Dear Miss Emily:

I’m 28, and I know this sounds childish but here goes. A new guy (8 month ago) started hanging around with me and my friends. We are a very tight group of friends...have been for 13 years. We would go to the ends of the earth for each other.  He was accepted instantly with us, which is rare. He says he has never had friends like us before – that all of his have been flaky. He and I got very close, very quickly. We were always together, and we considered each other best friends and have a different bond than the rest of us. We flirted all the time, and it was so obvious to everyone else that we liked each other more than friends. It almost made everyone sick we were so flirtatious. One night, I told him how I felt. He said he felt the same, but if we didn’t work it out he knew that the group of friends would kick him out, cause I was friends with them first. He also said he was scared,  needed to find himself, and wasn’t ready to date because he never really got to date anyone . He’s always been in long-term relationships. I said it was ok, but I could tell it hurt him to tell me that. I thought he was lying, but he told everyone in our group the same thing, and that he thinks I am the most awesome person and sometimes it takes all his strength not
to just kiss me – that he’s just told himself it isn’t an option to date me even though he really wants too. He said he knows if we dated, he would mess something up. He is still flirtatious, and when I’m not around he says he misses me to my friends. Thing is, I just recently found out he has started dating. He told everyone else but didn’t want to tell me. He still hasn’t!  It was just a week ago that he told our friends that he is still having feelings for me. I am heartsick over him cause I know he still feels the same. What can I do I am going crazy. Help!
Sexy in the City

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

Dear Sexy:

Although I appreciate the “Friends” dynamic, politics is not uncommon in all types of bonds.  Look at how this guy has already played it.  He’s got himself into a group, he feels wanted, he flirts with you, yet attempts to be the diplomat while throwing you under the bus.  He feels it’s all right, because he’s being “honest” with everyone, while dating others, yet pining for you.  If he were the type of man I would want, he’d do what he has to do, but distance himself from the group.  It’s too much of a strain to have these feelings get tossed like tennis balls while socializing together.  If you say these friends would “go to the ends of the earth for each other” maybe they should tell the “newcomer” that it seems duplicitous to be flirting with you, and less than respectable to appear sophomoric and selfish in this matter.  On your part, don’t risk the group for someone who doesn’t warrant your loyalty.  Let Peter Pan do what he has to do.  You stay focused on what’s really important in your life, and if your friends are as great as you think they are, they will attempt to catch you if you start to fall.  Be aware, however, that integrity is not built into our DNA – it is learned.  If it is a part of who you are, don’t be afraid to expect it from others.