Apr 23, 2011


You’ve just started a new job as the youngest member of a legal team in a posh downtown office. One of the lawyers is a bright defense attorney at the head of the team. After lunch a few days later he brings a file to your office and asks if the two of you can discuss the case. You come prepared with your notepad to the place he suggests you sit down and talk. It turns out that he is not interested in the case at all; he is interested in you.

You start dating. The places he chooses are not places you can afford, but he pays for everything. The relationship becomes hot and heavy with the two of you snatching kisses at the water cooler. You ask yourself what you are doing. You are breaking one of the company rules by dating someone in the office. No one knows and you’ve told no one about it, but you are concerned that you might lose your job. You like the attorney a lot, but his father is the senior partner in the firm and he would not be the one to get fired; you would.

The following week he leaves for the Atlanta office where he will be in court for several days to try a case. You speak every night on the phone and the relationship is growing into something comfortable where you can speak your mind. You tell him about your concerns. He waves it off and says not to worry. He returns from Atlanta and says he is invited to his parents’ house for dinner, but he’ll see you later.

As the weeks pass and you have taken great risks at the office with stolen kisses, he says that his family is going up to the cottage on the weekend, and he’ll see you on Monday at the office. It is the huge family get-together and he can’t miss it, he adds. He doesn’t ask you to come along. You go home and sit on the couch and cry.

Is he the right man for you? He’s a great guy with a great job and a wallet that can support a good lifestyle, but is he the one you want to spend the rest of your life with? He buys you little gifts and does all the things for a woman the magazines tell him to do, but he goes off on his own anyway. You tell your friends. They commiserate with you. Some of them are impressed by his background and that he is the boss’ son, and says that you should hang on a little longer.

Your overnight dates continue. You don’t answer the phone at his place; the caller hangs up when she hears your voice. Once you hid in a closet when his mother turned up unexpectedly and brought him a tuna casserole. You shared the casserole with him after his mother left, but you were full of resentment.

Ask yourself: will a man who loves you keep you hidden and not want to show you off? Is your working in the same office a good-enough reason not to take you to meet his family – unless he has no real intention of ever taking you? Are you going to accept, forever, the resentment you feel about his ongoing solo trips and possible affairs? There would be hope if he suggested that you find work in another office so that the two of you can be open about your relationship. Did he ever talk about it? Did you ask or were you afraid to ask why the caller always hangs up when you answer the phone?

The writing is on the wall. What you decide now will decide your fate. You love him, but you know deep down that you feel rejected and are unhappy about your life. Trust your instinct on this. Don’t think with your heart. Remind yourself of the consequences if you stay. A man who wants you forever is one who wants to be with you and tries to include you. This is the moment to be honest. He’s a wonderful human being, but he is what he is, a perpetual bachelor, and in the long run will leave you as easily and as suavely as he had met you. He will say the dreaded words: ‘we can still be friends’, and will not know how much he has hurt you. He is not the right man for you.

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