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This is a long one, so apologies.


About 18 months ago, I was single and had just started dating someone really nice, we’ll call her E. I’d literally only just met E and been on 2 dates with her.


At the same time, I’d started talking on FB Messenger to a girl from work who I kinda fancied, we’ll call her T. It started innocently enough, I lent her some episodes of Game of Thrones that she’d asked for on FB. I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. I’d only ever passed the time of day with her at work, but found her to be charming, despite her “nutty” reputation.


The conversations with T escalated very rapidly from there, we started sharing things about each other and getting to know each other. She warned me about herself several times, that she was a bit nuts, she was happy on her own, wasn’t looking for anything, she doesn’t get involved with people, she’s a bit of a hermit. At the same time we really enjoyed chatting and seemed to really click and understand each other; we seemed very similar in many ways. We connected. I wasn’t looking for anything from T, truthfully, but I was enjoying the conversations. I was also flattered that she was opening up to me, despite saying she doesn’t get involved with anyone usually. I guess I thought I was special.

After just a few days things started to get a bit more serious with T, we started chatting on the phone to discuss where this was heading, and things got a bit raunchy.


The next day at work a friend of mine let it slip that I was dating E, and T said it really bothered her, and that she was bothered that it bothered her, because it meant she had feelings for me. We had another long chat on the phone that evening and she was kinda telling me that this needed to stop, she wasn’t available for a relationship, and we weren’t an ideal match for each other. At the same time, some of the explicit stuff was still going on, with her saying things like “are you offering? Would you make me coffee if I was in your bed? What about anything else? You’re making me horny… I like it but I shouldn’t”. Now I’m really awful at reading signals from women, but those are some signals right? As you can imagine, I was confused.


She was right, we definitely aren’t a good match. The trouble was, I’d already fallen in love with her. We just seemed to click and get on so well together, even though I knew deep down she had serious attachment issues, and 3 kids, and a chaotic life which I couldn’t be a part of (I hate drama and chaos and noise!). We also had (have) many similarities, personality-wise. I just knew I really enjoyed talking to her, and she enjoyed talking to me. I so wanted that to continue.


We agreed to stop talking to each other for a while. I found that really hard, and so did she. Even so, she continued to message me every now and then, even once when she knew I was on a date with E, asking me how it was going, I said it was “nice”, and she seemed a bit upset, but she let me go. On another occasion I’d come back from a few days away with E, at work T asked me how the trip went, I said “yea we had a good time”, and whilst T said she was pleased, her face dropped and she looked a bit crestfallen. She would message saying “I know I’m not supposed to message, but I just wondered how you were?”. So I guess she still cared about me. But I was really confused, because she was the one who was saying we shouldn’t talk; I was more than happy to carry on talking.


I carried on seeing E regularly and we became partners. Unfortunately though, whilst I do love her, she is a lovely and brilliant person, I don’t think I ever fell in love with her. I honestly thought I’d soon move on and forget about T and could make it work with E, but I was still hooked on T. I still am, 18 months later, and yet E and I are still together.


Meanwhile, at work, I see and hear T every day. I can hear her voice and I can even see her from my seat. She talks and laughs loudly, and many people (mostly men) come to chat to her. She is very easy to talk to, and attractive, so I understand why. Until recently, she always treated me differently from other people. If we were in a meeting, she would give me a funny look to make me laugh. In the corridor, she would walk past and prod me. We would tease each other a lot, and talk to each other, often intimately (by that I don’t mean we were getting it on). We knew things about each other that others didn’t, and understood each other. We kinda had secrets. We’d give each other advice. One time I held a door open for her and let her through, she said “is that so you can look at my ass?”, I said “maybe!”, she said “I’d be offended if you didn’t!”. Which I took as a complement, or even another signal. She never did any of this stuff with anyone else, so again I felt like I was special to her.


Throughout all of this, every damn time I speak to her, my mind goes right back to square one, thinking we should get together, we get on so well, I’m so attracted to her, and yea, that I love her. I think. Maybe I’m just infatuated or obsessed. It sure feels like an obsession. I cannot stop thinking about her and it’s driving me crazy. Yet I also know it could never work!!!! So why can’t I stop thinking about her?!


