I'm taken but falling for someone else
January 17, 2009 9:55 AM Subscribe
I'm falling for a friend who is much more compatible with me than my SO of five years.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I’m a 36-year-old woman in a committed live-in relationship with a 27-year-old man. I love my SO, but there are some basic incompatibilities that show up all the more starkly in comparison with this particular guy-friend of mine who is remarkably similar to me in background, age, values, lifestyle, and outlook on the world. I’ve had an intensifying crush on him for nearly six months now (since we met) and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual. My friend is available. He's very respectful of the fact that I'm taken, but he often compliments the way I look and he makes an effort to see me even though we no longer work together.
Oftentimes I’ll try to engage my SO in conversation about ideas or things that interest me, only to be met with a glazed “I dunno.” On the too-rare occasions I get to hang out with my friend, we never tire of talking about everything from our past relationships to politics to music or whatever else catches our fancy. Our compatibility, down to the little quirks, often astonishes me. I don’t often find that.
I feel taken for granted by my SO, whereas I feel that my friend is one of the most supportive, kind, and enthusiastic people in my life. My SO does not always “get” me. He rarely picks up after himself. He procrastinates, and when I remind him to do things or express my frustration, he calls it “nagging.” He has unpaid debt and ignores bill collectors. He smokes. He sleeps in and is content to make enough money to just get by while he pursues a dream career in which he may or may not succeed.
My friend appreciates me and the things I do and he lets me know. That’s really important to me and in my personal experience, rare. He’s dynamic, articulate, and involved in the community, and he likes to do a variety of fun things. He also has a dark, self-deprecating sense of humor that’s really similar to mine and he seems to know himself pretty well . He’s not arrogant. If anything, he’s unaware of what a wonderful person he is. He’s a hard worker with a great job.
My SO is disengaged from most activities, except for his one big passion. He’s introspective but only up to a point.
I think about my friend all the time even though I don’t see him all that often anymore (we used to work together). We’ve kept in touch and I do see him occasionally. I often dream about him at night.
I’m experienced enough in relationships to know that crushes on other people are normal and should just be tolerated/ignored/enjoyed until they fade away. I’m not one to jump the gun and relationship-hop at the first sign of trouble, not anymore at least. I’ve worked hard NOT to be that person. I’ve never cheated on a partner and I pride myself on that.
But it’s been six months and my feelings for the other person have intensified to the point where I almost called my SO by my friend’s name at a VERY inopportune time (yes, it’s what you’re imagining – luckily I stopped myself).
I’m starting to wonder if I’ll eventually regret not leaving my SO and telling my friend how I feel. I am sure, based on body language and things he’s said, that if I were single and gave him the green light he’d want to get together with me. I don’t think he realizes how I feel because I’ve tried so hard to just keep it platonic and have good boundaries, all the while just hoping my feelings would follow suit. I’ve been living a lie and “acting as if” just isn’t working.
I feel obligated to stay in my current relationship for several reasons, and aside from that, I do love my partner. I made a commitment to him. We have shared a house, pets, and a life together for five years and consider ourselves common-law married. I can’t just waltz off into the sunset with my friend and abandon my SO without some major guilt and grief. My SO hasn’t done anything malicious. He may be lazy and irresponsible around the house, but he’s also sweet, loving, and affectionate to me and has no idea I’m having feelings for someone else. Plus, I have nowhere else to go and a lot of stuff to move. I’m also worried that he can’t make it without me. He’s had some issues with addiction in the past and I’m afraid he might relapse if I leave, and then the years I supported his recovery will all be a waste.
I don’t want to cut off contact with my friend. That would make me resent my SO. I don’t want to fail in my current relationship like I’ve failed in others (meaning they have all ended). I have thought the grass on someone else’s lawn was greener before, and I was wrong. I could be wrong this time too. How can I trust myself that I’d be making the right decision? I’m at my wits’ end and am having trouble concentrating on anything but this. I can’t get my friend out of my mind and everything in my being is screaming, “tell him!” I could really use some perspective, MeFites.
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