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Hey everyone, I’m not actually looking for advice this time, I just need to get this off my chest. I know I’ve been really stupid, and most of you will agree after reading this, but it’s alight.

 

I posted this thread about attracting unavailable men about this guy I met and got along really well a few weeks ago. I was pretty sure we both liked each other, until I found out he had a girlfriend (thanks Google). Naturally, I stopped texting him the moment I found out.

 

We both work for the same company, but he lives and works in a different city. We hadn’t been in touch for almost 2 weeks when he contacted me again about a work issue. He started to reach out more often to ask questions about work. And slowly, our texts stopped being about work and we started to talk about random stuff, just like before. I know I should have stopped it, but I didn’t. Long story short, we started to chat a lot, we’d send each other pictures of our vacation and other random things (no nudes, nothing sexual), we just had these nice long conversations. I know it was wrong, I think I was lonely (I’m again working from home), and it was so easy to talk to him. He’d ask me tons of questions, and he remembered every detail I told him, even from weeks ago.

 

Our conversations were not overly flirtatious, but this week he started to flirt more, he even sent me a picture of himself (again, no nude photos). We didn’t text every day, but he would reach out a few times during the week, and we’d talk for hours.

 

He never mentioned his girlfriend, only his friends and parents, until today. Last night we talked a lot, and today he texted me to wish me a great weekend, and then he just randomly mentioned his girlfriend. I wasn’t expecting him to mention her, I know, sounds so silly. Naturally, this conversation was rather brief, and I just ended it.

 

I know this is my fault, I knew he had a girlfriend, but I can’t help not to feel sad about it. I mean I date in real life, there’s this guy I’ve been kind of seeing for a while now, but I’m just having a hard time connecting with these guys, like we don’t have much in common if that makes sense.

 

As I said, it doesn’t really matter why he was doing this, I know I’m the one to blame too. I just feel sad because I know our conversations are now over, and I haven’t had this kind of connection with a man in a while.

 

I know it wasn’t a good idea to text with him, knowing he’s not single, please don’t be too harsh with me, this is hard for me.

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You can't change what you already did, you know that. So, going forward make the decision to never again behave inappropriately with men who are in relationships.

 

I'm sure if you were the girlfriend and you found out your boyfriend was spending time communicating with another woman, you wouldn't accept "oh, she's lonely due to working at home!" as a legitimate excuse. So, the old saying "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" applies here.

 

If you're lonely, can you find other people to communicate with? I'm sure you have friends you can have good conversations with.

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Don't feel so bad. It takes two to tango and your coworker also partook corresponding with you which didn't have any boundaries nor respect for his girlfriend when her back was turned. I'd hate to be his girlfriend because your coworker's flirtatious behavior can't be trusted and he isn't loyal nor honorable towards her.

 

Chalk it up to a lesson learned for yourself. You can't control what other people do. All you can do is listen to your conscience, put on the brakes with other people and change your trajectory. In hindsight, most people realize their mistakes. You can't undo the past. Just readjust yourself, do the right thing and you'll be alright. Fret no more.

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It's definitely not easy. Not many people are choosing to date now with the pandemic either so I don't think you should beat yourself up too much about the dating scene. Good things are worth waiting for and in the meantime... well, hang out at ENA or look into other things that uplift you and make you feel good.

 

This person is just a cheap and easy way to pass the time but the quality of company is bottom of the barrel. He may look nice, say nice things and decorate himself with work accomplishments or other frivolous/superficial things but the bottomline is he's taken and he's chatting up a work colleague more than is appropriate.

 

If push comes to shove, is this kind of guy you want long term? The more you associate with him or chat about non-work related items the more hits to your self-esteem you'll get. Pull yourself out of this and don't talk to him anymore.

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Sometimes we have to revisist a lesson to reinforce what we already know. Now you know.

 

If it were me, whenever I was communicating with him I'd be wondering what how his girlfriend would feel if she knew you two were communicating at the extent you were.

 

Feel bad for her and be greatful it's not you.

 

Shake it off. . . and carry on.

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Thanks guys for your comments, I’m so glad I can talk about this here.

 

I can’t block him – he’s my coworker, so I can’t cut him off completely, but I’ll stop texting about non-work things for sure.

 

I wanted to stop this before because I felt bad, but I guess it was easier to pretend his girlfriend didn’t exist. I just didn’t expect him to drop the news about his girlfriend like that, after weeks of talking.

 

It was a good distraction at work, I think for both of us. I know it’s good that it’s over, I’m just sad right now, trying to shake it off, as someone said.

 

Wise – Louis has been carefully observing. For those who don’t know, Louis is my stuffed sloth 😊

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Thanks guys for your comments, I’m so glad I can talk about this here.

 

I can’t block him – he’s my coworker, so I can’t cut him off completely, but I’ll stop texting about non-work things for sure.

 

I wanted to stop this before because I felt bad, but I guess it was easier to pretend his girlfriend didn’t exist. I just didn’t expect him to drop the news about his girlfriend like that, after weeks of talking.

