Dear Miss Emily:

I have known this guy since I was 3 yrs old. He grew up on the same street as me and my brother.  He and his brother always hung out and we walked to school together for years. He is 4 yrs older than me, so I knew him outside of school. Over the years, my brother sort of stopped hanging out with them, and I didn't see or talk to him, consistently, for at least 6 or 7 yrs; even tho they still lived in the same place. However, about a yr ago, my bro started talking to him once again and, slowly, so did I.. It began when I was 19 and he was 23. It started with us always strictly hanging out through my brother. This is around the time he met his girlfriend. I always thought he was super cute and funny, but I always ruled out the possibility of "us" ever happening because he is so close with my brother and we have been neighbors and so on. Too weird. Slowly over the past year, we have become closer and closer.  He started calling me, randomly, one night and we have texted and hung out ever since. I am really hurting because I feel like I have fallen in love with him, and he is still with this other girl. Anytime he talks about her, he never says good things. He has told me about problems they have. He tells me about personal things. He calls me late at night. He calls me with phony excuses for calling. And sometimes I get the feeling he might love me too. When ours eyes meet, I swear something lingers. But I always find my self refuting this because of his girlfriend, and I wonder if he is scared of what my brother would think.  He does so many things that seem like he is interested in me, but she is still there. It feels like such a messy situation, and I have tried to walk away from it so many times, but  can't.  We will stop talking for a while and then we will always start everything all back up again. More strange things will transpire, and then it cools down again. I just feel so confused and, given our history, I feel like this could be something special.  I just don't know what to do. Any advice you could give would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
Wanting More

---------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

Dear Wanting:

First of all, there is nothing weird about getting together with a childhood friend (of sorts), who is also a friend of your brother's. What’s weird is you thinking this could be a legitimate obstacle.  On the other hand, you might be searching for an excuse as to why this hasn’t gone any further.  I’d like to think that this guy feels the same way as you and, he, like you, is too afraid to bring this out in the open for fear of rejection.  However, one can’t ignore the fact that he’s the one with the girlfriend (although he complains about her), all the while seeking you out as the “go-to girl” for a sympathetic ear and late-night gab-fests. Whether he is cognizant of this or not, he is playing you like a violin. That gives him more power than he deserves. I don’t know how much longer you want to hope that cupid’s arrow strikes him in the heart so profoundly that he must confess his love for you but, if it were me, I’d swallow my false-pride and talk to him about my feelings. You don’t have to pour your heart out like a lovesick teenager, just tell him that you often think about what it would be like if you two had met, without the history, and had more than a friendship.  See how he responds.  If he agrees, then you can say, “But if you think about it, that really shouldn’t be a problem, should it?”  If he backs away from this conversation, or has the integrity to politely let you off the hook,  you have your answer:  He’s either not interested in a romantic relationship (which is fine) or this “cat woman” of a girlfriend, has cornered her “mouse” of a boyfriend and he's staying put no matter how many "love" vibes he's throwing in your direction.  If the latter is true, you might want to readjust your opinion of him.