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Friendship/relationship - online, two women, 1 man

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This scenario involves 2 coworkers and 1 of these coworkers who's having/had an online rel'ship.
Me - coworker (F), Him - coworker and Online girl

We both work from home. We only talked through our work chat (MS Teams). Don't know what the other looks like. We're on a contract - started chatting Sept. '21. We get along really, really well. He gave me his personal email (maybe Nov.). I never msgd him. Kept it only to work. He took 2 weeks off for Xmas holidays (locally). Mentioned me emailing him, so I finally decided to give him my personal email. He only wished me a Merry Xmas and HNY. That was it.

In Jan. he caught COVID, wasn't well for a few days, so was off work and he msgd from personal email. Nothing really important that I can think of. More like, "how are you feeling?"
By Mid-Jan, we were emailing more on personal email, and flirting. He's a big flirt. He finally declared interest in me. 2 weeks after that (early FEB), he tells me there's another woman (Online girl), that he's been talking to around the same time we started. AND, that THEY'VE declared themselves exclusive - GF/BF.  I said, okay and wished him well. WELL, ofc he didn't want to lose me; the potential of an "US". (He msgd me a while later expressing this to me)
WELL, here's the kicker - she lives in another country, they only text. No email, pics, phone calls, etc. AND, in less than a month declared a "status"; not dating, or sleeping w/anyone else. I thought that was odd (in such a short time and given the situation), but whatever. WE continued to talk on our work chats ofc, (work related only) AND on personal email. HE continued to try to talk to me as a guy who's interested, as an "us". I would tell him how I'm not comfortable doing this behind her back, but at the same time WE already had a GREAT connection at work, and one off work, B4 he told me about her. So, we were naturally able to communicate as we usually did. (I realize we are both online too, but it's diff. b/c we know that we're not far from one another to meet up. Plus, at least I know he's real and exists b/c of work. Just a matter of putting a face and voice to it.

This continues for about 2 weeks, from the time he's told me about her. In that time, he tells me his feelings towards me, and how he feels about her. With me it's more natural, and feels he can talk to me about anything. SHE, has major issues. FK'd up by men, and other stuff. He feels like he walks on eggshells w/her. They fight, etc. He tells me he had mentioned to her that, "if she wants to see/date other men, women have "needs", etc he would understand. Well, ofc she says: "You did not just say that to me" Basically, says to me that he would be fine if it ends, but is afraid of hurting her, etc.
So, I don't say too much, and in the meantime, we continue to be ourselves (again out of habit, naturally) BUT, ofc me/him knowing/ feeling like this is wrong. So, by the end of that two weeks, things are really good btwn us. He msgs me that Friday night, saying he misses me. I was kinda skeptical b/c, it almost felt like he wanted "attention" I asked what was on his mind, but he said he just missed talking to me. Anyways, I made ref. to whether he had come to a decision of what he wanted to do? No response. WELL, bring on the novel/essay late Saturday morning. Basically, the email (which I had to read over and over to understand if he was breaking up w/me, or not) He didn't want to choose, since he had not met either one of us. (But, yet I'm the only one who knows about the girl - she doesn't know about me) OFC NOT, she thinks they're in a REL'SHIP I was upset and hurt that (long) weekend. Ruined it. So, when Tuesday came I ignored him at work, until he msgd me commenting on my (never witnessed b4) silence. I let him know how he made me feel in that email.

NOTE: I always expressed to him that our friendship was important to me. Even though, we were crossing lines. And, we both did not want to lose that. And, if he was with a girl, I would still like to keep in touch, if that were possible) But understood, if it didn't happen.

WELL, right away he apologized and realized he was being an idiot and that maybe he had held on to two women for far too long, all the while losing me (which he did not want to do). He said he was going to have a talk w/her and end things, b/c he knows they're not right for each other, only filling a void (loneliness, hurt, pain, other common emotions - incl. sexual). I told him I couldn't give him an answer about us. Well, we basically didn't talk at work for a week. It was difficult for me to see him in the same way, after that email he had sent. I felt numb, anxious, nothing - all kinds. So, we gave each other space that week. He expressed he was hurting, b/c he had hurt me and wanted to make things right. By Monday of the following week - Feb. 28, we started spkg at work again, and in the evenings.

NOTE: he told me the week we were silent, that he spoke to her and she was fine with ending things, and understood that they were not compatible, nor were they ever going to probably meet any time soon. ALSO, he did say in that email over the weekend, that they did want a rel'ship, but if they did meet, and it didn't work out, they would leave as friends.

Since he expressed interest, we agreed (b4 knowing about her and till this day) that we would meet some time in the future, given the COVID situation where we live. Not going to lie, I'm still uncomfortable being around ppl who are not in my circle, etc. You just never know.
NOTE: I had told him I didn't want to talk about them, or the situation btwn us, until we met up.