 

It was a good distraction at work, I think for both of us. I know it’s good that it’s over, I’m just sad right now, trying to shake it off, as someone said.

 

Wise – Louis has been carefully observing. For those who don’t know, Louis is my stuffed sloth 😊

 

You aren't being very honest with yourself now are you?

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I'm sorry you're feeling badly about the situation. So I'll share this story. One of my closest friends fell in love with a married man in grad school. For a few years they were platonic friends and that was it/ Totally appropriate. Then the jerk told her he was in love with her (or into her) at a time when she realized she had feelings for him and had for awhile. He was her first sex partner. A few months later he told her his wife was pregnant with their second child. They continued the affair for over a year. Wife didn't find out. I am not sure who ended it but it ended. A couple of months later she met her future husband on match -totally nice guy, single, great person. About a year later they were living together and engaged to be married. A few months after she got engaged she was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer -she was in her early 30s. Their marriage lasted 2.5 years. Until she passed away. Imagine -if when she was wasting time pursuing a married man she'd instead pursued someone worthy of her. Maybe it wouldn't have been her husband but she could have been in love and with someone available years longer than she was. Of course we don't know when it's our time but think about it from that perspective.

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Don't feel so bad. It takes two to tango and your coworker also partook corresponding with you which didn't have any boundaries nor respect for his girlfriend when her back was turned. I'd hate to be his girlfriend because your coworker's flirtatious behavior can't be trusted and he isn't loyal nor honorable towards her.

 

Chalk it up to a lesson learned for yourself. You can't control what other people do. All you can do is listen to your conscience, put on the brakes with other people and change your trajectory. In hindsight, most people realize their mistakes. You can't undo the past. Just readjust yourself, do the right thing and you'll be alright. Fret no more.

 

Agreed. He's emotionally cheating on his girlfriend. Not your doing, so yeah, "Don't feel so bad."..."You can't control what other people do". :)

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Reading between the lines I almost get the impression that you seem to be desperate for male company - any male company. ? I could of course be way off course. This guy is bad news - he's already in a relationship and that instantly means back off. He's taken. Don't go there. From this point on any interaction with him should exclusively be business only.

 

During these Covid/pandemic times it's difficult to date anyone. Nothing wrong with being single for a good while and enjoying life focused on friends and family.

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Kim, this is getting close to someone else's man and this is essentially hurting another woman, even if she doesn't know about it.

 

Do you really want to become that woman?

 

He's not yours to have, and excusing it by saying you're lonely, is not good enough. You don't cross boundaries like this and then thinks it's no big deal.

 

This woman no doubt loves him, do you know what it's like to have a boyfriend who not only gets close to other women behind your back but flirts and acts inappropriate?

Have you ever been on the other side where your partner is doing these things to you?

Because I can tell you that on your end, it's all fun and games, but on hers, it would be soul crushing and potentially destroy her faith and trust in men, forever.

 

You're no better than him, you are creating this scenario every bit as much. And I know you've been on this forum long enough to know that "those that will cheat with you, will eventually cheat on you."

 

He's not a good guy. He doesn't have good morals or standards, in fact, he's a creep to be behaving this way behind his girlfriends back. He's definitely not the type of man you could trust or that any self respecting woman would want.

 

Take a good look in the mirror over who you are Kim, and the type of woman you want to be.

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Agreed. He's emotionally cheating on his girlfriend. Not your doing, so yeah, "Don't feel so bad."..."You can't control what other people do".

 

Please stop excusing what she did. She knows better. In fact, all women and men know better, some just don't care or only think of themselves.

 

You knew he was taken, you didn't care. You carried it on with this man. And you know what? It's not okay.

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Please stop excusing what she did. She knows better. In fact, all women and men know better, some just don't care or only think of themselves.

 

You knew he was taken, you didn't care. You carried it on with this man. And you know what? It's not okay.

 

You're right. There was the break in the communication the first time (when first learning of the girlfriend), but then continued communication when things started up again a few weeks later.

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I don't think I'm desperate, but I'm lonely for sure, this home office thing is not easy, I missy my regular office and interacting with people.

I didn't want to use my loneliness as an excuse, I just tried to explain why I was doing this.

Just to be clear- I was never physical with this guy, I didn't even like him when I first met him, we just really clicked after.

Sherry - yes, I was cheated on, so I'm familiar with the other side too.

I know it was wrong to start talking to him for the second time. I think we're both to blame, I mean if I hadn't googled him, I would've thought he was single the entire time.

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Batya - thank you for sharing this touching story 💗

Dancing Fool - I was thinking about ending this but I didnt know how, and I enjoyed our conversation too much.

