I've fallen for a man who's engaged...

silversandAugust 5, 2008

Hi all, this is probably going to be a novel so apologies in advance for over-typing. I recently started a new job and in the process have fallen head over heels for my boss. Who is engaged.

Yes, I know this is of the bad. I'm fully aware of that fact.

I keep telling myself to leave him alone, and honestly I DO, he's the one that is always flirting with me first and then I can't help but do it back. We have such an easy banter and being with him (in general) is just comfortable.

I wasn't looking for this, I've never dated or gone after someone who was "taken" before. But I have this nagging feeling that tells me that he's "the one" for me and fate is just playing a cruel joke.

Does he feel the same way? I really don't know. We flirt A LOT, he's invited me to go places with him in a casual manner (not a date) and I've always accepted on the assumtion it wasn't a date considering no such words were ever spoken. He's offered to buy me things, I've declined. (but he offers to buy things for pretty much all the employees so I can't say that is unique to me)

He goes out of his way to touch me, to tease me, and to spend time with me. He's invited me out for drinks before with him and his friends and we've had a great time. It seems like if he has any spare time he tries to spend with me.

I will say though that we never, ever flirt at work, we always end up going somewhere innocent together, having fun of the non-sexual nature, and end up with everyone around us assuming we're a couple.

What makes this harder is that I see his finace almost everyday, and she is NICE as can be. She's always been sweet to me, and is such a trusting type. I could never do something that would hurt her, and it ticks me off a little that he can be running around with me and having a good time, and she has no clue.

But, we've never done anything that would really warrant him telling her either and risk making a mountain out of a molehill. No kissing, no sex, no nothing beyond excessive flirting and tons of innuendo laden conversation.

I know what I should do. But actually doing that is so much harder. I enjoy being with him, and I've pretty much fallen head over heels for him. I want him to leave her and be with me, but I don't know if that would ever happen, and I don't want to be the woman that breaks up an engagement and hurts his overly nice fiancee.

Plus, I don't know if I WANT a guy that leaves his fiancee for another woman because then I'd always been checking over my should to make sure he's not doing the same to me...

To be honest, I'm a little upset that he is leading me on so much, and even more upset with myself for not putting up a wall around my heart and keeping him out. I'm not stupid, I know the odds of this ending in my favor are slim.

...but I can't help who I fall for...I'm so conflicted it hurts my brain to even think about this whole situation. If anyone has words of wisdom I'd be very greatful. I've talked with my friends about this but they are bias to my side of things and I really need some outside perspective.

Does it ever work out? Ever? Or am I really just fooling myself thinking it would be different for us and that he'll leave her one day so we can be together?

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umm....this is the "marriage" forum.

Otherwise, use your head. You're apparently not in regret-land yet but you're skipping along the path -- fantasizing about a boss-man that you'll never be able to trust even you "get" him. If you don't care about your job or your life, go for it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:51PM
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I didn't realize I posted this in the wrong forum. If a mod will move it for me that would be great.

I am in regret land already, that's the problem. I feel guilty even though we haven't done anything, and I know I never would do anything as long as he is still engaged.

But at the same time, he's advancing on me on a regular basis and it's hard for me to simply ignore that because I do have feelings for him.

I just feel stuck, that's all. I don't like either option.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Do what you know is the right thing to do and stop this emotional affair now. Stop it, stop it, stop it. His innocent finace is going to get hurt and you will never ever respect yourself as a woman if you continue.

Do not confide in his fiance this will hurt her, just STOP.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 7:41PM
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No win situation.

He is not the sort of person you want to form a relationship with..he is not loyal to his fiance, is he ?!

What are the qualities you are looking for in a man, perhaps trust is one of them..well...do you think you can trust him?

Probably just a physical attraction, not something that will last, long term.

Move on..find another job.

You will regret it if you keep going with this.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 8:50PM
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That's the thing, I don't see him as the type that would actually cheat on his fiancee. Which is why I don't consider him to be 100% untrustworthy.

But yes, we are having an emotional affair and that probably isn't any better.

