Dear Wendy: “I’m Engaged But Fantasizing About A Colleague”
I am happily engaged to a wonderful man, and we are planning an amazing life together in the years to come. I couldn’t be more excited about how my life has turned out thus far. But over the past year, I have developed an excellent working relationship with someone I have a lot in common with. My company is actually his client, and I am his main contact. Until recently, our interaction had been only through email or over the phone. But at an industry event several weeks ago, we finally had a chance to connect in person, and it turns out that he is QUITE the looker. A few drinks were had at an after party, and he admitted that he had feelings for me and tried to kiss me. I was taken off guard and sincerely flattered, and though I did not kiss him or become physically involved, I didn’t remove myself from the situation immediately. Since then, I have found my thoughts drifting to him, and to what would have happened if I had let myself slip up. My rational self wants nothing to do with slipping up! I am already resolved to drink less and leave earlier at the next industry event. But I am having trouble managing my daydreams, and my ego it seems. How do I kill this fantasy so I can get back to my real life and love? — Afraid of Slipping Up
Imagine instead of killing a fantasy, the thing you had to do was get out of the way of a fast-moving oncoming truck. If you didn’t get out of the way, the truck would hit you and surely hurt you seriously, if not kill you. Obviously, you’d do whatever you needed to do to get out of the way of the truck, right? Probably without even thinking, you’d run, jump, hop, crawl, or drag yourself out of its path. But, if for some reason you just sat there while the truck hurled towards you — or even worse, you deliberately got in its way — most would say you have some sort of death wish.
Well, this hot colleague is the truck, my dear. And if getting attention from him is so intoxicating that it puts your relationship in danger, you’re being reckless by continuing to stay in his path. It’s really pretty simple. If your “rational self” takes a hike when you’re around this guy, and interacting with him on a regular basis is fueling your daydreams, you need to remove yourself from the path of his charm. Think about everything you have with your fiancé and then imagine throwing it all away for some tryst with a guy you barely know. And then ask someone else at your company to be the main point of contact for him from now on. Explain to him that you’re uncomfortable with the line that was crossed when you met in person and in the interest of preserving the professional relationship between his company and yours, you feel it’s best that someone else from your office manage the account from now on. What he did was incredibly unprofessional, and frankly, he should be apologizing to you for his behavior — particularly if he knows you’re engaged. That he hasn’t speaks to his character. And if you remain in regular contact with him, knowing full well the effect he has on you, it speaks to your character as well. It’s like saying you value the attention he gives you more than the relationship you have with the “wonderful man” you’re engaged to. Be a grownup and get out of the way of the truck.
Do I have a right to ask my fiance not to invite one of his friends to our wedding? “P’s” only redeeming quality at this point is that he’s my fiancé’s oldest friend, which isn’t saying much. Years ago, Fiance stopped talking to him temporarily for two years because P was a real dick to him. Since then, Fiance doesn’t reach out to him at all, has nothing good to say about him, and only hangs out with him when P calls. He has admitted to me that he’s only being nice (“What am I supposed to do? Just ignore him?”).
For a long time I left their little “friendship” alone because I didn’t think it was any of my business. But this wedding concerns both of us. I know it’s up to Fiance to decide who he’s friends with, but I want my wedding to be a happy event and P does not make me happy. For the record, P would be invited to a later-day celebration back in LA, after we got married in NY with family and close friends. The monkey wrench in this plan, though, is that he has made Fiance one of his groomsmen in his own wedding, and so now it feels like there’s an obligation on our part to reciprocate. There will also be awkwardness if we extend the wedding invitation to other LA friends and not him. HELP! — Guest List Drama
If your fiancé were ready to end his friendship with P, he would not have agreed to be a groomsmen in his wedding, so, whether you like it or not, you have to accept that P is going to be a part of your life at least for the foreseeable future. True, that doesn’t mean you have to invite him to the wedding, but you have to realize that not inviting him is going to create drama and certainly more tension between him and your fiancé — something it would seem your fiancé was actively trying to avoid by agreeing to be P’s groomsman.
Does P’s presence at your wedding really have to dampen the day? With all the loved ones who will be there, do you really think you’re going to pay my attention to P at all? I say if you aren’t afraid P will cause a scene — and it doesn’t sound like you are — just suck it up and invite him. It will be way less trouble than dealing with the repercussions and awkwardness of not inviting him, and in the end, you’d be giving him a lot less of your energy by writing his name on a guest list and saving a couple seats for him and his plus one. And who knows, maybe he won’t even make it all the way out to New York for your wedding. But if he does, you can rest assured that you’ll have a wonderful day despite his attendance and your fiancé will be grateful you took the high road and made life a little easier for him.
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