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Ben Archer

I'm seeing a girl who has a boyfriend...

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A friend of a friend started talking to me through Facebook about two weeks ago, saying she loved my youtube piano videos and my blog. We start talking...decide to hang out.

Our first meet up was friendly, casual, some flirting...we obviously liked each other, and talked about her current boyfriend a bit. Between then and our second meeting she conveyed that she wished she'd met me sooner.

On our second date resulted in some heavy kissing. She communicated with her boyfriend the entire time about where she was, and who she was with, but she left out the kissing.

Now she's feeling guilty and confused. We talked for a bit...she admits she's not in love with her boyfriend (they used to be old friends and he was there for her after a bad breakup). She admits she's interested in me and wants to spend much more time with me. She's torn up though for her deception (and I feel slightly bad about it too, for her sake, not his). But she feels "obligated to him" and isn't sure what to do.

At this point I'm not sure either. If she doesn't end it with him soon, then I think I have to stop seeing her. I told her I didn't think we should hang out again until she talked to him, or if we did it would have to be as friends.

It's hard to detach myself from this situation as I'm clearly infatuated with the girl. I know the dangers of infatuation, but I've been with enough girls to know there's plenty about her personality, ambition, intelligence, that would hold my attention for years to come. There's no gaurantees, but that's a different subject.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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Put it to her this way: if she has no feelings for him and does not feel that it is likely for them to develop she does herself and him a disservice being with him and they should break up. If after breaking with him she wants to be with you thats her choice. Maintain your distance and friendship until she settles it and encourage her to think and introspect on the issue. If she takes too long to make a decision good for herself out of pity then you ought to move on.

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On our second date resulted in some heavy kissing. She communicated with her boyfriend the entire time about where she was, and who she was with, but she left out the kissing.

Ben:

That must not be a recent pic in your profile. Clearly, you've had the word "SUCKER" tattooed across your forehead.

Now she's feeling guilty and confused. . . . she feels "obligated to him" and isn't sure what to do.

You do not know what another person is feeling; you only know what they tell you. (Read that statement 40-100 times until you get it.)

When a person demonstrates in action that they have no integrity — when they are willing to lie to and deceive people whom they claim to love — why would you believe them about anything?

It's hard to detach myself from this situation as I'm clearly infatuated with the girl.

It can be a challenge to remain in objective control when your feelings are overwhelming you.

If you heard the kinds of statements coming from this lady spoken by anyone else, would they make the slightest bit of sense?

What would it would mean to remain in a romantic relationship out of a sense of "obligation"?

I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too.

I've been with enough girls to know there's plenty about her personality, ambition, intelligence, that would hold my attention for years to come.

Don't tell me about a person's positive qualities when they're a deceptive liar — particularly in the romantic realm. Integrity is fundamental; to the extent she has brains and is likable, that only makes her more dangerous.

You're sexually gone over this woman and it's frying your intellect.

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When a person demonstrates in action that they have no integrity — when they are willing to lie to and deceive people whom they claim to love — why would you believe them about anything?

With all due respect I have to disagree with this response. Particularly when strong emotions are involved it is possible even for rational people to drop context or be confused about where their moral obligations lie. My wife and I fell in love over a period of about six months, while she still considered herself to be engaged to her then-current boyfriend. Our situation was quite similar to the one Ben described -- she was more attracted to me, but felt an obligation to her fiance; sex was involved, etc. Ultimately she decided to break up with him and we got married a couple of years later -- and still are, 14 years later, quite happily.

You don't have enough information about this girl and the situation to pass such a sweeping judgment on her character.

My suggestion to Ben is to help her see that she should pursue her own happiness. Staying in a relationship with a man she doesn't love out of a sense of obligation is just going to make both of them miserable. But she has to decide herself. You can make your interest clear, but she has to decide how best to pursue her own happiness. If she decides, in the fullness of time, that she doesn't want to be with you, accept it and move on. You should not enable her to believe that she can have both you and her current relationship by postponing the decision indefinitely. You want an exclusive relationship with her; you aren't willing to settle for less, and you shouldn't have to. That's your choice.

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At this point I'm not sure either. If she doesn't end it with him soon, then I think I have to stop seeing her. I told her I didn't think we should hang out again until she talked to him, or if we did it would have to be as friends.

This is the proper course of action. The fact that there was any kind of...."romantic" action between the two of you, knowing that there was a boyfriend on her end, and that he was not aware of these actions, is eggregiously immoral, unethical, etc. There should be no actions of that sort until she has picked either you or him, (i.e. the ultimatum) end of story.

