Deciding Between Two Men

By Annie Lane

October 21, 2018 4 min read

Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s, and I've found myself in a tough spot. I am seeing two men. "Mack" is around my age, and we've been dating for about a year. "John" is a married man and quite a bit older. Mack turned what I thought was a casual relationship into something serious when he proposed to me a few weeks ago. I said yes because I felt pressured and his entire family was there when he asked me. With John, it's purely physical. I can't help but feel that older men know their way around better, and John drives me absolutely crazy in the best way. Every time I'm with Mack, I yearn for John. Mack doesn't kiss me the right way, hold me the right way or make love to me the right way. There is no passion between us, and he's practical and dull. When I'm with John, there is sexual tension and fervor. The secrecy of sneaking around behind his wife's back drives us both wild. I want to be with John, but he's over 25 years older than I am, and he's married. I feel guilty for cheating, but not guilty enough to stop. I don't want to break Mack's heart, but I also don't want to live every day in a humdrum fog.

What should I do? Should I go on with Mack and do what everyone's expecting of me, or should I try to pursue a relationship with John in hopes that he'll leave his wife? — Three's Company

Dear Three's Company: If you keep holding your breath waiting for John to leave his wife, you're going to kill quite a few brain cells. (Even if he did leave his wife to be with you, it wouldn't be long before he'd be coming home with the proverbial lipstick on his collar.) Use your noggin while you still can and quit this sordid affair. Next on your to-do list is to end your engagement. Mack deserves a chance to find true love. Then I suggest you take a break from dating to reflect on why you'd force yourself to choose between settling for a "humdrum fog" and going for a married man. There are millions of better options, including being single.

Dear Annie: Eleven years ago, I got a DWI and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. After a few years, I realized that the main reason to continue to go was the friendships I had made. So I started welcoming new attendees to the meetings and greeting them at each meeting they attended. Some of them even started hugging during the welcomes.

I have had several of them tell me that the reason they continue to go to meetings is to see me. They are now four to five years sober, and I feel so good about being able to help them recover their lives. That and being able to hang out with my grandchildren (currently 10) make retirement the best part of my life. Just wanted to share. — Phil

Dear Phil: Congratulations on your years of sobriety. It sounds as though you're a beacon of hope for those in dark places. Thanks for sharing your story and for making the world a brighter place.

"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 for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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