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What a big complicated mess. Mutual feelings, prior involvement.


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This is going to be long so please, please excuse me for the GIANT wall of text. Promise I'll try to be to the point.



All right, so.. there's this guy - of course. That's how it always starts out, right? Haha, anyway. I knew him back in elementary and we were the best of friends, but in sixth grade we had a falling out. When we were good pals we kind of had a mutual crush that never really got spoken of. We've been talking again this year (eleventh grade now!) and we've gotten really close really quick.


I've known for a while he's been interested in me, even when we weren't talking. I've heard it from one of his friends and also my brother's girlfriend, both of whom are fairly reliable sources. I never paid much mind to it, and we actually became friends again because I started talking to his girlfriend. I didn't see the harm in it at first, because, well, he's taken, and over me, I figure.


Err, well. Guess not. That became apparent to me pretty quick. We got incredibly close ridiculously fast - talking and enjoying each other a lot. It went from good friends to insane flirting, though, and that's when it began to raise my concern. I generally try to keep people at arm's length, but I didn't see much problem with letting him in a little, at least not until I realized I was more than a little bit interested in him!

So we've got this mutual attraction and he has a girlfriend. Despite the latter, he'd frequently tell me "I love you" or "I like you" jokingly, except.. not. He'd also find excuses to touch me, or touch me without much excuse at all (things like ruffling hair, stroking my back, touching my arm, etc.). Despite myself I'd return it, which I struggled a lot with. His girlfriend is a nice girl, and coming between them isn't something I want weighing on my conscience.


But she does have her vices. She's incredibly insecure and emotionally immature. She requires a LOT of reassurance and.. maintenance, for lack of better word, I guess. She's also EXTREMELY touchy and oversensitive. Nice, smart girl, very sweet - much nicer than me, I can tell you!

He'd frequently complain to me about things concerning the two of them. How she takes things too personally, picks fights over things that are literally insignificant - and every day, no less. He's told me he's considered breaking up with her time after time because it's a frustrating cycle. She'll get mad because, say, he sings a song to her that he and his friends sing as a joke, but she doesn't want him singing it to her because it's not -their- song (I kid you not, that actually happened). The relationship is also a bit one-sided, emotionally, he's told me. When she's upset she needs a lot of comfort and attention and even then she gets snappy and moody with him. But when he's in a bad mood, she doesn't seem to notice, to put it in his words. I've seen it, but I try not to hold judgment due to the fact I'm biased.


I'm the polar opposite of his girlfriend and much like him. I'm easy-going, laid back, and I try to keep things simple, clean, easy and to the point. Essentially, I have the mindset of a guy more than I think like a girl. I'm confident and sure of myself most the time and I take things as they come. I'm horrendously bitter and cynical, and honest to the point of being blunt. Turns out, though, so's he, and we hold a lot of the same views towards things. My usual belief is that opposite attract and are good for one another, because there's more to be learned for both parties, and they even one another out. However, he and I really seem to hit it off. We just click and there's this outstanding chemistry between us. Sounds petty coming from a kid still in high school, I bet - ah well.


He's really the only guy I've /ever/ been particularly interested in. I've dated, given, but those were chicks and I didn't have the same infatuation with them as I seem to have with him - there's this endless fascination and curiosity and wonder I find in him. He inspires me and everything seems to come easy. I intrigue myself with the smallest, tiniest things about this guy, and it's kind of sickening when you think of it in such a sappy way. There's something else about him that I can't quite place. I suppose it's the fact that I ALWAYS enjoy him. He makes me smile without trying (oh, god, why) and I'm always amused and entertained around him, I always enjoy his company. I never found that kind of chemistry with either of the girls I dated.


So.. anyway, back to the situation, sorry about that. All of these feelings ended up rekindled but I tried to keep it on the down-low, since, you know, he's taken. He wasn't quite so cautious though; he'd relentlessly call me a pet name or flirt with me when she wasn't around. After that he'd be all over his girlfriend when they were around one another. Talk about making me feel expendable, haha!

I know that seems to say something horrible about him but don't worry, I'm cynical enough to see any advice you'd toss my way, haha.


Despite how I probably just made him look horrible, he's a man of his word. I try to be understanding because hey, I know he's had an interest in me for a long time (at least a year - I think even more, actually. He and his girlfriend have been dating for a bit under half a year) and I laid a bunch of hints I know for a fact he caught. Having something you want when you have a prior commitment sucks and he's got to have /some/ kind of outlet for it. He's like me in that he's honest most of the time, but half the time what he is honest about he turns into a joke.

So I ended up losing my resolve and just flat-out admitting to him that hey, I'd date him given the chance. I told him it was simply for honesty's sake, since the chance obviously wasn't there.

His response left me with mixed feelings. He told me, basically in these words, "I'd have to say the same, but I'm happy and I'm with (girlfriend) for now. Nothing against you, really, you're a wonderful girl, it's just I'm a man of my word. But if it ends I'm with you."

I gotta say I've got a pretty sour taste in my mouth. There's a lot I could have said but rather than that I just told him I was glad for how noble he was and that I'd feel horrible if I came between them, despite how much of an ass I am.


But is what he's doing really all that noble? I can't help but feel it's unfair to his girlfriend, if nothing else. The fact he's not going to just up and leave somebody for somebody else is a good thing, given, but in a way that doesn't make it right. He's interested in somebody else and shows it (or did - we haven't seen each other since I told him, spring break and all) but he does it without her knowing. I feel bad because I almost feel like he has to sneak around her to talk to me, but should I really be the one feeling guilty?

The point I'm making is, is it REALLY that great that, despite being (more? i dont know) interested in somebody else and displaying that attraction, he's still dating his girlfriend without her knowledge of it. Would it be right or wrong for him to break up with her? Maybe it's just me but I think it's unfair to date somebody when you've got eyes for somebody else. He's not a bad guy, he's not a cheater, just kind of caught between having one thing and wanting something else. That doesn't make the way he's handled it right, though.

And in the same token, yeah, I can't help but feel a little played. I don't know why, because by all means I'm the "other woman." I guess it's the fact that he kind of came off like he's planning to date her until she's no longer interesting/it doesn't work out, and then he thinks I'll still be available to him, like back up or something. I know logically I'm not JUST back-up but I can't help feeling like that's PART of the appeal. That nagging insecurity isn't quite unfounded, I'm sure you understand.



So, my question is - how do I handle this? Stopping flirting is a good idea. I desperately do not want to put distance between us but it's probably the moral thing to do. Really, in all honesty, I'm seventeen and not at all used to this cliche, typical high school crap most chicks go through when they're thirteen or fourteen. I was completely devoid of a social life up until this year. So any advice or words of wisdom you have to offer would be hugely appreciated, haha. Even input would be nice. Penny for your thoughts?

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