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"In love" with someone else


anon1182
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Hi

 

I have an issue and it's really starting to bother my day-to-day life as I'm beginning to feel pretty unwell.

The more I think about my issue, the more unwell I feel, but at the same time, my mind just keeps wandering around the same issue, thinking it over and over again.

 

So, I've been with my girlfriend for 10 years and I love her more than anything and at the same time, she's also my best friend.

We talk about everything and during the 10 years that we've been together, we've hardly ever had any arguments.

For these 10 years, I've hardly been able to pin-point a single thing that I would like should be better in our relationship, until now.

 

As it happens, I have a new female colleague at work, who is very friendly and nice. On top of that, she also has great skill in the field that she works in and she's passionate about it.

The fact that my new female colleague started, I think has made me realize I have way more in common with her, as we work in the same line of business and therefore share many of the same interests.

Interests that I don't share with my girlfriend, who works in a completely different line of work - a line of work which I also know nothing about and really don't have any genuine interest in.

 

In a perfect world, I would like to have just "forgotten" about my new colleague, but that's not really an option as I hope that she's around to stay for good.

I also don't want to just forget everything about her and not have these thoughts, even though it sure would make everything much easier.

I have a feeling that my colleague might like me in more than just a friendly manner, too, based on a few comments and hints - but it might just be my mind tricking me.

I'm in my mid-twenties, but I already feel as if I don't take this leap, I might wake up one day in 10 years and feel like I've missed a chance.

 

I also should mention that, I'm in a "higher work position" than my female colleague and it's possible that, that could influence the kind of advice you can give.

 

So, I'm hoping for advise on what to do ...

 

Thanks in advance.

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Sounds messy. Break up with your girlfriend if you're not interested in her or don't respect what she does for a living. Neither of you sound like best friends to me. This sounds more like one of convenience. Don't start dating a colleague if you don't know that person very well.

 

Maybe you need to be single for awhile and get your head on straight for a bit. It sounds like you're running away from a boring relationship or one that you've stopped seeing a future in or are committed to. This colleague is just the next shiny thing that's come your way and it could make things very complicated for you at work. If you don't care about your career, sure. If you do, tread carefully.

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Sounds messy. Break up with your girlfriend if you're not interested in her or don't respect what she does for a living. Neither of you sound like best friends to me. This sounds more like one of convenience. Don't start dating a colleague if you don't know that person very well.

 

Maybe you need to be single for awhile and get your head on straight for a bit. It sounds like you're running away from a boring relationship or one that you've stopped seeing a future in or are committed to. This colleague is just the next shiny thing that's come your way and it could make things very complicated for you at work. If you don't care about your career, sure. If you do, tread carefully.

 

Never have I said I don't respect what she does for a living. There's not many ways of life I have more respect for, but respecting it, is not the same as finding it interesting.

 

Running away from a boring relationship... hmm, maybe.

Career-wise, my work situation doesn't pose the biggest risk - I wouldn't lose my job over something like this, but I might cause a few issues with other colleagues.

 

Anyways, thanks for the advice.

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You have zero clue what you and this colleague would be like together in a dating scenario. Finding her physically attractive and having work in common, means absolutely nothing at this point.

You don't know her, you haven't spent time with her outside of work. You don't know what her thoughts on life are, what her morals are like, what she whats for her future, what her temperament is like in different situations, if she even likes you, etc, etc, etc. A huge list of unknowns.

 

However, the key point to be noticing in all of this, is that you're looking around at other women. That doesn't happen unless you're unhappy or unfulfilled at home.

You can't hang onto someone, just because they're familiar, or just because you're afraid of being alone.

Your girlfriend deserves better than that.

 

If you aren't 100% into her and have no interest in any other woman at all, then all is well, but if you're looking around like this, the only fair thing to do is to end the relationship.

It is never fair or okay to keep someone around, while checking other women out.

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You have zero clue what you and this colleague would be like together in a dating scenario. Finding her physically attractive and having work in common, means absolutely nothing at this point.

You don't know her, you have't spent time with her outside of work. You don't know what her thoughts on life are, what her morals are like, what she whats for her future, what her temperament is like in different situations, if she even likes you, etc, etc, etc. A huge list of unknowns.

