Ask Shan Tell'emJET Love

Love Advice: Playing With Fire?

Dear Shan Tell’em,

So I met this bartender at my favorite gay bar a few months ago, and right away I was attracted. My friends were trying to get me to hook up with her, but she kept saying she had a girlfriend. Long story short, we ended up going out and have been seeing each other for a couple of months now. We are even planning a group trip together. During the time we’ve known each other, her girlfriend proposed. She accepted, but when we are together, we are both very flirty and touchy and have great deep conversations. She even told me she never goes out with people from the bar, but she saw how loving I was with my friends and became attracted to me. Whenever we hang out and it’s time to say goodbye, we usually give each other a kiss on the cheek and a long hug after. But this time, she kissed me on the mouth. I don’t want to read too much into this, but she knows that I am totally smitten so I feel like she was trying to signal something with that kiss. The other day I finally got a chance to meet her fiancée at an event. She was definitely pleasant to me and friendly, but kept her distance. We also had some major eye contact going on the entire time. Is she just getting her kicks and trying to mindf*** me??? Help!


Playing With Fire

Dear Playing With Fire,

I’m advising you to leave this woman alone for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being that she is engaged and they don’t seem to have an open arrangement. If they did, that would be different. From how your story reads, it sounds like you’re dealing with a master manipulator. She said that she was in a relationship, but is creeping around with you. True, she might not “usually” hook up with people at the bar she works at, but she does. It just has to be the RIGHT person, which could mean a lot of things.

She had the audacity to bring you around a woman whom she plans to marry, which is not only deceitful, but downright disrespectful. Mixed Signal Queen much? All of her moves are calculated, and frankly some of the oldest tricks in the book. People who cheat usually either keep their extra partner(s) away from their significant other, or they bring them around to show that they are harmless “new friends” in order to be able to spend more time with them one-on-one without raising an eyebrow.

Another thing. She knew that you were interested in getting to know her on a romantic level from jump and that her being linked to someone else did not bother you. You expressed your feelings first in a very upfront manner, giving her ammunition to use that to her advantage. Time spent, acts of affection and bringing you into her circle are her ways of keeping you on a string. And by the looks of the question you asked me, it’s working.

Instead of trying to figure out if she’s into you, look at how she is playing you. Someone whose actions do not match his/her words is to be watched with caution and not to be trusted. To answer your question, yes, she is interested in you. You have chemistry and a connection and you both enjoy spending time together. Despite all of that, if she really was FOR you, you’d know it. It wouldn’t be a guessing game, or you wouldn’t wonder if she is mindf*****g you. And she DEFINITELY wouldn’t be planning a wedding with someone else.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Your turn: Got a question for Shan Tell’em? Email us at or simply comment in the section below! And don’t forget to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 3PM CST for a live discussion on love and relationships. Keep up with the conversation via the #AskShanTellem hashtag. 

love pic

Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, EBONY, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at