Ah, this is hard. I'm sorry you feel hurt. It sounds like you perhaps without meaning too developed feelings for him. This can be hard if you don't feel like the same level of feeling developed but do you really know this yet? I figure, what do you have to lose but a few minutes of pride if he responds in a way that doesn't go as you hoped if you tell him that you would like a chance to date him yourself if he is open to it? Give it a shot. My belief is that friends don't usually really last in any genuine way if one of the 'friends' actually has a crush. The relationship is always imbalanced. So, you may lose someone you currently enjoy chatting with but it just cuts to the chase and maybe forces you to not spend time continuing to develop feelings for that person when a future relationship likely won't happen. You know what I mean? hugs
Hi, jessie --
Of course our heroine, calmshell, could open an adult conversation with him about it. It would just all depend on how calmly she could discuss it. The reason I didn't particularly recommend it is that she is distressed. When a person is feeling stung and hurt over something that she had not had the other person's encouragement to even feel, that's not usually a good time to disclose the feelings. She doesn't want him to come away saying "I didn't *ask* her to feel that way about me, I even told her I wasn't in the market." In short, if he was embarrassed or shocked by how she felt, he'd kind of wind up blaming her. As it is right now, it would just be a neutral break in the contact.
Besides, I took from what she was saying that she didn't know if she could even give him a calm one-liner of explanation. (If he ever asks. If he doesn't, of course, she has her answer about his interest level. And what a jerk, if so ... he's obviously missing out on a nice person.)
At the moment she can take the hint and step away with dignity, and he can sink or swim with Miss Flirty. If he later decides that Miss Flirty was an irritating airhead compared to all the fun he had with our heroine, he might come back again. I hope so! (If he does get back into contact and she wanted to feel better, she could even tell him she's met someone and doesn't have as much time for these chats. Then she'd learn how he felt! But of course, our heroine does not indulge in games.)
The only advice I'd put on the recommendation to have a straightforward talk is the part about if she had been hiding that she had feelings, she might want to finesse that point a little and say they were recently discovered. That way she wouldn't look like she had been being a "friend" only as a subterfuge in hopes of something more.
"Not actively looking" doesn't mean "I don't want one".
I think in most cases, the best way to figure out what's happening, is to just use your words. If you like him, just tell him.
And he's just talking to the other person. They aren't married. You're single, he's single, presumably, the other woman is single.
So there are two ways to think of this.
Use your words. Just tell him. He may like you back, and you were the one who had the courage to bring this up, and you sail off into the sunset.
Use your words. He may like you back, but he might also like this other woman, or he may be a player who likes women feeding him with attention (or any variation thereof), but at least you'll figure that out.
In any case, you won't know unless you talk to him. Or maybe even you just end up with a really good friend. Who knows? But isn't it all better than just assuming and being hurt based on a couple of flirty posts?
I usually agree with Annie on these things, but when she says she doesn't recommend against having this conversation, I respectfully disagree. Why not? If the post was public, you aren't stalking him. It's out there. If he didn't want people seeing it, he wouldn't have posted it. I don't know if this is social media or what, but it's out there. I mean, you saw it. I assume others did, too.
Don't accuse him of anything, just talk with him. Have a discussion.
That's my suggestion, and it's absolutely worth what you paid for it. :)
You mentioned that he posted he was not looking for a girlfriend, and that you "respected" that. What does that mean, you refrained from telling him you were romantically interested? (It doesn't sound like you held much else back.) Given all the daily chatting, if he wanted to be romantically involved, he would have said something by now.
If you like being friends even if he never thinks of you romantically, keep writing in the normal way, for the fun of the correspondence.
If the reason you have been chatting is that you were hoping that sooner or later he would want to become your boyfriend, stop wasting your time. You don't have to explain anything to him. Just hope he's happy because he's your friend, and move on so you won't hang out with unrequited interest any more.