Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Summer fling turns up again, but he's no longer free
Jersey: You have to help me. I'm 29 now. Two summers ago, a bunch of my buddies got a group shore house. I went out there for a week and met the most amazing girl. We spent the entire week together — days on the beach, nights at the bars — and I was head over heels (and I am not the type at all to even use that expression). She was gorgeous, sweet and had the cutest way about her. On the last night we were supposed to meet up, and she never showed. I was devastated but showed a brave face to my buddies. She has a very generic-sounding name so even though I tried to find her when I got home, I couldn't.
Time passed and I met someone. We are set to get married in October. Imagine my surprise when three weeks ago I saw "the girl" in my office, being interviewed for a summer internship. (She got it.) She didn't see me. First I was shocked to know she had been in high school when we got together; I was 27. But worse than that is that for the past three weeks, she's all I can think about. I have never been more excited for summer to come in all my life.
What do I do? I can't possibly tell anybody — they'd either say I have cold feet or I've completely lost my mind. My fiancee is beautiful, smart and the envy of many of my friends. I barely know this other girl. I feel like I'm stuck in a bad movie. Can you set me straight on what to do? I really don't trust my own judgment and I've never been this way.
Carolyn: Here's what I'm thinking. "My fiancee is beautiful, smart and the envy of many of my friends" is something you say when you think you're supposed to love somebody. Is that what's happening here? I'm not mentioning Jersey Girl because, while you may be craving her, she has nothing to do with the more important problem of your having such a craving while engaged to someone else. That deserves your attention first.
Anonymous: N.J. Dude . . . Like . . . Seriously man — go out with a good guy friend and get your advice over a beer. Carolyn just doesn't understand how a frozen memory of a cute girl can screw you up. I had that crush. Even found her. I would have done anything to relive that moment. Tried it. Realized the past was the past.
Lucky for me, I found her when I wasn't in the position to mess with anyone else's emotions — because I would have and regretted it. Carolyn doesn't get it.
Carolyn: Carolyn gets it, as does everyone who weighed in online with the same point you just made: Summer flings are idealized, and you'll regret it if you trade in something real for something essentially imagined.
But he can't just take everyone's word for that; whatever he decides has to be from his heart and his experience, not everyone else's. That's why the issue, for him, is still whether he has any business getting married in October.
Tomorrow: Jersey Guy spills to his fiancee.