I just need to a) vent about my problem and hope that in writing it out I can clarify the solution for myself and b) in case the previous option doesn't work, I hope I can get some advice.
To start off, let me just say that I am a practicing muslim woman. I do not believe that dating is okay and have tried my best to stay true to that. I am not interested in having a boyfriend. The only type of relationship I want to have is marriage. But I have also believed that it is okay for men and women to be just friends. (Although recent events have made me doubt that.)
About 8 months ago I met a man during a event at my school. Almost instantly I felt an attraction to him, even though I could not rationalize this attraction (I had just met him so I barely knew anything about him). A few weeks later we added each other on Facebook. And I found out he had a girlfriend. (And before you ask, yes he is muslim and yes he is practicing). Because of this, I did my best to bury my feelings and remain just friends with him.
As time passed, our friendship grew. I feel like we really connect and I value his input. Unfortunately, my original attraction to him did not diminish. Several times I thought about severing our friendship. I worried that it was not healthy to be around him so much when I already had feelings for him. However, the thing that prevented me from doing so is our friendship. I don't have many friends at my school, and so I did not want to lose the one close friend I did have. I told myself that I could repress my feelings and keep being just friends. And since he already had a girlfriend, nothing was going to happen anyways.
Recently, I have noticed a change in our friendship. I feel like he is definitely attracted to me (even though he hasn't said anything directly, I can tell by the way he acts around me). He has also told me that he has been having troubles with his girlfriend. At this point I am so confused.
I have tried to talk to my female muslim friends about this. I expected them to say stay away from him, this is unislamic. Instead one friend said that I should still try for him even if he has a girlfriend, because its not like he's married (i.e. having a girlfriend doesn't count). Another said, I should try because guys will always choose their best friend over their girlfriends anyways. (Mind you, these friends are practicing muslim sisters who wear hijab and pray regularly). Only one friend pointed out that he probably wasn't a good match for me (because he has a girlfriend who isn't muslim and yet he is still "friends" with me) and that my feelings will fade over time.
Right now I am very confused because I don't know if our friendship has somehow already become something more. And if it has should I try to stop it? How do I stop it anyways?
I know that if it wasn't for the girlfriend and if he did express an interest in marriage to me, I would definitely consider him as a potential match. We get along, I find him attractive, we have similar education backgrounds, the age difference is good, and he comes from a stable family. There are some minuses too, such as he seems to be more liberal in his Islam than me and he has a different ethnicity than me.
I feel very uncomfortable with our "friendship" as it now stands. I feel guilty because I feel like we are being unfair to his girlfriend. Even though we haven't done anything besides talk, it feels like he's cheating on her with me. I also feel that what we have is blurring from friendship into something unislamic. I have prayed to Allah about this several times. But I am not sure if Allah didn't bring him into my life for a reason.
Okay, that is the end of my vent/plea for advice.