#AgonyCant I'm into this guy and he might like me too... but he has a girlfriend
"I started a new job seven months ago.
"A week into it my car decided to die, so a guy from work offered to give me lifts to and from work. It’s 50 minutes from where we live so that’s a good chunk of time to get to know someone.
"We became friends and we chat every other day. I’m single and he’s in a relationship, but he has told me that he is only with her because he feels he needs to support her through a rough patch before he can break up with her.
"Initially I was just being a supportive friend, but I’ve noticed that my feelings are changing.
"I get butterflies when he messages me and it feels like the world stops when I’m around him. I feel so horrible about it. I am riddled with guilt.
"He has a girlfriend and I would never do anything to jeopardise that. I don’t even think he likes me that way - he is just a friend but I can’t help how I’m feeling. What do I do?"
Seven months is a long time to spend getting to know someone - especially someone you're inevitable going to develop feelings for.
The important thing to remember though is that your feelings are your own, they're justified, and you can't just switch them off.
Emotions need to be felt. If you suppress them, they'll just end up rising to the surface when you least expect them and ultimately make you feel even worse than you already do.
It's OK to feel a certain kind of way towards someone you like. It's OK to feel guilty, it's OK to feel excited, and it's OK to feel like you would absolutely jump this guy if he wasn't in a relationship... because feelings don't have to equal actions.
You can fancy someone without acting on it. You can chat via messenger without flirting. You can get butterflies without absolutely falling in love and deciding you need to be together forever.
At the same time though, this lad shouldn't be trying to get with you just because he's stuck in his own less-than-ideal relationship.
I don't know if he is or not - and you probably don't know either at this stage - but if he's unhappy in his situation, that's his problem. You can be the good friend, you can give him advice, you can be there for him if he needs you, but it's not up to you to fix what's going on in his life, irrespective of whether you've got feelings for him.
A quick fix situation would involve you continuing to withdraw, stopping seeing this guy out of work hours, and phasing out the chat.
If he's at all self-aware, he'll understand what's happening and he'll let you do your thing, your feelings will start to subside, and you can go back to being casual acquaintances.
But things don't always pan out the way we want them too, and doing this could also lead to him getting frustrated, wondering why your friendship is suffering, and lashing out.
And as well as this, you might just start to miss him.
The issue here isn't that you want you feelings to go away, but that you're uncomfortable with feeling them when this guy is in a relationship with somebody else.
If you can truly trust yourself not to do anything to jeopardise his relationship though, then you shouldn't have much to worry about.
There are two people in this scenario. Chances are that both of you are feeling equally guilty for whatever's happening - you because you like him, and him because he doesn't want to be with his girlfriend and potentially has feelings for you too.
Either way though, you shouldn't be shouldering all of the guilt here. You haven't done anything wrong, you haven't forced anyone to do anything. You just like a guy you work with, and that's OK.
Trust yourself to know what your boundaries are. If you get the sense that this friend is trying to start something with you while still being with someone else, you'll know you have to shut it down.
Similarly, if the whole scenario is causing you too much grief and anxiety, you'll know yourself that you should get out it.
Having feelings for people is supposed to be nice. It can be complicated, confusing, and even frustrating at times, but the overall sense of the whole situation should be some variation of 'Ah yeah, this is grand.'
If it's not predominantly grand, you've got a problem and you need to figure out whether you want to end this thing entirely or if you're mentally able to continue as you are - because feelings don't just go away on their own.
Worried about going on a first date with someone new? Got some lad onto you who won't take the hint? Are you being ghosted, breadcrumbed, or some other new form of dating trend? Just need somewhere to vent about everything that's wrong with your love life? Same, to be honest.
Don't worry though because at Her we've been there, we are still there, and we can maybe even give you some decent advice. At the end of the day, #ShiftHappens to all of us.
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