I apologise in advance for the length of this post!
I have a friend who I've known for a little over a year. We've not been close until recently. A couple of months ago, he was having a rough time. He lost his job, he had to move back in with his parents (aged 2 and he was having problems with his girlfriend of four years. I helped him through all this, and for about 3 weeks helped him deal with his awful girlfriend. During this time I started to develop strong feelings for him. I felt our relationship was maybe not appropriate as we were very close, but since nothing 'happened' with him, I shrugged it off. After a few weeks, his girlfriend broke up with him. He was pretty devestated for a week or so, but he seemed to get over the worst of it pretty quickly and started putting serious effort into getting his life back on track.
Since he broke up with his girlfriend, we have stayed at each others houses a number of times, sharing a bed, cuddled up together, but no sex. There have been a few occasions where we've ended up kissing but nothing more. We'd talked about it and said we had feelings for each other but that he was still grieving his relationship and we didnt want to ruin a truly amazing friendship for a relationship that might not work out.
Over this time we've developed a really close and intense friendship where we talk extensively almost everyday and spend a lot of time together and we've opened up about things from our personal life that neither of us have shared before. I've really never felt that close to anyone. As I mentioned before he's also had to move back in with his parents and I've developed a good relationship with his parents and sister as well - ive never felt so welcomed by anyone in my life!
This has been fine for me. I've stressed about it a little, but in all honesty, I've found it quite nice to have the comfort and closeness I'd get from a boyfriend without any of the commitment or complication involved.
Until last week. Last week, a girl asked for his number and theyve been chatting. He's met up with her once and says nothing happened as he's "not ready to get involved with anyone". I'd kept quiet about it and tried to bury my head in the sand. But on Saturday, he was asking for my advice on it and I just snapped. I said I couldnt deal with this, that he knew how I felt about him and that I thought it was really insensitive for him to be talking about 'some girl', when I've been there for him, been his friend and confidant. He was really shocked when I came out with this and said he had no idea I felt so strongly. I said that I'd deliberatly tried to keep my feelings at bay because I knew he wasnt ready to get involved with anyone and I think he's right to stay single while he gets his life back on track. I left him in his room and went home to avoid crying in front of him. But I got in my car and just sobbed and sobbed.
The next day, he called me and asked if we could meet up and talk. He said that if going out with this girl (or any other girl) would mean losing me, then he'd pick me every time. that I had helped him more than anyone ever has, that I've shown him what friendship and support truly are and that he'd do anything to keep me in his life. So I went to see him and we talked.
I said about this girl that I just cannot stand the thought of him with someone else, it makes me feel sick to my stomach and I was obviously on the verge of tears when I was saying this. He said that I've never said anything remotely like that before the day before and he had no idea I felt so strongly. We carried on talking and he said that he was just not ready for a relationship and said 'but you know how I feel about you'. I said 'I DONT know how you feel about me, you never say!' and he looked really surprised and said 'well I love you.. I'm in love with you'. At which I promtly burst into tears.
So now I'm more confused than ever. He maintains that he's not ready for a relationship but I dont understand how he can be saying that he's in love with me if he doesnt want to be with me! I was hoping someone else could just offer their insight. Brutal honesty is welcomed.