By: Will Wavvy
Dear Relationship Playbook
First off, I want to say I’m glad I stumbled across this forum. I’m now a fan because so far, I REALLY like what I see-somewhere that mature-MINDED (not in age alone) people can come to share, discuss, vent, give & receive advise-thank you so much.
Okay, there’s a man from my hometown that I’ve known most of if not all my life. He was a friend of my oldest brother, who is 7 years older than me. I’m the baby of seven, so to all my older sibling’s friends, I was just their “baby sister”. Fast-forward to about early ’90’s, and I’m a grown woman! Well this guy in particular asks me out. He was very sweet, kind, very respectful, and I believed he really liked me. But then, I was young & dumb, and sowing wild oats! We didn’t go out that long, and at some point, we each moved away & lost touch. Fast-forward some more to recent months, and we meet up on a social network and became friends. When that happened, I immediately remembered him as someone I’d dated, but couldn’t remember what happened, or how/why we’d stopped. So, our initial contacts were very basic & generic-how are you, how’s the fam, etc., and we got each other caught up as to what was currently going on in our perspective lives. And then, I told him that when I saw him on the site, I wondered what happened between us, the reason we’d stopped seeing each other so many years ago. He became quiet at first, then asked me if I really didn’t remember-I said that I didn’t and I was really intrigued to know what happened. He said that we’d gone out one night to the local “club”, and we had a good time together dancing & kissing all night, and had a great time. Later, he drove me home, we kissed goodnight, and made plans to get together the next night. But, when he called me later the next day to solidify plans, I’d told him I couldn’t see him anymore because I was seeing someone else! And for the life of me, even until today, I can’t recall any of that.
Furthermore, I can’t recall what happened so drastically & so dramatically that changed the course of events within the matter of one day!!! Immediately, I felt some type of way, because first of all, that seems so out of my character. And it wasn’t that I disbelieved him-he seemed to have very specific details of that night. But I just thought why would he even want to talk to me years later after what I did? He could tell this bothered me, and kept trying to assure me that he wasn’t upset (he later admitted that he was), but I told him that I was. He said that it was just great that we could reconnect so many years later and become friends again. He tells me that he’s married, and now lives in Louisiana (I’m still in NY) with one teenage daughter. But I also found out that I was a fool to let THIS man go so many years ago, because he seemed to have the qualities of what I’d want in a life partner/husband, which made talking to him a bitter-sweet issue for me, because now, I’m starting to go in, but having to hold back, because he’s married, because when I had the chance I blew it, and felt I didn’t warrant the right to another chance, and because in each of our conversations, whenever I’d bring up how stupid I was, he’d switch gears, and tell me that things happen for a reason, and to just be thankful that we can be friends again. But then, he’s say things like he always thought I was a very intelligent, beautiful young lady, that he’d always wanted someone like me for his wife, that he’d treat me like a queen, that he’s always had the utmost respect for me-all the corny stuff that you see in the movies, and all the things that can be dangerous when you already regret what you did with a man that you’re starting to feel for, who just happens to be unavailable to you now. But whenever I would turn the conversation to my regrets, or how I felt about the situation, he’d become very guarded, and abruptly change the subject. Finally, I got frustrated, and I told him he was being very unfair, because I’m exposing myself to him, usually in response to something he’s said to me, but then he back-pedals, and won’t deal with it. If he can’t handle the topic, he shouldn’t bring it up. And I could tell that there were things that he WASN’T saying. When I called him on it, he FINALLY said that he respects me, and doesn’t want to disrespect me in anyway, that he’s scared he’d say the wrong things to me. I told him that he has to allow ME to judge whether or not it’s wrong, but that I can’t do that if he’s not forthcoming-THAT’S when he went in.
He told me that his current circumstances were a mistake, that he married her after he’d moved down south, and knew no one, that he was lonely, and wanted companionship, so they got married, That union produced his 15 year old daughter, but that for a long time, he’s been miserably, unhappily married, and that he’s told his wife (long before we started talking) that after his daughter graduates school, he’s leaving. He said that he wants me, wants another chance to see where we would go, and this time, he’s not taking no for an answer. And amongst a LOT of other stuff that still has my head spinning, when I told him my son’s father was not in his life, he said THE sweetest thing of all-for me not to worry about it, because if I’ll have him, HE’D be his father, and would love him as his own, because of what he feels for me. Long before he said any of this, I knew this man held a very special place in my heart, and once I found out what happened, I thought I didn’t deserve another chance to be with him, that I was unworthy of even his friendship. And when he’d kept changing the subject, I thought what I was feeling was one-sided, so I’d try staying on generic topics, but then he’d say something else, and I’d have to add that to the pile of all the things that were making me believe he still had feelings for me, but that he was unsure as to how to express them.
Now, I’m starting to feel this man, and I’m nervous & anxious all at the same time. He seems to be what I want, but I don’t want these feelings to overtake me, and make me make yet another mistake where he’s concerned. This time, I want it to be done right. And like I told him, I’ve resolved that when we were younger, I wasn’t ready for someone like him, and that’s the reason we didn’t work. Because we could’ve broken up on bad terms then, and wouldn’t have this opportunity now. Am I making a mistake? Going too fast? I’m trying to keep myself (feelings) in check, especially for a married man that’s not (yet) available to me, but it’s very difficult, especially since at least emotionally, we’ve already crossed the line. Meanwhile, there’s another man who lives in the town that I do that wants to date me, and he’s seemingly a nice man with means-would buy me anything, do anything for me if I’d only ask. I finally agreed to go on ONE date with him (when the first guy and I had a misunderstanding, I thought we were over and I was looking to be distracted), but I already know I don’t feel this man, and can’t see myself with him-this is even without the first guy being in the picture. Though the date was nice, and he seems like a gentleman, I’m not the type to string someone along, and my heart’s already emotionally attached elsewhere.
My questions are: 1) what to do about the first guy, who I blew it with years ago so callously, but now, can’t seem to stay away from? We talk for hours daily, and I’m starting to feel almost consumed by him, but not in a bad way? I want to be with him, but he’s committed to staying until his child graduates high school, then he SAYS he plans to leave-I want to believe him. He talks of US being together in the future-again, I want to believe him…and 2) how do I let the second guy down without being mean and hurtful? Finally, 3) what does it say about me, that I even went on this lunch date with the second guy? When the first guy & I had previously discussed our circumstances, I’d thought we were clear that neither of us could hold any unrealistic expectations for the other, since technically, we’re not together. He even said that until we were together,we’d see other people. But during a recent conversation, I’d casually mentioned guys wanting to talk to me, and he got mad, but when I pressed him to find out what happened to us not having unrealistic expectations for each other, he didn’t want to discuss it.
Sorry for the length of this e-mail, but as you can see, I REALLY need some objective perspective.
Thank you for the compliments and hopefully you’ll continue to be a fan, but understand we’re not objective when it comes to dating married men – well at least I’m not.
The only advice I give when it comes to being with someone that’s married is don’t. It doesn’t matter if you dress it up in 2 sentences or 200. A married man is still a married man. I don’t care if he’s your “lost love”, how miserable he tells you he is or whatever BS he’s feeding you. He’s still married.
There are plenty of other resources out there for advice on how to continue being dragged along for at least 3 more years, just to be given some other reason why he isn’t leaving once the daughter graduates.
As far as the 2nd dude, simply tell him. People are OK with being told, “Hey, you’re just not ideal for me”. What they’re not cool with it being played with because “you don’t want to hurt their feelings”.
You can email your relationship questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org