He's come right out and said that if the timing was better he would make good on all those induendos he's been tossing at me. (I did not prompt him to say this)

But I think that's another issue that boggles my tiny brain. I think on some level he flirts with me because it is safe, and he knows it can't happen. He knows that I'm totally against cheating and that I'd never sleep with him if he was engaged so maybe he feels that it's ok to toe the line because I'll snap him back before he goes too far.

Sigh. I know you guys are right. I need to forget about him and move on, but I can't quit this job. It's paying the bills and in my field landing a job is very hard. It took me a year and a half to find this one. It's a specialized area with few openings. And if I see him everyday it's going to be so hard to not fall right back into that trap of meshing as well as we do.

This is harder than it should be. I feel like I drew the short stick somewhere without even consenting to play the game.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 9:18PM
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It sounds like you've answered your own questions and know what should be done. Remember that old saying "when in doubt, do without". An affair whether is it is emotional or physical is WRONG!!! He's cheating (emotionally) on his fiance, chances are he'll do the same to you. Being in a relationship with trust issues...is doomed for failure.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:00PM
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You need to stop this. I repeat somebody is gonna get hurt and if this guy even remotely justifies what you two are doing as fun & games between friends I feel very sorry for his fiance. You are leading each other on with these little games and flirting.

You are playing a dangerous game here. If you absolutely must keep this job, I hope for everyones sake you are able to step back into a strictly professional relationship with no socializing.

If you can't deal with seeing him every day then look for a transfer within the same company or continue to jobhunt. You know it's going to all blow up in your face if it continues I can tell by your posts you know it.

You didn't draw the short end of the stick you are choosing and thereby consenting to continue this game.

Do the right thing, you will not be sorry and you will maintain your self-respect and dignity. Because trust me in the end NO relationship is worth the sacrifice of that. He may not seem like such a prize if you do end up with him because you will always be looking over your shoulder wondering if he is doing the same thing to you, in addition to the guilt you would feel for being the other woman.

Get out of it while you can, contrary to popular belief there are lots of nice single available men out there, get out, start dating & have fun. The sooner the better!!

Don't be lovesick over this dude, he's a slimeball for leading you on while being engaged. Don't you think you deserve better?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:04PM
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"He goes out of his way to touch me, to tease me, and to spend time with me."

You know, this sounds like sexual harassment to me..where I live its illegal to conduct yourself like that in the work place. Imagine if you did not welcome the attention, would you see it as harassment then ? Would he stop, do you think ?

I know it is a difficult situation for you..get yourself out and about and find someone else.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:00AM
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I know lots of people who did not marry their first fiancee....my father for one!
If you think there is some chemistry, go with the flow. You don't know under what circumstances he became "engaged"...is there a wedding date set? Ask him if you will be invited to the wedding.
Just because he's taken, doesn't mean he's married with children.
It may turn out badly, you may have to leave your job....but you aren't amrried...would it be so hard to find another job?
And who knows, he just might be the one for you and you for him.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:02AM
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"What makes this harder is that I see his finace almost everyday, and she is NICE as can be. She's always been sweet to me, and is such a trusting type. I could never do something that would hurt her, and it ticks me off a little that he can be running around with me and having a good time, and she has no clue."

I disagree completely with Lindac, you can try and justify it any way you want but it is wrong! He is engaged to be married-if he is unable to keep this commitment he should brake it off with this poor girl instead of cheating behind her back.

He might just be the one for you, then he might just be the one for every pretty girl that turns his head too..

How would you feel if you were in her shoes?

Stop it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:18AM
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"I could never do something that would hurt her (fiance)"
Well guess what, you ARE hurting her, because you are a party to what is going on.

This guys feeling for you are obviously not as strong as yours for him, if they were, fiance would not STILL be in the picture. He's a flirt, you weren't the first and you won't be the last. You deserve better than this.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Oh for goodness sake, I leave for a few months and come back to....the same old thing. And yet....I can't not say something!

So this is an emotional affair - the problem is not the content but the secrecy. This is why you feel like poop, and rightfully so. Guilt is your friend, and it is what nudges you to be a decent person, and reminds you who you really are. You can ignore that, but then you sacrifice 1. decency and 2. your sense of self.

