For the past five years, Steven has been shoveling advice at singleape.com. The following is a weekly offering for the readers of Huffington Post. Feel free to give opinion or send in your own questions.
Holy drama, ape. I can't wait to hear what you'll say about this one!
I started a new internship in a new town a few weeks ago, and there's a co-worker I thought seemed really nice and kinda cute (and we are obviously both into the same kind of work -- NGO). We chatted a little bit but he doesn't work with me directly, so we didn't really hang until my first happy hour, where I find out the fucker is married... to a foreigner for her to keep her in the country, who (he announced) he is newly in an open relationship with. Still with me?
So as the night goes on and the booze flows, it becomes increasingly obvious how digging we are on each other... and although my original instinct was red light, after about five drinks and a lot of conversation, it becomes more of a hazy yellow. After finally talking him out of us hooking up, I do an abrupt 180 and take him home with me where (thank sweet Jesus) we did not have sex -- which he later admitted was a thank-God decision. The next day though, at a work function, we spent a lot of time together -- kind of his doing but I wasn't running away. Why then does he tell me that he needs to figure this shit out with his ex (wow, already calling her that how optimistic) and that it's not fair to me to start stuff until he does -- although he has no idea how long it's going to take. And also adds that he thinks its rare for two people to hit it off so well.
Inner battle!!... should I back off and let him do the honorable thing, or walk the path of darkness/crazy? Was the honorable thing sort of just an excuse cuz he decided he wasn't that into me... it didn't really seem like it. The problem is, we really have chemistry and I actually do like him. I guess its been a while since both those things have happened at the same time, or I wouldn't be considering it. Sorry for length! You rule the school, Simian Sageman (wow that was a Wayne's World moment)..
Simian Sageman, that's a keeper. And the world needs as many Wayne's World moments it can get. I highly suggest -- to the person who hasn't watched them in a while -- you spend a lazy Sunday with Wayne's World one and two. A truly epic double-header whose cultural relevance is quite possibly -- dare I say -- even more applicable to today's times. As for the question, it sounds like another par-for-the-courser-er when it comes to the life and times of the common ape reader. You say drama, I say flirting. Sure, it's not what you were told it was going to be like, but in a way, isn't it? Every single movie about love fills the opening hour and a half with some bullshit hurdles that the main characters have to leap before the final scenes make-out sesh.
I'm going to admit something, I just found out the other day what sage means. Well, I knew it meant wise, but its full meaning usual refers to through age and experience, which although I probably knew by reading it so many times, I could have never put it into words. It's fitting if you are a baby, because then I truly am the Simian Sageman, and although I still don't know everything, I have come to a few useful conclusions. The other day I watched the Conan O'Brian speech from the Dartmouth commencement -- which is a must see -- and he said something that really struck a chord. "Whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that's okay."
The best sageman advice I could possibly offer a baby like yourself is along the same lines. Life is never as you expect it. You see it in the questions here over and over and over again. Things like, "but he didn't do this..." or "I just never saw myself falling for a girl like that..." It's the constant surprise of life that -- not so ironically -- tends to surprise everyone, even though we see it over and over and over again. More directly to your question, the drama you're experiencing is semi-normal, especially considering he is kind of married. It's the push and pull of two people in like but with their own set of rom/com hurdles in the way.
Unfortunately, I think your biggest hurdle is the fact that he is more married than he is letting on, which would explain the bizarre baseball-free hang-outs. The other day a friend was bitching to me about having to go home to have a talk with the ex. I asked if she knew she was the ex, and he paused before letting out a meekish, "Yeah?" We both laughed as he followed a slight pause with the observation that his answer lacked the necessary confidence. People sometimes talk themselves into shit before they let the other half know. It's like a dumping trial period. No matter how deep in the thought process they've gone, nothing will knock the head on straight like that post-cheating morning-after stomachache, because that ache knows all -- like Wonder Woman's lasso of truth.
SO! After all that, I say drop the age insecurity and buck it up. You're a woman, he's a man, and the bunson burner is on high. Just ask him what is up. More specifically, ask about how married is married. And tell him you want -- and deserve -- the truth. You won't be mad, you just want to know what is going on. If he tries to pull any kind of, "I just thought we could be friends..." bs, tell him Simian Sageman says to shut it. Until you know what is going on with the wife, you won't know what's going on with you two. But if I had to lay my money down, I think you're dealing with a cheating married man who is trying to convince himself otherwise, but failing miserably and dragging you into the hole with him.