 

However, the key point to be noticing in all of this, is that you're looking around at other women. That doesn't happen unless you're unhappy or unfulfilled at home.

You can't hang onto someone, just because they're familiar, or just because you're afraid of being alone.

Your girlfriend deserves better than that.

 

If you aren't 100% into her and have no interest in any other woman at all, then all is well, but if you're looking around like this, the only fair thing to do is to end the relationship.

It is never fair or okay to keep someone around, while checking other women out.

 

You're right, I have no clue what this colleague would be like - but I have spoken to her about things that aren't work-related and I feel like we also click on a personal level outside of work, but it's impossible to know.

It's not really a matter of physical attraction and "looking around at other women" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Like I said, this is the first ever other woman where I've felt like this.

For the record, my girlfriend is the only one I've ever wanted an actual relationship with up until this point.

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Do you and your gf live together? If so you've got a lot to unravel before you pursue your coworker. It doesn't seem like you see a future with your gf and you're just coasting along stringing her along so you can be secure.

 

We do live together, yes.

I'm not with my girlfriend for a matter of convenience - if I want to pursue this other thing, I definitely don't care about convenience.

However, like I'm trying to explain, in the perfect world I would just "forget this colleague", but it's just not that simple.

 

If there was an off-switch, I wouldn't mind pressing it.

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I think the fact that you started dating when you were still just kids and have never dated anyone else has a lot to do with your current feelings, OP.

 

This is why many first loves don't last. Who we are as adults tends to be very different than who were as teens. We grow, change, evolve. Teen loves grow up and very often grow apart. We generally want to spread our wings and see what else might be out there. It doesn't mean the other person is lacking, but it can mean we're no longer in the relationship for the right reasons. There might not be any glaring issues, but a lot of people stay past the expiration date simply because it's comfortable, familiar, and "safe." But it's not always the most fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationship anymore.

 

The way I see it, this new crush is symptomatic of a bigger issue: you're outgrowing your relationship.

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Okay, so let's get specific...it doesn't have to be "women" but if you were really in love with your girlfriend and happy and fulfilled with the relationship, you wouldn't be feeling the things you feel for this other woman.

 

You wouldn't even consider this other woman. But you are, so that is a problem. Turn the tables, how would you feel if your girlfriend was enjoying another man at work?

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I think the fact that you started dating when you were still just kids and have never dated anyone else has a lot to do with your current feelings, OP.

 

This is why many first loves don't last. Who we are as adults tends to be very different than who were as teens. We grow, change, evolve. Teen loves grow up and very often grow apart. We generally want to spread our wings and see what else might be out there. It doesn't mean the other person is lacking, but it can mean we're no longer in the relationship for the right reasons. There might not be any glaring issues, but a lot of people stay past the expiration date simply because it's comfortable, familiar, and "safe." But it's not always the most fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationship anymore.

 

The way I see it, this new crush is symptomatic of a bigger issue: you're outgrowing your relationship.

 

Thanks for your advice. That's a perspective I haven't really thought about, but it definitely makes sense.

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Okay, so let's get specific...it doesn't have to be "women" but if you were really in love with your girlfriend and happy and fulfilled with the relationship, you wouldn't be feeling the things you feel for this other woman.

 

You wouldn't even consider this other woman. But you are, so that is a problem. Turn the tables, how would you feel if your girlfriend was enjoying a man at work?

 

I'm not really the jealous type. It depends if she was emotionally enjoying him, or physically attracted to him.

Emotionally/romantically enjoying him, would be an issue, the physical attraction would not.

 

Even though we've had a great relationship throughout the entire thing, doesn't mean there hasn't been times where we're less compatible than other times, so I think it's cynical to think that you should instantly break up if you for a few weeks wonder what the "other side" would be like.

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Personally, I think it's pretty shallow to be looking around at someone else while you're dating. Add into that, thinking this woman is someone you want might want to be with.

 

Don't behave that way, don't be that man. That kind of guy is women's worst nightmare.

 

Choose one or the other. Either be loyal to your girlfriend and stay away from this woman, shut down the thoughts/feelings, or let your girlfriend go so she doesn't have to stay with a man who is considering another woman.

