Single File - March 2023

When You Find Out He’s Engaged

SingleFile1122"Single File" - March 2023 Issue
by Susan Deitz


Dear Susan:
Hello! I've read "Single File" for a long time, and it seems you put a great deal of thought into your responses. You seem to know much about people and relationships. Something has bothered me for a long time, and I sincerely need closure on it but am having a really hard time doing it. About six months ago, I met a guy, "Jay," through a mutual friend. We had an instantaneous connection. It was nothing I had ever felt, and his eyes told me he felt the same. But here's the kicker: He was engaged to another woman. We started talking a couple of days later online and just clicked and clicked and clicked. One night, we decided to meet for a harmless drink after work—foolish to think that's all it would be—but we were weak and intrigued by each other. We never slept together, but we did things we shouldn't have. I fell for this guy so hard. I didn't know what to do. I got scared and insecure and didn't want to feel second best.

I didn't like that he was engaged, and I was only on the side, so I told him my feelings. He said he was confused by his feelings for me. Well, one day I told him off, saying our "affair" was empty, and I could do better. In short, I have since tried to make amends, but he acts as if he hates me. I feel as if I can't gain closure on this whole thing unless I figure it out. I know that this is stupid, and I need to move on, but it's hard to do. Can you help me make sense of this, or is it a lost cause?

—From the "Single File" blog

Dear Reader:

You ended this affair before it came crashing down on your head—a wise move. The way you did it could have been done more ably (to say the least), but your instinct made you exit the scene before real damage was done. And writing me isn't at all stupid; it's healthy to want to learn from a disturbing experience. So before you go on beating yourself up about it for years, let's you and I take a look at this straight-on.

You met someone who made your hormones race. He seemed to feel the same. But he was taken, sad to say. Still, the Internet seemed a safe platform to proclaim your passion, for both of you. Then you both dared yourselves to go one step further and meet. (You did, and the rest is censored.) Afterward, an emotional tsunami hit, and you broke things off with ill-considered words. Now you're left upset and unsure as to whether you did the right thing.

Well, you did.

The young fellow is left to ponder his infidelity for years. But you, my main concern, need to know that his turning hateful helps him deal with his confusion. Hating you makes his situation clear so that his loyalty can return to his fiancée. All things are tidy with him, but for how long? And for you, your case can be closed (with fond memories that such things are possible), and your wounded heart can—and will—repair itself. I wish you well.

Have a question for Susan?
You can reach her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catapulted into single life as a young widow and single parent, Susan Deitz’s unusually deep understanding of her new world was about to be born, a course in undependence (her term for the wholeness needed for a full life) unlike any she had known at Smith College. Totally unprepared for life without a mate, her nights were battles with fear and the dreaded what-ifs. But when those tigers retreated, each new dawn found a more confident woman. On her own, living out her singleness, she was using her own judgment to make decisions for her little family—minor perhaps in the wider world but crucial for her small family. And they proved to be good ones. From those years of life lessons learned the hard way came a lifework and the world of Single File. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. © 2023 CREATORS

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