To keep meeting him for drinks?(23 Posts)
Have name changed for this as not sure if I am in for a flaming or not (or whether I am just a coward).
I work with a man who is approx 20 years older than me and married. I am single. We have worked together for about a year and have always got on well. We share a sense of humour and I enjoy his company. I know the feeling is mutual.
That being said, we have never spent much time together at work, save for once a month when we go for a couple of drinks together after work. These drinks are totally appropriate - he has never flirted with me and I would be entirely happy to have his wife sit there throughout.
I have never thought twice about this - until this week, when I suddenly realised I am quite attracted to him.
Now I don't want to blow that out of proportion. I have been attracted to many people in the past and no doubt will be again in the future. I would never be the mistress and I don't intend to nurse this attraction into a crush. Once I have made a decision on this issue, I intend to put the whole thing from my mind.
Additionally, this man has never given the slightest hint that he is in any way attracted to me.
My concern is about these monthly drinks. I suddenly feel that I need to reconsider whether I should keep doing this or not, and genuinely am not sure.
I have summarised my arguments as follows:
I like his company and he enjoys mine. It would be a shame to give up his friendship.
He is not inappropriate with me.
The fact that I am attracted to him does not mean I need to run for the hills and dump the friendship.
If I find him attractive, is this the start of a slippery slope? I know he likes me a lot as a friend, and whilst we do not flirt, the line between friendly chat and flirting is a thin one in this context.
I am really on the fence and would appreciate any views from the mumsnet jury? AIBU to continue this friendship?
If you have to think about it and consider whether it is appropriate of not, it probably isn't.
Get him to invite his wife along next time, if either of you don't fancy that idea, you know it's wrong.
The very fact that you're having these thoughts out loud says you should stop it.
Put yourself in his wife's position. If your DH/DP was going for drinks after work with someone who fancied him, would you be ok with that? Do you think she would be if she knew?
If you were married and going for drinks with a man who was single and fancied you, would you be comfortable with that?
I think the fact you're questioning it means you should stop. No flaming though. You can't help how you feel but you can help how you act.
Unless you have no self control and end up trying to jump him, then I don't see the problem. You're both grown ups and neither of you want to break up a marriage. Oddly enough women and men can still be friends even if they are attracted to each other!
You know what road you are on. It's up to you if you carry on down it.
I bet his wife doesn't know he's meeting you.
Don't do it to yourself.
There can't be a happy ending in it.
Back away now. You realised your developing feelings it's time to put the relationship back to strictly professional. It won't end well.
This is exactly the reason why DH and I have agreed to not cultivate new friendships with people of the opposite sex. I know that can be quite an unpopular view, especially on MN. However, if you spend a lot of time with somebody, it's all too easy for for an attraction to grow, seemingly out of nowhere. (TBH, neither of us have ever had friends of the opposite sex, so it's not really been an issue!)
Unsure, I think you know you need to drop these 'innocent' drinks. He may pick up on your feelings and change the way he looks at you. Maybe I'm just weak willed, but when I've been attracted to somebody I 'shouldn't', I've had to keep my distance from them.
Thanks for your opinion everyone.
I guess I was hoping you would all say it was fine! His wife wouldn't come out for drinks - we work in central London and she presumably wouldn't want to come in for a couple of drinks.
I am still torn. I find it hard to accept that I should drop him completely because I had a quick jolt of attraction that can hopefully be quickly and painlessly squashed. But I will keep what you have said in mind, thanks.
You want it to be true because you want to carry on seeing him. Maybe it is true. But if it's not, down this road is heart break, lying, pain, being a shitty person, breaking up a family. None of which might happen. But the risk is terrible. If it's just for a once a month drink session. But it's not just that, is it?
Totally echo MrsTP
And no one starts an affair with a boring twat they hate do they? Come off it op. Stop now before you get in too deep.
Leave him alone, he has a wife and possibly a family.
Find someone single and don't put yourself into the middle of someone else's marriage.
You say that You doubt She'D want to but this is exactly what you should do. I had a huge crush on one of my bosses but when I met his wife and kids any romantic attraction evaporated. It definitely can't hurt.
I would back off until such time as your feelings are totally under control and you are completely and utterly over any crush. It isn't even just a case of "risking" an affair. Even if he never so much as looks at you slightly dreamily you would still have to deal with your crush and the agony of him being unobtainable. It is far more likely to get worse and more intense than to go away.
Save yourself the pain. Make excuses for the next few weeks and see if the feelings fade. If they do THEN tentatively approach the friendship again (preferably going out with others as well) otherwise just stay away and save yourself (and others) any heartbreak.
Is it not worth remembering that you don't really know this man? You know him at work and a BIT socially, but you're probably building/inventing in the gaps (we all do this when we fancy/click with someone). Suggest you <cringe> keep it real, but carry on as you are, and don't EVER forget he has a wife - a person to whom he made a commitment.
But if you enjoy the drinks, and genuinely think they are harmless, keep enjoying them.
Suggest you don't get out of control pissed, thought. As in... "opps, just got drunk and kissed him" kind of thing!
I had a male friend just like this (although I never was attracted to him) I would often meet up with him at lunchtime and we would get together for drinks about once a month (usually a leaving do - it was a big organisation). But his wife was a topic of conversation (always positive never a criticism or nitpicking/bemoaning)
What would happen if you and he had a 'jolt' at the same time?
I would be inclined to go along with grinch at this point.
I think it's fine. You're not flirting, you're friends. No big deal. As long as you don't act on your feelings there's no problem.
To be honest op I'm fairly sure platonic friendships can't work if one/both parties fancies the other.
I've had platonic friendships and I've never had these kinds of thoughts e.g. Is this appropriate/ dangerous territory. Well except in one case (my now DH, but we were both single so there was no need for me to pull back)
That isn't a basis for a genuine friendship. It's a basis for either you getting hurt when you fail to stop indulging your crush OR an entire family getting hurt if he ever reciprocates.
Two warning sign is point out to you op as consideration.
'It's a thin line between friendly chat and flirting' - It's not really though is it? I've had lots of friendly chats, the difference between that and flirting is pretty clear. Are you sure your not trying to convince yourself?
Also 'I guess I was hoping you'd all tell me it was fine!' I think you know in your own gut if it's fine or not.
Good luck op.
Can you invite other work colleagues for these monthly drinks as well? A less intimate setting might preserve the friendship without compromising either of you.
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