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Think twice about meeting old flame

Washington Post

Dear Carolyn: Way back when, I “spent a summer” with a guy at the beach. No physical relationship, more of a deep and emotional fling. We didn’t keep in contact.

He has found me online and wants to get together. He has been married for 10 years, and I’m single. I realize I could be jaded (heartbreaking infidelity history); however, he has given me only a work number and is offering to come to my area to meet.

While I am confident in my intentions of simply seeing how his life has turned out, I am not comfortable meeting a married man when his wife probably doesn’t know. Am I in a position to assume/judge his intentions and tell him I’m uncomfortable? I know I can control only my own actions, but would it be “wrong” of me to meet him without bringing any of this up prior, and just see how it goes? – Morally Confused

How what goes? To see whether he hits on you, or whether he’s just anxious to look at you in person and then hop in his car and go home?

As tempting as it is to fill in the blanks on his motives, for the sake of fairness, we do need to leave his part blank. Yes, he’s 10 years married and trolling old loves online, but that doesn’t automatically mean what we all assume it automatically means.

Fortunately, we don’t need assumptions, we have facts. You know he’s married; you know he gave you his work number; you know he’s willing to travel to see you; you have a history of unfaithful partners; you know you haven’t weathered those “heartbreaking” infidelity storms well; and, finally, you know the terms he offers allow him to bypass his wife, and you aren’t comfortable with that.

Of these facts, here are the ones that support a decision to meet him:

(blank).

Wouldn’t a more likely conclusion, given these facts, be that he’s on an adrenaline hunt, and that you aren’t ready to admit you’re tempted by it?

These are assumptions, yes. But they’re also warnings I hope you heed.

E-mail Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com.
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