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This situation is so much more common than you may realize. There are scenarios like this that come up nearly monthly/weekly/daily on this forum. A person is with someone for a long time and someone else catches his/her eye. There's confusion about what that person should do. Usually the established relationship has run its course or the couple isn't putting enough effort into the relationship. Do you know how many married or committed couples come in contact with individuals whom they have more than ample opportunity to be 'friendly' with in the course of marriage or a long term commitment? Commitment means going back and remembering why you're with your partner in the first place. You're not married but you are in a monogamous relationship with some expectations. I think you should be more honest about the situation with yourself. It's a choice. That's also a choice to do the right thing.

 

You said earlier that you have respect for what she does but you're not interested in it. Getting sidetracked by another woman isn't respectful either to you or your partner. You're using people to fulfill different needs but not being completely honest about what your intentions or what your true feelings are.

 

Spend some time alone if you're feeling stifled and bored by your current relationship. I don't think you're doing anyone any favours by monkey-branching from one person to another. You may confuse yourself further, get hurt and end up hurting others in ways you never wanted to.

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You have been with her 10 years and don't know what she does? Terrible! "Interests that I don't share with my girlfriend, who works in a completely different line of work - a line of work which I also know nothing about and really don't have any genuine interest in."

 

Do your gf a favor and break up. She deserves much better. You have outgrown the relationship.

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How about discussing this with your girlfriend?

 

Don't tell her you think you're "in love" with this colleague (because you absolutely are not). Discuss how you feel like you might be stagnating in the relationship and you'd like to know how she feels. For all you know, she might be feeling the same way.

 

After all this time you owe it to her to be honest.

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First off you are not "In Love" with this woman at work. You may have a crush on her but it is not love or being in love.

 

You are romanticizing this crush to make it more than it is and you came here for permission to dump your gf of 10 years to chase after your coworker.

 

Here is my advice: Break up with your gf as gently and caring as you can possibly think of so she can one day meet a guy that values her and doesn't start thinking about dumping her the first time a pretty woman happens by that he thinks he might have a shot with. You would be doing her a favor because obviously you do not love her as deeply as you profess, your love is one of convenience not one of devotion and commitment.

 

When I was married or seriously dating someone I had plenty of women come on to me, flirt with me and ask me out but I never considered ending my relationship to take a shot with someone else. When you decide to get into a serious committed relationship that means you have given your heart to someone else and they to you.

 

The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence, it just looks like it from where you are standing at that moment in time...

 

There are 20 good reasons not to date a coworker by itself and adding in dumping your gf of 10 years to do it makes it an even worse idea.

 

Before you do anything step back and look at this clearly and see things as they really are, not how you would like them to be.

 

Lost

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I think the fact that you started dating when you were still just kids and have never dated anyone else has a lot to do with your current feelings, OP.

 

This is why many first loves don't last. Who we are as adults tends to be very different than who were as teens. We grow, change, evolve. Teen loves grow up and very often grow apart. We generally want to spread our wings and see what else might be out there. It doesn't mean the other person is lacking, but it can mean we're no longer in the relationship for the right reasons. There might not be any glaring issues, but a lot of people stay past the expiration date simply because it's comfortable, familiar, and "safe." But it's not always the most fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationship anymore.

 

The way I see it, this new crush is symptomatic of a bigger issue: you're outgrowing your relationship.

 

^ This is exactly what I think, too. You and your gf sound like best friends. But maybe you need more passion out of a romantic relationship, not just being with a partner who is comfortable.

 

Sometimes comfort can be a bad thing if it leads to complacency. We stop striving for more, trying to better ourselves and stay stuck in our comfort zones.

 

It could be that this this co-worker is more compatible with what you want. We don't know. You aren't a bad person for feeling attraction to someone else. Even in the happiest of relationships, we feel attraction towards other people, it's biological. What you do about it is what matters and it doesn't sounds like you've done anything besides think about it.

 

If I may ask- Why have you never dated anyone else seriously? Are you afraid to open up to others? Are you fearful of change? Do you in general feel scared to try new things?

