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Tempted to two-time

Kate wrote:

About a year ago I started going to a bar around the corner from a friend’s apartment. I probably would never have ventured in there, the location isn’t all that great, but I’m very glad I did. As the year went on I started introducing friends to this quaint little location, and it became our little spot.

My very first day there I met the core bartender, and got well acquainted with a lot of the locals, and regulars. As far as the city goes, there aren’t many bars that allow you to become close to the bartenders. But this little place has become a real sanctuary for me. Not that I’m an alcoholic, but I enjoy the people this bar attracts, and even at its busiest the employees never forget the regulars.

As my relationship with this haven grew, so did my relationship with the bartender. He has become a very close friend. Having said that the advice I seek goes beyond this friendship. Let me start by saying, I am often oblivious of signs I receive from males. There is an obvious attraction between me and lets call him Alex, but I often cough it up to his job, and its flirtatious requirements.

I have spent time with him outside of his job, one night he actually invited me to spend the night because I had gotten into a fight with a friend and was drunk, (He does have a girlfriend, by the way), and we were up until sunrise on his roof talking. There was no pressure, but I won’t forget that special time. I became a lot closer to him after that, and now after a year of knowing him, friends of mine are starting to point out certain things. I generally just assume it’s our friendship speaking. But here are a few things he has said that my friends often bring to my attention. Just let me know your depiction of this:

-One time a woman in the bar said something foul about how pretty I was, and he told her I get more beautiful the more you know me.

-He always tells me that my friends take advantage of me, and that I deserve better then that.

-He often asks about my relationship with my boyfriend, and how I feel about it.

-He makes me special drinks, and when we’re out he’ll buy me a special shot to take with just him.

-He joined the pool league with my and my current boyfriend.

-He often calls me the name of his current girlfriend.

-He often calls me babe, sweetie, hun.

-We hug all the time

I guess I assume we are just friends, and there are no underlying feelings. I love him as a friend, and don’t want to assume anything that isn’t valid. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes on a situation can better evaluate it. I guess I just want to know if anyone thinks he may have some other kinds of feelings for me.

Dear Kate

He may have; it's impossible to tell on the Internet, it's the subtle signs that give it away.

You obviously think he has, and you're probably right.

What is obvious, is that you have feelings for him.

As you both have partners, I'd spend a little time asking yourself where this is going.

As well as two partners being affected (and they probably are already, unless they're pretty stupid), you risk losing a great place to be, and a wider circle of friends too.

I'm always supsicious when a guy says "your friends take advantage of you, and that you deserve better then that" - it usually means he's taking advantage of you, too.

It's quite possible that he sees you as a potential bit on the side, as his girlfriend obviously isn't around the bar a lot.

I'd also be a tad suspicious of a guy who's closing in while he still has a girlfriend ... but then, you have a boyfriend, and you're encouraging him, so you might well deserve each other.

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