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Am I in a relationship?(13 Posts)
We have been working together for 3 years. I'm 35, he's 55. I'm a single mum. Both divorced. His kids are grown up but live at home and he shares them with his ExW. She lives abroad with 2 of them and 2 live with him outside of London. I have met his ExW (when she was in the country) and his mutual friends (who know about me), so his situation is clear.
He and I work so directly together that we spend around 5 hours a day together (in the office, at meetings or on Zoom since lockdown.) All our travel is together as we do the same job. We spend about 3 months a year travelling for work together (so same flights, hotels, meetings, meals, meeting the same people, everything.)
He is more senior to me and could have the authority of a direct boss, although generally our interaction is as equals. He earns more than me and has more power in our company although this is rarely evident in our interaction or dynamic. He commutes into work but usually spends 2-3 nights a week in London at a hotel paid for by the company.
We get on really well. One year ago we slept together. And we have been doing so regularly, every week, on the nights he is in London. So on average we will spend 2 nights together a week, sometimes 3, at my house or in the hotel if that is when my ExH has the kids. We go out for dinner, maybe see something cultural, go to the cinema, or go to a work meeting, and then go back to the hotel or my house and have sex. Then we listen to music, make food, drink, laugh etc.
At the weekend he is mostly with his children and his social group and hobbies outside london. Occasionally he has come to London to see me or invited me out there, but I am hardly a "fixture" in his life at the weekends. Still, we speak on the phone every day for around 20 mins and text and whatsapp throughout the day on top of work duties. This has continued throughout lockdown even though we have been isolating and not seen each other.
To me, this is a relationship. Work is busy enough, my DCs take up so much of my time, there would not be time for me to meet, get to know or even date someone outside my time with him. He has made it clear that if I slept with anyone else, he would not want to see me again.
but I don't know if he sees this as a relationship. At the end of last year he told me that he was in love with me but has not said it since, even though I have said it to him. He doesn't talk about me as his girlfriend, unless drunk, then denies it the next day. His friends know about me and have met me and know about our relationship. His DC don't.
He is vague about what it is. My DC are very small (all under 5) and it's clear he doesn't want to parent DC again from such a young age. He avoids talking about it and avoids coming when they are around.
The fact that we both work such long hours and are effectively running a business together blurs the boundaries between professional and emotional. It would be impossible to be successful at work in this business if you did not get on with the person you worked with. He is the person I speak to most every day, who knows all the ins and outs of my life. We have sex, we laugh, we work together. To me this is a relationship, but there's no talk of the future and he doesn't want to talk about it.
I don't know whether I should be hoping to meet someone else or be satisfied that I have a good connection with someone like this. I can't see the wood from the trees as work and him take up such a large part of my life.
It's not a relationship, it's a convenience for him and you too but you're getting your hopes up and he's hoping you don't. He clearly doesn't want to parent your children and he doesn't want you in his children's life so it's clear he doesn't see you as the one for him.
Are you happy with the arrangement? If so let it ride out with the understanding that it will never be anything more.
If your not a priority at the weekends and haven't met his friends and family yet then I would say it's a casual relationship, surely he would make it official if you were his partner.
He denies it the next day? he's not serious
The thing with labels, is that they come with clear expectations. So are you asking, because you want something that comes with the label? Because if not...does it matter?
If you want to be introduced to his kids, to have him meet yours, perhaps move in at some point, you need to address that. He may reply with the fact that he didn’t thing this is ‘what this was’. it’s just a label - you can decide for yourselves what it means, and how your relationship looks. It can be called a relationship, without it having a fixed meaning.
So what happens to your job if you draw a line under the sex with him and attempt to move on with your life?
Nasty nasty power imbalance here.
It looks like a casual relationship to me. He obviously doesn't want anything more.
Yes you are in a relationship I'd say even if it is not a very satisfactory one from your point of view.
If you have to ask if it is a relationship, it probably isn’t one! He can’t have it both ways - being vague about what it is yet making it clear that you are not ‘allowed’ to sleep with anyone else.
Either move on or have a discussion with him. If he tries to wriggle out of defining things again, you have to move on. It won’t be doing your self-esteem any good.
To me, this is a relationship.
You can't decide unilaterally that you're in a relationship rather than a casual shag situation or whatever.
That's a mutual decision that's verbally made (when not drunk/not claiming they can't remember the next day.)
He has made it clear that if I slept with anyone else, he would not want to see me again.
He can't ask this of you without confirming that you're in an exclusive relationship.
He doesn't want to commit to a relationship with you, but you're 'not allowed' to have sex with anyone else? Sod that!
Also, the age difference - he is more grandad age to your DC ages, not surprised he's done with all that early years parenting.
You're just a nice younger bit of companionship with sex thrown in, but his main social life at weekends does not include you. FWB?
Take sex off the table and see how he reacts.
It might feel like a relationship but even if you did both want to progress it one day, by the time your children are independent, he will be a pensioner. Would you want that?
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