 

IMVHO, I think you should think about your relationship with your gf. Do you really feel strong romantic feelings for her or is it really just a friendship? I think people often mistake close and loving friendship for being in love. You may really and deeply love her, but once you've met someone that sparks more romantic interest in you- you perhaps aren't sure if it's really love you are experiencing with your girlfriend, especially since you are craving more of that feeling. The good news is that you aren't married yet. You have time to explore your options. I know you have some sort of love for your gf, but make sure you aren't just staying with her out of complacency or fear to go after what you really want- because that wouldn't be loving thing to do to her in the long run. People change over time. Maybe you have simply outgrown what your gf can give you or you've evolved into a place where you need more from a relationship that solid friendship.

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I think there are many aspects to this problem, that you have to weigh and decide.

 

Dating someone for 10 years is a very long time. I think it would be something that would have lead to marriage by now, but this is your first girlfriend and relationship.

 

This limited experience and the fact that you never really dated anyone else can be an issue in itself.

 

You didn't shop around, so to speak, so how do you really know what you're missing?

 

I know many people that married their high school sweethearts. so I know to even say that. people can take offense. they are with their soul mates after all. lol

 

But I say all this because think it is actually common to outgrow your childhood sweetheart. I did :)

 

Why haven't you married? Not that I think you should. Just curious. Do you know why? The reason is a clue into what is missing etc.

 

As for liking this new woman...

 

If you're in a relationship but say you're in love with someone else, then obviously something is lacking in your current relationship.

 

But its not easy to end a relationship and you won't be ready after 10 years with one person to just monkey branch to the new woman.

 

It's hard and painful to end a relationship, even when its what you want. You won't be a good partner right off the bat... you'll need time to be alone and figure out who you are. Change is hard. The routine and comforts you know with your girlfriend today will change.

 

It's a weird dynamic and we all react in unexpected ways. you will be so sure one minute, think you're crazy the next. And its brutal to do that to the new girl. Frankly, she would have to be an idiot to get involved.

 

You're probably also naive about dating. The fact that you say you are in love with someone you don't know shows your inexperience. You have a crush. Crushes are overwhelming and heady, its lustful and exciting, dramatic and emotional and can lead to love, but they aren't love.

 

While others your age were experiencing things, like crushes, being experimental, getting dumped, dumping others, learning how to navigate romantic relationships & becoming a jack of all trades, you became an expert on one woman.

 

What is true of your girlfriend, is not true of all women.

 

Take all of these aspects and what do I think?

 

It will probably be the best thing to break up with your girlfriend. Not because of anyone else (do not dump her and tell her you are in love with someone else!)

 

Break up because you don't know if you're growing and changing or what but you've been together for ten years - your entire adult life and you need to figure yourself out.

 

Stay single for at least 6 months to a year, until you figure some things out.

 

Then you'll be in a better place to know what you truly want.

 

You may find after a few rolls in the hay with other women, your girlfriend is your best friend and the only woman for you. Or you may find that, while you will always have fondness for your girlfriend, you are not meant to be together.

 

I think its a good idea to break up and roll the dice. You are doubting things now. It makes no sense to move forward with the relationship.

 

Edited to add: don't date a subordinate. you could ruin your career or hers. many times the woman pays the penalty for fooling around with her boss. just look at Monica Lewinsky. as I was always taught "don't poop where you eat"

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The grass isn't always greener on the other side.

 

My cousin left her very decent, honorable husband for a more "exciting" colleague and she sorely regrets her folly every single day of her life. She has 2 kids now with husband #2 has horrific incurable character defects. :eek: :upset:

 

You don't know a person until you live with them or been with them for a while.

 

Don't make the same terrible mistake my cousin did.

 

Some people are thrilling when they're new and the relationship is new. Regrets come later and you'll end up a loser.

 

Hang onto to your girlfriend of 10 years. She's a gem and compatible partners (or spouses) are extremely hard to find. It's a great big world out there and finding "thee one" is like finding a needle in a haystack.

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It's hard and painful to end a relationship, even when its what you want. You won't be a good partner right off the bat... you'll need time to be alone and figure out who you are. Change is hard. The routine and comforts you know with your girlfriend today will change.

