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[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkOrchid]Hi all,

I could do with some advice please. I have gradually been falling for a girl at work. The problem is I don't think two people who work together can also go out with one another - it's too much time together. At work we are best friends. We sit two metres apart and talk a lot (face to face and via e-mail), go out at weekends together, and hold each other in very high regard. She has basically turned my life around since joining the office. She has rescued my dwindling social life, restored my faith in girls, and renewed my confidence and self-esteem.

But I have so far resisted the temptation to think of her in a romantic way. Firstly, I would have never considered that she would be interested in me that way. And secondly there's the whole issue of us working together. There is a couple in our office but from what I can tell their relationship is one of convenience and probably based around sex. I don't want that. I think by now I could have had a one night stand with this girl but that would be awful. If something's going to happen then I want it to be something special with the potential to last.

And I think we're on the verge of it. She's recently split up with her boyfriend who she once described to me as a "project" who needed improvement. She was ashamed for me to meet him. Honestly, I don't know if this fool knew he was born. But he didn't bother me. Like I said, while she was with him I was safe. But now she's single again I'm worried she'll jump into bed with the first guy who fancies his chances. And I'll just be there to be the reliable friend to pick up the pieces as usual. I don't want to miss my chance for another two or three months. It hurts too much.

So I guess I would like people's opinions on whether or not I should instigate something. Like I said, we spend a lot of time together. She recently bought us tickets to a dance night (WiLDCHiLD's 3rd Birthday :cool: ) on the 29th and for once it's just the two of us going. I was double booked and almost decided not to go (the other occasion is a wedding!) but I can't miss out on such an opportunity, even if it only turns out to be a cool night between friends. She told me that I was the only person she could imagine going with. She reckons I'm the only guy she knows who's honest with her :rolleyes:

Lately she admitted to me that she used to think I only came out with her because I fancied her. I did fancy her but not as much as I do now and mainly I liked going out with her because she's so much fun. But that comment made me feel guilty that it was true and that I have been hiding my feelings (to myself and her). And this is something that I have been having problems doing lately. Every time we've gone out together in recent weeks we have shared moments of just gazing into each other's eyes and smiling. I haven't done this since I was in love.

It's even started happening at work. And we've also been hugging each other a lot more. The other day we were waiting outside a friend's house and we hugged and we only let go because he turned up in his car with everyone else. I had to try really hard to resist the temptation to kiss her. I'd like to think she did too. We do kiss but only hello/goodbye type kisses. I think she would find it weird if we took it further. She once said she couldn't go out with a colleague. She's also quite cynical of love. I think she knows that I look for love in a relationship and has always been extra resistant towards me because of that.

All I know right now is that I have that feeling in between my belly and my chest that tells me that it's more than a crush. But I don't ever want to spoil our friendship. She's the kind of girl that stays friends with her ex-boyfriends but if things go wrong I don't think we could get them back the way they are now. But then, if she gets a new boyfriend, I'll probably get a lot less attention anyway. I have considered the idea of telling her and finding out if working together is a problem for her. If it is, then I would leave as long as I could be with her. I know that sounds rash but I am an intense kind of guy. Please give me some advice!

Thank you :)[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkOrchid]Thanks for replying everyone :)

Can you tell me any more about your experience, [COLOR=Magenta]madhatter[/COLOR]? My main concern is that we have to work [I]physically[/I] close together.

You're absolutely right that I would regret it if I didn't make a move, [COLOR=Magenta]stacykgb20[/COLOR]. But I'm also worried that if I do act, that she won't reciprocate and that things will never be the same again. But I think you're correct that it doesn't have to be the end of the world if I let her know I am interested and it turns out she isn't. I know she doesn't like it when guys pester her because she's told me about times when that's happened. I wouldn't be a pest. If she let me know that nothing's going to happen then I'll move on. So I don't think any major harm would be done. But we might not see so much of each other and that would be upsetting.

