“Does He Really Want Me Or Does He Just Not Want Anyone Else to Have Me?!”

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I wrote before (letter #2 here) and you told me to leave the guy because he wasn’t ready and that I should move on. So I did, and once I started dating someone else seriously he came out of the woodwork and said he is in love with me and doesn’t want to lose me to someone else. Since then, he’s invited me to his work Christmas party, has invited me to his friend’s holiday party, and has bought me a very special birthday gift. I’m worried he is only into me now because he thought I was moving on and he got jealous. He said he still doesn’t know if he wants to be girlfriend/ boyfriend. Although he is 30 years old, he has never had a girlfriend and I think he is nervous. He deleted all dating apps, says he wants to be exclusively intimate, and is making a huge effort. I’m just obviously nervous. Should I trust this new situation? After five months of his saying he knows you’re not the one and he doesn’t like you romantically, wow, does a guy just flip a switch and all of a sudden want you again? I told him I was nervous and cautious, and he told me not to worry. Any advice? — Unsure of What He Wants

You know, I checked my email archives and found *seven* emails from you over the course of two years and some months. Four of the emails — including this one (#2), then this one (again, #2), then an update (which I didn’t publish) to that one in which you say you broke up with the guy because he said he didn’t see himself getting married for ten more years and didn’t want to commit to anyone in the meantime and lose his freedom, and then today’s letter — all focus on his telling you he’s really not interested in anything serious with you.

Nothing has changed in the year and ten months you’ve been writing to me about him! Literally, nothing. He’s STILL telling you he doesn’t want to be serious with you. The only thing he has now added to that narrative is that he doesn’t want you to be serious with anyone else either. Do you realize what a dick move that is? He KNOWS you want a serious, committed relationship. He KNOWS he doesn’t want that with you. He’s told you so numerous times. If he cared about you at all, he would want you to find someone who wants the same thing you do and can make you happy. He doesn’t want you to be happy. He wants you to be at his beck and call for companionship and dates to holiday parties.

Come ON. Enough is enough. Aren’t you tired of these games? You don’t have to keep playing them. You really, really don’t. You can walk away. You can say, “I’m done. I want a real relationship, you’ve made it clear you aren’t ready to commit, and I’m moving on. Please do not contact me again.”

It’s your life, my friend. It’s time for you to take the wheel and drive it forward.

I’m 39, and after several years of being unhappy I recently made the decision to split with my husband. I met a man at work, and we spend a lot of time together engineering meet-ups early in the mornings, at lunch, for drinks after work, and at least once on a weekend day. We text each other all the time and send pictures, always ask each other’s opinions on things, laugh together and have secret silly sayings, and have so much passion it is unbelievable. The problem is he has a fiancée whom he lives with. He says that I’ve flipped his world upside down, that things have changed for him at home, and that he has never had it like this before (he’s only ever had two relationships–his current one and his marriage to his ex-wife whom he met when he was 18 while he’s now 44).

He is supposed to be marrying his fiancée in nine months, they have a house together, his finances are tied with the house, and she also works at the same place! I told him from the start that I don’t want to be the other woman, but the more we see each other the less I feel I can walk away. He keeps saying he will make a decision, but it’s been eight weeks and he hasn’t done it yet. When we talk about it, he says it’s such a huge decision. When we are together, it’s like we’re a couple and I know people are talking about us at work. I keep telling him that if he doesn’t do it soon, we are going to get caught.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve even thought about messaging his fiancée from an anonymous number and telling her he’s having an affair so he is pushed into the decision. I know that’s not the right thing to do though. Help. — The Other Woman

Ok, so you know how one avoids being the other woman? You don’t date and screw someone else’s man, that’s how. It’s really not complicated. Saying from the start that you don’t want to be the other woman means jack shit when you literally do everything possible to be the other woman — “engineering meet-ups early in the mornings, at lunch, and for drinks after work, … text … all the time, send pictures, always ask each other’s opinions on things, laugh together and have secret silly sayings.” And now you want to place an anonymous call to the woman he’s supposed to marry to tell her about this affair not to spare her from making the mistake of marrying a cheating scumbag but to push the scumbag into committing to you? You suck and you two deserve each other.

Yes, call the other woman, but don’t do it anonymously. If you’re going to wreck someone’s relationship, at least have the balls to own up to it. Call this woman up and tell her you’ve been having an affair with her fiancé for the last two months and you’re sorry about that (even though you clearly aren’t), but at least you’re doing her the favor of saving her from making the mistake of marrying a cheating scumbag. Don’t be delusional though. This guy isn’t going to commit to you. Even if you two do continue your passionate liaison, he’s a cheater and you have bad karma. So… yeah, have fun with that!


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.


