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Forbidden Love

Hi Mark and Sophie,
Ok, so for the past 8 months I've been "dating" my boss. I put it in quotes because I'm not sure secretly seeing each other at his house and pretending to be just friends in public is actually "dating". He's not married (divorced, I've met the kids and talked to the ex) it's just that his boss, has made it clear that a relationship between the two of us, would not be a good thing. At least a dozen times, one or the other of us has "called it quits" but during our breaks we always end up talking on the phone every night for hours, and eventually end up right back in our confusing relationship. When we are together it's great, whether we're watching movies or TV, making dinner together, or just sitting around talking -- and oh yeah, the sex is amazing.

I have offered to quit my job, but he has other issues ....commitment issues, says he "just can't give me everything I want and deserve right now". But he can't totally give me up either -- calls me his "cocaine" and everytime I think I might be getting over him a bit, somehow he seems to know, and he calls and sort of hints that while right now is not right, maybe some time in the future.....who knows "but you do what you have to do", he says, "I can't stop you from doing whatever it is that makes you happy, and I really do want you to be happy."

Right now we're "off" still talking most nights on the phone but I havn't gone over for over a month. Now, there is the possiblity of someone new for me -- friend of a friend who actually is quite nice -- but, I'm still madly in love with 'boss-man'. Is it wrong for me to go out with new-guy to a) see if there might be something there, and b) help me get over mr. non-committal, even though I still fantasize that some-day, some-how things will change, he will change, and my "boss" and I will live happily ever after?

Do I settle for second best?
Forbidden Love

Mark's advice

Well Forbidden Love

It's always good to have options. But it sounds like your relationship with your boss is perfect. You talk for hours on the phone. You like watching TV together, eating together, just talking together. And the sex is amazing. Sounds like a happy married couple, (except for the amazing sex). And you're sure to get a raise!!!

Now I'm not sure that an employer stipulating employees can't date is legal. You may want to check that out.

And about the boss not committing to a relationship. Go out with this new guy, and see if anything clicks. Also let your boss know you can't talk on the phone with him tonight because you have a date. See if he gets upset or jealous. He may decide it's now or never. And if he doesn't become at least a little jealous; well then, it's always good to have options.

Sophie's advice

Dear Forbidden Love,
Well, you've gotten yourself into a real pickle haven't you? The thing you need to do right now, is to figure out what YOU want. Is it that you want the drama of a forbidden love? A love that for all intents and purposes seems like an impossibility, and just out of reach? Do you want to be kept a secret? Do you want someone who will not commit to you? Someone who is keeping you at arm's length while you get more and more emotionally attached to him? If these are all things you want, then it sounds like you've found the perfect man. I don't mean to be harsh, but I can tell you've done a great deal of thinking about this... He has said that his boss has made it clear you two should not have a relationship. Then when you tell him you will quit your job, he comes up with another excuse, that he "just can't give me everything I want and deserve right now".

The reason he hints at the future, is his way of manipulating you into not leaving him. Yet, the only way you can be together is on his terms. He is unwilling to make concessions for you. Is this what you want ? This fact that you have "broken up" many times, is a sign that he is YOUR cocaine, and you need to either give him up or learn to live with things the way they are. Do yourself a favour. Step back. I know it's hard, but if you are on a break, STAY ON A BREAK. Do not talk to him on the phone at night. Go on a date with this other guy, even if it's just to get your mind off Boss-man for a few hours. And regarding the added complication that he is your boss? I won't lie, it will be very, very difficult to step back from the situation when you have to see him every day. If there's someway around this, I suggest you take it. Would he still be interested in you if you didn't work there? I imagine this is something you are afraid to find out, but know the answer to. If you mean to him what he says you mean, he'll let you know. Stop making it so easy for him.

PS. Second best? Try not to go into another date thinking you are settling for second best, you are setting yourself up for failure and not giving any new person a decent chance. If Boss-man is best, perhaps you are setting your sights too low.

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