Dear Suzie, Last night i stayed over time with one of my colleagues, and as I’d helped him he said he’d take me for a drink. We get on really well and flirt all the time, and had a great time at the pub. He walked me home and I invited him in to be polite. After a few more drinks (by this time I was very drunk) and a lot of heavy flirting we ended up having sex. Only 1 major problem is he has a girlfriend. I know feel incredibly guilty, but also I have really strong feelings for him and don’t know how I can alter those feelings. Please help me.
You can’t alter feelings simply by wishing. But you have absolute control over what you do about them and don’t try and fool yourself, or me, that you don’t. You got drunk so as to have the age old excuse “Oh deary me, I simply couldn’t help myself. Oh la!”.
Doesn’t wash with me and wouldn’t wash with the betrayed girlfriend. Would it wash with you if the shoe was on the other foot? No, it wouldn’t.
You fancy him. Maybe he fancies you too, or is simply taking advantage – what men see as the “You wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered to you on a plate” clause. Having genuine feelings for each other doesn’t excuse the behaviour. It excuses the emotions, but nothing else. Ultimately, we all have responsibility for our choices and our actions, whether they are triggered by strong emotions or not and whether we lower our inhibitions with substances or not.
Flirting is fun but you need to know the boundaries, and be careful about the opportunities. Flirting while at work is one thing; flirting in the pub is another. Inviting him home and continuing the flirting while plying each other with drink is absolutely several steps over the boundary, and you know it.
Tell him you feel bad about what happened and that it won’t happen again. If he tries it on with you you’ll know one thing for sure; not only does he have no respect for his girlfriend, he has no respect for you. And if I were you, I’d cool it on the flirting.
It will hurt for some time and yes, you’ll pine. That’s what life’s about – it isn’t pain-free, plain sailing. It will pass. Feelings do fade, if you leave them alone and accept the fact that it may take some time. What you can take satisfaction in is doing the right thing and turning your back on this unfortunate episode, and not repeating it.