“I’m in the Middle of Co-Worker Love Triangle”
I started dating a coworker a few months ago. Things were going great, but I had to miss the company holiday party to attend my grandmother’s funeral out of state. My boyfriend still went to the party as it was sure to be a great time for him. Fast forward a week: I was at my desk next to another coworker who had sole access to all of the photographs taken at a photo booth at the office shindig. A mutual friend, “Jenna,” came by and asked my coworker if all of the photos were going to be accessible to the whole office. She seemed a little worried about some of them, so as soon as she left, we decided to get nosy and find out what she was so nervous about. It wasn’t the most considerate decision, but Jenna is our friend and we thought it would be funny to find pics of her being drunk and goofy with her hubby. What we found instead were pictures of Jenna and my boyfriend getting cozy in the photo booth! I wouldn’t say that they were making out or even directly kissing, but they were alone in the booth and definitely very affectionate: close hugs with cheek kisses, fake “air” kisses, and the like. I confronted my boyfriend about the photos and he’s pulling the expected excuses, like “I’m so sorry, we were so drunk, we were just having fun and being silly,” etc. Jenna has stated that she’s attracted to my boyfriend and she named him as the #1 guy she would sleep with in the office. I also know that she’s slept with other coworkers despite being married. Is this dump-worthy? I mean, I was at my grandma’s funeral! I want to think I’m overreacting, but I have a bad taste in my mouth … and it’s not fruitcake. — I Work with Jerks
Hmm, I dunno; I’m almost more inclined to think it’s a bigger deal that your boyfriend of several months skipped your grandmother’s funeral than it is that he made air kisses with a female co-worker in a public photo booth at a company holiday party, but that’s just me. In both scenarios, you have to decide if and how much your boyfriend’s actions illustrate his commitment to you and whether you’re okay with his level of commitment at this time. If you aren’t okay with it — if you want more of a commitment than you feel like you’re getting — it’s time to express that to your boyfriend, and if he can’t give you what you want, then MOA.
In addition to figuring out whether your commitment levels are a match, you have to decide if you trust the guy. This isn’t about Jenna and her attraction to your boyfriend and whatever is going on in her marriage; she could be the biggest office tramp in the world, cheat on her husband all the time, and have a huge crush on your boyfriend and it shouldn’t affect you one bit if you trust him. But if seeing those photos of him and Jenna really gives you pause and reason to worry, maybe you don’t. It would hardly be fair to hold Jenna’s indiscretions against your boyfriend, though. If he’s never given you any other reason to doubt his commitment to you — and that’s where his skipping your grandmother’s funeral may come in — you shouldn’t count this one action of questionable judgment as reason enough to dump the guy. But if this is just one more thing in a list of ways he’s let you down, definitely don’t be shy about moving on. A relationship without trust is going nowhere fast.