I was crushed. I coped by hanging around friends and family. A couple weeks after we broke up, my co-worker asked me out. I was hesitant since he was a few years younger and I’d pretty much friend-zoned him and all the other guys I work with. We went out on a few dates and I found out that he’s really mature for his age, very sincere and sweet (he told me he’s had the hugest crush on me for a while). Since I had just gotten out of a serious relationship, I was really uncertain to start something so fast since I wasn’t over my ex. I was upfront with him and told him I liked him but wasn’t ready and, if he wanted to date me, he’d have to wait and take it slow. We started to hang out here and there after work for happy hour and occasionally on the weekends. In the meantime, my ex started to text me about how much he missed me, realized his mistake and wanted to get back together again. My birthday was in June and both my co-worker and my ex sent me flowers at my work!
I’m not big on dating two guys at once so this whole thing was a little overwhelming. On one hand, I really missed my ex and all the hopes and dreams we had shared for so long and, on the other hand, I was enjoying the time I spent with this co-worker. I made a list of all the pros and cons from each guy, and I ultimately chose my ex. When it came down to it, they were both great guys but, since my co-worker is younger, he isn’t as financially secure and I don’t know how long it would take for him to make the kind of commitment my ex was prepared to make. I know this may sound silly, but I do want to have kids in the next few years since I’m in my late 20s and that was also one of the others reasons why I picked my ex.
After I made my decision, I went over to my co-worker’s place to tell him I was planning on working things out with ex. He was sad and told me he kinda expected it and understood my choice. As he was getting ready to walk me out, he gave me a kiss! It was our first kiss and I felt butterflies in my stomach. It was probably one of the best kisses I’ve had in a while, and now I’m completely torn on what to do. Since I had made my decision already, I decided to stick with it. Currently, I’m back together with my boyfriend/fiance; he just got a nice bonus from work and wants to take me ring shopping to buy me a new engagement ring. As much as I still want that life I had previously envisioned with him, I do feel sort of disconnected to him. I can’t help but think about my co-worker, and it’s driving me crazy. How can I get him out of my mind? Is my feeling this way a sign that I shouldn’t marry my fiancé whom I was completely in love with before I started having feelings for my co-worker? My fiancé is completely remorseful for breaking things off with me in the first place, and I see that he’s really trying to make things work with us. I haven’t talked to my co-worker much since I ended things with him a month ago, but he did write me a beautiful letter confessing his love for me, and I think I’m starting to fall for him. — Torn Between Two Guys
If you could move on from your boyfriend of four years so quickly that you had to make a “pros and cons” list to help you decide between him and some dude you’d never even kissed before, you weren’t and are not “completely in love” with the guy. If your fiancé’s biggest selling points — at least the biggest selling points that you include in this letter — are that he makes good money, just got a bonus, and can now afford to buy you a NEW ring (what was wrong with the old one, I wonder?) and give you the kind of future you dream of, then you aren’t truly in love with him. And if the deciding factor between the two guys, one of whom you dated for four years and were engaged to and one you’d never kissed before, was who earned more, then you honestly don’t sound anywhere near ready for marriage. And when you follow up your statement, “I was over the moon and completely excited to marry him,” with “I’m 28 and a lot of my close girl friends have recently gotten engaged/married,” it seems obvious that it isn’t the man you were excited about but the event — a wedding! — and the idea of playing house with someone who just got “an amazing job offer” and seems destined to be a great provider.
That you’re seriously second guessing your decision to marry this guy simply because your co-worker’s kiss left you all tingly inside is just one of many red flags here. You aren’t ready for a commitment — with either of these men. You want the flowers on your birthday and professions of love and tingly kisses and shiny jewelry, and that’s FINE. But don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to a man who’s ready to plunk down who knows how much money on a new engagement ring by pretending you’re interested in anything deeper right now. If you were, you wouldn’t be choosing a potential husband with a pros and cons list.
Tell your fiancé you have too many doubts to commit to an engagement right now. Tell him you can’t even commit to a monogamous relationship and you can’t promise if you ever will with him. If he decides he still wants to date you given that information, fine, but you owe it to him and yourself to be honest. And since you can’t get your co-worker — or that kiss — out of your head, kiss him again. And again. And again. Why not? You’re young and unmarried. You’re newly single after leaving a 4-year relationship that supposedly broke your heart. So, enjoy yourself now. And when you’re ready for more than flowers on your birthday and professions of love from guys you barely know, and when, instead, the thought of living the rest of your life without the man you love is like imagining your life without legs to walk on or air to breathe, then you’ll know you’ve found the right person. You’ll know you’re closer to ready when the idea of using a pros and cons list to pick a boyfriend is as ludicrous as choosing a husband based on the size of his last bonus. Until then, enjoy the single life and don’t rush to marriage just because your friends are tying the knot.