by The 4-Way Panel
For the past few years, I’ve been seeing someone who is married. I know it’s wrong. He knows it’s wrong. But it happened and now we can’t control it. Once in a while, I get the “I’m going to leave her” comment from him. I know that’s never going to happen and that he’s just saying that to humor me. So here’s my question: what am I thinking? I’m wasting my life away hung up on someone who’s unavailable, yet I can’t seem to break the cycle or escape the feelings I have. What do I do?—DJ
The straight man's perspective: Chris Kennedy
Hi, my name is Chris and I'll be your advice server for the evening. Our specials this evening include a generous portion of getting over a dead-end relationship, sautéed on a bed of self-reflection, and garnished with a healthy dose of optimism. All served with a daring food metaphor we hope you'll find suitable to your palate.
If a restaurant runs out of a certain menu item, they "86" it. It’s no longer available to the customers. You have been making yourself available as a side dish to this married customer for the past few years but from now on, you are 86’d from his selections. His plate is full already and that pig doesn't need any more "food." Case, and menu, closed.
You haven’t really been making yourself available to anyone else because you’ve been too busy offering your goods to the gluttonous, married one. And I’m betting the reason you haven’t found anyone else is because no one wants a side dish as a main course. In other words, you’ve short-changed yourself and any potential mates because you have had this half-baked, inappropriate relationship.
I’ve got a recipe for you on how to move on. For starters, allow your expectations to rise, like yeast, on the qualifications of your mate. You’re to be someone’s main entrée and they yours. You’re not a snack. Stop presenting yourself as such. Next, prepare yourself with care. Combine all the reasons you were so susceptible to someone who kept you riding along à la carte, let them marinate, and then burn them to a crisp. And remember to use only the fresh ingredients of a renewed sense of confidence and a positive outlook.
DJ, your order is up. Set the table for finding a great mate. You reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.
The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.
by The 4-Way Panel