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Do my friend and I have romantic feelings for each other?


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I have posted a few years here, but this forum has always been helpful to me, so I created a new account to see if I could get some help. A few weeks ago I slept with a good friend of mine and I've been in my feelings about it ever since. I had put him firmly in the brother/friendzone not because I didn't find him attractive or because I don't enjoy spending time with him it just seemed like the best thing to do since we shared a space together to keep things straightforward


Things you should know before I continue:


  1. We've been acquaintances for 10 years
  2. We were on the verge of dating and spending lots of time together a few years ago. Nothing happened.
  3. We've been living together for a year as friends and have cultivated a good friendship


So we slept together...


He was really sweet about it, asking me how I felt after the experience and creating room to talk. Our friendship so far seems unaffected, we've become more flirty and playful with each other and have slept together 3 other times since the first encounter. He still continues to be sweet towards me, makes me breakfast when I ask, calls to check in when I'm home sick, always making sure the house is stock with my fave snacks.


We had a meeting to discuss what we both wanted out of the experience and he expressed he wanted to explore his capacity to connect with me on an emotional level by deepening our friendship. He has asked me to identify areas where I'd like to connect with him, that would add value to our relationship and he's open to trying to incorporate them. It should be noted, that he's the type of person who doesn't take letting anyone into his inner world lightly.


He said that the sex doesn't need to continue (its currently on pause) for this to happen and if it doesn't, it doesn't change his desire to explore how we can connect further.


My Struggle

  1. I'm still figuring out my feelings for him romantically. I love him as a friend. I find myself missing him when we're apart and I love spending time with him and cuddling. I actually said to a friend a few weeks before this happened that I hope my next partner makes me feel as safe as he does. I have physical attraction and like him as a person, but there's not like BAM PANG in my heart, just sweet ordinary admiration and respect.
  2. He's dating other people. We aren't dating and now I'm finding myself feeling super uncomfortable and insecure when he goes out the meet this woman he's trying to determine if she's a friend or a romantic interest.
  3. I don't know if he likes me likes me and I don't think its fair to demand knowing seeing as I'm still figuring out how I feel about him.
  4. This past week, I started feeling hella nervous around him. I'm used to being confident and comfortable around him and now I feel like I'm always second guessing myself.
  5. I'm scared that I'll spend all this effort of building a deeper friendship and then find I do actually have more robust feelings for him but by then he'll be head over heels this woman he's dating. But I also don't want to rush deciding how I feel about him out of fear of missing out.
  6. I'm used to men being really forward and moving very quickly, swooping in with romance etc. That's how I gauge their interest. But he's not that type of person. So everthing is suppppeeer subtle.


My close friend (who is friends with both of us, and has been friends with him longer) has been pointing out for months how gentle and attentive he is of me and she says she's never seen that side of him. My family is also in my ear about him, saying how great we'd be together.


I'm exhausted by the mental energy this is taking from me and I would really like to be able to focus on the other areas of my life. I need some perspective on this.

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