Bad chemistry

Joey Garcia

I had a friends-with-benefits relationship with a co-worker until I found out that he had a girlfriend the whole time we were hooking up. He says he’s been with this girl since college (we’re both 23 years old), loves her, but lost his passion for her. I started dating other guys. In the meantime, my co-worker’s girlfriend asked him to move in with her, so he did. He is still trying to get with me, but I won’t do it. Now she’s pregnant, and he is still trying to see me. Why would he move in with her when he has no chemistry with her? Should I tell her about us?

Buried beneath this story and below those questions is your true lament: Why didn’t he pick me? Darlin’, why do you want him? Yes, you may have chemistry together, but for him, that sizzle is likely connected to being in an illicit relationship. That doesn’t mean you’re not amazing, attractive and worthy. It just means he’s gets off on keeping secrets and taking unhealthy emotional risks.

The truth is that occasionally an affair morphs into a long-term commitment. But that’s the exception, it’s not the rule. Most of the time, an affair is a detonator. A small charge with the potential to blow life as you know it into smithereens. Affairs permit the avoidance of whatever internal changes are necessary to evolve into a better self or to create a more meaningful life. Your co-worker is cheating on a woman who imagines that he is her everything. So he’s cheating himself out of the kind of real growth that a committed relationship invites. He’s also cheating his girlfriend out of the opportunity to sensually explore new routes to sexual fulfillment with him. And he’s cheating his child out of being raised in a content household. Until your co-worker identifies his motivation for cheating himself and others out of the fullness of love, he can’t change.

So should you tell your co-worker’s girlfriend that you and her boyfriend betrayed her? That depends. Are you inspired by a desire to cleanse yourself? Or do you want to get back at your co-worker?

The smart choice would be to tell him that you are giving him 24 hours to tell her before you call her to apologize for not blocking his number after you learned he was already involved.

And please pat yourself on the back. You stopped hooking up with this man once you found out he had a girlfriend. If your co-worker causes problems for you at work, remind him of the sexual-harassment laws. Take care to document the situation carefully and inform a supervisor as soon as possible.

I had two amazing dates with the perfect guy and one night with him that proved our chemistry is off the charts. I went online to close my account, and he came up as a match. On our first date, he told me he had never tried online dating and never would. I sent him a text photo of his profile and asked him to meet me for happy hour. He responded with a clever comment, but then said that he didn’t think we were right for each other. I didn’t even know what to say. What happened?

His perfection had an expiration date. That’s the problem with idealizing someone: Flaws eventually surface, spoiling our objectification but restoring a person’s humanness.

This man may have opted to exit rather than face being toppled from his pedestal like a statue no longer worshipped.

In the future, you may want to wait to give yourself to a man until after you know who he really is, not just who you want him to be.

Dear readers:

Have you ever fallen for someone you met online but never met in person? Tell me about it!

Meditation of the week
“In order to go on living, one must try to escape the death in perfectionism,” wrote political theorist Hannah Arendt. What have you become enslaved to?

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