The Luv Doc: Should I?
If we have learned anything from the last 4,000 years of recorded civilization it’s that deception and conspiracies are always a good idea
Dear Luv Doc,
I started seeing someone I met at a friend's party. A few years ago, they dated another of the host's friends. I work pretty closely, but not regularly, with their ex. I really like the person I'm seeing and my co-worker. I'm not planning on ending my involvement or changing jobs anytime soon. Neither my friend nor the person I'm seeing has told my co-worker. Should I?
Absolutely not, Awkward. If we have learned anything from the last 4,000 years of recorded civilization it's that deception and conspiracies are always a good idea. Sure, Shakespeare had his doubts, but he was always a bit of a worrywart, wasn't he? Always prattling on about some form of deceit or treachery. Oh what a tangled web you wove, charming Billy! Or should I call you Marlowe?
Of course, if I am throwing stones at British literature, a crack in one noggin is as good as another. In fact, imagine if Romeo and Juliet hadn't lied to their parents ... or if Master Blifil hadn't sucked up to Squire Allworthy in Tom Jones ... or if Jaggers had spilled the beans about Magwitch at the very beginning of Great Expectations. Lies, lies, lies! Seriously, the only book left on your British literature shelf would be Trainspotting, which is exempted because Irvine Welsh is technically Scottish and ... well ... that bit about "The Worst Toilet in Scotland" is goddamned literary genius.
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah. Grow a fucking spine and tell your co-worker you're banging his/her ex. You might want to throw in a shamefully honest admission that your romantic ambitions don't extend much beyond one degree of separation. That might ease the blow. Admit you've never even tried Tinder or Grindr or STDmatch or any other of the bazillion options that don't include dating your co-worker's ex. That might help. She/he might see you as a Gump-like simpleton worthy of compassion rather than hatred. The heart wants what the heart wants, right? Well, until it doesn't anymore.
In truth, telling the truth might make the whole thing go tits-up, but you're going to sleep better at night – at least after the six months to a year it's probably going to take to get over the breakup/find a new job. If that sounds like a really sad ending, remember this: Life isn't Hollywood. It's way more bizarre.
Imagine what the statistical probability is that you would fall for your co-worker's ex ... I mean eliminating obvious factors like proximity and being of the same species. They have to be pretty astronomical. I think it's even safe to say you're on a romantic lucky streak, so go ahead and roll the dice. If the truth doesn't work out, there's probably another ex out there for you.