I didn't say I had a boyfriend

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
I didn't say I had a boyfriend
Mon, 07-30-2012 - 3:22pm

I need help from the men here.

I am in my 40's and have a bf. We've been together for quite some time.

In the last year or so I have noticed I am not feeling much joy in the relationship anymore, sadly. Actually, I probably started feeling this earlier.  Since that time I've been trying to figure out if I should stay or go.  It's been hard.

This spring I developed a crush with a man I work with.  I never planned or plan to cross any lines...I just enjoyed the crush, the feelings I had for him because they made me feel happy and alive.  I also wanted to figure out what I was feeling and why. It was all a way to get greater clarity on my relationship and on myself.  I was sort of living in my own little world enjoying everything about it while gathering information to get clarity.

So while I was feeling these things, and working on a project with this man, I kept it secret I had a bf.  I didn't lie I just didn't offer the info.  Part of it was unconscious, at least in the beginning.  I think right away I liked him.  He never asked point blank if I had a bf but he did ask if I lived alone and was married.  I said yes and no to these questions, not answering more.

This whole time, I believe, he was flirting with me.  He'd do special projects for a lot less, he brought me small gifts, he'd smile a lot, tell me intimate stuff about his life (even his divorce and ex), his background, etc.  He told me that I was a "beautiful lady inside and out", compliment me on my dresses, etc etc.

For the most part I just listened and was a friend to him.  I also was very professional with him, always paying him on time, supporting his work, etc (he is having a hard time in this economy and I did what I could to help him).  But I also loved it, was trying to figure out what these all means in regards to me, my relationship, etc.

I really care about this man.  I feel deeply attracted to him.  I have not have crossed any line (and do not intend to unless I am totally available). I do understand that I have hid these emotions from my bf, I do grant that, but I am not sure that is wrong while you are just trying to get clarity and understanding.  This is just something I wanted to work out myself before I hurt my bf. I really love and respect my bf by the way, just not enjoying the relationship like I used to or know I could (perhaps with someone else).

About two weeks ago he asks...after being there for him when his truck broke down he says "You know, you are such an angel, I bet you have a secret boyfriend".   I fessed up.  I admitted I had a bf.  I told him that I was feeling ambivalent about him and thus didn't want to talk about it.  Looking back I can see that is not an excuse but that was my reason. I just wanted to be within myself and figure things out.

After that happened I felt better and more open about things. More honest.  I was glad he knew. He didn't seem mad or anything like that.  I hoped we could be friends at least.

Next day was the day he spoke about his ex wife in glowing terms.  I posted about it here.  That she was "the perfect woman" and was "very beautiful". His wife dumped him after he the economy fell and he wasn't making a great living anymore yet he still can say nothing bad about her.  I felt hurt by these comments and just chocked it up to his not being over her and felt glad that if I were single, I wouldn't have to compete with her.  I also felt annoyed he was so loyal to her while she was not to him.  It was a mixture really.  While he was saying this, I was pretending to be his friend (and really felt that was how I was being) but later realized how hurt I was with these comments.  Of course he didn't mean to attack me, but I was sad perhaps he is not over his wife and maybe never will be.  I felt that if he says these things to me, he must not be into me at all even though all his flirting and comments about a "date", etc said otherwise.

But despite that...my feelings have not gone away. This weekend I had a big desire to tell him I am sorry I wasn't totally upfront. I want to tell him (still) that it wasn't that I meant to mislead him but that I was feeling things for him and wanted to enjoy it and get understanding and clarity.  I just wanted to remain inward while I was going thru this strange time.  I want to tell him I am very sorry for not being more open with him...for I fear he feels hurt by it or maybe disgusted or disrespected. I don't know what he feels about it.  Maybe nothing. I don't know.

I told a couple of friends about these thoughts and both said "no"!  Both said do NOT tell him.  They both said he should be flattered and get the hint that I liked him and that was the reason I didn't mention him.  The man I asked said "no, be a mystery". I feel I've been a "mystery" for many months now...now I feel that real feelings might be involved I want to say something.  I want to clear the air.  I could see him feeling like he was being played and I absolutely don't want him to feel that way. I care about him.  There was no way I was using him at all.  I have felt intense heart energy around him since the beginning.  So much so I feel an ache.