  1. Girl, if you gotta write to an advice column 4 times about the same guy, you’re obviously not happy. Just move on already.

  2. AmokAmokAmok says:

    Love the feisty response to LW#2!

    I agree WWS, you clearly don’t feel bad about being the “other woman” you just want someone to tell you that this affair is some wonderful, magical, once in a lifetime thing so it lets you off the hook for breaking up a relationship.

  3. Agree with everything Wendy said for both letters.

    Also for LW2, I suppose it’s not the main issue presented in the letter, but does “I recently made the decision to split with my husband” mean you recently split with your husband or just thst you recently made the decision to do so?

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      She split from him, but my edit of her letter made that ambiguous, so I am going to re-edit. Thanks.

  4. You’d have to be a really shitty person to be messing around with a coworker who is in a committed relationship with someone who ALSO WORKS THERE. You’re not only damaging this relationship, you and this asshole are ruining people’s reputations here. Do everyone a favor and get out of this. Just because your relationship ended doesn’t mean you have to make everyone miserable.

    1. I thought that was crazy when I read that all 3 worked together! This woman and the guy give no fucks about anyone or their jobs.

      1. dinoceros says:

        Yeah, it’s like the fastest way to become the most hated person at work.

    2. Artsygirl says:

      I would also add that no matter how discrete you think you are being, your co-workers are likely picking up on your affair.

      1. Yep, I’ve picked every affair at every work place I’ve been at. I’m not super psychic, people are just nowhere near as discreet as they think they are.

  5. LW1: He’s STILL telling you he doesn’t want to be committed to you, though. So it’s not really a new situation, and no, you shouldn’t trust it.

    LW2: It truly never ceases to amaze me how many people seem okay with “dating” someone who is already in a relationship. It’s gross. Cheating says a lot about his character and knowingly (and actively) being the other woman says a lot about yours. I do hope for his fiance’s sake (not yours) that the wedding is called off, but my goodness, your idea to contact his fiance anonymously is something a teenager would do, not something a self-respecting 39-year-old woman would do. You seem desperate and are incredibly selfish. I kinda hope you ruin your and his professional reputations since this is all going down at work.

    1. It’s amazing how many people get into a “relationship” with somebody who is already in one, and thinks that they wouldn’t do that to them.

  6. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    First, he’s obviously had more than two relationships because he’s in one with you right now so that is at least three. What he means to say is that he doesn’t count affairs as relationships. That means your relationship doesn’t count. Why do you want a guy that you know cheats and who considers your relationship to be a nonrelationship?

    If you don’t want to be the other woman you need to exit this relationship immediately. You are the other woman.

    All of the time and attention he is putting into his relationship with you is time and attention he isn’t giving to the relationship with his fiance. If she found out about the affair and dumped him he would be free to see you but then you’d have to always be watching to see who he was spending all of his time and attention on and you know it wouldn’t be you.

    The person who is perfect in every way is often a narcissist or a sociopath especially if they aren’t bothered about how much damage they could do to their partner and their relationship. You need to run away from this one. At the very least he is self-absorbed and doesn’t care about harming his partner. He isn’t a keeper. Throw him back, he’s rotten.

  7. What happened to the guy LW1 was “seriously dating”? Did she immediately drop him for the chance to get with this other dude? I’m guessing the poor guy was just a prop to make him jealous which, as adults, is just sad.

  8. LW #2 —
    Of course you wanted to be the other woman, other wise you wouldn’t be dating and screwing a guy you know has a gf, whom he lives with and is engaged to. You just want to be the rare other woman who ends up with the guy. I doubt that’s happening and if it does it will cause a huge stink at work. You are the other woman because he sees you as a highly disposable diversion. Cause a stink at work or with his gf and watch how quickly he turns on you.

  9. Absolutely tell the fiancée. That will for sure send the cheater to you. Were you cheating too before you told your husband it’s over? No no, don’t answer. How could that matter?
    Nothing is as endearing as a side chick trying to blow up a guy’s life. I mean it’s been 8 whole weeks! That’s half the life span of a dragon fly! Don’t feel bad about that. They are pretty sturdy insects. What you have is definitely love. And your prize? A man you have trained to cheat! Congratulations! This has success written all over it.

  10. Monkeys mommy says:

    Lw 1- Oh, I dated that guy… and every time I moved on, he was back under my heels. We played that game for a year, then I met my current husband 9 years ago and shut that shit down before he could ruin yet another one for me. MOA. He doesn’t want you or even want you to be happy.

    Lw2- Wendy is right. You SUCK. Guess what? HE DOESN’T WANT YOU, HE JUST WANTS TO SCREW YOU. The minute the thrill is gone, as will be he. And you think ratting him out will endear you to him? Bitch please. You are delusional.

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