Posted by Some Dude on March 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at email@example.com, and watch this space for my answer! M. asks,
What if you realize that you want someone, but someone else had gotten there first? How do you steal someone else’s boyfriend?
In a nutshell: you don’t. You move on.
You might think I’m saying so because it’s wrong to the third party who is currently dating the object of your affection. But that’s not actually the reason (although, needless to say, that is a good reason). I’m saying so because, if you want this guy, you need to be more attractive to him than the girl he’s seeing now, and trying to break up his current relationship will make you look desperate and unattractive: while you might succeed in ruining his relationship, you won’t be able to hold onto him afterward.
The better strategy is to move on. Look for other people. Have a good time. Be as attractive as you can be. But stay close and visible to this guy.
There are multiple benefits:
Most obviously, if this guy becomes single again, you’ll be obviously present, available, and attractive, and therefore ideally positioned – and this works especially well because in this scenario he’s the one who chooses you, which will create a relationship with more staying power than if you were jumping through hoops and making a huge effort to win him over from someone else.
Another benefit is, you might get over him. That may seem like a “lose” situation from your perspective right now, but think of why it might happen and you’ll see in those circumstances it would be a win: You might discover something about him that causes you to lose interest (maybe in time some less attractive parts of his personality will have a chance to surface – if that happens while he’s dating someone else then you’ll have learned something without having to go through it personally), you might grow to find other types of people more attractive (we all change over time; if this were to happen, this way it would happen without hurting him or trapping you), or you might meet someone better.
And perhaps most importantly, moving on also prevents your life from stalling. If you put all of your effort into prying this guy loose from his current girlfriend, you’re stuck until it happens, and have wasted a whole lot of time if it never does; and even if that does work, the relationship is likely to be short-lived – really a lose-lose situation. By moving on, your time and energy are spent usefully regardless of whether he comes after you in the end or not – which is really a win-win.
Hope that helps you. Have a great spring break!
Special Thanks to the wonderful women of the International Women’s Forum. Congratulations to Some Dude’s girlfriend on finishing her thesis! Email Some Dude at firstname.lastname@example.org.