So I didn't tell him even though I had these strong wish to tell him.  I really had so strong feelings for him when it all started...I still wish I could confess them so at least, if me and my current bf break up, I would know if he is interested.

Last Friday we met for business and I was constantly wondering if he still liked me (if he really did at all).  He was friendly but not as before. At the end he gingerly asked my plans for this weekend and if I was going to the city where my bf lived. I just answered in general what I am doing.  He said "call if you need anything".  He used to say this a lot "call for anything, anything you want".  When we parted I felt sad and empty.

I can understand if he is just as confused as I am because I've been giving him mixed messages.  Sometimes I was flirting back (couldn't help it) but then out of fear, or not wanting to ruin a professional relationship, I'd revert back to being professional...out of respect to him.  Sometimes I acted like his friend, supportive of his healing of divorce being a willing ear, etc. So I've been confusing, too, I am sure.

Yesterday, Sunday was the day I felt a strong desire to tell him sorry. I tried to call but no pick up. I tried a few times morning then afternoon...no pick up.  I thought maybe he had lost his phone for he usually calls me back and welcomes my calls.  That was when I asked for friends advice and they said "no". I let it go.  So I let it go for now.

Forward today.  He calls me up and is totally businesslike with me. No warmth like before, no "how was your weekend". Nothing.

I feel very sad right now.  He has a right to withdraw if that is what it is.

Do you think I should apologize for not being more upfront? I want to make sure he knows I did not intend to hurt him. He never asked why I wasn't upfront.  If a woman did this to you, would you feel flattered?

My heart is aching over him and this.  I know we can't date and I accept this.  I just wish I could tell him how I feel.  I wish he could know.  My heart is dying to tell him how I feel.

Disaster? Foolishness?  Am I deluding myself?

Oh, we have a working relationship. I feel I need him for his services and I hire him for stuff and need him for future projects.  So I am sure we are both fearful or of ruining that and making things weird.  That's the last thing I want and thus on of the reason's I held back all this time and have been mercurial.  I feel, though, I am mature in this regard and can keep things professional.  I've always always respected his work and his time.  I care about him, why would I be different?

One thing I know...I am going to be true to how I feel.  If I don't feel like his friend, I am not going to pretend and take on that role.  I am going to try to be true to how I feel and not give him mixed messages.

Oh, you can berate me for exploring how I feel with this man.  I am doing the best I can figuring out things.









Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 07-30-2012 - 4:45pm

Hi  Welcome to the board.

     A man who is carrying a torch for his ex wife is not ready for a new relationship.  Being friends is all that you can expect at the present.  The other thing is your current BF.  Perhaps this relationship (BF) has run it's course.   Are you ready to be alone? 


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-30-2012 - 9:32pm

I think you are making way too big a deal about not telling him that you had a BF when he never asked.  I think it would have been different if he asked you directly & you lied & said you didn't have a BF & you really did, but when he asked you were honest--so what is there to apologize for?  Not to mention that your relationship is co-workers--you weren't dating him & pretending not to have a BF, you were working together--it's really up to you whether or not to disclose to people you are in a working relationship with much about your personal life.

And then if you confess that you have a crush on him but you still haven't broken up w/ your BF, I think he'll be even more confused about what you want--what is he supposed to do w/ that info?  He might think you are just waiting to see if he likes you & then maybe break up w/ your BF. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 10:31am

I think he' s acting distant now cause you told him you had a BF--so he probably feels it's worthless to continue flirting with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 11:32am


Lv2breathe, she of the CEO of his own co!!

I recall we had a bit of a..correspondence some time ago about how a r-ship should be. I said two people who are together should share most of their lives and be happy with each other's company most of the time. You said it was perfectly ok, better even, to have a life that has nothing at all to do with your partner and only share bits of yourself with said partner. Or something to that effect.


IMHO, this situation is really not about whether it's oh so bad that you didn't tell this man you had a bf.

IMHO, the question's two-fold:

1 - are you sure that you have a bf? Meaning, does the man in question even consider himself your bf, or does he just  'see you' a few times a month as and when it suits him, for fun and company?

2 - would this same man, the 'bf',  even notice (sorry to say) if you went and had a fling with someone else? If not...  what's stopping you?

