Dear Em & Lo,
I have a bf of 6 years, but I am crushing on my coworker who is very different than my man.
I have been with my now bf on and off for maybe 6 years. I love him, but we don’t get to see each other very often. Probably like once or twice a month because of distance and different schedules. We’ve been good for now though and I think our relationship is more solid than it was before. He is really cute, sexy, nice, funny, and charming. He knows everything about me and gets me. I can be myself around him.
Now I have a problem. I am starting to like my coworker. We’ve only been working with each other for less than 1 year. He’s completely different than my man and is less attractive, shorter, and skinnier but I don’t care. I dunno if this is because we work together so I get attracted to him since I see him a lot. But I see qualities in him that my bf lacks, such as being more gentle and sensitive. I don’t think he could harm a fly. My bf is smart too, but my coworker is extremely brilliant and I find that to be such a turn on! I think he’s more mature than my man too since it appears he thinks more before he speaks.
I don’t know if these feelings are here because I’m also a bit nervous since my man and I have had a rollercoaster relationship before, breaking up and getting back together more than 3 times. And each time we broke up it’s for the same reason and then I hate myself for getting back together with him.
But I don’t want to gamble on my current relationship for this feeling. And the person of interest is a coworker so I can’t even act on it since we work closely. And I feel like sometimes he’s flirty with me too and he always checks up on me at work to make sure I’m doing okay and I think it’s so thoughtful and sweet. My coworker knows I have a bf and he is very shy and I know he would never act on it because I know he thinks it’s messed up to try to get a girl that already has a bf. My coworker always makes fun of me too so I think he may have a slight attraction? He makes fun of me more so than he jokes about other people we work with.
I’ve only seriously dated my current guy right now too so I don’t know if I’m supposed to be dating around more. I’m 24. My bf and and my coworker are also 24. My gut is telling me that no matter how much I love my current bf, it will probably not work out in the future because of our pattern of fights. But another part of me is saying I need to be happy with what I have since he is really great and gets along with my friends and I think his family adores me.
My biggest question is what do I do? I don’t want to ruin what I have and I know my bf would be so upset it would ruin our relationship forever. I don’t want to ruin something that may not even have potential. Please help.
— Bird in the Hand
Dear Bird in the Hand,
You’re twenty-four! Does that answer your question? Because it should.
But clearly it doesn’t, because you wrote this letter to us, so we’ll say it a little more clearly. You’re twenty-four! We happen to think that even ninety-four is too young to settle for someone just because they get on with your family and friends, but twenty-four is definitely way too young to be thinking like this.
Whether or not you end up dating your co-worker — and you seemed to have answered your own question in this regard: it’s just not appropriate in your particular office environment — we think you need to let yourself be, well, twenty-four. You’ve got so much time to figure out what you want in a relationship, and it’s way easier to do this when you’re not attached to someone.
We’ll say it again: You’re twenty-four! You should be having a blast, flirting up a storm, and dating anyone who takes your fancy. If you fall head over heels, feel free to get all mushy and hand-hold-y and serious, but until then — and it doesn’t sound like you’re there yet — have some fun, dammit!
— Two Birds