Welcome! I'm a Professional Counselor, Behavioral Consultant and Relationship Expert. I thought I noticed your not online so I thought I'd answer your question based on the info you provided in your question.
Your friends are right! The fact that you had a massive argument over the text alone tells me that there is an strong emotional connection between the two of you. This is reinforced by the playful verbal teasing and the care he showed you by checking in on you to see how you were doing. There's likely sexual interest based on some of the behaviors you described as well...
Interestingly your I also assume your friends are right about his inability to handle or express his feelings in a mature way.
Having a relationship takes a lot of work and it also takes very good and clear communication. I think you need to set boundaries for yourself and very clearly express yourself to him about our feelings.
Ask yourself: would you like to have a long term committed relationship with him? If so what does that look like? what do you need from him in terms of commitment? What specific behaviors do you need him to start doing or stop doing in that kind of relationship...
Then ask yourself: are you willing to continue like this always frustrated sometimes hurt and angry? Sounds like he gets hurt and angry to at times.
I think you have 2 options:
1) to have a real committed and serious relationship with him or..
2) you have to draw very clear boundaries, state clearly how you define your relationship what is ok behavior and what is not acceptable behavior. This means just being friends - a formal relationship. It would mean accepting that you will not have that deep, close intimate relationship with him. It also means
that you will need to get over him - I say that because your anger and frustration come from an underling sense of deep care for him. If you take the friendship with boundaries root it will hurt at first and you will have to be strong and really take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually.
I strongly suggested that you sit down and write down what you want from him and then let him know these 2 options does he want to be formal friends or does he want to share a deep emotional intimacy with you? Ask him what he wants from you in terms of a relationship. Tell him in black and white terms that it's not acceptable for him to send you mixed messages. Again I'm suggesting this based on what your friends say and what you've told me about the things he's said and the fight you had over the text etc. People can't get mad and frustrated like that unless they care about each other deep inside.There are defiantly feelings there but he needs to choose to grow up and own them and express them or not. If he doesn't want to be mature than you need to get on with your life, take care of yourself, get over him and find someone who will give you the love, respect clear communication and intimacy that you need and deserve as a woman!
I would love to provide more answers based on the new information you provided. But we can only answer 1 question at a time and we only have a certain number of minutes to do so. Let me know if you'd like to pay for additional time.
Oh looks like I can respond now! Great! Let me write out a response and post it in a few minutes!
There’s no question he is attracted to you based on what you’ve described earlier and now again! Ok so this is really important information you’ve added here. So he has a girlfriend? I wonder it is a very serious committed relationship? I wonder if you’ve seen her or know anything about her?
A person can deeply like even love, and be attracted to 2 people. But it makes an emotionally healthy relationship impossible. I think that’s what’s happened here.
If he does have a steady girlfriend, this means that he is having and emotional affair with you at work. Yes he really likes you, but he has to make a decision and make a 100% commitment to just you or her.
You don’t want to be in an emotional affair like that. You need to be in a loving committed long term relationship yourself where you come first in your partner’s life before anyone else! Sound’s like he’s a good guy or you would not be interested in him. And since he likes you that means you have a lot to offer the right kind of man who will commit to you.
You need to have a very clear black and white talk with him if he continues flirting with you and set boundaries to protect yourself and him. Because emotional affairs don’t work – they only hurt people in the end.
And say he did decide to commit to you and not the other woman. How do you know he would not have another emotional affair or worse on you after a few months?
If he flirts with you again you need to tell him that you that behavior is not appropriate or acceptable to you. If you like him tell him your feeling very clearly (not when he’s drinking but when he’s completely sober) in short easy to understand sentences.
But tell him, if he’s not willing to treat you with the respect and love you deserve, then you must only be work colleagues just like you titled your first question. You will provide him love and deep levels of intimacy and honesty but only if he commits to you 110%.
You may want to write him a very clear letter if he you feel uncomfortable talking to him directly, or if he makes it hard for you with his behavior.
If does not agree to commit to you completely so that you become a real couple instead of just emotional affair partners, then you need to get over him. And that could take a couple of months. There are great books out there to help you for example:
If it’s really difficult for your you could also look at a few sessions with a counselor. Sometimes you can get free EAP counseling for your work. You need to eat right, sleep right, stay away from drinking etc hang out with caring family and friends until he’s out of your system.
You need to be strong, get over this guy if he doesn’t agree to be yours and get yourself into an emotional healthy relationship where you will get and give the love and deep intimate connection you need to be a healthy happy woman! You completely deserve it!
I've worked with hundreds of couples of families and studied the best available relationship, dating and marriage research. What your describing is a man who is attracted to you but who does not know how to express his feelings effectively or to set up healthy emotional boundaries. I'm respond now to your last reply..
Hi! great to chat with you live.
So do you like this guy? Do you want a long term 1 on 1 relationship?
Ok so you have a boyfriend already?
To be honest I think he is emotionally and physically attracted to you, that he wants more than friendship and that confuses him.
Well he argues at times because he get frustrated which can make him. Frustrated because he want connection and intimacy with you at times but he's not getting it. His playfulness and comments etc suggest intimacy needs and emotional bidding for your attention.
At other times if he has a girl already and you have a guy, he knows unconsciously that its not realistic.
I really think you should directly communicate to him via writing if this kind of communication continues. State clearly that you value his friendship even that you've felt strongly about him at times but that you only want a friendship and that you'd like to define that friendship clearly and make boundaries.
Not adding you to FB tells me that he is worried about his feelings towards you and his GF may have picked up on those feelings and is jealous.
at the very least he's trying to "do something" about his frustration.
maybe physically frustrated or interested also. What a guy says and what he wants can be very different. You've just given another great example of behavior at the bar that proves an emotional connection. Drinking takes a way the resistance. reading your next post and responding now...