So, eliminate the secrecy. If you were to call a spade a spade, and if this guy is really as stand up as you imagine him to be, then here's what will happen: You will say, "You and I are playing games, and I'm no longer into it. If you want to end your engagement and pursue this because you truly recognize a connection, then I'll be ready for that. If you're just being a puss and playing games to avoid your fears of marriage, then I'm being used and I don't appreciate that. Either way, I don't like how this feels right now, and so I'm going to establish some clear boundaries out of respect for myself and for the world at large. Things are going to change - I really like you, a lot - but if we are done because of this conversation then so be it. That's not what I want but if that's how you see me then I'll lick my wounds and move on."

Then, if his feelings are genuine, he'll do the right thing, end his engagement, save his fiancee from a lifetime of pain, and then you have phase 2. If, on the other hand, he's been playing with you to avoid his infantile fear of commitment, he'll pout and probably ether test you or ignore you, and he'll either face his fears and get married to a great woman or he'll move on to the next distraction and he and his wife will struggle. Either way, that's his business and not yours.

Time to take care of yourself. Your feelings for him are not as important as your thoughts about the situation. When we act on feelings, we get into trouble. Our feelings were not created in order to guide and direct - they were created for other purposes. Keep it in perspective.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 1:15PM
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From a married man's perspective here, I think that you're making a big mistake by continuing this relationship.

He likely has already lost respect for you because you are willing to allow him to flirt with you when you know he is engaged. Also, you are giving your tacit approval for him to be with her at the same time. You have just devalued yourself in his eyes.

Since he is your boss, you have now jeopardized your position in the company. If his fiance finds out and he stays with her - you're history in more ways than one.

He shouldn't be touching you or teasing you. That's called sexual harrassment, and he and your company could face a huge lawsuit if you decided to pursue it.

I'm sorry, but this guy doesn't sound very bright. If he thinks he can get away with this, then he doesn't respect your intelligence either.

Rarely does a relationship like you and your boss' work out in the long run. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life wondering if he is doing this to another woman while he is supposed to be with you? I think that you are fooling yourself if you think it will be different.

If you decide to go after this guy, document everything that has happened and what was said - dates, times, who was there, etc. Get yourself a good lawyer. You may be doing yourself, his fiance and future women in his life a big favor.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 4:20PM
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He is your boss, that makes it worse, in my eyes - regarding the sexual harassment situation !

You are a sensible girl..do what you think is right. Don't be guided by your feelings.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 6:55PM
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It's not sexual harassment. We are ALWAYS professional at work. The flirting and such happens after hours when we go out on "non-dates".

I don't want to make it seem like he is following me around the office and smacking me on the rump or anything like that. It's not even close to that kind of thing.

I do know what is right, but it is SO hard to not be guided by my feelings. So very, very hard. Somedays I go in with such good resolve, and am totally intent on on making it clear that this thing is not working....and then he says something sweet or looks at me a certain way and I'm done for. I have so little will power when it comes to him.

Then I rationalize it as us just being good friends, who happen to flirt.

Rationalizing = bad.

To the person who asked, his engagement is one year long. There is no date set.

I just honestly don't know what to make of this whole thing. On one hand, my logical side says "wake up and stop being stupid, tell him to knock it off and move on".....then my heart says "Maybe we are meant to be, and just because he is engaged doesn't mean he is capable of turning his feelings off either, and it doesn't mean he should be chained to that person for life if he'd be happier with someone else"

Logical is just barely winning by a thread. And when it stops winning I can refer back to this forum and re-read the posts here to get a good cyber knock upside the head. Which I'm sure I'll will need.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 9:20PM
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The flirting and such happens after hours when we go out on "non-dates".

What is a Non-date? You are dating him-period. Calling it a non-date does not make it so.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 9:46PM
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We go out with his friends, I may run errands with him, I may go to see clients with him for professional reasons and then we end up having coffee afterward.

In my mind it's perfectly innocent, just two people having a good time and enjoying each other's company, not exactly the same as going out on a "date", but when the flirting starts is when I begin to get the guilt bug.

We don't go out for dinner or do normal date stuff, and there is never any speaking of "dates" between us. That's why I've made the distinction in my head.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 9:57PM
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if he is engaged, he should be taking her to go out with friends not you. what are his friends thinking? they probably laugh at you behind your back.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Just curious, but where is the fiance when you are hanging out with him and his friends? I am sure the friends have picked up on the flirting, subtle or not.
You said you see his fiance everyday, does she work at the same company?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 10:48PM
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The "flirting and such" is sexual harassment because he is your boss and it is making you feel "guilty". That's the same in my book as feeling uncomfortable.

