How do I get out of the friendzone with Ex's friend?

Anonymous
So when I met my now-ex, he introduced me to his friend (let's call him Joe). We all hung out as friends for a month when Joe and I matched on Tinder. Joe said he wanted to hang out but he was busy traveling for work and nothing ever came of it. Then my ex stepped up and we started dating instead. So ex and I dated for six months and Joe seemed fine with it, though when ex wasn't around Joe could be a little flirty. But Joe and I became good friends during that time, like he'd talk to me about his dating woes and girl problems, that sort of thing. If anything he was always more of a gentleman to me than my ex, who was never serious about me. He left me to move out of the country, and we pretty much stopped talking, and he hardly talks to Joe anymore either (though the two of them used to be really close). But ex has been gone 5 months and Joe and I continue to be really close, hanging out as friends. He can still be flirty at times but still talks to me about girls. Thing is I have recently realized I have feelings for him. I have never really flirted back or given him any indication whatsoever that I'm interested in him as more than a friend, because I've been afraid of ruining a good friendship. So my question is, what is the best way to attempt to get out of the friendzone? And is there even any hope? If it's hopeless, then probably not worth it to even try...
How do I get out of the friendzone with Ex's friend?
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