I have been in a relationship for quite some time and, to be perfectly honest, I prefer drinking heavily and wishing my moral compass wasn’t pointing me on a course to propositioning an attractive co-worker to actually being in my relationship.
The issue is that outwardly I have nothing to complain about: my other half is attractive, bright and in all respects far too good for me. I don’t know it if is because I realise that I don’t deserve her or that I am a piece of human wreckage who wants to dip his wick into someone he shouldn’t. The moral dilemma is made easier by my knowledge that I am actually a piss-poor human being and would probably shit in your airing cupboard if you let me.
My question is though, am I being true to my morally bankrupt self by stretching out our relationship and concealing my overtures to my workmate or should I just make a wanker of myself by sleazing on my workmate and do it brazenly, only for my partner to find out and forgive me for reasons that even John key wouldn’t find convincing? I’m torn.
Torn of Suburbia
Dear Torn of Suburbia,
You don’t have to be a “piss poor human being.” It’s entirely up to you. If you want to act with integrity and compassion, you can. You can choose not to put yourself in situations where you are more likely to cheat on your current partner with your colleague. You’re not going to accidentally trip and fall down his or her pants while sober at work one day. The more likely scenario is that you’ll go out for Friday drinks, get boozed enough to quiet any inhibitions, and make your play while you’re both so drunk that you can pretend it was an inebriated mistake if the sex is disappointing. When you feel guilty, you can then confess all to your partner, thereby making her feel like shit and neatly offloading all the responsibility for making a decision about your relationship.
Forgive me if I sound harsh, Torn of Suburbia. I, too, have wrestled with such dilemmas. I think it comes down to this: what sort of person do you want to be? Do you really want to be a “morally bankrupt” “piece of human wreckage”? Because it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or, as I suspect in your case given the level of your self-loathing, what has been done to you in the past, you can start behaving like the person you want to be today. I realise that makes me sound like one of those self-help fucksticks, but you really do have control over your own behaviour.
I’m not saying you can’t sleep with the hottie at work. I’m just saying that, if you choose to do so, you should either be single or have your partner’s explicit consent. Who knows? Your attractive, bright other half may also welcome the opportunity to fuck someone else for a change. Or, your desire to fuck around may be a symptom of a deeper rift in the relationship and you may ultimately decide that you’re both better off single. Yes, that’s a difficult conversation to have. If your ideal scenario is staying in your current relationship AND fucking Work Hottie, then I recommend reading The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.
I do not, however, recommend shagging anyone who works in the same building as you. Here’s the thing: you run the risk of rejection and daily humiliation. If he or she turns you down, or if he or she fucks you a few times and then you split up, you will still have to work with them and suffer the painful, daily reminder of your rejection. Or, if things go well, you start throwing caution to the wind and finding secret places to fuck at work. And inevitably your colleagues find out because you’re not nearly as discrete as you think you are, especially when you’re thinking with your genitals. And then everyone at work will judge you. The enlightened people of this country are not nearly as sex-positive as you may wish, Torn of Suburbia, especially if you’re still with your original partner at the same time. So, my advice is that if you’re determined to shag Work Hottie and you think it’s potentially Something Serious, then one of you should try to get a job elsewhere.
If you were writing to me hoping that I’d give you carte blanche to “dip your wick into someone you shouldn’t” (and I do love your turns of phrase, Torn of Suburbia), then I’m sorry to disappoint you. However, I think it is possible to have your cake and eat it too AND behave like a decent human being. It just requires some painful, and preferably sober, conversations with both of the hotties in your life. I know you can do it.
If you have a burning issue for our slightly slutty barren spinster, then please email The Ruminator.