Stay friends with Engaged Man or Not?

michelle_nyMay 28, 2008

I have been internally struggling with something and I thought I would try this forum for advice and suggestions.

About a year ago, I met someone at a conference who was a friend of some of the people that I work with. We hit it off quickly, and although we did not spend every moment together, we spent enough time for me to start falling for him. He helped me with the conference materials (this being my first) and introduced me to people etc. Anyway, last day of the conference, we spent most of the time with each other and I was sad to leave. On my way back home, one of my co-workers told me that he was engaged. I felt completely blindsided and I asked him about it and he confirmed it. Hurt and surprised by the whole thing, I told him that it's best if we don't keep in touch. He said he was sorry he didn't tell me, but that he understood my decision, thought I was a great person, etc. I went about my business, tried to forget him but after about 4 months, we started emailing each other again. It's nothing inappropriate, just friends catching up. Then I saw him again in last month at another conference and the old feelings I had the first time around came back stronger. Sounds cliche, but I really never felt this strongly towards another person, it was very natural to talk to him and I felt we had a connection. Again, nothing inappropriate happened, there were times where we flirted but I was very careful not to show any of my feelings or cross any line. This time when I left, I was depressed, I cried all the way home. He was in a bad mood that morning too, he wouldn't talk or look at me. Anyway, I realize that whatever romantic feelings I have, I should forget since he's getting married in a month or so. I know I should move on, find someone else, etc. but what I am struggling now is whether I should stay friends with him. Am I just asking for trouble by getting to know him more? The fact is I do enjoy talking to him and he has become a good friend to me. I'm not entirely sure what to do, any advice would be so helpful! Thanks.

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silvercomet1

Given how you feel, I think you already know you're just asking for trouble by trying to stay friends with him and getting to know him more. Time to step back, stop the personal emails and talks, and think of him as just an acquaintance.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 12:34AM
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popi_gw

Mmm, have to agree with silvercomet. You have to cease all communication with him. You can't ever be friends with him, can you now ?

Find someone else to take your mind off him.

Sorry, its not what you want to hear, is it ?

Good luck with it all.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 3:59AM
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suzieque

Ask yourself this: Has he told, or will he tell, his fiance/soon-to-be-wife about his "friendship" with you? If not, then it's probably inappropriate to try to remain friends with him. You already have romantic feelings for him. You're playing with fire.

If he truly thinks of you as a friend only (and I do believe that men and women can be friends without romantic/sexual involvement), then he should have no problem sharing the information with his wife. Then the 3 of you could be friends together. Sound possible? (I'm being the devil's advocate, obviously. Given your feelings for him, I don't think it's possible).

I feel for you, though, and am not judging you. I, too, have been in the same predicament. It's very difficult to move on. But not moving on is torture. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:00AM
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sylviatexas1

This guy is charming, charismatic, & likeable...but so are all other con artists & predators, who use their charm etc to lure their prey until the prey is firmly caught.

Failing to mention his fiancee wasn't a memory lapse;
it was no accident;
he did it on purpose.

If you'd known from the start that there was a fiancee, would you have "begun to fall for" him?

No.

so he misled you so you'd do what he wanted you to do.

He fully intended to set you up so he could run around on his fiancee with you & "run around" on you with her.

You would have thought he was your guy, just as she thought he was hers.

He was conning & lying to *both* of you.

The pain you're experiencing is withdrawal from an addictive substance;
don't go back, don't beg for another fix.
Avoid this guy as though he were heroin,
an addictive substance that, though initially pleasureable, will

make you utterly dependent,
make a fool of you,
ruin your health,
smash your self-respect to powder,
render you unable to enjoy the things you should be enjoying,
make you ugly, &
destroy your life.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 11:18AM
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stargazzer

If I was the girl he was engaged to I would want you to call me and tell me what was going on before I married this jerk. Of course that would depend on if you were intimate with him or not. Women can get a crush on a man or be so lonely they see something that is not there regarding his feelings. I warned my sister about her husband coming on to me before she married him and she married him anyway. Knowing my sister as well as I do she probably married him anyway because she was lonely and wanted someone. She paid a high price for what she got. He made moves on other women when he got drunk.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 11:43AM
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sylviatexas1

"Women can get a crush on a man or be so lonely they see something that is not there regarding his feelings"

That's a pretty tidy way to let a predator off the hook.
hey, not his fault at all, must have been some neurotic woman involved here...

This guy *did not tell OP he was engaged to another woman*.

You were in a far more fortunate situation in that the guy couldn't mislead you about his availability;
you already knew he was engaged.

& telling his fiancee would do no good at all.

