Don't pursue people already in relationships!

During my first semester in college, I clicked with a girl who, to my displeasure, was already in a long-term relationship.

If you saw us together, you would probably assume we were a couple. I played with her hair. She looked for me on campus before class. We'd laugh and joke around incessantly. Her behavior struck me as flirtatious, and I always felt that beneath the surface she had feelings for me that went beyond the platonic variety.

There I was, on the verge of falling for someone who could not offer anything more than friendship. For the remainder of the semester, I held out hope that our unmistakable chemistry would prompt her to break up with her boyfriend for me.

Alas, it didn't happen. She remains loyal to her now-husband to this day, and I'm happily married to my wife. Though things worked out for both of us, I was very disappointed then that I could not pry a great girl from another guy's arms.

I learned a valuable lesson from this experience: Chasing after someone who's already in a relationship is a big mistake. There's no guarantee they'll ever break up with their partner -- as I learned the hard way.

It can be easy for us to misread signals when we feel attracted to someone. Perhaps I mistook her friendliness for something that was never there in the first place, at least not on her end. Some people are naturally friendly -- maybe a little too friendly -- and it can inadvertently give others the wrong idea.

Should you write off someone in a relationship completely? Not necessarily, but you most definitely should not devote all your time and energy to them.

Meet and date other people. Expand your options. If you close yourself off from the dating world, you risk becoming too emotionally attached to someone who may never come around.

You may end up feeling hurt, bitter, and regretful that you didn't invest your time and emotions on someone who was actually available.

If he or she breaks up with their partner and comes running into your arms, more power to you!  However, you can't put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to love -- not until you're sure that person is ready to commit to you.

Have you ever fallen for someone who was already in a relationship? What happened?

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