I also back up and would happily put on the showroom floor every single one of Kevin Delaney's comments, eternally, as TheEgoist stated.

Not only should you do what is suggested and not have any more of these non-friend actions with this woman until that decision has been made on her part, but I would also take a step back, perhaps not even have any social interaction with her for a day or two, so that you can disconnect yourself better, and objectively think about what kind of person this woman is based on what has all happened, again referring back to Kevin's post. I don't know this girl nearly as well as you do but based solely on the information you gave us I honestly think you are going to get burned sooner or later buddy, just because she has a bunch of other amazing qualities doesn't mean it can't and won't happen, been there done that before.

Edited by CapitalistSwine

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I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too.Don't tell me about a person's positive qualities when they're a deceptive liar — particularly in the romantic realm. Integrity is fundamental; to the extent she has brains and is likable, that only makes her more dangerous.

I appreciate your objective view (it's why I come to this forum in the first place). The only thing I can say in her defense is that after texting her boyfriend and leaving out the kissing part, she was pretty miserable the rest of the night. Throughout the day today she's been talking about how much she'd love to be with me, but she needs time to wrap her head around this. The reason I haven't written her off yet is I'm obviously clinging to the hope that she simply got caught up in the moment; that she made a mistake by not telling him immediately that she was more interested in me (Dagny made the same mistake with Francisco/Galt, heh).

My suggestion to Ben is to help her see that she should pursue her own happiness. Staying in a relationship with a man she doesn't love out of a sense of obligation is just going to make both of them miserable.

Thank you for this...it probably encourages me more than it should, but I at least laid down the ultimatum for her. At this point it's her move, and I'll just wait a few days and see what happens. If she continues staying with him, sleeping with him, and expressing interest in me...then she's obviously not worth my time.

I don't know this girl nearly as well as you do but based solely on the information you gave us I honestly think you are going to get burned sooner or later buddy, just because she has a bunch of other amazing qualities doesn't mean it can't and won't happen, been there done that before.

I've been there before too. The best I can do at this point is give her the ultimatum and the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you all for helping me wrap my head around this. It's always harder when they're extremely beautiful, driven, witty girls. I've looked into her past a bit, and our mutual friends have always spoken highly of her. She's the "hopeless romantic" type...has had few relationships.

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Thank you for this...it probably encourages me more than it should, but I at least laid down the ultimatum for her. At this point it's her move, and I'll just wait a few days and see what happens. If she continues staying with him, sleeping with him, and expressing interest in me...then she's obviously not worth my time.

100% agree. Making a choice in a situation like this can be difficult, but you'll learn a lot about her based on how she responds. If she takes the bull by the horns, faces up to the facts and makes a decision, that speaks well of her -- even if she makes what you think is the wrong choice. If she tries to have it both ways by refusing to decide, acting as though the situation will resolve itself 'somehow', that says something else -- something bad. If she turns out to be that kind of person I suspect your desire for her will fade relatively quickly, because that kind of evasion would come out in many other aspects of your hypothetical relationship.

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Particularly when strong emotions are involved it is possible even for rational people to drop context or be confused about where their moral obligations lie.

Rational people can be confused as hell — that doesn't give them the right to lie, and to fake emotional commitments they don't really feel.

Our situation was quite similar to the one Ben described -- she was more attracted to me, but felt an obligation to her fiance; sex was involved, etc.

I won't comment on your relationship, but what does "sex was involved, etc." mean?

You don't have enough information about this girl and the situation to pass such a sweeping judgment on her character.

In an important sense, another person's character is not my business. I evaluate (and judge) their actions.

My suggestion to Ben is to help her see that she should pursue her own happiness.

He should try to reform her?

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It's really narcissistic to think that you're going to be able to turn an emotionalist into a rational thinker by aiding in her deception. Its a narcissistic belief because it arrogantly states that you can control the way another human being thinks. Not only that, but you're ignoring the fact that you destroy any credibility with her by sanctioning her actions. She might play along and treat you like John Galt because she knows that you like it, but your 'Objective' relationship will be completely superficial and temporary.

I doubt you'd be able to get her to read Objectivist literature and even if you could get her to do that you would still have to deal with her volition. She's conditioned herself to put whims before facts and that's an extreme barrier to overcome for an adult. Why do I think this? Because everyone I've ever observed with a similar dating history gets there by acting on whatever feelings they have in a given moment. When she says she's confused what she really means is that she's unable to decide because she has an emotional attraction to both you and this other guy. She isn't 'choosing' you in a rational way - she's giving in to whatever emotions she has when she's in your immediate proximity. The problem with this approach is that emotional attraction is extremely powerful in the first 3 months of meeting a potential mate. In a few months she's bound to cheat again (for the thrills).

