We All Can't Get Along
By Sarah, age 18, Pennsylvania
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm quite the flirt. I tease just 'cause I want the attention. I am one of the girls I never wanted to be, but when the opportunity came around for me to live this way, I dove right in. I have a boyfriend of almost 3 years, and we've definitely had our ups and downs, but in the end we always knew that our love would hold out. Recently though, due to the economy, Scott* took a part-time job as a mover on top of his full-time job. So now he works from 6 to 4, and then from 5 to 7 or 8 a couple nights a week. Also, he wants to fix up his truck and rebuild the motorcycle he just bought. Oh, and he wants to spend time practicing with his band and hanging out with his friends (guys' night - no girls allowed).
Needless to say, I'm feeling a little forgotten.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad he's not a bum or an alcoholic or anything like that, but seeing him more than once a week would be nice!! I mean, I work sporadic schedules, and it seems that our "free" time never seems to correspond, and when it does he's so worn out from working all the time he just wants to have me hold him while he sleeps. This just isn't the type of date I want to do for the rest of this relationship. We used to hang out all the time and have a great time playing mini-golf and seeing movies, you know, typical date stuff! Not anymore, and it's certainly taking a toll on my thoughts about the relationship. He says he's grateful that I'm patient with him, and that he wants to marry me, and about 9 months ago he said we'd be engaged in the next 6 months. Well, he's three months late and I don't have a ring.
Recently, I went out to eat with my sister and her husband to celebrate the final payment on my newest vehicle. We went to a local diner. One of the waitresses was the sister and daughter of two people I used to work with at the local grocery store. I started talking to her, asking about her brother and mom, because they were in fact my favorite people to work with, and she said that her brother Jared* was having some girl problems and wasn't dealing with it very well. I didn't understand why because the kid is a total stud! I mean he's built, funny, works on cars, listens to all the right music - everything I want in a man (shallow, I know!).
We left the restaurant, and what would you know, but guess who texted me with his new phone number the next day? I was excited! I texted back immediately saying how much I missed working with him and how much fun we used to have when we hung out before we lost touch. He agreed and invited me over for supper that night to catch up with him and his mother. I definitely wasn't missing out on seeing them again, so I went.
Sitting next to him at the table reminded me of old times, and I started to flirt. Little touches, eye contact, smiles, and playful banter were in full force that night, and over the next couple weeks. The more I talked to him, the more I seemed to "fall" for him. He was gorgeous, tan, built, and most of all gave me his full and undivided attention. He'd hug me when I got there, talk to me all night, never leave my side, and then hug me when I had to leave. It was pure bliss!
My boyfriend had never been this into me. Yea, he loves me; yea, he holds me, but there was always a catch. My boyfriend likes more attention than I do, and I tried as hard as I could to be the one who gave him all of it. But you can only give so much before it starts to feel like abuse. I was tired of always giving, and him barely giving back. I buy his clothes, buy his cologne, run his errands, cut his hair, clip his nails, and I would shave his face if he wanted me to. I can't help it, it's who I am. I want my man to be happy and not have a care in the world. Scott learned how to take advantage of that, and I can't take much more of it.
So when Jared came around, I couldn't help but grow feelings for him. Plus, back in the day at the grocery store, his mother would always push us to date. So us getting together was always talked about. Recently his mother had brought up that we should get married. They went to the beach for the weekend, and his mother was pointing out all the churches we could find a minister in and such - all in good fun, of course. So Jared and I started going along with it. I started telling him he would get my waterbed, pool table, both my vehicles, a good cook, and a great kisser if we got married, and he told me he'd be the judge of that. Well, sure enough, the next time we sat next to each other on the couch, one thing led to another, and I didn't want any of it to stop.
Now I have to be the one to make the decision. Who do I really want to be with? I know Jared would love more than anything to be with me, and I know that he would never treat me wrong. I certainly don't want to lose him as a friend, and I don't want to be one of those girls who just plays a guy and then lets him loose. I never wanted it to go this far, but I let my emotions take control. Now I have to break it off with one or the other, and I honestly don't know which one I care about less. I just wish one of them would stop caring about me, because then I would be the one who got hurt, the one who bore the pain. I just don't ever want to hurt one of them.
Right now I don't know what to do, and I know that this isn't much of an advice article, except to say, don't let yourself get into this situation. You can't play guys like this, and hurting someone this much is that hardest thing in the world to do. I never wanted it to get this far, but I've never had the courage to stop any of it.
*names have been changed
To read SDM staff's advice and find out how Sarah handled her situation and whom she chose, see "Sarah's Love Triangle".