I feel about him, I notice when he pays attention. I feel like my heart exaggerates what my mind sees. Like when his eyes linger on me when I'm smiling, how he apologizes for letting his hand hit mine, how he messages me almost instantaneously after I've sent him the most random thought (e.g. how big are ostrich eggs?). How he'll indulge my bizarre habits. How he leans in a lot when we're drinking, how he likes to touch my arm when we're at any pub, how he enjoys hanging out one on one/going to dinner together.
And I want to tell him how I feel. I know, at this point, if there was anything, it's probably gone now. And he's looking forward to dating other girls. But I can't date without thinking about him and I need it off my chest. I can't just ignore him for 2 months to get rid of him, so I should tell him. But is it worth it? Is it wrong to tell him how I feel? Is it just unnecessary information that would make our relationship awkward, especially since I'm sure he's not interested in me? Is it selfish that I want to clear my head at the cost of his?
I just can't get him out of my head. I dont' know what to do. Any insight would be awesome.
Most Helpful Guy
I'm not clear why you assume he wouldn't be interested in you. Your descriptions of his actions suggest that he is very interested in you. Since he knew for so long that you weren't, it seems reasonable that he would not know that your feelings changed for him so much. It's not surprising he would talk about other girls with you under the circumstances.
There is a real risk in telling a close friend that you would like more. This alters the friendship if the feeling is not returned. In your case it seems like your feelings are already affecting you. It will likely get harder with time not to let something out. If something comes out on its own it could come out too intensely.
Do you think you could ask him if he would be interested in going on a real date with you? You could say that if this would be uncomfortable, you understand. If it feels better to be less direct, you could invite him for activities that are more than friendly. For example, if he was interested in going out dancing with you, you would learn a lot by whether he spent the evening dancing with you or preferred to dance with other partners. While talking about a difficult subject, you could put your hand on his and see how he responds. There are steps you can take that would give you a better sense of how he feels. But directness is always an option.1