So, back to last week. We end the week on a good note. He msgs me Saturday for the first time ever, that he was thinking of me and was already missing me. (We never spk on weekends, only at work and evenings). We spk Sunday too. Now, onto this past Monday, March 7. We have a good day at work, he logs off really quick, don't hear from him until around 6:30pm. (OH, I had moved us from emails to personal TEAMS chat - just much easier). So, I read the msg on my screen, b4 actually going into TEAMS. Once I do, the msg disappears. Guess he deleted it, but my phone had kept it on the screen: "THANK GOD" Basically, it said: "I think she's disappeared from online, which upsets him b/c she knew how much friendships meant to both of them."
So, my mind starts racing... I'm like "What do you mean she's gone?" He's like, "false alarm. I was wrong, she came back online and is upset"
ME: "upset about what?"
HIM: "she's saying that we're not friends, why do you keep saying that"
Meanwhile, she told him two weeks prior, that they were friends and he could date freely; he was single. Told me that too when he msgd me that week about their convo. So now, she's acting like they're still together

For some reason, since we had not spoken about them, after that convo where they would be just friends, I thought MAYBE he hasn't spoken to her, thinking it's text. WELL, I go off on him and ask: "are you guys still talking since that night?"
HIM: yes, frequently - or often.
I'm like WHAT?! He's like, we're still friends we play online games. (that's how they met. NO TEXTS, NO EMAILS, etc.) WHERE'S the EMOJIs when you need them? LOL

He says the convo has been on the "Friend" side + their online game, but tonight, she's acting like they are not friends b/c we have been intimate w/one another, and we're at the beginning stages of our rel'ship.
So, ofc, I'm upset, thinking that maybe she had texted him out of the blue, like missing him, or something. Meanwhile, she's still feeling a connection to him, b/c they're still in contact. (I don't know if I trust him when he says there's been no sex talk, or feelings expressed in the last two weeks with her) I just found it odd. But, could be she's just lonely, etc. wanting attention.

ANYWAYS, he basically tells her he's met someone on the weekend (NOT AT WORK OVB.), and that the NEW girl wants to see him again.
So, she starts asking him about me. Sizing me up, literally. Says she's fine w/him moving on, and putting her in the friend zone. At one point she says, you should give this girl a chance. [He kept msging me the convo they were having (Copy/paste) to keep me in the loop of her comments and her responses.]
I had stopped msging him about an hour after he told me what had happened. I said I was done. He sent msgs up to 1am. (So, I just read what he would send, but not respond) Which ofc, upset me that it was taking this long to end things. Not to mention, how worried he is about her mental state and was trying to be delicate about the matter. He says it caught him off guard, b/c he asked her repeatedly that OG night, if she was okay for them to move on. 
NOTE: Also mentions that he's going to have to choose, doubt I'd be okay w/him keeping a friendship/re'ship w/an online girl. IF she was dating him in RL, and she knew about an online rel'ship, she'd SHUT down that SH*T so fast!

Tuesday (yesterday), he sends me an email apologizing for making me feel this way, again. B/c now, we were back to the way things were two weeks ago, if not worse. He still wants to be with me, not her. He made it clear they were just friends. I didn't respond to the email. We didn't talk at work (TEAMS) either. Then, around 1pm he sends me a msg on our personal TEAMS, copy/paste of a convo I guess they were having atm, She basically was saying how she couldn't believe how he suddenly met someone, and coaching him on not being a certain way w/me (I guess he has some self-esteem issues, something along those lines) I did eventually go back and forth w/him, just telling him how I felt, how it made me feel. They're being in touch still... I ended the work day by saying, I don't know what my answer is right now.

Around 7:30pm, he sends me a msg. Thought it was from him only, it was, but not b4 another copy/paste about his 2nd date w/this new girl (me) - which ofc we're not going on. Haven't even met. EXCEPT, her msg starts w/: "so when's your d**k sucking session, I mean date :)" He's like, it's not like that. She's like, you don't know what you're missing. She's like, so I guess we can't have sexy talk anymore?
He's like, look you're my friend, and she's a potential partner. I want to respect her, esp. if I'm seeing someone. She's like, boring. It's not dating if you're just seeing someone."

So, ofc. I'm pissed b/c 1) this chick keeps bringing me up 2)They're rel'ship was mostly sex talk. HOW in the world could you even think of having a rel'ship w/this one, then consider me? WE couldn't be more polar. ANOTHER kicker - She's in an arranged marriage - Married to a Lesbian. (Facepalm) She is not one, and is attracted to men. AGAIN, how did you consider her and me on the same playing field? He's like, I think you can be attracted to two ppl at the same time, for diff reason. YEAH, if they're on a similar playing field, w/slight character, or other diff. - not this.
Anyways, I flat out told him that it's obvious your rel'ship was purely sexual. Fulfilling sexual needs/desires. The idea of a "real" rel'ship was just a want/fantasy, as it was for her.

