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Thread: Strong mutual attraction and a jealous girlfriend

  1. #1
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    Strong mutual attraction and a jealous girlfriend

    Hi guys, and thank you in advance for the help and gentle advice.
    This is going to be a long one, but I think it's best to describe the situation in detail:

    Since the beginning of the year, I have had this strong mutual attraction with this man in my networking group. We first met at a small venue, and were immediately drawn to each other like magnets. He is kind, gentle, attentive, a great listener and despite a fairly significant age difference (I am in my 30s, he's in his 50s), we have a lot in common, plus our chemistry is absolutely off the charts. Its been months now, and every time we meet on various different occasions, the chemistry has gotten stronger. He even almost kissed me in a spur of the moment on one occasion, but later blamed the alcohol he'd had that evening, even though it wasn't nearly enough to have caused a change in behavior.

    He, however, has a girlfriend. He initially described theirs as an on-off relationship, but it seems like they're back "on" at the moment. Only one constant thing: They have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. There is no warmth. Every time they're in a room together (which is a fairly rare occasion to begin with), they barely hold eye contact, they don't touch, and they seem rather tense - her in particular. People around them act surprised all the time when they hear that they're together because as multiple other acquaintances have pointed out "they don't look or act like a couple".

    Since we almost kissed, and since I've learned that the shaky relationship with his girlfriend was moving back into "on" territory, I have been keeping a respectful distance on the occasions we see each other (still a semi-regular basis). He knows that I respect both myself and his boundaries and that I would never want to try and become "the other woman", but while he tries to keep things purposefully short if we ever exchange messages online and almost avoids me in that sense, he is still just as affectionate in person whenever he sees me, maybe even more so. It's like he can't help it. I have observed this for a long time, now, and can definitely say that this is genuine, constant, and he is not playing games. I've tried staying away, but I am guilty as charged: I simply enjoy our interactions too much. Even when his girlfriend is around, he is still warm an affectionate towards me.

    Several weeks ago, we were both taking part in a discussion group. It was a topic that I am quite passionate about, so I talked about a few points at length to the group. He was listening to me so intently, asked all the right questions and encouraged me to keep talking. I felt incredibly valued and understood by him that evening. Later I found he had looked at my online profile twice in one day, but that was shortly followed by his girlfriend, also looking at my profile.

    Since then, she has signed up for the same activities as he does whenever there is a chance that I might also be there, and most recently, she sent me a friend request on social media.
    I didn't know whether to answer it or not at first. But since I am seeing the woman and her boyfriend later this month, I didn't want to come off like a jerk, and since I have almost nothing personal on my social media account - and absolutely nothing to hide - I figured "why not". I might as well act friendly with her and regardless of the situation, I don't want to make enemies. Then she messaged me and asked if I was going to very crowded get-together this week. I said I wasn't planning on it, and the moment I did, her boyfriend aka my crush, who also dislikes these kinds of get-togethers was added to the attendance list.

    I don't even know anymore. All I can think of is that she is determined to pull all the strings to keep him away from me, and that he has decided to play along for some reason.

    My confusion aside, though, I am seeing both of them in a couple of weeks at an occasion I at least get to dress up and look pretty for, but I am dreading the prospect of being pulled into some kind of relationship drama.
    Once again, I know I can't be with him at this point in time, but I just enjoy seeing him and being around him so much - even if it'll never be more than this.

    But with the way things have developed, I don't know how to act anymore - especially towards her, or around them as a couple. I am suspecting there is more to come, and I am dreading the fact that this networking community we're all a part of is a very gossipy place. I also have almost no one to actually talk to about this, which makes me feel even worse.

    Any input on the situation, any advice or second opinion would be helpful.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Well...on one hand, you say this:

    I know I can't be with him at this point in time, but I just enjoy seeing him and being around him so much
    And on the other hand, you say this:

    All I can think of is that she is determined to pull all the strings to keep him away from me, and that he has decided to play along for some reason.
    'For some reason'? The reason is that he is in a relationship with this woman. 'Determined to pull the strings to keep him away from you'? Sorry to say this, but that is her choice. I wouldn't say it's her 'right' because I don't believe anybody has the right to manage the social life of their partner as if they're incapable of doing it on their own. However, she senses a threat in you, and is trying to do what a lot of people have been known to do: preserve her relationship.

