Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.
This is a guaranteed uncomfortable situation, but you can handle it with grace and not allow things to get heated. Sometimes you may innocently be talking with a new guy friend, and for whatever reason, Facebook fails to tell you he's in a relationship. Somehow you find out one way or another that he's officially been dating someone... for like a year.
A number of questions might pop up in your brain -- does he like me, why does he keep talking to me, why don't I know his girlfriend?
Remember, as of right now his girlfriend is his priority. If you're getting between that, there's no guarantee that the same thing won't happen to you later down the road. Try to put yourself in the girlfriend's shoes -- would you really like competition or someone pulling away the boyfriend?
Do You Have Feelings For Him?
Take a breather. You should probably cut down on the amount of time you spend with this person or tell him you feel like your friendship is starting to seem inappropriate to you. If he's cool, then he will respect what you have to say and you won't have to cut him off from being your friend. He may just find you as an interesting new person and not really a romantic interest. Try to be an adult about the situation. It doesn't need to get blown up out of proportion. You may want to prevent muddying up the waters because this is someone you run into at work or school.
If you have feelings, you should deeply consider what you want to do with them. Are they worth exploring or announcing or are they just inconvenient? Do some soul searching before you make a bold move that could end up hindering your friendship... or you could end up with a crazy girl keying your car.
Your feelings do matter. Keep in mind there are lots of people to see. You have a whole lifetime to find someone (or many someones) to settle down with and foster up a lifelong love. Getting in between a couple is messy, especially when you don't know all the factors. You don't want to be an outlet for cheating. There's a difference between playing board games while drinking coffee and spending the night with him in his bed. Even if you've never met his girlfriend and may even tell yourself she's not real, you better not get too involved here and end up confusing and hurting yourself.
How Do You Make Boundaries?
If you feel like you are talking too much, texting too much, hanging out too much -- or whatever too much. Then try to stop things yourself and see if the boundaries change. If that doesn't work, tell him you need more space. If he's an adult he'll respect your space. If he doesn't really care about you, your ideas, or your boundaries -- he's not a great guy to begin with. Sometimes steering the conversation toward his girlfriend or asking him about it will help change the boundaries to make you more of a friend. Maybe he'll open up to you about why he hasn't seen her, etc. Or maybe he'll prove to you that he doesn't really have a girlfriend.
But most importantly -- keep calm. This isn't the end of the world. You are a pro mature person and you can handle this. It's just drops of water in the ocean. If you can respect someone else's relationship, then you are also respecting yourself.
But He Says He is Going to Break Up With Her
Nope, nope, nope. If he hasn't broken up with her, then he hasn't broken up with her, period.
Many guys say all the time, "I'm having a hard time breaking up with her... blah, blah, blah..." Or, "I really like you, but it's not easy to break up... blah, blah, blah."
If he really wants to break up with her, he will. And most likely not because of you, but because whatever benefit, social utility, or happiness he got from his girlfriend is over.
And you don't necessarily want to jump into a relationship with someone who just broke up. He may use you as a rebound. He may say getting with you was his intent all along. Don't buy into it. Hold your ground. This guy needs to get his head straight.
Sometimes guys make empty promises of "breaking up" so that you won't go away. You have to setup boundaries and not let him control you this way. You are not his doll or plaything. You are a human being with opinions. You are of value, so don't go kicking and screaming into a love triangle. Play your cards fair. Go see other guys who are single and might be a better prospect for you. Work on yourself. But don't hold onto the hope that someone is going to break up with their girlfriend for you.
But I Enjoy His Advances
It's nice when someone asks you everyday how is your day or actually genuinely wants to spend time with you. This can easily get to your head, if you let it. The thing here is even though this seems sweet and great, it might not have a lot of long term ring to it. He may be playing a game of cat and mouse with you because he thinks you're hot, and to him having a little something on the side would stroke his ego. He wants to know if he can get a girl as hot as you so he may put the charm on. But he may actually just see you as a friend and likes your company.
Maybe if you see it as charm and enjoying his company you can help this to shift into the friendzone. You can ask to hangout with his girlfriend, or spend time with him in a group setting... if you have somehow gotten isolated to just the two of you.
Even if he seems uber charming, I strongly advise not hitting on him. Don't send him flirty emojii, pictures, or start kissing him. At that point you are crossing the lines into uncharted territory, and you should expect some kind of water monster, like a Krakken.
If he is two timing his girlfriend, and you are happily going along, consider this: guys who really make a sport of cheating don't usually just have one girlfriend. They've got a whole army wrapped around their finger. It may be Monica on Monday, Jessica on Tuesday, Kelsey on Wednesday, and Rebecca and Thursday. There's no telling what kind of stuff he is hiding from you, and it could get complicated. If he isn't telling you the truth and is trying to make you a hot item for himself, he could also be hiding kids, drugs, felonies, all kinds of crazy stuff that you most likely don't want in your life. A lot of times, players are going to play.
I'm going to hope for you that the kind of guy you're thinking about isn't this pronounced of a womanizer. You may have innocently gotten caught up with a work friend and somewhere along the way it started to get blurry. Right now is the best time to address it -- when things start to get blurry to you. If you don't start claiming your reality now, then it'll be a mess in the future. Right now is the time to collect your thoughts and feelings and really think about what you want in your life and also who you want to spend your life with. And who you want to be friends with, because real friends don't tangle you along as a third wheel or more in their love life.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2015:
I think sometimes we all just want to bend facts to make ourselves happy.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 01, 2015:
Thank you very much.bbYou give good advice. Wish my cousins would listen. "If he hasn't broken up with her, then he hasn't broken up with her." He's not a candidate for any special friendship.