I Like My Coworker Better Than My Boyfriend — Should I Break Up?

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years and we live together. In the beginning we were madly in love but then, as with most couples, things changed. We argue all the time. He runs off to Florida for the weekend to visit his friend and only tells me 12 hours before his plane departs. He spends all of my money, and is just completely rude to me. And I can’t seem to let go. Mainly because we live together and it would be such a hassle to just separate everything.

I started a job about 8 months ago and there’s a coworker there that caught my eye. I rarely see him at work because he works at another building, but during work parties and events we bump into each other. We’ve been texting and hanging out for a few months now and I feel myself just falling for him. And he already told me that he likes me more than a friend. We are very attracted to each other, and we have the same beliefs and he’s goal oriented. He has his “sh*t” together. He has his own place, has a great job and is furthering his education. He’s the one who pushed me to go back to school, and he’s been helping me every second of the way.

We have kissed and when I kiss him, I feel something I’ve never felt with my boyfriend. And I know it’s wrong, but my boyfriend and I just don’t get along. He doesn’t even tell me he loves me anymore. I swear, he just looks at me with disgust, but I can’t let go. I’m only 22 and I know I’m young and I want to so badly leave my current boyfriend and just date this co worker. I just don’t know what to do. I’m so stuck.

I love my boyfriend but I don’t think I’m in love with him anymore. I’m sorry if this is all rambled I just really don’t know how to put this all into words. Please help, or at least some input would be appreciated.

— Having & Eating Cake

Dear H.E.C.,

You’ve already answered your own question: Your boyfriend treats you badly, you’re not in love with him anymore, and you’re basically already cheating on him with someone you like better. Whether or not you have any future with this guy at work, it’s irrelevant: you’ve got to breakup with your boyfriend and move out.

Convenience is not a good enough reason to stay in a bad relationship, only to be made worse by your cheating. You’re only 22, you’ve got a lot of living (and loving) to do. If you can’t afford living independently, get a platonic roommate. Then you can pursue this coworker with a clean conscience and without any boyfriend baggage.

And hey, if it doesn’t work out with the new guy, it won’t have any impact on your living situation! Your job, on the other hand? Now that’s another question entirely. For more advice on your conundrum, see our 6 posts below. 

Good luck having your cake or eating your cake, but not both!

Em & Lo

3 Clear Signs You’re “Pre-Cheating”

Dear Em & Lo: I Like My Co-Worker More Than My Boyfriend

How to Dip Your Pen in the Company Inkwell

How to Get Over a Breakup When YOU Did the Dumping

Why You Should Dump Someone Who’s Perfect for You

Should You Ask Out a Coworker? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself First




  1. Again, I find myself agreeing with AlanK.
    I will add, you’re young. So very, very young. You have no idea what “madly in love” is at 17. Walk away and live. You will have many relationships (hopefully not as sucky as this). Get that apt and go live your life. With people who appreciate you, not those who treat you like a doormat. He has emotionally moved on, in an incredibly shitty way, now it’s your turn. Oh, and as far as co-worker guy – you don’t really work together (another bldg?!?!) – go for it!! Be happy.

  2. The relationship is obviously long over and both sides know it. He’s passively aggressively trying to force her to leave; she’s invented an outside relationship to give herself a reason to leave; neither is willing to simply step away from the relationship and enjoy its memories. The writer might profitably spend a few minutes thinking about why she needed E&L’s blessings (and perfectly on-target advice) to do exactly what she knew she wanted to do. Until she understands why she chose to stay in a dead relationship she’s likely to repeat the mistake.

  3. “Mainly because we live together and it would be such a hassle to just separate everything. ”

    Look up “sunk cost fallacy.”

    1. It’s why so many people stay in Scientology, even after they learn about Xenu!

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