Even Ayn Rand said that you can't reason with an emotionalist, and I believe her because its never worked for me.

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It's really narcissistic to think that you're going to be able to turn an emotionalist into a rational thinker by aiding in her deception.

There's barely enough to go on here to think this girl is an emotionalist. Now if this has been going for a long time, that's one thing, but that isn't the case here. I think what Khaight suggested is good advice (and I have nothing to add to his posts), everything else seems to be assuming a lot and almost psychologizing. People can make a mistake without it then labeling them as an emotionalist. A person's character cannot be judged upon a single action or mistake; character is someone's way of acting over a long period of time.

Edited by Eiuol

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Wynand asked Dominique to marry him while she was married to Keating--he didn't wait for her to be "free."

I think her complications are her business, but since you know about it, you should keep an eye on what progress she reports.

Mindy

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Wynand asked Dominique to marry him while she was married to Keating--he didn't wait for her to be "free."

This is a good point, and one that many otherwise rational people don't grasp. There is nothing morally wrong with expressing romantic interest in someone who is already in a relationship as long as you are willing to take "no" for an answer.

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None of your damn business.

If you don't expect inquiries of that nature you should not have brought it up in the first place. It is one thing to say you refuse to comment, but another to act as if the inquiry was rude and as if you should be affronted by it.

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She didn't communicate much today—she mostly spent time with her friends. Tonight she's sleeping at her sister's house (and not at her boyfriend's place). She seems like she's trying to distance herself from the situation to think about it. So far so good I guess.

I told her my conditions. For now I'm just observing.

Thank you all again for the replies. I've read over all of them at least once. Gives me a lot to think about. I suppose my own judgement should be enough, but as I'm dealing with my own irrational tendencies (negative automatic thoughts at times) it helps to get some verification.

*edit for clarity*

Edited by Ben Archer

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She didn't communicate much today—she mostly spent time with her friends. Tonight she's sleeping at her sister's house (and not at her boyfriend's place). She seems like she's trying to distance herself from the situation to think about it. So far so good I guess.

I told her my conditions. For now I'm just observing.

Stop stalking her!

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If you don't expect inquiries of that nature you should not have brought it up in the first place. It is one thing to say you refuse to comment, but another to act as if the inquiry was rude and as if you should be affronted by it.

I should probably have put a smiley on my reply. I'm not affronted by the question, although I am going to decline to go into further details. Apologies for the miscommunication; that one's on me.

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Suggestion. Run. I'm going off a very limited amount of information, but take her previous actions, extrapolate them and you will have a good indication of how she will act. I really like Ben, I mean I'm dating him and all, but Fabio is a modern day Mozart on the keys. Flash forward. I really like Fabio, but Pieare really knows how to handle that whammy bar on his guitar. etc. Just plug yourself in to the equation. You say she is only dating this guy because he was there for her after a break-up. Not a good sign. Sounds like your average high school girl. As Kevin said. "I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too."

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It's incredible what some men are willing to put up with from women who are beautiful.

Ask yourself: If I observed this same behavior in a potential business partner, would I even remotely consider going into business with them?

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It's incredible what some men are willing to put up with from women who are beautiful.

Funny that you not only assumed the girl's character, but now you're assuming you know what she looks like.

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Funny that you not only assumed the girl's character, but now you're assuming you know what she looks like.

Hi-larious!

Thank you all for helping me wrap my head around this. It's always harder when they're extremely beautiful, driven, witty girls.

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Funny that you not only assumed the girl's character, but now you're assuming you know what she looks like.

I suppose making out with someone other than your partner and then deceiving them speaks nothing of character.

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Now she's feeling guilty and confused. We talked for a bit...she admits she's not in love with her boyfriend (they used to be old friends and he was there for her after a bad breakup). She admits she's interested in me and wants to spend much more time with me. She's torn up though for her deception (and I feel slightly bad about it too, for her sake, not his). But she feels "obligated to him" and isn't sure what to do.

Be wary, since she was able to 'cheat' on her boyfriend with you (the kissing part) and claim that she's not 'in love' with him, then she might pull the same stunt on you down the track. Assuming you two enter a relationship.

At this point I'm not sure either. If she doesn't end it with him soon, then I think I have to stop seeing her. I told her I didn't think we should hang out again until she talked to him, or if we did it would have to be as friends.

Good call. This would have been my advice too. But if you do get into a relationship with her, make sure you know how she feels about about you, and whether it's possible that she may lose interest in you down the track.

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