It doesn't matter if it is off-site or not. He is your boss and he doesn't stop being your boss when you are not at work.

I found the following definition of this that could apply:

Sexual Harassment applies to work locations as well as any location that can reasonably regarded as an extension of the workplace, such as any off-site social or business function. Further, sexual harassment applies to any work-related conduct, including conduct that occurs off-duty.

The conduct you are experiencing would fall into the definition:

Verbal conduct of a sexual nature, suggestive remarks, patting, and intentionally brushing up against another individual.

You might also be concerned about the rumor mill at work regarding you and your boss. Office workers are very savvy. So, I'm sure the mill is spinning at full speed by now.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:02AM
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I don't know... I have a feeling she has lead him on too much and has been too friendly to him to be able to scream sexual harassment. There comes a point where just because you can scream it, doesn't mean you should. Can he scream it against her? Obviously she likes him and wants his advances, no? That's the difference I've been sexually harassed, I also dated my husband who I worked with. There was a big difference between the two. Please don't go there unless you feel you are truly being treated unfairly at work because you deny his advances, etc.

And, I acutally sort of agree with linda here. This guy's not marrried yet; he is only engaged. I remember getting railed on this concept on a different thread, but there is a huge, huge difference. Is he a typical nontrusting cheating pig... probably, but there's a slight chance he's not.

I would personally try what amy above suggests. (by the way, welcome back, amy!). Come clean get it all out. If you are soul mates, and he really feels it, he may decide to drop her and get with you. If not, you'll probably see him for the pig he is and be able to get over him easier.

You are acting in a less than respectful manner yourself and it really needs to be settled once and for all so that you are not 'the other woman' so to say. Lay your cards out and see what happens. Once he's married, you won't really have that option.

Let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out.

Be careful though and don't expect too much. I know a lot of engaged guys who are just looking for 'one last fling' so to say; keep your self respect and don't become just another number to him. If he takes you up on anything, make sure he's broken his engagement before you act on anything.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:08PM
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"...sexual harassment..."

I'm no lawyer, but I don't believe "harassment" begins unless/until the recipient objects to the attention and/or alleges change in working conditions because of it. Neither has occurred here. Respective positions and power-levels aren't considered unless "abused" to the detriment of of the lower-level holder. At the present level as-described it's potential, not actuality.

Do agree his friends and those at the office are likely talking already. People do that. However, "inappropriate" does not automatically equate to "illegal."

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:22PM
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This is definitely grounds for legal action - it happens all the time. Not that OP will go that route - but here's the issue.

Much like a child abused by an adult, even when the child doesn't stop the behavior, it is still illegal. This is because of the power differential - those in control cannot put their subordinates in such a position, because it puts the subordinate in a no win situation. The laws are created to protect those who do not have the emotional, mental or physical power to stop the actions of those in power.

Those who invite the actions are still influenced to some degree by the one in power due to the power- admit it or not.

This is why doctors cannot date patients, therapists cannot date clients, bosses cannot touch employees, and adults cannot touch children. That is why, when these cases go to court, no one gives a rats butt whether the subordinate invited it or rejected it. It's up to the boss, doctor, adult whomever to not go there, regardless.

That said, message to OP: what do you get from pining after an unavailable man? (Besides the safety of not having to invest in a real relationship?)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 3:03PM
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Well, then, except for the emotional part (whatever that may judged to be) the subordinate gets a free shot. I'm still looking for actionable harm -- unless/until some is actually done. (doubtless, I'd have made a poor lawyer.)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 3:14PM
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Hi Asolo,

You are right. It would take more to prove a sexual harassment case here. She would need to openly object to his advances.

The potential for a case has started here though, because she has the "guilt bug" about the situation. The OP doesn't know what to do, and she can't quit because she needs the job. Feeling trapped or potentially punished would be a key element in a case.

Perhaps the other poster who said that sexual harassment was illegal meant that it was a violation of the company's code of conduct. That is indeed the case just about everywhere now.

