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I’ve been dating this incredible guy for a year and a half now. We called things off briefly about eight months ago, but soon resumed our relationship. All has been well ever since. About three months ago, I started working with this guy with whom I instantly clicked. We laughed and had a great time, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something there. Over the course of the next week, I started struggling with the attention I was receiving from my new friend. It was as though he couldn’t take his eyes off me during our staff meetings, thought I had the greatest ideas, and couldn’t stop himself from commenting after I contributed to the conversation.

He’s what I once would have described as my ideal partner: he’s kind, funny, hardworking, and has a dazzling smile. He loves to travel and try new things, watch hockey and goof off with his friends. Faith is also very important to me, and we attend the same church, something my boyfriend has never had an interest in doing with me.

Things got awkward as I began distancing myself from him in an effort to preserve my relationship and not catch feelings for this other guy. It seems as though he eventually realized that I had a boyfriend (we all live in a small college town), because he began avoiding me in passing, and now he only acknowledges me when I’m by myself. We still talk during work from time to time, and everything feels normal, at least until the next time I bump into him in public.

I would never cheat on my boyfriend, and I make an effort not to think about this other guy and “cheat emotionally,” but it’s difficult for me to set aside my feelings for someone whom I could picture myself with had my life played out differently. I don’t want to break up with my boyfriend, as he’s one of the kindest and most sincere individuals I’ve ever met. Furthermore, I’m incredibly close with his family and he and I have begun discussing a probable future together. We don’t always see eye to eye when we talk about life plans, but I know it would be silly of me to give up the love and stability of our relationship in hopes that some other guy might better satisfy me emotionally; in hopes that he might be more on-board with my career aspirations and inability to submit myself to a quiet life in the suburbs. I know that the grass is always greener on the other side, and there’s an excellent chance that if I left my boyfriend for this other guy, I’d end up feeling this exact same way in a year and a half.

There’s some small part of me that keeps urging me that I’ll never know if I don’t try, but this truly doesn’t seem like a situation in which “going for it” would be worth the immense cost and emotional turmoil. And frankly, I don’t even know if my coworker is interested in me! It could have just been that buzz that you get from meeting someone new, and I could just be convincing myself that a kind man with whom I get along well has feelings for me that he could very well lack.

I just don’t know what to do with myself at this point. Seeing him always makes me excited, and then sad. I leave our conversations disappointed because he is not mine and because I am too selfish to be satisfied with the very good thing that I already have. I’m stuck and don’t know how to cope with these emotions, and they’re not going away.

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