It's funny that you mention being together in an intimate situation. I told her earlier that my parents were going away next week and made a passing comment about being lonely on my own at home. And then she suggested that she came 'round one evening to keep me company. I wasn't even angling after it, but it's amazing. So far I have only been to her house and there's always something or someone getting in the way. It will just be the two of us and it will be great to be alone. I might get a better idea of whether or not she is interested in me.

Sometimes I think she is interested in me, but then I start thinking that she just views me as a very good friend. Today, for instance, we decided to go into town together to get ideas of what to wear for this night of clubbing. To me it felt like we were acting like a couple. I wouldn't generally go into Claire's Accessories and try on pink cowboy hats for any other girl :D We're just so comfortable with each other. But I fear that if we put a label on it and try to develop it then outside pressures will spoil it :confused: Many thanks for your advice and good luck wishes :)

Hi [COLOR=Magenta]reddoorblack[/COLOR], thanks for your input. I haven't really considered what could happen something did develop and then go monunmentally wrong. At the moment it doesn't feel like we could ever seriously fall out but that's because there's not very much at stake and there's no real pressure. But I suppose it could happen. It's happened to me before. However, there are some positive aspects to weigh up against this eventuality.

Firstly, I would [I]never[/I] do anything to deliberately hurt her. And secondly, I've learnt from my one and only previous serious relationship not to expect too much at this young age. In an ideal world I wanted to fall in love with one girl and only ever be with her, in every way. But I know now that that was a very naive aspiration. I've had to become thicker skinned and less open with my thoughts and emotions. Basically, if she did something to hurt me then I would suck it up and get on with life. My running would probably benefit!

[COLOR=Magenta]vintagegirl[/COLOR], I think there may be a degree of her wanting to improve me. She teases me, calling me a hypochondriac (check the post count and go figure ;) ). But I know she finds me stylish, generous, caring, funny, and fun to be with. She once said she wished I would grow my hair a bit, so I did. But I agreed anyway - it was just short for the summer. The thing is, this last guy really was a wreck. He had a pyschologist for his depression, he only enjoyed himself with drugs, and apparently didn't clean his teeth. If anything, I think she sometimes worries that I think [I]she[/I] needs to improve.

The next thing is a tougher area for me to talk about. It hurts me if I'm honest. I worry that she'll jump into bed with someone sooner rather than later because she has never tried to hide how many guys she has been with. Back to the ideal world thing, I would find a girl like me who only ever wants to share such intimacy with one guy. But I've fallen for her now and I have to believe that I can show her a good enough time that she stays interested in me only. She must sound like a horrible person, but she's not. She spent a long time in a bad relationship and she had a lot of catching up to do.

I'm not like that and I never will be. I've had one sexual partner and it nearly killed me when she left me because I believed we would be together forever and I knew she left just because she wanted sex with other guys. If it wasn't for the fact that she promised we would always be together then I would never have slept with her. I wish I was like the majority of people, wanting to sleep with as many people as possible, but I am not. I never want to just have sex. I only want to make love and ideally with somebody who is committed to me long term. But like I said before, I've had to adjust my ideals. I would rather risk being upset again than be single any longer.

Lastly, I know I said I would be willing to leave my job, but it would be very difficult. I was incredibly lucky to land this job and I have recently started training as well (on the company's money). It's a big mess, really :( But I am very good at creating these situations which probably means I will end up initiating something next week. At least I won't be at work then because I am having a week at college. So if something does happen then we will both have breathing space and time to think about it.

