He is engaged but could he be the one for me?
Question: Dear Dr. Pam,
I'm 33 and have quite a few unhappy relationships under my belt. If I'm completely honest I'm getting a little bit desperate about settling down. I can't discuss this with friends but I need some advice as I've met a guy I'm crazy about who is engaged. I have really fallen for him and while he has no ties like owning home or kids with this woman, I feel guilty and don’t know if I should stop it before I get hurt.
The problem is we get on fantastically and I don't want to let such passion slip through my hands. Deep down I want to see if he is the one for me and I’m one for him.
Dear 'Deep down',
You say that deep down you want to see if he's the one for you (and if you're the one for him) but can you honestly justify thinking that way when he's engaged? Shouldn't it be the case that an engagement should be a time when a couple is most in love? Don't you wonder why a man would be playing around when engaged?
I'm not surprised you don't want to discuss this with friends because they'll probably come back with 'you're crazy, what do you think you're doing?' And they'd be pretty much on the mark with that attitude.
Maybe you wanted an independent person like me to take a softer line with you. But I'm afraid I can't for two main reasons. First, you say you've had many unhappy relationships and if this one isn't heading for unhappiness I don't know what would be!
Second, why would you want a man who would supposedly be at the happiest point in his life but that's cheating with you? It's not like he's 10 years into the marriage and bored, angry or neglected (and even those situations don't justify an affair as affairs don't sort out such problems).
If he can cheat on his fiancé believe me - he'll end up cheating on you. What I think is happening with you and relationships, is you fail to recognise when things are definitely going to end up unhappy. This is either because of ‘denial’ and you choose not to see the truth - or naivety where you hope for the best, and you head down the road into another unhappy relationship.
There is no point in you starting a relationship with this man based on lies and subterfuge. Instead you need to start open your eyes to what you should expect and what you should reject from a man. Here are a few tips:
- If he's doing something you wouldn't do to another person then he's not a good bet.
- If the relationship is making you unhappy and it's based on lying [like this one where you know starting a relationship through cheating is rarely going to end well] then accept it's not an emotionally healthy relationship.
- If you're questioning the whole basis of a relationship and the way you're being treated then it's not a good sign.
- If you’d advise a friend not to go down a particular route with a man - then you should probably take your own advice!
Final tip: it's definitely time to sort out why you've had repeated unhappy relationships and it may be seeing a counsellor could be very helpful. See your GP about getting some local help.
Good luck and look after yourself, Dr Pam x
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