Dear Annie: Recently, I met "Todd" through a friend of a friend. I went back to school to study graphic design a couple years ago and will be graduating this fall. Todd is also a graphic designer, so our mutual friend introduced us so that Todd could give me career advice and maybe even get me a job or apprenticeship at the company where he works.
When I met Todd, instantly, sparks flew. We met at a coffee shop and it was only supposed to be a half-hour chat about graphic design, but we ended up talking for more than two hours about our favorite artists, our backgrounds — pretty much everything. He has the most beautiful eyes and made a lot of prolonged eye contact as we talked. Though it was supposed to just be a professional advice-giving session, it felt to me more like a first date.
I really want to pursue something with Todd, but the only problem is he's married. I met his wife, "Margaret," a few weeks ago at our mutual friend's (the one who introduced us) birthday party. Margaret was very frosty toward me. She does not seem nearly as fun as me; she was really just a dour person. She's also about 10 years older than me and not as pretty. (I'm 32 and have never had trouble getting attention from men.)
I can tell Todd and I have chemistry and just get the feeling that he'd rather be spending time with me than his plain wife. He's invited me to a mixer with graphic design industry folks to ostensibly "help my career," but I know that's just a guise. I want to make a move after we leave. I talked to a friend about this and she told me that homewrecking is a sin. Well, in my view, you can't wreck a home that isn't already on shaky ground. If Todd strays with me, I won't be the cause of their breakup. I'll just be the straw that broke the camel's back. Do you agree?
For what it's worth, they don't have any kids and have only been married a few years. — Ready to Pounce
Dear Ready to Pounce: Keep your paws to yourself. Yes, good relationships should be able to withstand adversity, but that doesn't mean it's your job to deliberately dole it out. On top of that, I think you're setting yourself up for embarrassment. "Prolonged eye contact" is a thing that people sometimes do in conversation. Todd's only interactions with you so far have been in the context of career help — help you'll lose if you lust after him.
Limit your communication with Todd to strictly professional inquiries, and if you can't manage that, then discontinue contact altogether. Lastly, take a good long look in the mirror and do some serious reflecting, because your comments about his wife's appearance only make you look ugly.
Dear Annie: On the subject of people resisting change — whether it's bad or good — I would like to offer the following statement: The end of the world as we know is also the beginning of the world as we don't know it. It might be better. It seems a simple enough idea, but whenever I mention it to another person, that person says something along the idea of: "You're RIGHT! I never thought of THAT!" I'm not sure why, but trying to figure out what will probably happen next is sometimes not intuitive. — Sara P.
Dear Sara P.: Thank you for this beautiful sentiment and salient reminder to embrace uncertainty rather than shy away from it. As Deepak Chopra said, "All great changes are preceded by chaos."
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]