 

It's a weird dynamic and we all react in unexpected ways. you will be so sure one minute, think you're crazy the next. And its brutal to do that to the new girl. Frankly, she would have to be an idiot to get involved.

 

Excellent advice by many of the posters, and this excerpt from Lambert, especially. Think about this scenario. "Would you like to go out to dinner?"

"I thought you had a girlfriend."

"We broke up this week."

"How long did you date?"

"10 years"

 

A mentally healthy woman will hold up a stop sign to this, especially if you were honest that you crushing on her spurred on this breakup.

 

Never begin a new relationship before ending an old one, and don't jump into anything new with major time solo.

 

Look up and read articles on emotional affairs. It usually happens when there's an emotional disconnect with your primary partner.

 

Relationships take daily effort. Like a plant, if you ignore it, it will die. You've probably become more like friendly roommates and have let the passion go by the wayside.

 

Either find ways to reignite your relationship, or end things so your gf can eventually find someone who is crazy about her.

 

Regardless, emotionally distance yourself from your co-worker. This is not the time to grow closer to her. Avoid personal conversations. Avoid eating meals together whether at work or outside of work. Do not exchange numbers. When you are ready to date again, it's best to avoid co-workers, because most new relationships don't work out and you have the awkwardness of seeing each other every day.

 

Always treat your partner how you would like to be treated. If you wouldn't want her to have an emotional affair with someone, don't do that yourself. Good luck.

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This isn't about her. She represents a catalyst. Clearly you have a crush but no idea where she stands. Take time to reflect on what you see happening with your gf.

 

Does your gf want marriage kids, etc? Do you? If you are bored now, how will it be when the next hot coworker comes along? Unfortunately you got too attached, too young and stayed together too long.

I'm in my mid-twenties, but I already feel as if I don't take this leap, I might wake up one day in 10 years and feel like I've missed a chance.

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Hang onto to your girlfriend of 10 years. She's a gem and compatible partners (or spouses) are extremely hard to find. It's a great big world out there and finding "thee one" is like finding a needle in a haystack.

 

I agree with a lot of the advice throughout this entire thread. On the one hand you both met when you were quite young and as adults you will no doubt be very different people now. That being said, you've made it 10 years.

 

I urge you to find a way to ignore and perhaps stop engaging on a personal level with your work colleague. Nothing good can come of that, believe me, believe others saying the same here. And this advice is regardless of your current relationship and what may or may not come of that moving forward.

 

Take a time out, think about your current relationship, have conversation with your girlfriend of ten years, a relationship temperature check as it were. How is she feeling about things at this point? I would at least attempt to reconnect with her, you owe that to the both of you and your ten years together. A lot of couples lose a certain connection after some time, but every investment requires topping up every now and then. I think you will regret not trying some form of reconnection with her, rekindle the flame that brought you to one decade together.

Edited by RedFox1
Minor edit for clarity
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Do not date a coworker, particular if you are in a position of power over her. No matter how things turn out, there is too much room for awkwardness and unintended consequences. You would first need to check company policy. There are issues of favoritism. There is the chance things don't work out and then you have your work and personal issues overlapping. Plus, you'd be basically together all the time and that's not usually healthy either. It could work out, but there are many landmines that would need to be carefully navigated.

 

Your feelings for your co-worker aren't something to feel bad about. Even people who have the most solid relationship can be attracted to and develop a crush on someone else. We're human and don't stop noticing people that we connect with. I actually think it's great that you have gone this long and only been interested in being with one person. The question is, how do you feel about your girlfriend right now? Do you still love her and want to be with her? Other than this one issue, is everything else okay? And would losing her be with the "freedom" of pursuing someone else?

 

It sounds like you need to talk with your girlfriend. Express that you feel like you've apart and would like to share more of each others interests. If you've been together this long, it's worth it to try to work things out. Also, a couple doesn't have to be interested in each other's jobs, as long as they are willing to listen to each other. I know by best friend has no interest in accounting work, but she is always willing to listen to how my day went and hear me vent frustrations because she cares about me and takes an interest in how I am. Likewise, I have little interest in a fashion or reality show she watched, but it's important to her so I listen. The same applies even more in a relationship. It's about being together and showing you care for the other person. As long as you have enough in common, you don't need to have everything in common.

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