Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by columnist and blogger, Billie Criswell.
I think my boyfriend’s manager at work is trying to seduce him and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. He admits he finds her attractive but I believe him when he says he’s not interested in her. I trust him. I do NOT trust her. She’s done several things that make me think she’s trying to steal him away (for lack of a better term). She discusses intimate details of her current relationship with him, telling him she’s unhappy with her boyfriend and their sex life. She got drunk with him one night when they were closing, even though he’s underage and she could have been fired or even arrested for that. She arranges the schedule the way he wants it (even changing the entire schedule mid-week because he forgot to ask for a day off) and often schedules him to work and close with her. Also, I know she has a history of cheating on her boyfriend.
My boyfriend is a little younger than I am (and younger than she is) and a little naive in this case. He acknowledges she likes him but thinks it’s a harmless work crush. I disagree. I think her behavior has been really unprofessional and uncool, considering she knows about me and has a boyfriend herself. I hate that they hang out on nights I’m working late, and I hate that she seems “cooler” than me because she takes him to bars and helps him get alcohol, which I won’t do. Again, I trust my boyfriend, and I don’t want to tell him who he can and cannot be friends with (not that he’d necessarily listen since he thinks the whole thing is harmless), but I just don’t know what to do in this situation.
He’s promised he won’t drink with her alone at work again, and apologized for upsetting me, but he continues to hang out with her outside of work, in a group or sometimes with her boyfriend. I can’t keep them apart since they work together, and they have a lot in common so I can’t stop them from being friends. But I’m wondering if maybe I should subtly indicate to her that she needs to back off. Is there even a way to do that? Do you think it’s necessary? Part of me thinks that if I really do trust my boyfriend it shouldn’t matter what she does, but… It does matter. — Hands Off My Man!
Allow me to tell you a little story about a girl named “Sam.” Sam lived with my husband way before he was boyfriend. They were high school chums; she had big hooters and was extremely attractive. When I had been dating my then-boyfriend for three weeks, she told me that they used to date, but never had sex. Her admission made me uncomfortable, especially because she was constantly interjecting herself into our relationship for no apparent reason (not to mention they were living together).
Never one to back down from a challenge, I didn’t allow her antics to get me too worked up, and when my boyfriend asked me to move in, I jumped at the chance. After a couple of years, (yes, I said years) she began really amping things up when she realized that things were getting serious between us. She would walk around the house practically naked, shove her boobies in his face, and try to corner as much alone time as she could with my man. The final straw was when Sam boldly declared to me (in front of my then-boyfriend) that I would be the one moving out, and that she and my future husband would be living together “forever.” And that was when I broke nasty on her. I said some choice words to Sam that sent her packing for good… in the end, I sort of felt bad for her because she was unable to recognize the bonds of love in others, and ultimately in herself.
Bottom line? People who insert themselves in relationships this way generally have deep-seeded insecurities and they like the hunt, not the actual person they’re hunting. The woman you describe probably thrives on sexual attention because she is lacking in another area of her life. You say she cheats on her boyfriends which indicates to me that she is reckless in relationships, and probably has a hard time being loved. More than you should be mad at her, you should feel sorry for her.
If you trust your boyfriend, then you must trust your boyfriend. Though, he definitely needs to keep hanging out with her confined to work and group situations — and it’s okay for you to tell him so. Beyond that, play it cool and confident. Keep in mind that no one can take a man from you unless that man wants to be taken. Unless she directly provokes a heated conversation with you, like Sam did with me, you don’t have to tell her he’s yours — she likely already knows.
There is nothing wrong with being extra affectionate with your boyfriend around her to send her the message loud and clear that he is yours. But it’s also HIS responsibility to make you feel like number one. When I was dealing with the “Sam issue” my boyfriend NEVER made me feel like I came in second. He thought her antics were as ridiculous as I did. M
If the issue persists, then perhaps you need to evaluate if he is mature enough to be in a serious relationship. Whatever you do, though, don’t let this girl get the best of you because it’s probably what she wants.
* Billie Criswell is a columnist and blogger from the “Delaware Seashore.” She loves zumba, bloody marys, and cooking. You can follow her shenanigans at Bossyitalianwife.com.