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Relationship-Sabotaging Barista


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Get ready for some twists and turns, you guys. It’s a juicy one. This is the first time I’ve ever posted, and I’ve agonized about what to do for a year now. I need some outsiders' opinions.


Big picture: My boyfriend’s coworker is excessively flirty, has told me I should break up with him, and on a break, kissed him. He thinks it’s in the past, I don’t, and I don’t know if I’m crazy or what to do about it.


Boyfriend and I have been together for 2.5 years now. A year in, he got a new job as a barista in a local coffee shop. He said during the interview, a particular girl (who he assured me he didn’t find attractive) was very flirty, almost embarrassingly so. He’d been eyeing this job for a while so I didn’t say anything and was happy for him. I’ve gotten better about not having an anxious attachment style, BUT the first month I asked him about his relationship with a few of the girls there. They were all completely unwarranted, trust me. So I kind of lowered my credibility there.


couple months in, BF said that every time he mentioned me, same girl from interview (CW) would get snappy and rude. He said he stopped mentioning me and asked me not to come in very often, because she’s his “lead” there and having his boss be snippy to him made things hard. I still feel like that was him choosing her comfort over mine...especially since she was still over the top flirty with him. Once he left his laptop open, and fb messages with CW were up. Confession...I read them. If she wasn't overtly flirting, she was riiiiding a thin line. And he didn’t really say anything to stop it, he nearly humored it. Didn’t tell BF about that. Plus, they spend 9 hr shifts together through the week in a tiny little space at work. BF knew I wasn’t happy about being asked to not come in but said it was his boss, what could he do. He told me I had *nothing* to worry about, she’s annoying and talks about petty things. Growing up with an alcoholic father, this man takes telling the truth seriously. So I believed him.


a break last winter. I went in to get a coffee when he wasn’t working, and CW was working. She didn’t know we had just broken up, and literally told me I should break up with my BF. She told me he flirts with her, the coworkers and the customers all the time, among other things. Later found out from his friendly coworkers these were all lies. But, I do find out that he’s hanging out with his coworkers on the weekends and going out with them, including her.


us getting back together. We went 4 months of no contact and on the first phone call he admitted that a few weeks before, at CW’s going-away night out, she grabbed his face and they kissed. He said he had drank way too much that night and that it was like kissing his brother. But he assured me she moved away, she was the last thing I needed to worry about. He even said all the coworkers said that when she left, it was like a cloud of green smoke left. He showed me a text from her demanding to know if everyone was really glad she was gone. He didn’t respond. I started healing faster from feeling like he sort of “chose” her over me.


months later in May, CW suddenly moved back and took back her job. BF is acting like it’s no big deal, told me he was upset because when she went to hug him he felt like he couldn’t hug her back. Started talking about how she’s not that bad, she just doesn’t realize what she’s doing and is desperate for attention. Which is true, because of her life situation, but that’s no excuse. Then, he told me she asked if she could talk to him about her feelings for him (?!) in his car after work (!?) and they did. (??!) Just the fact that there’s room for that, that she thinks she has enough space in his life that she has developed feelings for him and that it’s not weird to ask to talk about them...it makes my heart tighten and honestly makes my blood boil. He said she knows he has no interest in her, and when he goes to work it’s just like going to work with a coworker. He still goes out with his work crew, including her, too. I feel like there has to be this unspoken tension between them or something, and she knows even if she can’t have him that I can’t do anything to stop that. Plus, since I’ve brought it up so many times, BF gets angry now when I try to talk about it more, which makes me feel like my feelings are still second. Plus, how could he be so friendly as to go out on weekends with someone who has so clearly disrespected me, and him for that matter? Is that, in turn, disrespecting me?


Am I crazy? Is there something reasonable I could request from him? Any insight at all is appreciated.

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Unfortunately, many people who grow up in alcoholic families have problems with setting appropriate boundaries, and want to please everyone. Your boyfriend doesn't seem capable of enforcing boundaries with this girl, and in fact enables her inappropriate behaviour. If it were a male boss and a female employee, there's no doubt that the boss could be prosecuted for sexual harassment. He doesn't have any respect for your feelings or your relationship.


Sadly, you've tried everything you could, and he isn't going to change. Either you accept the stomach-churning, heart-tightening feeling because the rest of the relationship's worth it - or your pick up your self-respect and walk.


I know which I'd do.

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Ugh your whole post made me cringe because it reminded me of a similar situation I was in, 10+ years ago, and until this day it makes me sick to my stomach! Ok the scenario was a bit different, but the theme is the same - that one girl who develops a crush on the boyfriend and clings on to him for dear life, while bullying the girlfriend and doing her best to make the girlfriend look unreasonable. I don't even want to talk about my situation, but I will tell you what I learned from it.