The OP needs to seriously think about what could happen down the road before she lets this go any further.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 3:20PM
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If you love and need your job, I like AmyFiddler's suggestion about eliminating the secrecy.

I had a boss once who used to flirt pretty blatently with me (and also with all of the other pretty young women). But because there was asolutely NO chance of it progressing anywhere sexually (and he knew it - I told him plainly) it didn't bother me in the slightest and our working relationship stayed very friendly and positive for years. He was a charmer and a player and I was married and ethical about it. (My marriage sucked, but still, there are rules...)

Anyway, one night at happy hour (started with the whole group, then dwindled until there were just the two of us left) he jokingly made a suggestion of something that "sounded like fun" to him. I simply replied that I took sexual relationships much more seriously than he appeared to, and that I loved my job, and for those reasons, would absolutely never mess around with a married man, OR my boss. Then I quickly changed the topic back to something safe so we'd end on an 'up' note.

Your best tactic will be to do something similar -- There's no reason why you have to be rude, unpleasant, or confrontational about it. And to save face, don't be too serious or regretful. But DO be absolute. Leave no room for doubt. While flirting is fun, you take serious relationships seriously. You will not mess around with a man who is engaged to someone else, and you love your job too much to endander it by messing around with your boss. If you really want to lay it out for him, you could even say something along the lines of "If only you worked in another department and he were unattached..." But then get quickly back into safe territory and lay clearer boundaries afterwards.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 5:03PM
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Someone up-thread asked what I get out of pining away from a taken man.

The answer is nothing at all, except heartache. I wish I could just turn it off and not want him. But matters of the heart are never so simple.

He doesn't show any indication that he's leaving his finacee anytime soon. Of course I've never brought it up, because we are simply toeing the line and not stomping over it, but still, if he WAS as interested in me as I am in him, then he'd be doing something about it by now. You guys are right about that.

I've made it clear that nothing will happen while he's engaged, so it's no secret to him that if he wants me he has to leave her.

I just feel so heartsick and disappointed about this whole situation. I wish things could be different, but at the same time I cannot keeping going the way they are now. It's too painful to spend so much time with him, and then he goes home to her. And truthfully I'm getting a bit angry at him for leading me on like this.

We had a conversation today (of the usual kind) and it left me feeling totally drained. So much game playing and no real answers. Not my cup of tea anymore but I'm lost as to how to fix it.

If I come right out and say "We need to keep things professional" I know he will stop and I will keep my job, but it will be very weird between us. I can already tell that. And I don't need that kind of work enviornment.

I think I may just stop accepting his invitations to go out for coffee or whatever, and let things run their course. I don't think he's so dense that he won't figure it out soon enough. At least I hope so.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Don't want it to be weird? Like it isn't about as weird as it could be right now? What you mean is, you don't want to FEEL uncomfortable.

This is exACTly why allowing your boss to flirt with you is a bad idea - because when you want it to stop, it becomes UNcomfortable for you to say anything. How dare you tell your boss what to do and what not to do?

Do you see why we have such laws these days? Sure, people have relationships at work, and even get married, no law brought into it. But as soon as something is brought into the system, whether advances were never welcomed or whether they were once welcomed and later rejected due to the woman's scorn (dude won't leave his wife, etc), you have yourself a nice little court case.

So two separate issues here - 1. guy is engaged, ie unavailable and 2. guy is your boss.

So as to the engaged issue, if you weren't getting something out of it, you wouldn't be in this position. You'd serve yourself better by identifying why you would focus your attention on someone who is unavailable, as opposed to ALL the other thousands of available people in the world.

It might be a combination of your two problems - maybe you're attracted to power (your boss), or maybe you're attracted to unavailability, or to secrecy, or to misery.

Does you no good to stay surface and claim that you're getting nothing - might as well learn something about yourself out of this process.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Personally, you can figure out the alternatives. Business-wise, here's how it will play......

1) You get a good review, get a raise, and/or get promoted. Your co-workers all think it's favoritism. They may or may not act.

2) You get a bad review, demotion, no raise, or stay where you are. You think it's because of the relationship. You may or may not act.

3) Word gets up to his bosses. Who knows what they may do?

