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Drama Mamas: Unrequited romance

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We've dealt with relationship difficulties and online cheating before, but this week our letter writer has neither of those problems. The issue is that he has an admirer who seems to wish that weren't the case.
Hi

I have a problem in my guild and don't really know how to resolve it without hurting someone's feelings.

Basically I'm a married man who's partner doesn't play WoW but I still love her regardless 😜. My guild is a friendly social guild but I mostly do pvp (not important but explains my bouts of free time) so when I'm not pvp'ing I tend to help other members of the guild either by helping run dungeons or guiding them around The place.
But recently one of the members I have helped seems to have taken a serious shine to me and I'm not sure what to do about it as I have never made it a secret that I'm married but this woman seems to either not know this or not care. Problem is I know from other guild sources that she has had it rough in the past and I feel rather than just being blunt with her or moving guild (tempting choice 😏) I feel I need to be more delicate in my dealings with her so as to minimise the damage as she is a well known and popular member of the guild.

Please help

Lost mage
Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: The genders here make an interesting dynamic. If she were a he and you were a she, we might be having another "unwanted sexual attention" conversation. Of course, I don't know how explicit Ms. Enamored is being. Is she flirting? Is she making advances? Is she just being adoring and wanting to spend time with you? Regardless, she feels romantically for you and her feelings are not returned, but she remains diligent about trying. That's not good behavior on her part. She's not caring about your feelings and yet you want to spare hers. You're a good person, but you're not doing her any favors.

You must have The Talk.

I don't care how bad her love life has been; if you are not available, you have to let her know and you have to ask her to stop. Yes, say it nicely, but you have to be firm, else you are stringing her along and that is much worse than bluntly telling her to buzz off. To be clear, I'm not telling you to be blunt, but if you don't communicate fully and firmly with her, she will just be hurt even more when she finally realizes she's been wasting her feelings on you. So, privately and gently, tell her that you're married and you are not interested in anything romantic from anyone. Tell her that you hope she'll respect your wishes and keep everything on a just friends basis from now on.

Whatever you do, don't sugar coat it with compliments or offers of being a confidant. Anything but arms length with Ms. Enamored will just give her hope. Don't say "If I were free, I would be interested because you're blah blah blah" or "It's very tempting, but ..." or "You're such a great person, but ..." or "It's not you, it's me." or anything even remotely like that. You're married. You're not interested. That's it. The clearer you make it, the sooner she can move on.

Now, she may not react well, regardless of how gently you put this. She may feel or pretend to feel that you have led her on. Or she may be one of those people (both genders) who enjoy the challenge of stealing someone from someone else and therefore may not stop. You seem amenable to switching guilds, so if she handles your rejection badly, leaving would be a kind thing to do. You can of course stay in contact with any guildies you were particular friends with via Battletags -- just make sure Ms. Enamored doesn't acquire yours.

Unfortunately, while this advice is best for you and best for her, it may very well cause drama if she wants to take it there. You can only control your own actions. Just remember, she's the one who is behaving badly here and try not to feel guilty. The fact is, it's not you, it's her.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: All solid advice from Robin. I wouldn't make any moves at all, though, until I'd run another systems check for crossed wires. What's inappropriate romantic pressure to one person is an innocuous flirtation to another. That's not to say you shouldn't still let her know it's not your style -- you should -- but if she doesn't actually have romantic aspirations toward you, you'll be creating a mortifyingly awkward situation by painting things in that light.

Back on the home front (and whether or not your guildmate is indulging in an innocent flirtation or pursuing something more wishful), I wonder if you've ever talked with your wife about flirting. Does she think it's OK for married people to flirt? Does she flirt? Would she be amused or angry if you flirted? She may find it perfectly normal that someone is flirting with you. After all, she already finds you attractive -- why wouldn't other women, too? If your worries about your WoW situation are based on what you fear your wife might think, you may be completely off base. At any rate, the situation offers a perfect opportunity to talk about her feelings about flirting and come to an understanding you can apply throughout your marriage.

To the many happy years ahead!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Drama Mamas

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