I know I haven't been very coherent in my replies but I would be very grateful for further advice. I am going to speak to a couple of friends and probably my dad. It's most likely they will all tell me to go for it because it's not them that have to face the possible bad consequences.[/COLOR][/FONT]
Good luck, EV--you're clearly an unusually intelligent and thoughtful guy who has given this situation lots of careful consideration, and it seems to me that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Only you can make that decision for sure, but for what it's worth, it sounds like there is a pretty good chance that she's interested in you as more than a friend the way she's frequently hugging you and invited herself over to your house once she heard your parents would be gone. I was a lot like this girl, from the sound of things, when I was a little younger and closer to your age--I absolutely loved sex, was open and uninhibited about it, and I was eager to experiment with a variety of guys. I often flirty with my male friends and enjoyed casual hookups, but I'd also pursue certain special guys if I thought they'd make good partners...I had two really serious boyfriends before I entered college, and while things were good with them, they were very intense and gratifying. In both cases, we started out as friends and gradually hung out more and more, then started hanging out alone, and fooling around led us to fall in love and have very serious (for that age, anyway) relationships until I broke them off after several years each. It's interesting and somewhat unusual that your attitude toward sex and emotions is in line with what people consider the stereotypically female view and that your girl's attitude is stereotypically male, but I don't think this is all that uncommon nor does it pose a serious problem. It sounds like she is willing and able to be committed and faithful when in a satisfying relationship, and I think you two could be very happy together. It's actually good that one of you is more sexually experienced and aggressive...that should balance out well. With both of my first two serious exes, I was the one with considerably more experience while they were virgins, and I was also the one who took the lead when it came to sexual experimentation while they were considerably more active than me in advancing the emotional aspects of our relationships. In my experience, while some people who are uptight, repressed, or unhappy may judge girls who like sex with different people and don't feel obligated to always be committed to their partners, it's the judgmental people, if anyone, who are actually bad people. If anything, women who are sexually confident and assertive are more upfront and honest than girls who pretend not to have sexual needs just to conform to societal expectations. In any event, I've had quite a few serious boyfriends (and a number of friends with benefits or more casual relationships), and I have yet to come across a guy who wasn't surprised and delighted to be with a woman who enjoyed sex as much as they did and didn't hesitate to take initiative and express her desires.

I think you will be equally happy if things turn out well with your coworker, and I certainly hope they do! I have a feeling you might definitely get a better sense of whether she wants more than friendship when the two of you get to spend that night alone at your house. If she doesn't give you an obvious physical or verbal indication that she's interested in you, I strongly suggest that you bring up the possibility of getting romantically involved in a casual way, putting as little pressure on her as possible. You should then be able to get a clear read on her feelings about that idea, though you must be sure to evaluate her response objectively and dispassionately rather than seeing what you want to see and ignoring signs to the contrary. I definitely think that this sounds promising, and especially since you're so young, you'd be wise to go for it while doing everything you can to guard against any awkwardness between you guys if she were to say no to your advances. Even if she does though, I highly doubt that it will end your friendship or even put a major, lasting strain on it unless you allow that to happen...as long as you continue to act normal and friendly around her regardless of whether anything romantic develops, you should be fine. As long as you are prepared for every possible outcome, when it comes to matters of the heart, I think it's always better to take a calculated risk than to sit back passively wishing you had the nerve to act and later regretting your failure to take advantage of a great opportunity with someone you really like. One way or another, if you take a chance on her and handle it tactfully, you shouldn't have anything to lose, as you can still stay friends and coexist peacefully as colleagues. And if things go well, then you have the potential to gain a girlfriend, a lover, and a closer friend all at once, which I bet would make both of you very happy. If you do start a relationship, I have little doubt that she’ll care about you enough and be happy enough with you not to have motivation or reason to stray…if she’s anything like me, she’s perfectly happy being faithful as long as she’s in a fulfilling, committed relationship. And in any event, anyone can end up cheating or betraying you…that’s no reason not to take a risk on someone you really like, especially since she’s probably a wonderful lover who can teach you a great deal about pleasing her and women in general. I think your odds are pretty good and that putting your heart on the line here has a much bigger potential upside than downside, so I hope you go for it and succeed—I certainly wish you the best of luck regardless! :)
Hi there Erimus,