You can't do anything. The only person who can put her in her place or even put an end to the situation is your boyfriend; anything you may say, as reasonable as it may be, will fall onto deaf ears, or worse, he will say you are being overly jealous, and not giving him breathing space and the freedom to be friends with whomever he chooses. The fact is, your boyfriend likes her attention, it gives him ego boosts. In my case the girl was very ugly too, but that made no difference, she was throwing herself at him, bringing him cookies she had made herself, movies, the whole shebang. When one of these biatches is after your boyfriend full on, the only thing you can do is back off. You can't stop someone like that, as long as your boyfriend is unwilling to stop her. A timid "oh but I have a girlfriend, we shouldn't be doing this and that" is not enough, he needs to either tell her firmly to stay the he!! away from him because he wants nothing to do with her, or simply quit the job. Bartender jobs are everywhere, just like my boyfriend had a job that could have been easily replaced.

Your guy, just like mine, chose to hang out with her - another no-no, which of course encouraged her even further. And now he is telling you she is not that bad? Soon he will tell you that you don't have the right to dictate who he can hang out with, which is usually true but in cases like this, where it's clear as day what's going on, yes, you do have every right to say something.


I dealt with it by being patient for a while, hoping she'd just go away and he'd eventually do the right thing (he was also telling me she was just a friend, and he thought she wasn't attractive at all). When she didn't go away (why would she, he was encouraging her by hanging out with her), I dumped his sorry a$$. Yes I did get back together with him a couple of month later hoping the situation had solved itself, but nope...there she still was. So then I ended it for good, he did try to get me back another year later but I wasn't having any of that...ever again.


My point is, all you can do is detach yourself from the situation by breaking up with him, since he refuses to let go of this "friend". You want to be with a guy who has your back and who doesn't allow anyone disrespect you to this degree. One who is mature enough not to need ego boosts from any floozie that comes his way, and who is loyal and trustworthy.

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She isn't the real problem here. Your boyfriend is.


He isn't setting appropriate boundaries with her. He has enabled this by going along with it, even so far as to chat in his car about her feelings for him. That, to me, was totally unnecessary. He isn't shutting it down and that is a problem. Sure, they should be professional at work but he's letting it go further than that. That is where your concern should be.


Out of curiosity, are you ever invited to join in when he goes out with his coworkers? Even once in a while?

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I think you need to a get a grip on yourself. He is with you, not her. You can't stop her from throwing herself at him and she does have that crazy personality and although she seems aware that she annoys people......she still annoys people, everyone that is. He goes out with his co-workers not her. What are they supposed to do? Exclude her specifically? How would that ever work for them, especially if she is the team lead and as you already know, a nasty creature. They don't have a choice but to invite and tolerate.


The more you get weird about her and insecure with your bf, the more you are going to push him away and make him think that if you think she is such a threat, then maybe he is actually missing out on something. Your demeanor is raising her value in his eyes.


Anyway, youf bf is not cheating or doing anything wrong. Could he try to have firmer boundaries....maybe....I say maybe because if this chic is vindictive then the only way to handle it how he is handling it - gentle boundaries, let her yap, but not engage in anything himself.


Don't fight a fool's war because you will loose. Take the high road and focus on your connection with your bf and what you and him are doing and make sure it's good. Forget this chic exists.

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Um, my first question is how is she his boss still at this point? I get that the rules are a little different in cafe/ bar types of jobs, but shouldn't there be SOME boundaries if she's his boss? No? Some of this story frankly sounds like she's sexually harassing him at the workplace. C'mon.


Anyway this is a mixed bag of crappy things. You have insecurities about your boyfriend and have for awhile, going way back to the beginning of the relationship. You guys have already broken up once, and for at least four months you were NC. What I read from this is: he's not into you enough to make sure that the relationship comes over his barista position with a really needy/ unprofessional boss who has posed a frequent conflict to your relationship. You are insecure enough to fear he's cheating or going to cheat or going to leave you for someone else.


The details of the story are frustrating to read and I feel for you, because I've definitely been there before with an ex. It ended, and there definitely was a girl who caused the break up, but it wasn't because he cheated. It was because he just wasn't committed to me, had a secret crush on her, and let the situation exist without setting boundaries because frankly, he didn't care that much about our relationship. But in the end, the reason we didn't work out was because we werent right for each other, period.


The fact your boyfriend told you not to come to your workplace because it somehow angered his BOSS would have been my cue to leave, honestly. Completely disrespectful and over dramatic. It's not like you picked a fight with her or caused a scene or something - there is absolutely NO logical reason for him to have asked that of you.


If I were you, I would be wayyyy over the drama with this guy. It's not worth it. Your insecurities + his boss's insanely psycho behavior + his flirting with other women and being passive about the attention he receives + the break up before... already just way too much.

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