I met JP in 1998. He was cute, funny, and married. So no. Hands off, regardless of how attractive I thought he was. We did spend a bit of time together, we did have mutual friends after all. But we really didn’t spend much time in those early years talking to each other. Whenever I was around him, though, I realized I was more and more attracted to him. But it didn’t matter. I recognize and respect marriage, even though it became more and more clear that his marriage was crumbling. Still, I wasn’t stepping into that. His next girlfriend had no such problems. She just moved right in. Bitch. It sucked carrying this massive torch for a man who apparently didn’t have the same feelings. We began to talk a lot more, spent time hanging out with friends. And we always seemed to gravitate towards each other, but it was all conversational. We had a lot in common and we talked about it. It wasn’t like I didn’t date during the years, of course I did. Kissed a lot of toads. Almost married one.
Then it happened. In 2008. I was half heartedly engaged to a guy who was more than likely also half-heartedly engaged to me. Out of the blue, I got an email:
Don’t do this. Don’t get married. Don’t take yourself out of circulation until I get a chance to tell you how I feel about you. I know you probably don’t feel the same way, but at least listen to me. Can we meet? I don’t care where or when. You call the shots.
We met. He professed his love for me in an awkward JP way. I admitted to being in love with him. I ended my engagement (and I think my fiance was actually relieved), he tied up all his loose ends, and we’ve been together since. It shouldn’t have taken ten years, but it did. And maybe it made us stronger because we respected whatever the other person had going on their life. Even when we ended other relationships to be together, it was on the straight up. We didn’t mess around behind anyone’s back. We ended things, THEN got together for real.
While it needn’t be as extreme as it was with JP and me (there were windows when neither of us were involved with anyone that neither took advantage of), it shouldn’t be difficult to wait to be together. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Why do people have to carry on affairs? Why can’t people act like respectful adults and end what they don’t want before carrying on with someone they do want? If you’re so afraid of losing that person, do something about it, but don’t cheat.