While I'm not too proud to admit this, I can totally understand where this girl is coming from, and I'm afraid it doesn't bode too well for the outcome you desire. You say that you guys need to figure out where you stand with each other, but it sounds like you have already explained on several occasions how you feel and she's let you know both directly and indirectly that she doesn't want to be anything more than friends. And I do think you're probably right that it was the MDMA that made her kiss you--that makes people want to be affectionate and get physical with anyone they like who is available and in close proximity. From what I remember from my days of going out and partying heavily (I didn't do X but loved coke for awhile there as well as drinking and smoking weed), there were plenty of nights when I was happy to cuddle up at the end with any of my guy friends. Like this girl, I always had a lot of different guy friends, some of whom were purely platonic, some of whom were lovers who I knew very intimately and cared for, and most of whom were somewhere in between friends and lovers, who I was flirty and affectionate with sometimes but never dated or got serious about. Some girls are just naturally inclined to have a lot of different guys around as friends and to give themselves a variety of options when they want to get physical without taking risks with strangers who we can't necessarily trust.

Anyway, I am sorry to say this, because you are such a sweet and sensitive guy who deserves a whole lot more, but this girl is quite obviously not interested in a relationship with you. Like a lot of women, she's shyed away from stating that bluntly, but her reactions make it pretty clear, especially now that she is well aware that you would like to take your friendship to the next level. I have had several really close male friends who let me know that they felt the same way though I didn't reciprocate their feelings, and I always had a tough time trying to let them down gently while preserving our friendship and still being able to be close and affectionate. Looking back this wasn't particularly sensitive or mature of me, but I can definitely recognize the signs, and this is what is unfortunately going on between you and your crush. One guy in particular who was my best friend for years wanted very much to get romantically involved, but I wasn’t attracted to him in that way and was careful to avoid anything more than casual affection…he got increasingly dissatisfied with our platonic friendship and with me dating other guys and eventually couldn’t handle being friends anymore. I think that same decision might be the best move for you in this situation as well because you seem to still have hope that something more than a friendship might develop with the girl you like. And I would hate to see you do what several guys I have known have done and waited around hoping in vain that their female friends who they liked as more than friends would change their minds about taking their relationships to a romantic level, which led to them being very hurt, disappointed, mistrustful of women, and missing out on untold genuine romantic opportunities during the time they wasted hoping their crushes would come around and have changes of heart.

I know you feel strongly for this girl and can’t help caring deeply for her, but you can’t do anything about her not wanting a relationship or not being the type to confine her flirting and hooking up to just one guy…you can only change yourself, and you will be continually frustrated and disappointed if you instead wait around hoping she will change her mind about getting romantically involved with you. While if I was her I would be upset about having my friendship with you cool down considerably, I think that’s what you need to do in order to get over her, move on, and open your eyes and your heart to all the other great women out there who might reciprocate your feelings and be thrilled to develop the kind of relationship you want with you. The more time you spend around your current crush, the more pain and frustration you will experience as she continues to flirt and play around with you but avoids anything more serious or committed. I’m sorry I don’t have more upbeat and optimistic advice for you, but having considerable experience on her side of this kind of situation, I can say with certainty that for the sake of your emotional well-being and overall happiness, you are going to need to get over her, and I highly doubt that can be accomplished by being as close and spending as much time with her (and especially not living together!!) as you have been. Please don’t forget that you are a great guy with a lot to offer and that you deserve nothing less than a girl who enthusiastically and happily agrees to be your girlfriend, rather than one who always keeps you unsatisfied and hanging around on the back burner. Take good care of yourself, and good luck!
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkOrchid]Hey [COLOR=Magenta]goody2shuz[/COLOR] :) Sorry for not responding to your reply in the first place. To answer this question:

[QUOTE=goody2shuz]What exactly do you see that is attractive about this woman that leads you to believe that she is the type of woman who will be good for you, who will be giving, attentive, trustworthy, loving, sensitive, compassionate, and most of all faithful???[/QUOTE]

What I see isn't tangible; it is simply idealised in my imagination. I am becoming increasingly cynical but I am a born romantic and I believe that everyone is capable of falling in love, no matter what their previous attitude towards relationships might have been. I nurture the hope that Sara is slowly falling in love with me and that one day soon she's going to realise it and realise how important it is to hold on to that by showing me some commitment and intending to honour it for the foreseeable future. That's what I hope. And this hope is based, to a certain extent, in a realistic perception of Sara.

