Dear Dategirl,For the past six months, I've been having an affair with a younger, single man. Please don't lecture me about cheating on my husband—you don't know our situation. The other guy and I haven't yet had sex, but have done everything but.Today he told me we can't see each other anymore because he's afraid he is falling in love with me. I had noticed he was putting some distance between us lately, but I figured he was just losing interest in the old married lady. Instead, he was just trying to stop himself from becoming too intensely involved. He wants marriage and children, but is afraid no woman will ever live up to me. I was devastated that he doesn't want to see me anymore, but also very flattered.I haven't been in love with my husband for a long time, but I can't divorce him for various reasons. This affair, this charming guy, seemed like the answer. I don't know what to do.—Dumped & Despondent
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I've heard some doozies from the guys who've dumped me, but fearing that I'd ruin him for all other women is a definite Hall-of-Famer. That one's right up there with "You're too beautiful to date!" or "The sex is simply too amazing!" Yeah, right.Let me debrief you on what your boyfriend was really doing: letting you down easy.When he tells you that he's fighting these feelings of love and is worried he'll never find anyone who can measure up to you, he's avoiding the facts. Some might call it lying, but for the sake of being pleasant, let's call it massaging the truth. It doesn't hurt that by giving you a variation of that ol' chestnut, "You're too good for me," he's also saving his ass from being yelled at. I mean, how can you be angry at someone who loves you too much to date you?The most likely scenario is that he he's bored with dating a married cocktease, and this was the most diplomatic way to relay the information. I'm betting he'd rather be with a woman who will actually let him stick the pee-pee in and doesn't come saddled with a telenovela's worth of drama.And why aren't you having sex with him? Do you feel like it's somehow less cheaty behavior if his penis doesn't get involved? Because you're wrong—not to mention kind of stupid. I mean, you're risking your marriage and you're not even getting laid! Where is the logic in this? The worst part about cheating isn't the fucking; it's the lying.Maybe sneaking around behind your husband's back keeps things illicit and exciting for you, but for the single party, it's just kind of stupid and annoying—like dating in high school. Adults generally want to be able to stay out late and call their significant other on the phone whenever they want, even if it's a school night. Or go away for the weekend without concocting an elaborate spiderweb of lies. Hell, you guys can't even go out to eat together without the fear of being spotted.That's why if you're going to fuck around on your husband, you're better off doing it with another married person. This way you both enter the relationship knowing you're liars with lots to lose.But if you feel like making an honest woman out of yourself, the best option is to talk to your husband about opening up your marriage so he can get some on the side email@example.com