Meeting Thomas at a social event, Danielle admits she could barely contain her excitement. He was handsome, smart and a doctor. "When he asked for my number, there wasn't even a second thought to give him my card," shares the 35-year-old financial analyst. The two exchanged flirty texts for about a week before he formally asked her out.
The date was at a local pub in New York City, where they chatted over a plate of fries. "He told me all about his journey to become a doctor and I was totally hooked." Danielle admits she was dreaming about how many kids they'd have together, and how a doctor would be in bed.
Then asked an innocent question about where he lived.
"Even though he was in his thirties, I thought that he may still live with his family, to save money to pay off his school loans." She was thrown for a major loop over his answer.
"I live at home. With my wife. I’m married," he paused, "and I have three kids." Bewildered, Danielle could only respond, “Do you have a picture of your children?”
Once you find your jaw on the floor and pick it up, what should you say in that predicament?
"If you're on a date, and the guy you've been seeing casually brings up the fact that he has a wife, you're obviously going to go into internal (maybe even external) panic mode," says relationship expert Lori Bizzoco, executive editor of CupidsPulse.com. "You definitely don't want to hide the fact that you're furious about his lack of information, but in order to maintain your composure and act like the wonderful lady that you are, address it calmly and walk away."
While Ashley Madison may have made it mainstream to cheat on your spouse, it’s always a shock to learn your date has already taken his vows.
“If you are with a man who just told you that he's married, he is most likely doing it to see your reaction and get your approval,” to move forward with this would-be affair, Lori says.
He may be fulfilling his fantasy for forbidden love, especially when intimacy in a marriage starts to fade or the marriage becomes mundane. “For many men, they think that a mistress fills their desires and fantasies. It makes sense visually since she isn't the one taking care of the home, his children, cooking his dinner and cleaning the house,” she explains.
Rochelle, 45, found herself in a similar situation with a semi-famous reporter. “Of course I was flattered," she says of being stopped on the street by a celebrity. "He asked me to join him for a drink. I couldn't--but I gave him my number." The texting was fast and furious, with him asking for sexy pictures (she refrained from sending anything too risque).
They finally met for drinks on an outside patio. During the course of the conversation, she asked him about whether he had grandchildren, since he was about 10 years older than her. He responded that his youngest child was still in the home, with him and his wife. "I then realized that he had been sitting on his right side when I first met him and hadn't seen his wedding ring," Rochelle says. "I excused myself to the bathroom, and texted a friend whose response was ‘hell to the no--get out of there now.’"
"Your reaction should be to run very far away," Lori concurs. "Do you want to be second best? Do you want to be a secret lover? Do you want a man who lies and cheats?”
It’s best to ditch the situation before it gets too involved. "It will only get worse if you continue and your self-worth will diminish, no matter how much he tells you he loves you. Find someone who is available and can love you fully," Lori advises.
That’s exactly what Rochelle did. "Though I did text that I would love to meet a single version of him--did he have any single friends,'" she laughs.
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Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.