I have been with my partner for more than a decade and we are due to get married next month. My fiance is my best friend and everything has seemingly fallen into place. However, about a year ago, a colleague began to show an interest in me, which I returned. I didn’t tell him about my fiance and would avoid mentioning my personal life. While we’ve never had an affair, we did send each other lots of flirty texts. I recently went out with my colleague one-on-one for the first time. I’ve no doubt he thought it was a date and after a few drinks I told him I was getting married. He was kind to me rather than angry, which made me like him even more. I tried to kiss him and he turned me down, saying I would regret it.
I’m so embarrassed and ashamed by the way I treated him and my fiance asks me why I am feeling so down all the time. I feel caught between two wonderful men and I know I’m the bad person in this situation. Should I tell my fiance even though nothing happened? Should I stay with him when I’ve clearly fallen for someone else? The security of the relationship with my fiance makes me feel safe but I worry that I’ll regret not pursuing this. On the other hand, I’m not sure if my colleague even likes me any more after the way I treated him. I’m also terrified of losing the life I’ve built with my partner to go back to being single, poor and alone.
Even when a person is in a comfortable, committed and loving relationship, flirtations and outside interests are likely to grab your attention from time to time. Try to see them as what they are – passing distractions – and don’t allow yourself to be caught up in something you will probably regret. After all, let’s say you decided to leave your current partner for your colleague – more than likely another flirtation would eventually distract you from that new relationship. You are not a “bad person”, just a human with normal human sexual desire. It is understandable to crave excitement and a change from what may seem a tad predictable, but try to be smart about this. Nothing has been broken, and there is no need to share any of this with your partner, although it would be worth considering if there is something missing in your relationship that could lead you to look elsewhere – and ask him for what you need. It may seem like a loss to avoid flirting with your colleague, but recognise that it was probably serving as a temporary escape from the pressure of contemplating a settled life.
If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.