You Know What I Mean?
Dear Fayza: Should I tell my friend to stop dating a married man or silentlywait for disaster?
Can you believe it's already September? Not that it feels that way or anything. It's still very much summer in my neck of God's country (for readers of my nationally syndicated column that unfortunately find themselves outside the great state of Texas).
I'm theorizing that this go-go-gadget heat is seeping through your windows, under your doors, and into your bedrooms, too.
Why do I say that? Because I also have cause to wonder whether the outlandish temperatures have dried out your brains — causing you to make some ill-advised choices.
At least that's what the the letter writer below is positing. Let's see for ourselves.
My friend is dating a married guy. Not in a mistress sort of way, but in a not-quite-divorced, maybe-even-trial-separation kind of way.
I want the best for her, and I'm happy if she's happy, but I don't think it's a good sign about a guy's commitments if he drops his wife and picks up a new girlfriend before the ink is even dry on the divorce papers.
Do I tell her what I think, or just be supportive and there for her when and if the shit hits the fan?
- Don't Give Your Lifey to a Man With a Wifey
Before we begin, I'd like to award you a shiny gold star for what, I assume, must be a life lived according to convictions, values and end games. You know what you want, you've got your destinations plotted in ink on your life map, and your eyes never leave that prize. Congratulations. You are a success!
Now for the good news: We all don't operate the way you do.
Let's get real here. You're not happy if she's happy. Because if you were, you wouldn't have written this letter.
So your friend is dating a man that may or may not exactly be divorced — facts of which your friend is fully aware. Her paramour is also not fully committed to his attenuated marriage, either. I'll admit, it's a situation that ups the squirm factor for those that prefer black and white when it comes to matrimony — those that see marital bonds as a contractual agreement that must be rescinded by a legal entity to be null and void.
But some people are more at home in gray areas than you might be.
While dating might be a step toward 2.5 kids and a white picket fence for you, for others, it's the company of another interesting human along the journey that fuels the fire. The experience of simply enjoying someone else in the here and now may be all your friend is looking for out of this relationship. He may be a stop along the way to her — and nothing more.
There's no script when it comes to amorousness, and it'd be foolish to structure affections by presuming what your friend's life goals — past, present, or future — might be.
And what if it did develop into something more serious? Then what? Mr. Not-So-Married wouldn't be the first person in the world to meet the love of his life at the worst possible time.
As long as he's always on the up and up with her and treats her like the queen she is, you don't have much to complain about. You're more than entitled to voice your concerns to her — if she asks, that is. But it's not your right to assume that you know what she wants for herself more than she does.
It sounds to me like the real issue here is the one you take with her acceptance of these murky waters she's swimming in. If you trust her and her judgment, it's not your place to rescue her when there is no emergency.
Monogamously married, sassy singleton, perfectly polygamous, hoes in different area codes — I can handle whatever relationship woes you throw. Own up and post them in the comments below, or break my heart in a message to me at email@example.com, or on Facebook or Twitter. There's only one man for me, but I know you might be in the process of plentiful pit stops. I'll recognize your emergency and save you.