January 12, 2010

I’m not the only one, it seems

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Small and Petty, The Who, The WTF at 9:59 am by Dagny Taggart

Frankly, I think this practice needs to stop.   I’m talking about this whole flirting-while-you-have-a-significant-other-that-only-YOU-know-about thing. 

I’ve written about something like it once before – where a teammate who doesn’t wear a ring flirted with me for months, despite knowing about W.  Fortunately for me, it’s pretty easy for me to work in a mention of W in pool-related conversations without being That Girl, and I understand the awkwardness of figuring out when to bring it up. 

But when I asked if he and another teammate were roommates?  THAT would have been a great time to tell me that he lives with his wife.  In fact, despite having played together for close to a year, I have yet to hear him talk about his wife.  At all.  Ever.  Our teammates mention his wife more often than he does (not difficult, as it’s pretty easy to get to more often than never).

To me, this is weird.  And it bothers me.  Of course, it probably wouldn’t bother me as much if I hadn’t…

…had an ex-boyfriend with whom I’d kept in touch over a period of many years, post-breakup.  One who would instant message me from time to time, who’d come to visit me while on a work trip, and had definitely been pursuing.  And with whom I’d had lunch on my way back from the land of milk and honey, where he’d been Comeon McFlirterson the whole time, as usual, to the point of indicating a motel across the street (I laughingly declined, choosing to take it as a joke).  Until a few days later, when in an IM conversation, he mentioned that he was swamped, because he was trying to ready his desk for two weeks of vacation in Fiji.  And when I asked if he was going with someone (because even if some people might go to Fiji solo, he is not that kind of person), he said he was going with someone.  And I asked if he was going with a girlfriend.  And he said he’d be going with his wife, to whom he’d be getting married just prior to the plane’s departure.

I was *thrilled* when the link to their wedding website was automatically appended to an email he send from a different account a day or two later, a wedding website that revealed they’d been together for years.  Well over two of them, to be more precise.  Including the time that he’d been on that business trip.

Or, OR, there’s that time when I was a temporary employee in a shop where I worked with about 25 guys between the ages of 19 and 35, and really hit it off with one of them.  And didn’t find out until weeks later, until a minor tributary of the Rubicon had already been crossed, that he had a live-in girlfriend.  Whose voice I heard on the answering machine while I was at their house and she was not.  And I didn’t find out because not only did HE not tell me, but he persuaded everyone we worked with to keep quiet, as well.

This makes me ponder on a few levels.  First – if you require that much attention from members of the opposite sex that you’re not dating, one might wonder why you (1) don’t talk to your significant other about getting the attention that you need, or (2) choose not to be in a relationship.  Second, is your ego boost really worth being the sort of person who uses other people for blatantly selfish and superficial ends?



  1. Lemon Gloria said,

    Those are really crappy betrayals all around. Ugh. What is wrong with people???

  2. Socio-paths the whole damn lot of em’.

  3. [F]oxymoron said,

    There was a recent survey that claimed a significant chunk of people either hate their jobs, or they’re bored.

    Enter minor, major, marriage-shattering “emotionally satisfying” work place relationships. That’s one explanation.

  4. While I definitely think that this is asshole-ish behavior, I also think there are other signs that a guy is unavailable. If he’s just e-mailing you and not actively trying to get back together with you, the wife is kind of a moot point.

    The person who really gets hurt in this situation is the fiance. And while it does suck to be on the receiving end of someone leading you on, it’s even worse to be the women who has no idea that her guy is flirting.

  5. Red Head said,

    I have never lied about being in a relationship when I’ve been in one. I just think it’s immoral. Maybe it’s the researcher in me needing informed consent.

    Men in relationships that hit on me skeeve me out…99% percent of the time. I’m not perfect.

  6. Lemon Gloria: It’s really sad, how damaging insecurity is to everyone within a metaphorical 50-mile radius.

    restaurant refugee: While I agree that there’s definitely something lacking with such people, I think they’re more egocentric than sociopathic. At least, I hope so. I think. Is it worse to treat people badly because you’re incapable of thinking about them, or because you have a mental illness that causes you to derive pleasure from manipulating them?

    [F]oxymoron: I’m sure that’s a huge part of it – but I think it still comes down to people taking the easy way out. If you have a problem with your job, either do something else or (especially in this economy) try to find ways to make it better that carry less of a risk of hurting others, ya know?

    Date the District: Well, having been on both sides of this particular fence, I’m not sure that either is greener. Because the ex-boyfriend? Absolutely KNEW that I wouldn’t even consider rekindling even the most superficial of romantic associations if I knew he was dating someone else – so he didn’t tell me. Just complete disregard for another person’s emotional well-being, either way.

    Red Head: I wish everyone wanted informed consent. And of course none of us are perfect – but I think there are definitely people who make a frequent habit out of this, let it become a significant source of positive attention without regard for the other people involved. And those people I find especially skeevy.

  7. W10 said,

    If people do not even understand the concept of love and get into relationshops for all the wrong reasons, you should not be surprised that it makes them unhappy so they try stupid things to feel better because they have not a clue how to make things right.

  8. That kind of attitude just skeeves me out. It makes you wonder about the point of it all and if they have such a need to control the people around them. Gah.

  9. W10: What gets me is that it’s not just that whatever they’re doing won’t fix the problem, long-term, that they’re unhappy with their existing relationship in some way, or that they’re with someone they don’t respect once they’re not in the same room anymore. It’s that they could be hurting someone else’s feelings by knowingly leading them on – and that’s not cool.

    Not Afraid To Use It: Skeeve is pretty much the perfect word, I think. And if someone isn’t okay with being disliked, or even just alone at least some of the time, they’re probably not someone I care to know.

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