I listened to almost three hours of a friend hashing over her crush on a co-worker.
This woman is 40.
But I listened. There have been dates, if you can call them that, but he's been stringing her along for at least eight months.
He's a very successful man, and single - so of course everyone at her work is curious about his private life. How is he still single? they wonder. He must be a player. they suppose. The co-workers talk about a married woman who changed jobs a few years ago, and they suspect there was an affair between her and Mr. Successful.
But that's just a rumor. And I told my friend, "Rumors are just rumors until you know the truth. And people will talk, especially about the single guy. They'll just assume that he's a player and a heartbreaker because they think that is what they would do in his position."
Quite frankly, I'll bet money that even the people at my church assume that I'm out bed-hopping with random men... just because I'm single. They think that's what single people do. Even church-going, Catholic singles.
Then I asked my friend, "If you find out he did have an affair with a married woman, is this someone you want have a relationship with?"
She looked at me and said, "Well, I'm no different. I slept with someone who was engaged, before they broke up... but it was a loveless relationship..."
At that point I wanted to say, "That sounds like the kind of excuse people who cheat use." but I didn't want to kick her while she was down. Plus, her face revealed she was concerned about my judgment.
It's not judgmental, it's smart. If that's his level of respect for marriage when he's single, what would you expect from him when he's married?
Personally, I'm shocked that this is acceptable to her. Yes, of course people deserve forgiveness and people can change. But I don't think even that is where her heart is.
Sure, if they develop a relationship and discuss their expectations and reveal their hearts - something good could happen.
But considering a guy who has kept someone at arm's length for eight months, I'd say he's not all about communication.
This is how hard it is out there. It's easy to start compromising your standards just to have someone pay attention to you.
I joke that there are so many reasons I'm single. I won't date married men, I don't date cheaters and I don't sleep around. As a result... I'm very very single.
But I still think that's better than the alternative.