Fell in love with a friend who's in a relationship
A few months ago I realized I was in love with one of my really good friends from college who is in a previous relationship. We've known each other for over two years and really became close this past year. The last month of our time at college we texted 24/7 and hung out as often as we could, but always in a group setting. We finished up school for good in April but have continued texting 24/7. He lives 3 hours away from me now so we haven't gotten together. Its not that far but the fact that he has a girlfriend makes it too awkward to make the drive.
I've never been in love so I'm not enjoying myself. I can't eat, I stay up until 6am talking to him, everything reminds me of him. The first time I accidentally said "I love him" out loud I had to sit down and I balled. And I'm not a very emotional person. I had a small crush on him for a while but always pushed it out of my mind. He's always been pretty flirty with me and always feels guilty about it after. Around the time we got close he was in a very dark place and I helped him a bit. He's shared a lot of very secret information he's never told anyone besides his girlfriend before because I'm able to help him now when he gets to that dark place again. We share everything with each other.
The only thing we don't discuss is his relationship. I feel bad because there are somedays I can tell they've fought and he's down about it. I want to ask him about it so he can vent and feel better but I can't stand listening to anything about her. Even before I loved him I didn't care for her. She's 10 years older than him and not very nice at all. She's always talking down to him and making him feel bad about pointless things. He is the most selfless, compassionate person i've ever known and doesn't deserve to be treated like that.
From many of our conversations we've had I can tell he loves me too because of reasons I won't disclose. We tell each other "I love you" just not "I'm IN love with you". Some skeptical thoughts you might have are that he's using me. We've never even come close to hooking up and now we are 3 hours apart so thats definitely not a motivation. He is possibly the only man without sex on his mind constantly. He doesn't even watch porn because he feels bad for the people involved. Like I said, he's a saint.
I'm just not sure what my next step should be. I don't expect him to break up with his long-term relationship to be with someone 3 hours away. But I'm trying to figure out my first career/place of my own now that i've graduated college. It was never my plan to live in the area he is. I'm not sure if trying to get a job there would be worth it. If nothing comes out of this then I'm stuck by him but can't have him. If I move far away like I planned then I know I may not ever see him again let alone be able to be with him.
I believe love is unconditional so I won't break contact with him even if I know nothing will ever come out of this. He needs my support when his emotions are bad and besides, I couldn't stop talking to him if I tried. I'm just not sure what I'm doing.
"He is the most selfless, compassionate person I've ever known and doesn't deserve to be treated like that." Even if he is letting her treat him poorly, and you want to be with him, you shouldn't tell him that, if you want to be his honest and close friend and nothing else, you have to tell him what you see wrong in their relationship that you believe this is hurting him. I don't think he is using you, but he might not be sure if you are a close friend or a partner material. Some people have difficulty to take the next step with people whom they are friendly with. Or something else is a possibility. Maybe he wants to be friends with you but he senses your love, and he is not making his intentions obvious to you. Sometimes sharing pain and secrets gives the illusion of being in love.
Call him and make a date, not to listen to his problems, but to make him listen to yours. Gather your courage, and tell him what you think and feel. I had platonic feelings about someone in high school, and I behaved like a friend, and confused him, it was my fault, I finally had to tell him that I liked him just to close that chapter of my life later when I graduated. Maybe there was something between us, maybe there wasn't. But it wasn't a fact-finding mission, it was to move on. But later I realized I really didn't want to be with him, it was just a sweet crush. But I didn't want to see this before, and that was the reason of all the lost appetite and sleepless nights.
I had a boyfriend before high school, I loved him so much, and I never wanted to lose him, but I did, he one moment stopped talking to me, and gave up on me. It was all kinds of weird stuff, but I know there is a difference when you want someone and he wants you, you get him in the end, if you don't, then it doesn't work. Just try to see what is really keeping you apart. Someone else, or is it just you?
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond with such consideration. Thank you for sharing your personal experience as well. It definitely aligns with mine in certain ways. I didn't share all the information before because my post was getting lengthy but long story short I know he feels the same way I do. He's had recent conversations with my friends about how he wishes he was with me/doesn't want to be with her, tried to kiss me but I denied him because of his relationship, etc. My main issue is I don't know if he'd ever act on those feelings. He isn't really the proactive type so I'm not sure he would ever take control of his situation. He also hates to be the cause of pain so I could see him not breaking it off with her partly because he doesn't want to hurt anyone.
Your advice is definitely something I will take into mind. While I don't really question his feelings, I do question whether it will go anywhere regardless of what him or I want. I know I should just suck it up and talk to him, but its very hard. I just need to one day soon. And after considering your advice to not voice my opinions about his relationship I definitely agree with you. I would only ever speak up as a friend if I sensed some sort of serious abuse was happening. But I don't see that ever being the case. Her actions towards him are not good for his tumultuous state of mind, there are other factors at hand and she isn't the worst.
Thank you, again! I very much appreciate your thoughtful input.
Don't do the same mistake I did my whole life. Don't believe other people's need not to feel pain, I assure you, the more you run from pain, the more it will follow you, because of the actions you take, when you try your best to avoid it, it means you are not dealing with something easy and lesser pain, but the more you run from it, it is building up more pain for you to deal with later. Just a tip to make things easier.