Need Advice-Found Out Male Friend of 5 years likes me
So, I'm in need of any and all good advice. Over the Winter holidays, my best girlfriend approached me and told me she just had to tell me a secert that everyone has been hiding from me. Apparently, the secert was that one of my closest male friends has had a serious liking to me on and off for the past 5 years. We know each other from high school, he was from the same group of friends my boyfriend was apart of.
Well, I'm still with my boyfriend, we have been in a serious relationship since our senior year in high school. We've been together for 5 years now and everything is good. My boyfriend goes to college in Oregon, while I am in a California college, but we have made things not only work, but maintain a happy relationship. *(well, of course we bicker and fight, but what couple does not?)
So this male friend of mine, likes me. And since i found out, I've been keeping my distance from him. He found out I was "ignoring" him and why I didn't want to hang out with him anymore and he flipped out. We stopped talking at that point since everything went to a mess. but, He called me today, about a month later since we have talked, and says he just wants to be around me. That he never tried to break my boyfriend and i up, nor does he want to. he says he just wants me to be happy and that he doesn't want me to throw away what friendship we had just because he likes me, and has liked me.
He feels i am being foolish in a sense. He thinks that the fact he likes me isnt' a big deal. he says he will deal with it, and he will keep liking me, but he won't bother me about it. he says he just wants to be around me. but this makes me very uncomfortable. I spoke to my boyfriend about it, and it makes him uncomfortable too.
So heres my problem, now that I know he likes me, i feel uncomfortable to hang out with him. It is only him and I of our original group of friends who stayed behind instead of going away for college. So if i were to hang out with him, it would just be him and i. Before this never bothered me before because I never knew he liked me! he always talked about girls he was trying to get with, and all of my friends told me he didn't, so i guesss i just didn't see.
But i just don't want to cut him off. that seems so cruel. we have been friends for a long time now, and it feels very mean to just stop being his friend now. before, we used to get together about once a week and go to a few stores, or a tea house, or a coffee house, and just do hw/study and talk for a few hours then see each other again a week later. and he wants to continue doing that. but i have reservations, and hes upset that i feel this way.
I love my boyfriend, and i am quite uncomfortable with hanging out with this friend now knowing that he has liked me for five years, and still does. But to stop being his friend sounds so mean. So i'm reaching out to anyone who would listen. I can't speak to my girlfriends about this, because they all have mixed opinions, as we are all the same group of friends. their advice may be biased. so any offerings of advice, or just, any response, would help me get my thoughts together....thank you for taking the time to read my entry, i really appreciate it.