Hi there PF!
Needed to vent? That's perfectly OK, we all do from time to time.
So that person follows you on social, allows cuddles and gives other signals. These signals are confusing you and little wonder.
Time to cut to the chase I think - not wanting to know you in front of friends is a worry, but the other signals certainly give you permission to ask if there's any interest.
It can be a little bit scary, but pick your moment, make it clear you want to ask an important question, then ask how they feel about dating you on a regular basis to see how things go! Yes you can say that you are interested in seeing more of that person too.If the reply is negative, stay very cool, don't get defensive, and ask to remain friends.
Then at least you will know what's going on instead of letting it fill your head as it probably is.
I tried this a few times over the years and got a positive response most of the time. On the occasions when I was let down with a negative response, we cleared the air and even managed to stay in the same group of friends.
So get rid of your confusion and go for it you fierce woman!
Life is too short to be wondering around not knowing.
Good luck, I look forward to hearing what you think and do!