[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[It was noted that Bella as a total lack of male friends, instead finding herself surrounded by suitors. Someone suggested that the only way that Bella would be allowed to have a male non-suitor friend would be if said male was gay which is a stereotype with significant problems. This was my suggestion of a straight male non-suitor friend for Bella.]
Friendship grows, Josh never takes a romantic interest in Bella. If necessary to really drive home that no, his lack of interest in Bella does not apply to all females one could have him ask Bella for relationship advice because he really likes that girl over there, but can't figure out how best to tell her.* Regardless, he would provide a source of the friendship that Bella lacks.
* I'm imagining him freaking out because he's been friends with not-Bella girl for a lot longer than he's wanted to date her, and he's worried that if he handles things badly not only will he be rejected wrt dating but he'll also screw up a friendship that's really important to him. So at first his plan was to say nothing and ignore his feelings but the result of that is that the relationship is increasingly weird and awkward for him. He can tell his plan A is not working but he doesn't know what to do.
Turns out that the friend he would usually turn to for advice is the one who he needs advice about, looks around, finds he doesn't have many people he can ask. He sees how Eric is trying to court Bella and immediately rules out Eric as a source of advice. Probably rules out some other people, though I'd also buy that he only has three friends in the first place. Eventually he turns to Bella.