I went through something similar many years ago, 1970. My boy friend, whom I was crazy about, couldn't bring himself to tell me. Many weren't out of the closet back in 1970.
Long later, I realized he had tried to tell me one day on the beach, brought up homosexuality, and I said something like dysfunctional (I forget the word I used, started with d). He gave up, was tense. I didn't get it. We broke up a few weeks later, me completely puzzled (he remains high in my assessment of my best lovers, so he might have been bi back then).
He called once in a while, platonic talks, maybe once or twice a year, as we went on with our lives. He moved to San Francisco - having been from Washington State, so it was closer to his old friends and family. I had no clue about San Francisco life styles..
I had one new boyfriend, and then in another couple of years met my husband.
Worked, had an art gallery too, busy with my life.
About ten years later, I knew more about people and put two and two together, and called him. Yep!
Some time later, when my husband were on a San Francisco trip, we all met up.
Husband dropped me off after meeting him and old boyfriend and I had lunch and a great talk. He had found a mate, and is still with that mate, last I heard (we're all older now). It's about thirty years since that day we met in San Francisco, and we still periodically stay in touch.
We did always like each other as people, which is how we could stay friends.
Anyway, my story fits with Joeblow's employer friend's.