I received hundreds of e-mails from people asking for copies of self-help/love books yesterday. And I only have about 30 books. Those who were quick enough to get books will hear from me by Monday. If you don't hear from me, thank you for the e-mail. Many of you sent funny messages, which made my day. I wish I had more books.
And now a Friday letter ...
Q: I recently got out of a five-year relationship with my boyfriend because we finally accepted the fact that neither one of us was willing to sacrifice our needs and move to be together. Months ago, when this was all crumbling down, my coworker and I became close when we realized we both were in very similar situations; however, his relationship was still intact.
Once this connection was made, we would talk a lot during the day and started hanging out after work. We sent texts constantly and he would always mention things that we could do come the springtime and summer. He had told a mutual friend that he had a crush on “someone” (which was obvious to the mutual friend that it was me) even though he still did love his girlfriend. I was a little disheveled from just walking away from a great guy, so all of this was an easy distraction and I felt myself becoming attached to the relationship.
After a few too many drinks one night, the relationship turned from just simply being "two friendly coworkers." The same thing proceeded to happen a few more times but then all of a sudden, he did a complete 180 on me. No longer was he asking me to hang out, and if I sent a message, hours would go by before he responded and that was if he responded at all. After a little over a week of this, I asked what the deal was and he said that maybe what we were doing wasn't a good idea. He said we could still hang out together, it just had to be in public. I responded that maybe we should just cool it all together then. I wanted to play the "I'm cool with this" card so I acted like it didn't bother me when, in reality, I was devastated. Perhaps because it filled the void that my boyfriend had just left and made everything easier for me, but I felt like we could have been great together (and so did everyone else at work as they constantly are always making comments about the two of us).
It has been almost two months since that conversation and he is still seriously involved with his girlfriend. We do not hang out at all after work anymore, but he comes into my office constantly and he will send me messages randomly every now and again. I still feel like I'm stuck on the situation and not sure of what to do next. His visits and texts give me false hope that maybe if I wait it out, his relationship will end and we can start something good. But then another part of me, and I must say the smarter part of me, thinks that if he really wanted to be with me -- plain and simple -- he would be. And I have to remind myself that this is a guy who cheated on his girlfriend on more than one occasion and then just went back like nothing happened. Do I really want that type of guy? No. So I am trying to get over it but am having a really hard time doing so. Do I ask him to stop the visiting and texts, allowing him to know that I really did care for him and that it wasn’t just some care-free thing for me as I had let on? Or do I just wait it out and hope I can get over it on my own so that our work relationship can stay intact and my pride won’t be wounded? Help!!
– Trying To Get Over This, Boston
A: My advice is to ignore the texts and keep it simple when you talk to him at work, TTGOT. He'll pick up on your vibe. He's no dummy. If you feel like you need to tell him why you're pulling away go ahead, but I fear the disclosure will result in a long conversation that confuses you even more.
Why is he visiting your desk and sending you texts? Maybe because he likes the attention. Or maybe because he wants to make something abnormal feel normal. Or maybe because it makes him feel less guilty. Or maybe because he's an idiot. Or maybe because he's liner-upper.
None of these options are good ones. And you're right about everything -- that he made your breakup easier, that he filled the void, and that he's a jerk who cheated on his girlfriend and then acted like nothing happened.
This is going to be difficult, but it's all part of the breakup. Start looking for other distractions and allow yourself to mourn what you're really missing.
Readers? Does she need to have a talk with the office guy? Why is he stopping by? Did she have reason to believe he'd leave his girlfriend for her? Was he just filling a void? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.