My friend Jake and I have been best friends for 6 years. I was with our mutual friend, Greg, for 5 years. We got engaged and then we broke up because we knew we were better as just friends. He couldn’t give me what I needed and we both knew it.
Jake has been with Riley for 15 months. During the time I was with Greg, Jake and I were only friends; nothing ever happened. 4 months after my breakup, Jake and I got drunk and made out. He told Riley and she was fine with it; we all moved on, or so we thought. Then Jake and I started fooling around while sober. I knew it was wrong and I felt bad about it, but we still did it. We were practically dating and hiding it from Riley the entire time.
Riley is a great girl and I feel awful for being a part of this. Jake told Riley about everything a couple days ago, after I told him I was tired of lying to her. He said she cried a lot and she doesn’t trust him, but she wants to work it out. However, before he told her about anything, he told me he loved her, but he’s in love with me. He said he has felt this way for years and dreamed about being with me. He never told me this while I was with Greg. He also said that when he pictures his future, it’s with me. But, he doesn’t want to abandon her or break her heart. So, he’s choosing to stay with her, even though he loves me.
I didn’t tell him I love him, but I do. He wants to continue being friends, but I don’t think I can do that. I’m torn up. I feel so stupid for continuing anything with him and I feel awful for hurting Riley. I haven’t spoken to her and everything I’ve read online says I shouldn’t, but she was also my friend. We weren’t super close, but I like Riley. I’m afraid she won’t forgive me and I wouldn’t blame her. I’ve deactivated my Facebook and unfollowed them on Instagram. I can’t handle seeing them together. I can’t handle being someone’s second choice, especially after he tells me he loves me. Jake was my best friend and the person I talked to about everything for years; I don’t know how to deal with losing him. He says I won’t lose him, but I already have. What can I do to help myself?