He sounds like the kind of guy who doesn't understand his own feelings. He can't put words to them. He would definitely not argue with you at times or keep you out of his FB unless this was true, - that he was concerned. His being all over the guy at the bar also clearly tells us that deep down he really cares about you.
It's not odd it's normal for most guys to have a disconnect between their behavior their thoughts and their feelings with opposite sex relationships.
Don't be sorry. It's good for you to chat and get it out of your system and come up with a clear simple strategy to deal with it.
same thing, his flirting was likely an expression of his emotional connection to you, worried someone else would have you and not him.
sounds like pretty deep feelings he has for you.
he could be concerned about age at the surface, but age difference may also speak to a deeper kind of maternal connection to you. He may look at you emotionally as a kind of mother figure.
maybe in some ways yes, mum in an unconscious emotional way...
I don't think he shows his feelings for 2 reasons:
1) because he doesn't understand them when they come up (they may not all the time just when he sees you etc and feels a certain way).
2) because his own silly behavior cause him to feel upset and he is naturally trying to avoid that frustration.
Well there are 2 levels of attraction, emotional and sexual. He may at times feel 1 or both.
to put it simply yes. It's like anyone you or I really care about a family member for example. If you're not think about them or seeing them you're not aware of your love for them until you do.
With this fellow it's even more so because he has probably not really thought about and clearly defined his how he understands his relationship to you, so his feelings just pop or get triggered at times.
Again, I think that if you do interact with him it's important to make some clear, simple black and white statements to him. Let him know how you feel and what kind of relationship you would like....just seeing your last question.. I have ask you: What kind of relationship do you really want with him? If you could have the perfect relationship what would it look like? What would you call it?
You might want to ask him some very simple clear questions as well
For example: what does the perfect relationship between you and him look like to him?
That makes good sense to me! If you get a chance you should let him know what hurts you at times in your relationship never be critical because that will shut him down and be defensive. Use "I language" identify the behavior of concern and let him know how it makes you feel. Let him know what your really want from the relationship.
I think he likes you too. again I think he's just trying to avoid a situation where his own behavior and feelings lead him to feel uncomfortable. And again, his GF may sense his feelings towards someone else.
ok no problem!
Hi let me read your reply and respond.
Hi Minxy are you able to see my responses here now?
how are you doing?
Ok sounds like he has other stuff on his mind. Maybe his in conflict with his GF?
what do you think is bothering him?
how are you feeling about this?
It sounds like your really care about this guy?
That is some pretty confusing behavior on his part. I'm concerned that you are reinforcing his close behavior by responding to his far behavior. Why don't you try not responding at all for a few days? Only interact in a completely professional way.
only when you have to as part of your job. If he likes you then his behavior will intensify.
That's when you can tell him you need to talk as adults to clarify the boundaries in your relationship.
If I'm hearing you right, he flirts or sends signals from a distance but when you are physically close in the office or text etc he shuts down.
If that is true, you can experiment with not responding at all except in a completely professional way only when you're work requires as thought you don't care about him at all.
If he cares about you and values your friendship he will increase his attempt to connect with you.
Got it! Then you can ignore those behaviors completely when you are in close proximity. Don't respond to them, act like they don't exist. He may eventually start to text you to reconnect.
well if you stop responding completely he may try to reconnect with you and that's when you need to communicate with him the way we talked before. If doesn't intensify in his attempts to connect with you over time (like I think he will) then you know that he's not interested.
I think that if you don't respond for a few days or more, he will really try to reconnect with you to see what's wrong - the same way he interferes when you talk to someone else or flirts with you now.
I need to be away for a quick meeting for about 10 minutes. I'll check back for your response. shortly...
That sounds similar to what I've been saying.
Ok I have to go too. And also, do you mind paying for our time together? JustAnswer puts a limit on the time we should spend together in chat. I don't mind continuing if you open another question. I hope that's ok with you?
Hi! So how is going now?
I don't really pay attention to the mechanics of this site. I just answer questions to try to help my customers with answers. The billing etc is automatic.
So how are things going?
It shows you as typing here. So I'm just waiting for your response.
ok reading now...
It sounds like he is very concerned about what his current girlfriend thinks. It does make sense a healthy relationship requires boundaries. Emotional affairs destroy many relationships and marriages and often lead beyond the emotional level to the physical. If you are really going to be friends while he is in a serious 1 on 1 relationship with someone else than it should be the kind of relationship that everyone feels comfortable with - nothing to hide from anyone. I think it might be helpful to let him know that at some point.
sure just saw your response...
there was a delay..
It sounds like he really likes you but he's in that 1 on 1 monogamous relationship. Sounds like at times he's torn. He wants to talk to you and spend time, but he's worried about his girlfriend finding out. Sound's like he doesn't want people so it doesn't get back to his girlfriend.
A person can really like 2 people at once, some argue even love 2 at once but it's not healthy for anyone involved.
I think it's more that he is in conflict emotionally because he does want to spend time with and at the same time he does not because is girlfriend will get mad. So it's not your behavior that upsets him but his own conflicted situation.
Well, in summary now it seems like you have a guy who likes you, wants to spend time with you but doesn't want his girlfriend to find out. It's likely the more time he spends not having your attention and spending time with you the more he will want to (if this is what's happening) and that will increase his sense of conflict and frustration. I don't know how emotionally healthy that is for anyone involved.
He may be having or trying to have an emotional affair with you. Here is a good post on emotional affairs in the workplace: