Going to work on November 2, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
As a long-time reader (and definitely big fan!) I know you’ve addressed the issue I’m writing about many times, but this time it’s ME so of course this is different (ha-ha). I’m referring to the mega-crush-on-the-guy-at-work saga.
This is the weirdest thing. I’ve worked with this man almost 3 yrs., the last 2 yrs. directly on my team. Our team has 8 people, I’m the only female, and we’re all really close. This already sounds like it could be trouble, huh? Four weeks ago I realized — after all this time — that I absolutely adore him. And yes, he’s definitely worthy of potloads of admiration.
Ok, so I’m thinking, “this is a crush, you can live with it ’til it goes away.” But I actually know it isn’t a crush, and it isn’t going to go away. The harder I try to put this away, the harder it keeps bouncing back up. Best analogy: it’s like trying to hold an air-filled ball underwater. If you hold it down, you can’t see it, but you expend a lot of energy keeping it there, and it bounces up really hard now and then anyway. If you don’t push it under, it just keeps floating around on the top where you have to deal with it all the time. This situation is obnoxious and annoying.
I haven’t said/done anything yet and I’m scared to death to venture out there — what if I ruin a perfectly good relationship, work and friend-wise both? I’m also 8 yrs. older than he is — don’t look it, but certainly feel it from time to time (still a sad commentary in this day and age I feel I have to add that in). Also, I feel pretty confident he feels something for me as well. What that is or how much…???
It’s driving me nuts. I can’t say the heck with it/forget about it, but it’s SO MUCH to risk. I know how to approach him non-threateningly (thanks to your previous great columns) but I break into a cold sweat when I contemplate talking with him about this. Help? Please? Thanks, BG.
Of course you break into a cold sweat. You yourself explain exactly why you should. Given these circumstances, if you weren’t sweating, BG would be.
Let me ask you this: is this “team” arrangement, like, permanent? Or do you guys rotate around? If so, wait. If not, you have my –rare– permission to go for it (that is, approach him non-threateningly). You sound smart, circumspect, and responsible; I imagine you are attracted to same. Not that there are any guarantees, or, as I stated above, any characters that are “all of a piece.” The feelings turn out to be mutual, you see about rejiggering the teams. The feelings turn out not to be mutual, you freak out, then get back to work, more businesslike than ever — even if just to prove to the team that you can deal (or rejiggering teams if necessary/possible). But I just have this sense that you guys can handle it. Not that it won’t be weird, however it goes, but that you can handle it.
Maybe it’s because of your brilliant underwater ball analogy. He should date you just for that.
Let us know what happens.