This isn't free, kiddo. Even the "light" state of affairs you've described can put you in places you don't want to be. I hope you know what you're doing.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:08PM
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Every one of these situations I have seen personally turned out bad - always for the woman. A woman that worked for me was forced to leave her previous job when they learned she was involved with a higher up. He kept his job, of course. Another woman I know was humiliated after acting upon what is basically going on with you (he was engaged). People found out, thought he was a jerk but thought worse of her (woman are judged more harshly). He got promoted (he was actually my boss and confided in me what happened, it happened before I was with the company).

If I were you I would try to find a new job with a new company or a transfer in the company you are in to a position that doesn't interact with him.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 9:05PM
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I accidentally clicked onto this forum and was captured by this thread. I think I would not go into a long detailed conversation with him. Perhaps you could simply say something like "Gee, I've realized that any time spent together outside the workplace might be construed by others as a dating relationship, and we all know you're engaged to a lovely woman. So let's limit any contact to the workplace and keep it strictly professional so there will never be any misunderstandings. That way if by a million to one shot he feels like it's worth breaking up his engagement to pursue a dating relationship with you, he will use that opportunity to tell you so. If he simply says "Sounds like a good idea" he can stop the inappropriate behaviour immediately, while still saving face, because you didn't accuse him outright of anything, but he will certainly understand what you are saying.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Here's are some interesting questions for you to think about:

What do you think gave him the idea that he could flirt with you like that and get away with it? What does that say about him and his perception of you?

He's taking a very big risk with his behavior, so why would he jeopardize his job and fiance over someone he barely knows?

You are new to this company and you know he's engaged. Why are you taking these kinds of risks?

Negative first impressions are nearly impossible to change. You have now defined yourself as a flirt and potentially much more. I'm sure that most of the rumors have you more involved with your boss than you really are. That's how office gossip generally works.

Your boss probably established his reputation as a player a long time ago.

Try keeping things professional with him, and always steer the conversation back to work quickly. Have work related questions or items ready in your mind or on a notepad every day when you have to meet with him. Then get busy with work. Working hard and doing your job well is the best recourse right now if you are going to try and stay there.

Avoid the coffee and other outside of the office get togethers that he suggests. Tell him you're busy or have other plans. He'll get the picture.

If you think it's going to be weird for you, it will be worse if you continue this much longer. If you sleep with him, your problems will multiply and it will be difficult for you to effectively do your work there.

Save your self respect first and then your job until you can find another one. Your boss isn't going to be paying your bills if he ends up firing you or if you both are terminated.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 2:08AM
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I didn't read carefully enough to see that this is a new job, fairly new crush -

Woops for you. I bet people around you are rolling their eyes, since you without a doubt aren't his first playmate. New situations can make you look like the fool. You'll figure all this out soon enough.

Next time, take time to assess the landscape before building your house on sand....with so many spectators to boot.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 2:29AM
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I'd recommend updating your resume.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 2:37AM
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"He's come right out and said that if the timing was better he would make good on all those induendos he's been tossing at me."

This is pretty icky stuff, to me. It's a rotten thing for an engaged man to be saying. Sounds like he is stringing you along. The truth is, the timing ISN'T better, so it's time to stop tossing innuendos.

"I think on some level he flirts with me because it is safe, and he knows it can't happen. He knows that I'm totally against cheating and that I'd never sleep with him if he was engaged so maybe he feels that it's ok to toe the line because I'll snap him back before he goes too far."

Yes, so snap him back, already! You know in your heart that he HAS gone too far with his comments and other actions.

PickyShopper has it exactly right. If you follow his/her advice, you will (hopefully) be ending it and at the same time, giving him a bit of face-saving. Not that he deserves to save face, but that may make it easier for you at work.

If I were you, I would make a little list (alphabetical, maybe) of all the bad parts of his character and why he is bad news for any woman, and build a habit of running through that list whenever I can. A for ___(whatever!), through U for "unfaithful" or "untrustworthy." It doesn't have to be the complete alphabet, but this method will help you to remember.

