Having often found myself in the position of being someone’s surrogate boyfriend, I’d like to share my reflections on that torturous state of being.
The first condition of being a surrogate boyfriend is that you must harbor a strong attraction for the woman in question. This doesn’t necessarily mean a lustful attraction, but rather a deep sense of wanting to be around that person.
The second condition is that there must be some obstacle preventing you from even attempting to develop the relationship romantically. This could be because you or she are already engaged in a relationship that is not likely to end in the near future. It could also be because she is unavailable for other reasons. She doesn’t date guys, or doesn’t date at all. She’s not interested in anything else besides friendship. You know the deal.
The third condition is that your feelings for her, despite all of your best efforts, continue to grow. Whether you become protective of the woman, possessive, have a deep relationship of mutual support, become mutual confidants, or whatever. What is important is that your feelings grow slightly out of step with hers, and it begins to hurt.
The final thing that separates this situation from a tragic crush is that she must be aware of your feelings. That’s right, she knows you have come to want her. You may have talked about it or not, but she knows and she likes it. There’s nothing wrong with this. I‘ve told myself over and over again.
Maybe you’re giving her the emotional half of a love life that she can’t get from her boyfriend. Maybe this supplies the sense of intimacy that deep and deeply weird relationships sometimes thrive from. Or maybe it’s the sense of control or power. Whatever it is, she knows about your feelings and is getting something out of the relationship.
And sometimes this is exactly what you need to carry on!