I am a 24-year-old girl who started having an affair with her boss in May of 2013. It was just ok in the beginning. He was a sugar daddy, per se, and I expected a lot from him, and my expectations were not met. Or they were met too late. It put a strain on me. For example, I had asked him for my rent in January of this year — rent that was due in December — but he didn’t give me even half of it until May. Meanwhile, since I worked with him, I was quite aware of his other girlfriends. He’d bring them to the office whenever he liked, which was disrespectful to me. I knew he took these girls shopping, took them on vacations, and even bought them cars. But when I asked for something, I wouldn’t get it until six months later. I really was not satisfied.
In January of this year, a friend of my boss’s who comes to the office regularly started to ask me out. My boss and I were on and off. His friend told me he liked me, and he wooed me and all that. I asked him for the rent. I was about to lose my place. He gave me the rent. He was trying to get into my pants, sure enough. But it felt really easy with him. I didn’t see him with other women and he was very responsive. So, I began a relationship with him. It was good. Until May.
Then, he stopped calling me. And then by June, my boss stopped calling too. They are very close friends. I figured they found out about my stupid game. So by July, I couldn’t take them ignoring me anymore. The friend would come around and pass my desk like I didn’t exist. My boss would do the same thing. So I quit my job. For my happiness. But every day ever since then I have been thinking about the terrible thing I did. Especially to the friend. I have been thinking of a way to make it work with either of them.
So, which do you think I should do:
1. Apologize to them separately (and if so, what is the best way to go about it?).
2. Apologize to my ex-boss because he is the one I cheated on.
3. Just let it go and move on with my life.
— Feeling Like a Bad Woman
Here’s exactly what I think you should do:
1. Let it go and get on with your life.
2. Find a new job, if you haven’t already, that pays enough to cover your rent and/or get a roommate so you no longer have to ask random men to pay your rent for you.
3. Is your boss married? If he is, instead of thinking about how you ruined things with either of these two men, think about the woman your ex-boss is married to and how you contributed to a pattern of chronic cheating in her marriage.
4. Think about how, one day, you won’t be 24 anymore. One day you might be married. Maybe you’ll even have a kid or two or three. Imagine how you’d feel if the man you’re married to — the father of your children — was sleeping with multiple other women and spending money he could be contributing to your family and household and YOU on these “sugar babies.”
5. Stop thinking about men in terms of what they can give you or get for you. Start thinking about what you can get for yourself.
6. Stop thinking about your sexuality as a commodity (unless you really want to become a professional escort or hooker). It is so much more than that. It’s an expression of YOU — of your passions and your ideas and the way you look at the world. It’s an expression of the things you’ve learned, and the places you’ve been, and loss you’ve overcome, and the joy that has filled your heart again and again and left you breathless in its intensity. It is so much more than your June rent.
7. Do something kind for someone else. Get out of your own head and stop thinking about you, you, you, and do something that will make a difference — even a small difference — in someone else’s world. You will be amazed how a simple act of kindness has the power to change the way you think about yourself and your place in the world. You will be amazed by how thinking of someone else limits the breadth of your own problems while also empowering you to tackle them.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.