Just like your sister, she wouldn't believe it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 12:30PM
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sweeby

I've got to agree with Sylvia that he knowingly chose not to mention he was engaged to be married.
If he felt any attraction for you, or perceived that perhaps you felt any attraction for him, the very first thing an honorable guy would have done is to casually slip his fiancee into the discussion so you would know he is 'off limits'.

He didn't forget.
He chose not to.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say this makes him a predator and con man, but it does absolutely 100% cast a pretty strong shadow on his character.

Remember that.
He is not an honorable man.
And you don't even want to be good friends with someone whose character is so questionable. Truly -

If all you're looking for right now is a 'fun buddy', then bear in mind that there are lots of handsome, charming cads out there who can mess with your head without complicating your professional life.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 1:37PM
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popi_gw

After the 4 months break...did you initiate the emailing or did he ?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 6:07PM
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stargazzer

My sister did believe me, we don't lie to each other. He did the same thing to her best friend.

Sylvia the reason I said what I did was, I didn't see anywhere in her post that they were intimate, that he kissed her, promised anything. I thought they was doing job related business.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 7:31PM
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michelle_ny

Thanks so much for your candid responses. It is hard to hear the truth, but I really did need to hear it. To answer some of your questions, I wasn't reading into something that wasn't there. When we first met, he made every effort to spend time with me outside of the conference; hiking, going to the pool, hanging out. He would buy me drinks, etc. No, we never kissed and thank god for that. Also, when I told him we should stop communicating, I meant it. And it was he who wrote me months later which started us talking again. There were times even after we started emailing each other again where I would not write for weeks, and again, he would write me to ask me how I am, etc. At the second conference, there were times where strangers mistook us for a couple and he never corrected them, it was me who's like we're just friends. Anyway, we do have to have a professional relationship though, so unfortunately total non-communication is not possible. We will see each other at conferences, know the same people, etc. I do not want to think of him as a con man or a predator although he did misled me on purpose. Maybe I'm too forgiving but I'd rather not get angry.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 11:54PM
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carla35

Sounds to me like he's looking for a little fling before the big day. Stay away from him; it doesn't sound to me as though his intentions were/are innocent. You don't have to live life angry at him, but if you take off your rose colored glasses, you may be better able to see him for who he is...

ps... I would bet you secretly want more than a friendship with him anyway -- maybe hoping he won't get married or if he left his wife you could be there to pick up the pieces. Don't waste your life on this, and at least be honest with yourself. It's probably not a "friendship" you really want with him (you can get that from your girlfriends) but more of an initmate emotional bonding thing that you really can't have with a married man (and you know that). It's only gonna cause heartache... stay away from him, and find some "real friends" and a real boyfriend if that's what you want and need.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:13AM
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sweeby

"Stay away from him; it doesn't sound to me as though his intentions were/are innocent. You don't have to live life angry at him, but if you take off your rose colored glasses, you may be better able to see him for who he is... "

EXACTLY

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:41PM
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hilltop_gw

Turn away and walk or run. Even if he did dump his fiance and come back to you, would you want to spend your life unable to trust him or wondering who he's approached on the side or who he's currently eyeing. Every trip he takes he could have a new fling. You appear to be smart enough to know when you're being had. I feel sorry for his fiance.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 2:40PM
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sirens

Add my voice to those who advocate you stay away! I wouldn't call his fiance, though...she wouldn't believe you, likely as not.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:41PM
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michelle_ny

You guys are absolutely right. I think he was probably looking for a fling, I am lucky that I found out about his status before anything physical happened. I have stopped emailing him and if he's half the man I hope he is, he won't either. Carla, yes I did want us to be together but not at the cost of breaking up his engagement or anything like that. I simply wished that he was single and available when we met. Anyway, thanks for all your input, I see the situation a little clearer now.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:16PM
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carla35

And, I think an important thing to remember is that he really never was a friend. It's not like he was your next door neighbor for 10 years or you went through law school together, and one day he got drunk and made a pass at you. You're not loosing some long standing friendship.

Your relationship was probably always bordering on being sexual in nature. It may be hard to stay away, but it will be the best for everyone... especially you.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:54PM
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scarlett2001

Michelle NY - what traps wait for us tenderhearted women! I'm not agreeing that the man is a bad guy - but when I am dieting, I can't have a big bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies in my cupboard, you know? Be your own best friend here.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:02PM
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mammajo

Michelle,
The fact that "I have been internally struggling ", your own words tells you exactly what you should do.
Why do we fight so hard against our "little voice" that tells us right from wrong. So we can "justify" what we "want" to do, not what we know we should do?

And, probably part of the attraction is knowing you shouldn't. You have already cross the line, and I don't think friendship is an option.
Speed you time creating a relationship with someone free.
Best wishes to you
Jo

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 3:41PM
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