    And let's be fair for a moment here. She hasn't cussed you out or anything of the like. She isn't being disrespectful toward you. She's feeling jealous sure, but feeling anything is not a crime.

    I think you need to be honest with yourself and especially keep in mind what you said earlier. You know you can't be with him. If so, why dwell on how "determined" she is to keep him away from you? Ok so you enjoy seeing him around...but if you can't 'see him around' while respecting his relationship, then you have to go NC with this one.

    The fact that your chemistry with him is "off the charts" is not a formal invitation to try to run into him and be annoyed at his girlfriend keeping you and him apart. It almost sounds like you want someone here on ENA to agree that his girlfriend is being possessive, thereby giving you permission to pursue him. I can't do that for you.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    He's a grown man capable of making his own decisions, so I wouldn't bother making his choice to remain in his relationship about 'her' control. Otherwise, you've reduced him to a spineless puppet, and what's so attractive about that to you?

    I'd also be concerned with positioning myself badly for a front row seat to watch a guy I like behave in a disloyal way toward the woman he chooses to be with. What should that tell you? Even if you 'win,' you lose, because you'd enjoy your victory for about 5 minutes before it occurs to you that his capacity for disloyalty is no longer 'with' you--it will be 'against' you the minute your back is turned and he spots someone else who attracts him.

    Skip that, put your eyes on your own paper, and be a professional on your job. The right guy for you will have the character to avoid disloyalty to anyone.

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    What is so attractive about a cheater?

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    Originally Posted by LC8328

    'For some reason'? The reason is that he is in a relationship with this woman. 'Determined to pull the strings to keep him away from you'? Sorry to say this, but that is her choice. I wouldn't say it's her 'right' because I don't believe anybody has the right to manage the social life of their partner as if they're incapable of doing it on their own. However, she senses a threat in you, and is trying to do what a lot of people have been known to do: preserve her relationship.

    And let's be fair for a moment here. She hasn't cussed you out or anything of the like. She isn't being disrespectful toward you. She's feeling jealous sure, but feeling anything is not a crime.
    Completely agree. She isn't being disrespectful and is just trying to preserve her relationship. I wasn't in a great state of mind when I wrote my original message, and yes, she is of course completely entitled to do whatever she is doing. I was just surprised that he is going along with it, since he doesn't seem like the kind of person who likes being told what to do and where to go with whom. He's been a very independent individual for as long as I've known him.

    Originally Posted by LC8328
    I think you need to be honest with yourself and especially keep in mind what you said earlier. You know you can't be with him. If so, why dwell on how "determined" she is to keep him away from you? Ok so you enjoy seeing him around...but if you can't 'see him around' while respecting his relationship, then you have to go NC with this one.

    The fact that your chemistry with him is "off the charts" is not a formal invitation to try to run into him and be annoyed at his girlfriend keeping you and him apart. It almost sounds like you want someone here on ENA to agree that his girlfriend is being possessive, thereby giving you permission to pursue him. I can't do that for you.
    I absolutely can see him around while respecting his relationship. I've been doing this for months. I never made a move towards him. I enjoy being around him and I enjoy his attention. I enjoy admiring from afar, and don't want to press for anything to happen right now. He acts the same way towards me, but every now and then, he does make a bit of a move as described in my first message. Yes, I do want to see him more often (at this rate, it'll probably be once a month from now on). Yes, maybe I enjoy his company a bit too much, but I am an adult and I have been keeping my hands to myself since the very beginning.

    I am not the villain here. I am not saying that anybody is in this situation. I just want to feel like I am not completely alone in this since I can't talk to anyone about it.
    I didn't come here to be blamed for my "sins" and made to feel guilty because I feel something for someone who just happens to be unavailable at this point in time.
    As you said above, feeling is not a crime.

    I also don't want to be seen as the villain when all I really do is exist around him and act like my friendly, polite self.
    Last edited by Sense42; 06-10-2019 at 04:21 PM.