She is a giving person; she is not selfish as far as her friends and family are concerned. She could be more attentive (I'll go on to that) where I am concerned but I am sure that if we were officially an item then she would be more attentive to me. Trustworthyness is a sticking point. I know that she has cheated on previous boyfriends, and hasn't come clean. Yep, that doesn't bode well, I know. And she has told me that the main reason she couldn't go out with me is because she wouldn't like to risk hurting me by cheating on me, because she realises how much pain it would cause me. But she has also told me that she really would like to remain faithful if the right guy came along.

I haven't fully allowed myself to discover how loving and commpassionate she can be because I am afraid that I won't want to let go when I find out; I don't doubt she could make me feel incredibly special and, over time, very loved. Her sensitivity, however, is another sticking point, which takes me back to her attentiveness. Sometimes I wonder how she can be so insensitive. The reason why I came to post here was because she is being incredibly insensitive right now :( I last saw her on the 23rd when we finished work early and went to the pub for a Christmas drink. We agreed that we would exchange Christmas presents in the next few days but we didn't make firm plans.

Well, guess what - I've barely heard from her! She invited me for a drink on Christmas Eve but I was busy so I made my excuses. On Christmas Day I sent her a message to wish her Merry Christmas and she replied and asked me what presents I had recieved. So I told her and asked her the same question but she didn't get back to me. No biggy. But on Boxing Day I sent her a message to suggest that we meet up the next day (today) to exchange presents. And I still haven't heard from her. It's been more than a day since I sent the message and she hasn't even acknowledged it. That's where her sensitivity bothers me. I find it extremely rude that she hasn't considered how this must be making me feel!

But the thing is, it's out of character for her. And I know that there's a lot going on in her head, as you may recall from my last post. Last week (after her ex-boyfriend had confessed that he still loves her) she was quiet and guarded. At first I thought I had upset her but she reassured me that we were cool and that she would be alright in due course. Now I am beginning to think that she is not alright and it upsets me that she won't come to me for support and advice. She can trust me to lend an impartial ear, as a friend - nothing more. I hate to think that she feels she can't confide in me because we are now romantically entangled. I'd much rather keep her as a friend and lose her as a potential girlfriend than lose her all together.

[QUOTE=goody2shuz]I know that you find her attractive and perhaps see yourself as saving her from the problems she is facing (which by the way are of her own doing)....[/QUOTE]

Lastly, to respond to the above, I am beginning to realise that she is the maker of most of her problems (something which she had blinded me to in the past). And I don't deny that I do harbour a sense of wanting to be the one to save her. And if we're getting really psychological about this, then I think that notion might stem from my only previous serious relationship. I was deeply in love with a girl with whom I had gone through school and half way through university she left me, claiming she had fallen out of love with me. I gradually found out that she had practically slept with a new guy every month since leaving me, and that she took pride in telling people that she had had sixteen sexual partners (it'll be twenty-plus now).

This nearly destroyed me because (although I knew she wasn't a virgin when we first slept together), she always told me that she wished she had been, and that we would always be together. I only slept with her because I believed that to be true, and now I wish I was still a virgin so I could have back my chance to be a one-woman guy, which is all I ever wanted. So maybe I see Sara as a chance to convert a wayward girl to monogamy and redeem that terrible farce. Or maybe I am just attracted to her because she has cared for me so much over the last year. I don't even know anymore. All I know is that it's 12.45 am and I can't sleep because I have been waiting 27 hours for a reply to a freaking text message![/COLOR][/FONT]





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