IMHO, you seem to be looking at this whole set-up as a naive teenage girl full of romantic ideas, rather than a middle-aged woman who's lived life and knows a few things about a few things. I don't see how you owe your  'bf' anything. There's obviously not much of a r-ship there, and the little that IS there is not making you happy. Hundreds of men all over the world just 'assume' it's all over with the 'gf/non-gf' and have their fun. I remember you being all for equality and being strong, independent and not under anyone's thumb. If that's how you are...why don't you just do exactly what you feel like doing - which to me seems like a 'exploratory' fling with the handyman??


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 11:42am


Oh and if handyman's now distant and acts no longer interested...lesson learned, for the future. Obviously you can't now go back and say 'no no no, I don't really have a bf, it's just someone I spend time with now and agian'. So maybe when the same situation arises next time you will act a bit quicker and wiser.

(p.s: I understand all about being scared of being single again in your mid-40; that's why I'm not telling you to be 'decent' and finish with 'bf' first...it isn't that black and white IRL in your 40, mho)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 5:39pm

lv2breathe, when I read this post in conjunction with the post you wrote about mentioning your money to him, I'd be quite confident in saying that he's upset & angry & disappointed and feels that he's been led on or played.

In the money post, it comes across quite strongly that you care for him and were welcoming some type of romantic feelings with him.   I'm sure that he too, was getting that same vibe from you.   To find now that all his excitement and fun was based on a lie (of omission) would be quite devastating for him.  

The only possible way to salvage this is to end things with your boyfriend (it sounds like that relationship has passed it's use-by date) and then approach your handyman as a single woman.  Not saying there are any guarantees, but at least you'll be able to start fresh without a stale relationship hanging over your head.  

I'm not berating you for your actions.   All our actions (good and bad) all contribute to us growing and learning.  Making wrong decisions is part of life.   The important thing is that we learn from them :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 6:08am



I'm certainly not confusing you with anyone else.

Anyway, can't be ****d to continue corresponding, sorry.

Good luck to you, whatever you choose to do.



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2006
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 7:16am

Hey lv2breathe, i am confused big time here now too!

The '*bf* you are talking about - is it that CEO of quite some time ago?? But i clearly remember you describing in all details how horrible the relationship was with him - how he had a very bad temper, how he ruined your outings together with his crappy moods and how he only and ever wanted to watch sports on tv and forced you to watch with him?? and you clearly said back then that  you would never ever want to live with him and this thing doesnt have a long term chance at all?? And because of this *bf* you are now wondering whether or not to *try* the handyman?? Woman, life is short! Grab him for yourself and ENJOY as long as it lasts, handymen are the best, trust me, i have one at home :smileyhappy:! We are all not getting younger and who knows when another chance like this will present itself! Dont overanalyse, just do it!



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 11:12am


No, I don't think I am.

I can't remember what you said word for word and I can't be bothered to look for your posts now, sorry.  I'm pretty sure I've posted to you as Juliasuk, not under any other name. I remember you and your bad tempered slob CEO very well. We basically disagreed, completely, on the  'way to be' in a r-ship. You were ambivalent and not totally happy with your bf and your r-ship... also all for independence and own pursuits.   I was supporting sharing life with your partner 100% and  possibility of complete happiness together without much of an outside influence. What you called 'codependent' I called 'compatible, happy and in love'. Not in those words - I can't remember the exact words either of us used  but that's the gist of it.  It WAS you - I am not mad. Others here remember you as well - as per your 'money' post.

Look..whatever..sorry I posted. Fyi,  I like Rocklady's post. She makes sense when she says: less overanalysing, more DOING - we're not getting any younger.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 6:04pm

With hindsight, 'played' may be the wrong word.   It's more about him realising that he doesn't know you like he thought he did.    Perhaps telling you what once happened to me may help me describe it better.   I didn't recall this till just now, and it's changing my thoughts a bit on your friend might be feeling.

I had this mutually flirty relationship with a man many years ago.   I was very fond of him and he knew everything about me...and I THOUGHT I knew everything about him.   Then one afternoon, I was waiting at a bus stop in a crowded area and I saw him come out of his building, hop into a car and kiss the female driver.   It hit me like a ton of bricks that I actually knew nothing about this man.   That I was crushing on something that was not reality.     I went cold on him immediately.   I instinctively needed a lot of space to get my feelings back to neutral.    

I guess your gardener will still continue working for you.   But he probably needs to return to a professional relationship and will need a bit of emotional space to recover his equilibrium.   Don't worry about explaining - just give him space.