My guy friend avoids me now because he's attracted to me? I don't understand?

One of my best friends, I'll call him Paul, is avoiding me because he's attracted to me. I've known him since high school and we've both admitted to being sexually attracted to eachother and both agreed that this is something we would never act on because he's one of my longest-standing friends, and vise versa. He's currently dating my best friend, Nichole, and she's aware of the dynamics and she's okay with it as she trusts me and she trusts him. The three of us used to hang out all the time together, but lately it's just been me and Nichole- Paul seems to be finding any and every excuse to avoid hanging out with the two of us girls and pretty much only comes when Nichole insists on it. Also, Paul and I used to text all the time, but now if I text, I get a one word response, if that. When I asked him about it, he gave me the "it's not you, it's me" line, as in, I don't want to hang out with you because I find you very attractive. My best friend/his girlfriend told him that she wants him to hang out with us, not stop talking to me, etc, but he still only does so when she insists on it. Nichole and I can't figure out what the problem is? Why would a good (guy) friend of mine dump me like that after 23 years? It hurts to lose such a good friend, especially when my best friend/his girlfriend is being pulled in two directions between us.
My guy friend avoids me now because he's attracted to me? I don't understand?
1
1
Add Opinion