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    To be clear, I can't get this guy out of my head, but I am not obsessing about him in front of everyone else. And I've actually made some significant effort to not think about him that much. Since I've learned that he has a girlfriend (notably unstable as their relationship might be, see above), I've been going on dates on an almost weekly basis, trying very hard to forget about him and focus my romantic attentions elsewhere. It hasn't worked at all so far, but I'll keep on doing it if that's what it takes. I am also making new friends, and yes, @catfeeder, I AM doing a good job at my work.

    I am also not planning on pursuing him. However, should he ever be unattached and 100% over his current relationship, I would be happy if he decided to pursue me.

  8. #7
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    The state of their relationship, how jealous or not she is of you, how independent a person he is or not - none of these things are any of your business. Watch TV or something if you want to spend all this energy analyzing the decisions of characters for whom you have no control or even any stakes in the game. You say you are fine with the fixation but it's going to hold you back from finding anything real. This is the real world. You need to start focusing on that and not get caught up in fantasy.

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    Wow...does anyone on this forum actually give compassionate advice or are you all just really into making people who already feel bad feel worse? The tagline is "you are not alone". Frankly, I feel even more alone now than before. I've seen this kind of treatment of people in other posts as well where I also thought it was completely unjustified. "Tough love" or whatever you think this is doesn't work. Actually trying to put yourself in the other person's shoes instead of shooting down everything they say does. You might want to try it sometime.

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    I've been in fantasy relationships before and the advice I gave is the advice I would have given myself. To be fair, I may not have heeded that advice and I can see that you will also have a hard time doing so. I wasted my high school and college years on that nonsense. All I know for sure is that you are not going to get any better or find any answers by analyzing the key players in this drama or continually rehashing each interaction you have with them. Your relief will only come from outside the situation.

    Sorry you are having a hard time and that you feel alone - I didn't mean to make you feel more-so. But at the end of the day, you are fantasizing over someone whom is in a committed relationship. Sorry to say - that's not going to get a lot of people on your side. You say you've been going on dates. What about this unavailable guy has you more interested in him than any of the guys you date who you actually might have a shot with? It's worth thinking about.

    There's a light at the end of the tunnel. But you might have to change directions to find it.

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    What makes him more interesting: Well, he's actually attractive to me in looks and personality. We are on the same wavelength and intelligence level. He gets me, he listens, and I cannot overstate the importance and significance of our very high level of personal chemistry. I have never had this kind of chemistry with anyone else before and I have lived quite a bit, met a lot of people, been in my fair share of both long term and short term relationships. Not once did I ever feel this vibe. It's like we are both extremely aware of each other. I am very confident in my looks, but no one has ever looked at me this way before. And he doesn't look at anyone else this way, either. It's not a fantasy because this attraction is both real and very obviously mutual. I'm actually quite well-versed in body language, and I'm definitely not making this up.

    I am also no longer in high school or college. I'm 36, going on 37 and have been through more in life than some people twice my age. Speaking of age, though, my dates are mostly men my age, and they may be superficially nice and reasonably good-looking, but they bore me to tears. There is no spark, nothing interesting. I know I am mentally older, and these boys don't seem to have anything in life actually figured out while I am very certain in who I am and what I want. I would actively date men more around my crush's age, but none of the ones I meet are in any way attractive to me. He's the only one that is. Maybe this will change in the future, but for now, I'm not really holding my breath.

    About the committed relationship: I have no idea how committed it really is since they have been constantly going back and forth between dating and not dating in the past. It's not like I'm being updated about these things, and, yes, it's an observation, but I have seen them together several times recently and as I mentioned above, they almost act like strangers around each other. Even if I was trying to mind my own business, it would be hard to overlook, since other people have even pointed it out to me in conversation because they think it's so weird. And because really, you can't help but observe people when they're sitting right in front of you and talking to you. It's not like I'm spying on them from across the room. They rarely arrive together, are almost always on their own separate agendas, he doesn't outright say that he doesn't like going places with her, but he hints at it when she's not around. Again, all of this is happening right in front of my face. There's not need to jump to conclusions.

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