I had a friend with benefits for almost one year who eventually became my girlfriend even though I didn't see her as so, I could say it was just by routine, we were seeing just each her and doing "couple" things so we started dating, even though we never talked about it. Let's call her Jennifer.
Jennifer's family situation is not good. Her brother is a drug addict and her father abandoned them and her mother. Moreover her family is poor. And she has little to no friends, I am the closest friend she has.
Even if we were dating, I didn't have strong feelings for her, I was not even in love and I was embarrassed to be seen with her as she is not beautiful. I know this is a stupid thing and I shouldn't care about what others say but I do.
Also, at that time (and still) I liked another girl who lives far away from me (different continents) so I can't have any kind of relationship with her. I have liked this girl for 2 years and a half now, but still I am not sure if I am in love with her or not, distance is such a big obstacle to me and she has a boyfriend. Let's call her Sophie. Sophie is my best friend. And the 3 of us are in our 20s.
The thing is that at the beginning, when I was seeing Jennifer as friends with benefits everything was fine as I could still see other girls at discos and so on, but Jennifer was not happy with that and we started an exclusive relationship. Some time after it, I met with one friend and we decided to go to the beach, so I cheated on her but I didn't say anything to her at that time. I know it's not good.
Also, I went on a trip with Sophie and I really wanted to be with her (physically talking) because I really find her so attractive and I like her personality lot, even more than Jennifer, Sophie asked me if I wouldn't feel bad about Jennifer and honestly I wouldn't have regretted it. Talking with her she told me I should tell Jennifer about me cheating on her and I completely agree, my family also told me I should.
When I came from the trip I told Jennifer about cheating on her and that I didn't see her as a girlfriend, she was so upset and I thought we would not even be friends but eventually we are going out every weekend to the cinema as friends and I am even sleeping at her home from time to time. Now, I don't have any problem with that, I have my feelings for her clear and I just see her as a friend or a friend with benefits, nothing else. I still like Sophie most, both her personality and physique.
But from this time on, I am starting to be worried of this behavior as could be a sign of her having a dependence relationship with me. As I have said she doesn't have many friends and her situation is difficult. But, at the same time, it feels weird for me that she wants to have contact after cheating on her and telling her that I don't like her as a girlfriend.
My question and goal is how can I gently ask her about it without breaking the friendship we have now? I don't want her to be in love with me again or something because it is not going to be the same way with me, and I wouldn't like to hurt her again. How could I approach her?