6 months ago (a year after we first started talking), I plucked up the courage to ask T if we could chat, which we did, on the phone. I told her I missed her and our chats, and that I still cared about her. I stopped short of telling her I loved her, I thought that might freak her out, if this phone call hadn’t already. I told her I was still really confused about what happened. She apologised and said this was normal for her, that we’d got too close and she’d “ran away” and “shut down emotionally”. She suggested of her own accord that we could start meeting as friends (outside of work), to go for a coffee or something. She doesn’t meet with anyone else either, she hardly has any friends. She has some kind of social anxiety and serious trust issues, so socialising is hard for her (although she seems ok at work). I said I’d love to do that, it’d be good to help her with her anxiety too. We never actually did meet up, the time was never right or she was always busy with her kids, or I was with E. But I still took it as a sign that there was some hope. Truthfully though, I don’t think she really wanted to do it, it sounded like a half-hearted suggestion.


After that phone call, we seemed to get closer again for a bit, and I caught her looking at me in meetings a couple of times. (again i wondered if that was a sign?!)


At xmas I gave her a card, and I agonised over whether to say “love from”. I did in the end. I never got a card back though. (another sign... just not a good one?! you can see my mind going crazy here!)


Over the last few months, things have changed a bit. This ongoing situation has made me feel very down, and I’m sure my sadness and frustration comes out in my conversations with T (at work). She’s started saying things like I’m boring, or depressing her. She acts a lot shorter with me (impatient), and has stopped “sharing” as much. I get the feeling like I’m bugging her most of the time.

She’s started flirting with another guy as well, they seem to get on like a house on fire, and every time I see them talking (remember I can see and hear her from my desk!), my heart wrenches and sinks. And they talk for ages, and quietly and intimately, like she used to do with me. Thing is, this guy has a wife and kids!


Meanwhile, she still messages me sometimes! Mostly about what she’s eating, but it still makes me think she’s thinking of me! Is she?!


I’m totally confused and have been for 18 months! I have no idea what to think. I’ve thought many times about getting counselling for this. And I’ve got no one I can really talk to.

I’m thinking whatever T and I had (for less than a week!) is long gone, and I really should forget about her and move on, I just can’t! We had a connection and I see her every day! I’ve been in agony for 18 months and I feel like I’m obsessed. It feels like a drug addiction that I desperately want to kick but can’t. it’s not like T and I could even work as a couple, there’s no way! So why do I love her? Why do I love her and not the special person I am lucky enough to be with? Why can’t I stop this?!


Help please.

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T plays you for a fool. All she does is flirt and have fun playing mind games with you at work but has no interest in really pursuing it further outside work. After she toyed with your brain and confused your heart for months on end, she grew bored and tired so she has since moved on to her next victim, a married guy with kids no less! This ought to tell you something and she is a crazy nut in a bad way.


Even though you weren't "in love" with E, it sounds like you let a good, high quality, classy lady get away. You could've worked on establishing a solid friendship to relationship with E yet you were preoccupied and consumed with a cheap flirt at work instead. You were tricked and you feel for T's flirty tricks.


I think you love T because you liked the attention she gave you which was fake. You need to wake up and realize what is real and what is shallow, cheap and meaningless.


Know your boundaries with colleagues and don't cross that line. Remain professional and polite and that's it. No more no less. T has 3 kids. She is a mother. She doesn't have time for you especially outside the workplace because she has 3 kids as her primary responsibility. Know this. Both of you like the thrill of flirtation but it leads to nowhere sincere.


Splash cold water on your face, take a cold shower and wake up. Do what makes sense. Change your behavior so T will realize it's time for both of you to behave. Become polite, honorable, mature, professional, respectful yet distant. She'll get the message. Concentrate on your job and paycheck as should she. Take a break from women until you can think clearly, logically and sensibly. Don't play into the flirting game because eventually flirting grows stale and dies.

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lol, no it's not the same woman Wiseman :-)


Thanks for your response Cherylyn. Your advice is very wise, so thank you.


E and I are still together, i've somehow managed to keep my inner turmoil under wraps. E is a thoroughly decent and lovely woman, who i do appreciate, which also of course means i feel extremely guilty about my feelings.


I think you're right about many things, but i fell in love with T because i felt we had a real connection, even if it lasted only a few days. yes, i liked the attention, but i also enjoyed our conversations, we could chat for hours which seemed like minutes, and discovered we are similar in many ways.


I have spent a lot of time wondering what sort of person T is. I thought i was getting to know her really well but now i think i obviously completely misjudged the situation.

She admits she has issues, at one point she said she has so many issues that i'll never solve them.

She talked a lot about having "walls" which go up involuntarily as soon as anyone gets close.

She also "runs away" a lot and tends to hide in her bedroom under her duvet.

She has also mentioned that she frequently cries in the evening, is utterly miserable and has contemplated suicide. The only thing that keeps her going is her kids, whom she described as her "saviour".


What was i dealing with here?

(btw, although i said we were similar, none of the above applies!).

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