Do I Chase a New Man to Guam or Marry My Fiance?
“I’m 32 and recently engaged to my boyfriend of about 5 years. We have a long history that goes back about 10 years, when we originally dated and then ended on bad terms. Some more years and crappy relationships later saw us back together. At this point, we’ve lived together for three years and decided it was time to take the next steps towards family. He’s my best friend, and I do really love him, so I was excited that we were headed towards this new chapter. Here’s where it gets tricky, because it ALWAYS gets tricky. Now I work in a hospital, and I have some really great co-workers, but I make a point of keeping my work life separate from my personal life (I’ve previously had to learn this lesson the hard way.) Despite my typically aloof demeanor, I realized that a co-worker of mine had somehow wormed himself into my thoughts. I started noticing that he would come by daily to chat with me, and I looked forward to our conversations. He’s very good looking, a total gentleman, and I chalked this up to a harmless crush, as I kept him at a safe distance, and he was never anything but respectful. After two years of working together, he signed up for active duty in the military and found out he would be stationed in Guam for the next 3 years! I knew I was crushed by the news, and he knew I was engaged, so what could I really say? Before he left, we got together for drinks and the social lubricant did its magic. He opened up about all his feelings for me, and I responded in kind. We were chatting and giggling and just so comfortable in each others company I didn’t want the night to end. It was certainly a fine time to discover all of these feelings, as he was leaving the continent the next day. The physical chemistry…let me not even get STARTED. It’s more the emotional chemistry that has me still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. We spoke on the phone a couple times before he left, and after some emotionally intense conversations, he basically said we’d crossed the line as friends and he had to move on to this next book of his life and leave me behind. I should mention that he’s a pastor, and the guilt was gnawing at him. Before he left, I jokingly said “take me with you,” and he bluntly told me he had to trek this journey alone. It’s been about a month now and I haven’t gone a day without brooding over him. I know I have to move on but I don’t WANT to. As for my relationship, it feels different now. I had my doubts before, but I had assumed they were normal. Things I used to overlook have become much more apparent and bothersome to me now. What I need to know is, where do I go from here? He felt like a true soul mate, and I don’t know how many of those you get in a lifetime. Did I make these feelings up? If the normal mind does crazy things, I feel like mine does WORSE. If I get married, I will obviously never have a chance with him. Am I supposed to show up to Guam uninvited to declare my love for him? SOS!” – Rachel
@CrazyJewishMom: NOOOOOO!!! You are NOT supposed to show up in Guam uninvited. You’re supposed to come back down to earth and realize that this guy already dumped you!!!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Okay, I have a lot of thoughts here. But let me just reiterate my mom’s, “NOOOOOOO,” right out of the gate. You definitely don’t go to Guam.
@CrazyJewishMom: Rachel, this man told you explicitly that he is moving on without you, and more importantly….look at his actions….HE LEFT. Without you. TAKE A HINT! You have to look at people’s actions. I’m sure he told you lots of wonderful things on your drunken, flirty night and made you feel like he wanted to bang your forbidden brains out, but that doesn’t matter. People move mountains to be with ones they love, and this guy ran over mountains and crossed and an ocean without you. Move on, and get over it.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: That’s a good point, and I also think it’s too easy to blame his guilt about you being in a relationship for his decision to move on without you, especially if you were both feeling the same, soulmate-level connection you’ve described. But the idea that you might be on different wavelengths regarding the depth of your feelings aside, this is just a pure fantasy. You’re in lust. You’re comparing the dynamic you have with a hot crush who you haven’t even been on a real date with, to a five year plus relationship with a fiance who you’ve probably seen take a dump with the bathroom door open. Who knows! Maybe the mystery man is actually your soulmate, and maybe you would have a super happy life together, but trying to compare this fun fantasy with a real partner who has been at your side through last five years of your life, is totally unproductive.
@CrazyJewishMom: You don’t blow up your life for a fantasy. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but maybe it’s just greener because they’re using carcinogenic pesticides that will make you drop dead in a year!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Are the pesticides Pastor sperm in this metaphor?
@CrazyJewishMom: That, or toxic masculinity, tiny penis…could be any number of things.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Cool. Listen Rachel, you need to separate out your fantasy about this unattainable fantasy pastor, and focus on the reality in front of you. You’re engaged. You need to figure out how you feel about this man (ideally you would have done this before you agreed to marry him, but better now than never). Importantly, you need to figure that out before thinking about this pastor, or anyone else. I won’t criticize you for emotionally cheating on your fiance, but it’s super unfair for you to waste this guy’s time and string him along. If you want to explore other options, fine. But you can’t do that while you’re engaged to someone.
@CrazyJewishMom: Let’s be very clear though. The Pastor is not your future. Maybe he made you realize that you’re not as committed to your fiance as you thought, but don’t start picking out your wallpaper in Guam.
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