Living With My Boyfriend, In Love With A Guy At Work


Hi Meredith,

I’m a gay man in my 30s and have been in a long-term relationship with my current boyfriend (we’ll call him John) for close to five years. We moved in about two years ago. The first three years of the relationship were pretty great – all the usual butterflies, nice feelings, etc. I proposed we move in together. The move was a little rough – I feel like we both really value our space and independence – but after the first year or so I felt like we’d worked out most of the major issues, although the excitement was gone after about the third year.

Last year I got a new coworker who I thought was just unbelievably handsome (we’ll call him Sean). Initially I avoided him (attractive men intimidate me) but he pursued a friendship with me. He has many gay friends, so I thought he was gay and eventually fell deeply in love with him. I later learned he was straight by digging around in his Facebook a bit. I am really deeply attracted to him – in addition to being beautiful, he’s talented and we have lots of similar interests. Our work requires us to work closely in creative roles (I really love my job and am passionate about my work). This has caused all kinds of problems in my relationship with John.

In addition to dealing with the enormous stress of unrequited love for Sean, I’ve completely lost interest in John and putting any effort into maintaining the relationship. I never want to come home from my job (whether or not Sean is working). I feel like Sean has reawakened something in me that I thought had died – sexual feelings, the butterfly feelings. I miss those feelings. Everyone keeps telling me how much work long-term relationships are, but I miss being in love. I’m confused about how to act because I don’t think I can think clearly when I’m around Sean, which is often. I don’t know what to do about John – whether I should soldier through or leave him, or ask for an open relationship. And I could also use some tips for getting over Sean faster.

– Conflicted in Medford


Let’s start with John. You say the excitement has been gone for two years, which means you were having trouble at home long before you met Sean. It sounds like you need to talk to John about why you’re still together. Long-term relationships do take work, but if you’re actively seeking out crushes and thinking that an open relationship is the only way to make this work, you should probably be single. Have an honest discussion, because it’s possible John feels the same way. It’s time to ask, “What are we doing here – and are we happy?”

Now for Sean. Something tells me your unrequited infatuation (notice I didn’t say love) would be easier to deal with if you were single. You’d be spending more energy finding butterflies elsewhere, and you’d have less need for an imaginary relationship. Right now Sean is a distraction from what’s happening at home. If your home life were different, you’d be forced to focus on what’s real.

Readers? Should he end it with John? Is he really in love with Sean? How can he move on from these feelings?

– Meredith

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