 

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Of course you knew how. You just chose not too. I enjoyed snack cakes too much and I enjoyed nibbling on my son's snacks as I made him lunch, and I enjoyed dipping into the M&M jar so much a few years ago. I didn't enjoy gaining a few extra pounds (just a few) or -at my age - 52 - seeing my cholestorol /blood pressure go up. So I made a commitment to cut out a lot of my bad habits. And drink more water. I did for 17 months. Then the pandemic hit. We'd be home all the time, stressed out, anxious. The day I found out my son's school was closing because of the pandemic I saw the writing on the wall. I renewed my commitment not to slip back into bad habits. I had to do that because I knew I'd slip back otherwise in the covid situation. So far so good - my husband even asked me to buy those snack cakes again and promised to hide them from me -instead I bought him a variety I do not prefer so I wouldn't be tempted. I've had a number of occasions in the past months where I really really just wanted to nibble 'just this once" or give myself a treat - I'm giving you all the details because -I know myself. I know that even a few nibbles will slip me back into the bad habits. I also know other people can handle a few slips or just this once and be right back on the plan after with little damage.

 

You think your situation is harder -I don't. No, I am not addicted to food. You are not addicted to this man. . But ask anyone who does turn to treats for emotional reasons - and who now has this pandemic whether they "know how" to stop the habits. Food is all around them all the time. Temptation is too. The analogy is pretty darn perfect. Any person who is genuine will tell you of course she knows how, she just makes excuses and chooses not to do it because she enjoys that cookie "too much". You know how to get your hand out of someone else's cookie jar.

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I should have explained it. I couldn't cut him off completely because he's my coworker. And I couldn't tell him hey, I googled you and I know you're not single. That would be creepy.

But I agree, Batya, it was a bad habit to talk to him so much. It's over now for sure.

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I should have explained it. I couldn't cut him off completely because he's my coworker. And I couldn't tell him hey, I googled you and I know you're not single. That would be creepy.

But I agree, Batya, it was a bad habit to talk to him so much. It's over now for sure.

 

I don't buy it. I can't cut off treats completely or food. If you wanted to you knew exactly how to tell him without any need for explanation "I am enjoying our conversations but I no longer think they're appropriate so let's keep it to work only. Thanks" - and if he asked why you could have told him you've decided that professionally it's not appropriate or that you've become too busy, or whatever - if you wanted to you would have found a way. We all do. It's when it's hard that our values and priorities really show.

 

Many years ago a married man was crossing boundaries with me at our office. I was single but in an exclusive relationship. I enjoyed our conversations and honestly was completely clueless that he might be interested in me. I found him somewhat attractive but I wasn't going there at all in my mind. Things turned inappropriate on his end. I didn't know what to do. I tried to ignore it. We didn't work together. One night he came to my office and asked if I wanted to get a drink after work. I said no. I realized this was inappropriate and hoped he'd go away. Instead he came behind my desk, leaned over, kissed me on the cheek and said "good night" and left. I froze. My body froze. I just didn't know what to do. A few nights later he stopped by and again asked me to get a drink. I said no and he started approaching me. I stammered "this is not appropriate." I stammered even though I am an extrovert and great at expressing myself, love public speaking. He said "because of the office or my marriage?" I stammered back "both." That's all I could say. (he got fired/resigned a few weeks later -I heard he threatened to hit a female supervisor -I did consult with a lawyer-friend who told me not to report it if I could do self-help -he left me alone after that)

 

So yes you can have boundaries with people and not cut them off completely. I am glad you ended it but please I hope you take my strong suggestion not to make these kinds of excuses.

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Kim

 

I think this guy might be testing your boundaries. When you first learned of the gf, the conversation stopped. He gave it time and came back around personally. Now he's enjoying a female work friend and you know full well he has a gf. He's liking the attention and feeling all kinds of "I'm a great guy".

 

You said you're not looking for advice. I'm gonna give you some anyway.

 

Stop making excuses. Cut this guy off at work colleague status. You work from home. You can very easily fade in this, except for work conversations. Give vague excuses, such as "busy today." Hold those boundaries. You don't have to explain anything. You don't owe this guy anything. Be polite but distant.

 

Next start working on getting your self esteem and confidence from someone that will never leave. you!

 

Realize your a pawn not a friend to this guy. Raise your standards. Recognize loneliness is a side effect of a global pandemic, not a reflection of you! And find healthier coping mechanisms, such as, real friends, books, hobbies, exercise, nutrition, whatever you like FOR YOU!

 

PS... I used to work with a lot of men because of the field I'm in. I never talked about my love life but there were many times guys in other cities would eventually try to cross the line. Probably because the work was over the phone, no one in their physical office would know etc. In those times I'd always fall back on.... "My boyfriend doesn't like me being too friendly with guys at work. I know you're just being friends and all but I get hit on a lot and it's tough for him......"

 

bawahaaa! A lot of people won't risk a flat out rejection. So this did work.

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Hi Lambert, he didn't know I knew about his gf. I just googled him and stopped talking to him, didn't tell him why. But he came back.

Thanks for the advice, I know I need to set new boundaries and deal with my loneliness in a different way. I don't think he will be reaching out anytime soon.

I was just surprised he mentioned her all of sudden yesterday.

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