At the same time, whenever you find yourself having a romantic thought about him or even a thought about one of his good (ha!) qualities, immediately turn it off and think of something else more interesting. Eventually, you should get rid of your undesirable pattern of thinking.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:06PM
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I understand that not all engagements result in marriage. My first engagement did not result in marriage. But there is a difference in breaking an engagement off because the relationship is not working(as I did) and having an emotional affair while being engaged (as this guy is doing). Maybe he is not happy with his fiancee. But instead of breaking it off with her he is trying to string you both along.

The way I see it is that if he will do this to his fiancee why wouldn't he do it to you down the road?

I have a good female friend who began a "friendship" with a guy while she was married. Her marriage was unhappy and during this "friendship" it started the way yours has. They had non-dates and flirting and talks about "if things were different".

In the end she left her husband for the "friend".
Her and the "friend" married and years later he has serious trust issues with her. If she becomes friends with guys he gets jealous...and I can see why!

I just do not see how you can trust someone who has shown they can not be trusted. And trust is one of the most important parts of a relationship.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:50PM
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Okay so I may repeat what others have said some but here it goes. First you are making excuses for not ending the flirting so what if it is weird you should not have engaged in it in the first place. It is not fair for his feonsay to have him going behind her back if its emotional or physical it is still cheating. If he is willing to go as far as emotionally cheating what says he won't take it further. I am sorry but most people that cheat also say they don't believe in it and it just happened. You need to put yourself in her shoes how would you feel if you were her and heard about this happening???? I am sorry but you have no right to let this go on. You are destroying someone elses relationship you should have more self respect then to let this happen. I am sorry if this sounds rude or insensitive but its the reality of the situation. People that get cheated on have those emotional scares forever and have a hard time trusting others in relationships!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:41PM
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I am definitely in the minority here. So far, they havent cheated. They met, they work together, feelings are developing or maybe not. The OP said she is head over heals but she doesnt know how the guy feels. This is how relationships start. He isnt married yet. This is the time to figure out if the person you are with maybe isnt the right one for you, the one you are supposed to marry, not after the fact. Yes, I agree that the guy should end his relationship with his fiance if he realizes his feelings for silversand are something he wants to persue. Obviously he hasnt gotten to that point yet. Right now he's just flirting, just figuring things out. A similar situation happened to my cousin. She worked with the guy, he was engaged, their relationship hit them both like a brick wall. He was torn, didnt know what to do because he had developed feelings for my cousin so fast but his wedding day was also fast approaching. In the end, he thought with his head and not with his heart. He married his fiance. It didnt end there, he called my cousin from his honeymoon. She told him he made his choice, to go on with his life and hung up on him. That threw him over the edge. He told his new bride that he made a mistake (ON THEIR HONEYMOON!)had the marriage annulled and has been married to my cousin for almost 20 years now.

I think the OP has to let things play out and see where it goes if she really thinks this guy is the one. The only thing that concerns me about what she said is that this is very new. Is this something that she is hoping for or does he have the same feelings?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Has it occurred to you that while you're wondering if this guy is your soul mate, the one for you, etc. that maybe he's just sexually attracted and has never given it a further thought other than getting into your pants?

What do you think will happen if someone else mentions any possible office gossip to his fiance? Even if nothing physical has happened just the fact that others have noticed "something" is going to hurt her.

I agree, update your resume.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:56AM
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I think that this goes beyond the feelings are developing stage. There is touching, flirting and sexual innuendo. If he is really in love with the OP, then he needs to break it off with his fiance now.

There is another inconvenient truth that may be happening here. He is just using the OP as a "warm up act" for his fiance. After all, he is going home to the fiance and most likely acting out with her what he has suggested to the OP. This sounds sick, but it is a possibility.

If it is the case, then he will find another woman to do this with when the OP ends it. His ego and desire for risky behavior will prompt him to do this again and again. If the OP eventually replaces the fiance, she can expect someone else to take her place as the other woman.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 4:27PM
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I hear what you are going through. There is a engaged man at work who has been flirting with me and at first I was interested but as time went on, I stepped back. It is very tough because his fiance works there and she is nasty. He has continued to put himself in front of me so I haveto look at him. I have avoided him but he keeps either followng me down the hall or just be around me. I keep telling myself that if I were to date him, he would flirt with other women. I also keep in mind that this behavior of his will come back on him.
I sympathise with you. But, step back now and relaize that he will cheat on you cause he is cheating on her.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:47PM
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