SOOOO, FINALLY my questions...
After that msg last night, we didn't talk, nor at work today. As it stands now, he's giving me space (he just msgd me after to work to see how I'm doing). Told him I'm okay. Need to process some things. I don't feel like I did a week ago, more like how I felt two weeks ago. So back to Sq.1, except now, she's still in the picture. I'm not sure if I will continue anything w/him. I am disappointed about the work rel'ship though.

1. Thoughts on the above?
2. Anyone else been in a situation where there's another woman (online)? 
3. Would you give him another chance? 
4. Would you let him continue to have this online gaming friendship (if he says that he will not engage in that kind of talk, he will continue to make it clear to her, if she brings it up)?
5. What are your thoughts about men/women being friends. And in particular, this situation.

Thank you in advance. Sorry, for the long story... let me know if you need me to clarify something. 

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These are coworkers? You've never met in person?

Keep it strictly professional.

As bored as he is, sending you lewd sexual content and you responding to it is unprofessional.

Take a break. Only work during work times. Stop the personal email chitchatting.

Keep in mind whatever you do electronically, there's records of which can be forwarded, posted on social media, whatever.

You seem lonely and lost in a cyberworld.

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness get a side hustle, take some classes and courses.

You're overinvolved in this office gossiping.

Get a good profile and pics on quality dating apps and start talking to and meeting local real-life men in person for a low-key coffee .

Edited by Wiseman2
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19 hours ago, Rox22 said:

This continues for about 2 weeks, from the time he's told me about her. In that time, he tells me his feelings towards me, and how he feels about her. With me it's more natural, and feels he can talk to me about anything. SHE, has major issues. FK'd up by men, and other stuff. He feels like he walks on eggshells w/her. They fight, etc.  

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t read beyond this point. Firstly, you are coworkers and both of your behaviour is extremely unprofessional. If I were your boss, there would be immediate disciplinary action.

Secondly, this man is not a quality human being - the way he talks about the other woman is despicable and if he talks about this woman this way then you can bet he will talk about you this way too. And the way you also describe the situation is pretty disrespectful.

I highly suggest you return to keeping a strictly professional relationship with this guy and focus on your job. If you want to date someone, then seek it out through appropriate avenues and in a respectful way.

Edited by LotusBlack
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ok... honestly I didn't read your entire post.  But if I have it right  a guy at work is jerking you & another woman around.

It sounds like a lot of drama. I would end it all.  His is pathetic, actually. You deserve to be with someone more confident and mature.

He's acting like a little boy that loves attention. there is no fixing this... move on. And don't date at work. 

Edited by Lambert
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I have to be honest, I didn’t read you’re entire post either. There is a lot there and it gets a bit confusing around the “he said/she said” part. If you don’t mind me saying, you could cut a lot of it out and we would still get the gist of things. You may get more more replies that way. 

Anyway, I read the first part and very quickly skimmed over the rest. I apologise if I have missed vital bits of information.

All I can see here is a lot … and I mean A LOT … of drama amongst people who have never even met and haven’t even seen pictures of each other. (Why no pictures, surely you must be curious as to what each other looks like). You’re hurting over a man that you may not even be attracted to in the real world. I don’t know how old you are but this could be some much older predatory guy who is enjoying having two younger girls fighting over his affections. He lives locally. Why wouldn’t you have met yet? I’’m not sure COVID is a valid excuse anymore … besides you could have kept a safe distance.

Regardless, no matter what the excuses are, no matter what picture he paints of this other woman, the second you realise there is someone else in the picture, it’s time to leave. It never brings anything other than trouble, heartache and confusion. There is no difference between you and this other woman (as you said), you are both kept at arms length no matter where you are. He is as real to her as he is to you … which is about as real as Daffy Duck btw. In fact, in your case there’s no reason to have not met yet so it’s actually LESS believable that this guys intentions towards you are real, where as there is the excuse of distance in her case.

Something did catch my eye that I felt was a big fat lie and that was that she was in an “arranged” lesbian marriage. Is there such a thing? What I mean is, in cultures where they arrange marriages would they even allow, or at least agree with, same sex relationships, let alone marriages. And why would she be forced into a lesbian marriage if she isn’t a lesbian? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m sure someone is lying here. Hard to say who because, let’s face it, we don’t know who either of these people are.

Too much too soon …. and all done via a screen! Not even real words have been spoken. It’s easy to leave this. Just close the lid of laptop! 

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