I think I’m in love with my best friend. He’s talked about polyamory before and I think he is poly, to be honest. Thing is, he’s engaged to a woman who gets very jealous and feels threatened easily and I don’t want him to lose her because she really is a great person and they are great together. But it’s so painful to not be the person who holds him at night. I don’t know what to do to deal with this. He has no desire to engage in his polyamorous side, which I respect, but it’s painful.

This sounds like something you need to walk away from. When we talk about consent, it’s not only in the context of sexual encounters - it also means honoring and respecting another person’s choices, agency, and identity. You may believe that this man is poly, but it’s not up to anyone else to decide what someone is. Even if he does have the capacity to be polyamorous, you then say he has “no desire to engage with his polyamorous side.” It sounds like the message he’s given you is very clear. This is something to let go of.

If a straight woman was attracted to a gay man, it would be a similar situation. She might believe that he is actually bisexual, deep down, and he may even have told her he feels attracted to women sometimes, or thinks he could be. But if he has no desire to engage with this and has made it clear that he only dates men, she needs to let this go. No one is in a position to say what’s right for anyone else. 

Unrequited love is painful and frustrating. But it is survivable. Maybe you need to take some time away from this friendship and focus on meeting other people. Maybe you just need to place a moratorium on discussing certain things with this man. No matter what, you need to find a way to take care of and heal your own pain without disrespecting the agency and choices your friend has clearly made.