Some things you should consider if you become romantically involved with a coworker who is in an unhappy relationship with someone else, but yet continues to stay with them when you want to have a relationship with them.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has been sleeping with one of his female coworkers. He says they have feelings for each other, but she lives with her boyfriend and her son. It’s been a few weeks since they last had sex and he’s obviously looking forward to the next time he sees her.
She comes by his office sometimes to chat with him at work, but she seems to be non-committal and not as enthusiastic as she once was to see him. He says no one from work knows about the affair, and he asks my opinion on how he should handle setting up another date with her.
I have been friends with a girl from work who has been in a bad relationship of 2 1/2 years. We developed feelings for each other. She still lives with her ex because she can’t afford to move out, and her son moved in with both of them. We started texting each other because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to date anyone from work. Finally, after weeks of texting and getting to know her, I told her I think we should take a chance and hang out. We went out for a night of drinks and she ended up spending the night. We didn’t have sex, but did everything but. After reading your book, I realized I was doing so many things wrong. (I wouldn’t get involved in a situation like this. You never really know what’s going on in people’s minds.) The week before Christmas, I invited her over for our second date to give her a Christmas present. I gave her concert tickets for next summer, and I told her that we could make a weekend of it. I fucked up by putting this sappy poem in the card with the concert tickets thinking she would like it. We ended up having sex for the first time, and she spent the night. (This is too much too soon. She’s living with an ex, so obviously, she’s still dealing with feelings of a breakup. Maybe she’s not strong enough to leave him and go out on her own.) We both had to work the next morning and when we left, we made out and everything seemed great until I texted her a joke two days later, and she didn’t respond. (You’re thinking like a boyfriend, but she’s still living with her ex.) I waited for her to text me, which she was doing almost every day up to that point — nothing.
Six days later on Christmas, I texted her and just said, “Merry Christmas. I know things are super busy this time of the year, but I was thinking about you this week, and hope your doing well. Looking forward to catching up once things slow down.” She responded, “Thank you. Merry Christmas to you too.” (You’re being too persistent, and she’s pushing you away because she doesn’t think you can handle this relationship. She realizes she still has to work with you.) Obviously, she lost interest. I haven’t sent her another word since then, and only see her at work. She hasn’t been ignoring me at work though like I would think a girl who has lost interest would. In fact, it seems like she is going out of her way to walk by my office or ask me work related questions. (If she brings up things that are not work-related, tell her to give you a call.) Her son came in to see her, and she was telling him he should go say “Hi” to me before he leaves. She will come and tell me that she’s leaving for the day, and usually starts talking about personal things like how her Christmas was, or how she’s got to go deal with an issue about her son. It feels like she is really trying to get me to notice her because I’ve stopped texting or calling her. (She’s fishing to check your interest level. It’s a scientific fact that women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear.) Each day she seems like she is trying a little bit harder than the previous day. I will be honest, I don’t ignore her at work, but I don’t go out of my way to talk with her. She finds me. When she comes to talk with me, I smile and respond, and maybe ask her a few questions — something about what she just told me. Basically, I’m trying to act normal around her and not look like I’m mad, scared, worried or anything other than indifferent, like it doesn’t bother me that she stopped contacting me. (You’re taking corrective action, and she’s bringing herself into your orbit.) Each day that she gets better, I keep thinking this will be the night she texts me, “How are you doing?” or “What are you up to?” and I can basically ask her when she’s free next to set up another date, but then later that night, nothing from her. (You need to resist the urge to be impatient. Since she cut it off, she has to re-initiate it.)
So here is my question: It’s been 11 days since we had sex, and 5 days since Christmas when I sent her that text talking about catching up. I was going to just wait and give her space until she contacts me outside of work next, and let her come back to me when her attraction to me is high enough that she’s texting me again. (That’s exactly what you should be doing.) Should I then arrange another date? (If she texts you outside of work you should make another date, but she needs to come to your place.) Or should I just ask her when she’s free next, and set up a date in my office when she comes and tells me that she’s leaving for the day? (No, you need to wait for her to come to you. If she does reach out and you do make a date, just hang out, have fun and hook up while you continue to look for a woman who’s got her shit together.) Obviously, she’s trying to get my attention? (Yes. Her effort to get your attention is growing. Just wait for her to reach out to you again.) No one at work knows we have been dating outside of work, so if I ask her, it has to be on the down low. (Don’t say anything to anyone. This kind of gossip is too juicy and will get out.) She might not be ready for me to ask her out again. I might not have given her enough time? (Yes. It has only been five days. Dating is like a game of tennis. You have to wait for her.)
My response to him:
You’ve done a good job of maintaining your composure at work, and what you’re doing is perfect. You are ignoring the reality of the situation, which is you’re having an affair with a woman who is in a relationship and lives with another man, including her son. Rationalizing her situation and saying it’s because she can’t afford to live on her own is just you making excuses for the fact she’s a cheater and too weak to leave her unhappy relationship. It’s not your job to fix her, solve her problems, or to save her from her depressing life. You need to view this relationship for what it really is: a fuck buddy, friends with benefits, or sex playmate type of relationship. You should absolutely keep your affair with her strictly confidential and not tell anyone. If you’d like to have an exclusive relationship with someone, then find a woman who is single and available and happy enough to remain that way until she meets the right guy.
I would never call or text this woman ever. Wait to hear from her and when you do, invite her to your place to make dinner together. Hang out, have fun, and hook up like I talk about in my book. There’s no reason to date her or take her out on expensive dates when she’s simply your fuck buddy. I personally would not be involved in a situation like this because of the potential negative consequences of her live-in boyfriend finding out about you, but it’s your life. What you really need to be doing is applying what I teach in my book to meet new women who are actually good candidates to have a relationship with.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“When it comes to your personal life, your professional life or the kind of life and lifestyle you want to create for yourself, you need to become crystal clear about what your outcome is first. You must also learn to see things as they are, not better than they are or worse than they are, so you can be realistic and make choices based upon the reality of the value people and circumstances can bring into your life. Some people are great sex playmates, but terrible relationship partners. Some people are great lovers and very loyal to be in a relationship with, but their lack of communication skills makes a healthy and loving relationship with them impossible. There’s also people whose lives are so full of drama, dysfunction, challenges, strife and calamity, that they’re simply too toxic to allow into your life in any way, shape or form, because of their destructive nature. If you can discipline yourself and maintain your emotional self control, you’ll only allow lovers into your life who are aligned with your relationship goals, instead of deluding yourself into falling in love with someone’s potential and inviting them to make your life a living hell.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne