He has a girlfriend but …

Hi Meredith,

I am a single 25-year old. I have a friend of a friend who I have now become really close with because he lives almost next door. We get along really well and I am very much attracted to him. Friends often joke about how we are so similar or would be "perfect together." There is one thing that is wrong with this situation, and that is that he has a girlfriend. To preface this, I am very much against cheating. I know that he is off limits completely. They've been together for six years and began dating their freshman year of college. They are now doing long-distance and rarely see each other. He often seems frustrated by their situation because she wants him to move there, and he wants to stay here. He still definitely loves her though.

Lately, we've been getting closer. We often go out with our friends, who are a couple, and it almost feels as if we are double dating. He also does really thoughtful things for me. I am gluten free and just last week, he made me a gluten-free drink (it was a complicated drink, but I don't want to give away too many details about the nice gesture). I feel like he is starting to have feelings and I definitely have them. I don't want to be the reason they break up. I also don't want to make something out of nothing. I just really enjoy his company and don't want to stop hanging out, but is hanging out wrong?

– Confused

Maybe they'll break up and he'll confess that he has feelings for you. But .. even then, it could take him a ton of time to process the loss of a six-year relationship. No matter what, this isn't happening now. As a single 25-year-old who is ready to date, you need other prospects. You can’t sit at home, sipping your fancy gluten-free beverage, hoping this guy shows up ready to be the love of your life.

With all of that in mind, my advice is to hang out with him when it makes sense, but to keep dating other single people. Try to prioritize real dates and outings with friends who are 100 percent platonic. If this neighbor-with-potential begins to ramp up the romantic gestures, you can ask him about it. It's OK to tell him you're confused and have concerns.

Hanging out isn't wrong as long as it feels honest. If spending time with this man makes you feel like you're part of a cheat, it might require a conversation and some new boundaries. But really, if you can continue to grow the rest of your life and date others, you should be able see this for what it is: something that is not a real option right now.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it OK to hang out with this person?