Pursue this relationship?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Pursue this relationship?
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 3:34pm

This is a bit of an explanation so bear with me.

I've been living in my neighborhood for 25 years. There is a man who lives here who works in a location nearby, a location where I go often, I'll call him Joe. Joe and I have been having some discussions and it is pretty clear to me there is some romantic interest on both our parts, but we haven't gotten to the point yet where one person has asked the other out. Joe's a nice guy but there are a few challenges:

1) First and foremost. 7 years ago I had a challenge with the location where Joe worked. Primarily, it had to do with some decisions Joe made. It's a long story that doesn't need explaining, but at one point I sent an email to his employer regarding my concern. Joe never met me at that time but since he was involved I cc'd him on the email. Joe didn't like my email and sent me a rather strongly worded response that wasn't very kind. I let it go, I figured if I had shown the email to his employer Joe could have lost his job, and I didn't want that to happen. Eventually, through working with his employer I actually got my way and the situation was resolved in my favor. Again, Joe never met me during all of this. He hasn't put 2 and 2 together yet, but that will happen if I ever tell him my last name.

2) Joe lives about 3 blocks from me. We all have skeletons in our closet, and I have more than a few in mine. My skeletons from many years ago regarding some former friends and boyfriends from the neighborhood, people who have either died or left a long time ago. These things I would rather let rest and not be drawn up. Joe seems like a smart guy, and I don't want to discuss the past. I'm sure he has a past too, and the less I know about it the better. But our neighborhood, being what it is, Joe having a rather inquisitive mindset, I'm sure he could find out the dirt on me if he tries which he would.

3) Let's get back to Joe's employer. Through an odd twist of fate, 2 years ago I dated a man who has the same job as Joe for a few months. Same job, very similar location, same status, some circumstances, same everything. There are very few of these guys with this specific career, however, the location was 1800 miles away (another long story). The exboyfriend no longer works for this employer and has moved on to greener pastures. I'm not really interested in discussing the details of this with Joe, but I won't have a choice. It's a small world and this will come back to bite me if I don't fess up.

My question to all of you: Is there too much baggage here? I've been going around and around about this for a few days and need an outside opinion. Joe seems like a nice interesting guy who deserves a shot, and he is very sweet to me. We have a lot of similar interests, but I don't need or want drama. What do you think?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2006
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 10:16am


Welcome to the board! Everyone has a past, and though you may not be proud of some of the choices you made, they are already done and have actually helped make you the person you are today.

The things you have described are not that serious. Since you have lived in that same neighborhood for so long, of course you would have dated and had friends there. Its only natrual and not a big deal.

I think you just need to accept that you have made certain choices in your life. By accpeting you will be able to move on and forward, with or without Joe. Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:15am

To answer your question...yes...too much baggage and past issues that haven't been resolved. Mostly on your end.

Here's a question for you. You say you two have had talks and there is interest on both sides. Don't you think that if he had a real interest he would have stepped up to the plate by now? Be straight up with him, ask him where do or would he like to see things go. You'll get a better and more 100% answer from him, instead of just assuming actions or words on his part.

As far as #1, if you want to pursue anything further with Joe, you need to tell him. You seem as though you wanna clear the air, but there's some hesitation. No need to discuss a future, but just clear the air with him. See if you can get past that hurdle, if you can, then you can move to the next level...whatever that may be.

#2. So what, if he likes or loves you...it won't matter. If he digs up or hears about stuff, just tell him the truth. If he ends things with you, then it wasn't meant to be. Another thought, maybe you wanna find your next BF in another neighborhood. Just a suggestion, that way you don't have to worry about past issues.

#3. Was it just by chance that you started talking to Joe because your ex was in the same profession? Or was there a connection between the ex and Joe that was attractive to you? For example you said "same everything". As far as the past, you probably won't have to worry about the ex. Unless there's someone else that works there that would recognize you...and spill the beans to Joe. If that's the case then you'll have to tell him.

The only other suggestion I could give is just for you two to be friends and nothing more. No dating, no "other stuff", but I think you might wanna find other guys to date..or hang out with that's in a different place or point in life than Joe. He's probably a nice guy, but maybe find someone from a different area, and a stable job and start fresh with that. Personally, I don't think he's got full interest in you right now, he would have stepped up by now. And though you are thinking about a future with him, I think you have too much against you for this to work out. Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 1:13pm

You're right. Trust me, I've been doing everything I can to avoid this guy just so I wouldn't have any of these problems. 2 weeks ago I was with a friend near Joe's work location. My friend parked his car on the lot where Joe worked. The place closes at 5PM so we knew we had to be out of there. When we went returned to my friend's car the keys were locked inside. I told my friend that he needed to get Joe and deal with the situation, since Joe was going to lock the gate, I wanted nothing to do with talking to him.

Joe has seen me before in the neighborhood but he doesn't know who I am, I can tell that he likes what he sees. He agreed to wait an hour while we drove around to get an extra set of keys. Once we got back to the car Joe started to talk me up a bit. That's when I realized he might be nicer than I thought. Then I ran into him a few days later. Joe talked to me again and he realized that he could help me with a project that I am working on, but that was more an excuse to spend time with me, so all I have to do is say the word and I have Joe in my life. It's my choice at this point, and I going back and forth for all the reasons you've described.

Joe's a professional historian, he writes history books for a living. He can find out anything. He wants to write a book about our neighborhood. I see the light when it comes to finding a boyfriend in another neighborhood, I'd much rather have it that way which is why I am not too anxious about getting any closer to Joe. I'm sort of 50-50.

The email thing might need to be addressed, I went back and found the email I wrote to Joe's employer and it wasn't very nice either. I think I was pretty hot under the collar at the time. There is no getting around discussing that email, I'm hoping Joe's employer cleared out Joe's email box at some point during the last few years, that way it would be gone for good on his side. But you might be right about the exboyfriend, that is really water under the bridge and it might be worth my while to keep my mouth shut on that one.

Right now I have no plans to do anything about this, I'm going to lay low. Joe told me to come by his office and chat but I'm staying away.