Sasha Answers: Casually separated
Dear Sasha, I have been seeing someone casually for four months. I’ll call him J. We are long distance, very fresh and new. I wouldn’t even classify us as ‘together,’ I live in Ottawa, J lives in Toronto. His work requires him to come to Ottawa about once a month and we see each other when he comes here.
I am very compatible with J, we’ve been texting and talking on the phone almost every day. Not epic relationship talks, we just seem to be on the same page. I’m not head over heels or obsessive. It’s just been…easy. We talk about how odd our situation is when you really break down and look at it but decided the distance kept things from advancing anyway so it wasn’t a huge deal.
My career is at a point where I need to move up and onward…and the opportunity to do that is in Toronto. Where J lives. I’ve been actively looking for work there for about 6 months now…before I even knew J. Of course it has crossed my mind that if I found a job there, our relationship might benefit. But I’m not the type to ditch my career for a dude. More specifically, this dude who I have only known 4 months.
The main weirdness in the whole sitch is this: J is separated (not divorced. Although all signs point to it being over for at least a few years and I have no reason to doubt that). He and his wife (ex-wife? What do you call them if you’re separated) have two young daughters who are his main priority in Toronto and the separation is happening slowly as they figure out how to do so with minimal impact on the young kids.
Recently J made a rather huge mistake. DUI. Idiot. Dumb. Will not have a driver’s license for at least a year. He has taken ownership of it, manned up and will deal with the consequences. However, this means he will no longer be going on the Ottawa trips. Plus, needs to stay close to home more than ever because his wife/ex-wife is the only parent who drive the kids anywhere. Which effectively means I might not see him anymore.
I really like him. We’re really compatible. Physically and emotionally. And I might end up in Toronto for a new job, if I’m lucky. But I’m not an idiot and I see how easy this would be to end. But I don’t want to. Can I keep the lines of communication open? Can I be a long distance supportive friend with the hopes it all works out? K
K, I can tell you’re trying to play this off all cool, but let’s get real: you’re afraid to get hurt, you’re sketched out that he’s still married, but you really like him and you’re hoping something will come of it. And oh yah, sorry, but I’ve also gotta call bullsh-t on the whole wanting to be his ‘supportive friend’ thing – AS IF! So now that we’re on the same page here’s how I feel about this whole situation.
I wish I could tell you that things are looking all aces for you, but K, I can’t help but feel like you’re going to get the sh-t end of the stick on this one. I’m not denying that he’s not mentally checked out of his marriage - I buy that, but the fact that he’s STILL living in the family home means he hasn’t pulled the plug, like, not even close.
Even when I think about the long term relationships I’ve had in my life – whether they’ve ended well or poorly – I still wasn’t emotionally capable of jumping into a new relationship right away. So how is this dude going to be ready for anything anytime soon when he’s got the extra baggage of a wife and kids?
K, I think right now you’re providing this guy with a great distraction from his sh-tty situation as well as serving as a symbol of hope that there are indeed other fish in the sea. I guess the long and short of it is that I think you’re his emotional rebound. So my advice would be to get out before things get any messier and more importantly before you invest real feelings.
Finally, I also want you to apply a bit of woman code in this situation. Look, his wife is obviously dealing with a lot right now and as her fellow sister don’t add more complication to this already complicated situation. Buddy may be telling you that the way he’s acting with you is legit and above board, but I’d bet that’s not the whole truth. I just wouldn’t want you to come across as THAT girl, because as we all know they are the worst bottom feeding kind.