What to do if falling for ex's friend?

Anonymous
So a while back (like a year and a half), I had just recently met my now Ex, and I had also just met his friend (let’s call him Joe). Well before Ex and I dated, his friend Joe and I swiped right on each other on Tinder. Joe said he wanted to hang out, but that never happened, and he was traveling a lot for work at the time. Long story short, Ex and I realized our feelings for each other before Joe and I ever had a chance to go out, and started dating. Things seemed fine. Ex and I hung around Joe a lot, and it seemed there were no hard feelings, although he could be a little on the flirty side with me from time to time. In fact, he was often more attentive to me than my Ex was. But aside from that, neither of us ever brought up the fact that we matched on Tinder again, and Joe started going on dates with other girls while I was dating Ex. Flash forward a year later. Ex left me to move out of the country, and our relationship ended. Though Joe claims he used to be very close with my ex, it seems the two drifted apart and don’t talk much anymore either. And these last six months that Ex has been gone, Joe and I have been hanging out, a LOT. In fact, he wants to see me more and more, and can seem flirty at times, though we still talk to each other about our dating woes. I’m not sure how deeply friend-zoned we are at this point, or if he’s just using me to replace the friendship he lost when Ex moved away. But, this whole time I’ve been reluctant to flirt back or make a move, and certainly haven’t given him any indication of interest, because I didn’t want to make things weird with me being his friend’s ex, and with the two of us being close friends now… But now, I’m realizing that I have feelings for him, after all. Is it better to just never make my feelings known at this point?
Updates:
+1 y
I think I'm mainly really afraid he might not feel the same way...
What to do if falling for ex's friend?
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