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Scarlett Letters: My Love Interest Has a Girlfriend I Didn't Know About

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Dear Scarlett,

I have a love interest, but he has a girlfriend that I didn't know about. What do I do? I really like him, but I'm not a home-wrecker. Should I try for what could be true love with him or step away because it could just be lust?

Signed,

Not a Home-Wrecker(female, 19)

Dear Not a Home-Wrecker,

Good for you for taking a moment to evaluate this tricky situation. It sounds like you don't know his girlfriend, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be respectful of her — and of yourself. Some people are comfortable with cheating, but you say you don't want to be a home-wrecker. Running around with him behind someone else's back would definitely fall into that category.

So, find out how "taken" he really is. If he and his girlfriend are in a committed relationship, your decision is simple: Move on. There are other fish in the sea.

If he's not serious about her or the relationship is on its way out, a door may be open for you to pursue him — but don't barge through it. It's better to wait it out.

Why? First, getting with him now is not worth creating an enemy. His girlfriend may feel scorned if he breaks up with her and starts seeing you right after — but at least that won't be your fault. Second, you don't want to be anybody's side dish. Third is the matter of trust. If he cheats on his girlfriend, how can you be sure he won't do the same to you?

While you're learning more, try to get to know him as a friend. See if it's love or lust from a safe distance, and not at anyone else's expense.

Love,

Scarlett

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