'Scandal' makes great TV, but it’s brutal in real life

Affairs are all very exciting on TV, but real life affairs aren’t a good idea with more tears than happiness. Photo: Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope, who has an affair with the President, on "Scandal"

SALT LAKE CITY, March 16, 2013 — When you need some friendly advice, write the Ask Angela Column at askangela.dn@gmail.com or through the Ask Angela Facebook page.

Dear Angela: I’ll get right to it: I want to start dating my boss.

He’s attractive, he’s smart and witty and he’s everything that I’m looking for in a partner. We’ve spent a lot of time together at the office and we’ve become more than friends.

We definitely haven’t crossed any lines but were people to find out about our relationship, it could raise some eyebrows. And not just because he’s my boss but up until two weeks ago, he was married.

He has struggled in what he describes as a “loveless marriage,” and now he and his wife are getting separated. You might think the timing is perfect but I worry that if I get involved with him, I’ll take it more seriously than he will. I don’t want a fling and I don’t want to get hurt. I’ve felt something for a while and I really want this to work. Can you offer any perspective on this one? 

Sincerely, Boss Girl

Dear Boss Girl,

Getting hurt in this relationship is a major possibility; some might even say an inevitability, so if you choose to do this, which is highly inadvisable, proceed with extreme caution.

That’s the official answer.

On the real though, how “perfect” is this boss? Is he worth risking your professional reputation? Worth you being the topic of gossip in the office for at least the next six months? Is he worth the anxiety that accompanies checking your phone every 45 seconds to see if you have a new text or a missed call?

And why stop there?

Will you mind wondering if he’s back with his wife? Does he still love her? Did you break up a family? Has he ever been serious about you? Will he ever be serious about you? Are you technically with a married man? How has it come to this? What would your parents think? Is this the girl you want to be?

These aren’t accusations, but they’re legitimate thoughts and questions that, at some point during this rollercoaster, you’re going to encounter.

This scenario sounds a lot like many popular primetime televisions shows. It’s got all the right elements. The addition of a “forbidden love” gives a boost to almost any story line.

Take ABC’s hit show “Scandal” for example. Beautiful and smart Olivia Pope catches the eye of the most powerful man in America, the President of the United States. They enjoy stolen moments together while he endures his wife and carries out his presidential duties. Best plot ever. Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

But here’s the glitch: While this show and others like it are highly entertaining, the protagonist spends 60% of every episode either crying or trying not to cry. It’s usually the woman, she usually wears great clothes and sometimes her name is Olivia Pope and sometimes it’s Meredith Grey, but even on the silver screen, she is miserable. Leave it on TV; don’t make it your life.

Drama will dominate your relationship with your boss. Exciting for a time, fun at first, maybe romantic, definitely dramatic, but in the end? Brutal.

So again, if you’re going to pursue this, proceed with extreme caution, weigh the many risks and be prepared to lose much more than you will gain.

Readers: What do you think? Would you risk it all for “love”?

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Angela Trusty

Angela Trusty brings her great life observations and advice Communities.  Angela also authors   ‘Ask Angela’ which also appears bi-monthly in the Deseret News. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the lucky sibling of 5 sisters and 1 brother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Baltimore will always be her home. 


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