She was very much in love with me, and she wanted to marry me. All that was left was breaking the news to the other woman — who had been hoping all along that I’d end up with her.By early July, I had decided that was what I was going to do. On Saturday, July 5, 2008, I arranged to meet the second woman at a restaurant to talk, so I could break the news.

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As Ashley told me her story, I flashed back to July of 2008.

I’ve mentioned a bit of this story before, but I’m going to tell you a very intense part that I’ve never had reason to tell before. I was in love with the one I was dating at the time, but I was scared of some things I saw in her (and things I saw in myself, too, even if I wasn’t honest enough with myself at the time to see it that way).

Eventually, she realized that I was never going to love her and she realized that I was always going to love the other woman, so my back-up plan walked out of my life later that year. But I lost them both — simply because I wasn’t willing to make the tough choice that I had to make.

When I talked with Ashley Saturday, I gave her two pieces of advice. If you’re sure you love one of them, choose him over the other one, even if the other choice is more stable and seems like more of a “sure thing.” There’s a reason that most of our songs in life are about intense love, lost love and being desperate for real emotional connection.

She was hoping the first woman would be out of the picture and she could finally have me.

I felt guilty, loving one but not wanting to hurt the other.

Although the specifics of her story are very different from what happened to me, the feelings she described were enough to remind me of where I was four years ago this month. She has two men who want to marry her, but she can’t decide what to do.

She’s dated both of them, but the relationships have been very different. She saw things in him that she knew needed work — for both of them. There aren’t the highs and lows, but there also isn’t the magical connection.

I knew she was going to be hurt, but I had no idea what the night was going to be like.