Jim loves Pam

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L wrote:

I’ve been following your website for a couple of months and really enjoy the advice you give. I would love to get your perspective on a situation I am in.

I started a new job in a small dental office in July. 90% of my coworkers are 50+ years old and those in their late 30’s are married and have families. I am a 25 year old, single female and the youngest at the clinic. There is another single guy who is a couple months older than me and we really seem to get along. I enjoy his company because he makes work fun (yes I’m serious), we have a similar sense of humor and we seem to have a lot in common. The trouble lies in the fact that I’m becoming interested in him as more than a coworker/friend. I’ve had crushes (for lack of a better word) on many guys but this feels different. My thoughts for him aren’t mainly sexual like guys in the past. I just crave his presence and want to get to know him better. It feels right and innocent but I don’t want to mistake these feelings for infatuation.  I know this could really get ugly in so many ways. If things were to go bad between us not only would I have to see him every day, I would be expected to have to work along side of him. A part of me also thinks it’s a bit unprofessional and may make others uncomfortable. I plan on going back to dental school in 2 years so it’s not a long term position for me. If things did get bad, me having to quit would be a strong possibility.
Is it inevitable that we hit it off because were the only young, single people there or are we crossing boundaries? How common are inter-office relationships? And more importantly, how often are they successful? I’m not even sure if he feels the same way but I have an inclination that the feelings are mutual. I would really appreciate your point of view and also any advice from others who have been in similar situations.

Thanks, L

L,

I don’t know why people these days seem to rule out relationships at work.  Yes, they can be uncomfortable if the relationship ends, but if you were professional BEFORE and DURING the relationship, you should very well be able to keep the professional atmosphere if the relationship ended.  If you like the guy and aren’t even making this a long term career, I’d say tell him how you feel (unless it breaks company policies).  Inter-office relationships are pretty common these days, I’ve had three in fact.  As far as success, it’s not the working together that makes or breaks the success rate, it’s the people.  If you are both ready for a relationship, it’ll work.  Be sure of your attraction though.  Talk to him and find out how he feels before you get too into him.  If he’s simply “prox hot” (proximity hot..the attraction people sometimes develop to people they work with), you may be left empty handed.

I am answering this from TX.  I am here for work and trapped in a giant concrete motel with rather crappy wi-fi and cell service, so I’ve had to write whenever I get a signal so I hope this isn’t too scattered as far as responses go.  Good luck!

Sean

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Holy lord..

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Annie wrote:

I’ve been sleeping with this guy, let’s call him John.  We met at a club through a friend of mine and hit it off.  We’ve been sleeping together for about 6 months but don’t have a relationship because I don’t believe in labels.    We’ve done more than just sleep together though.  We spend time together, go out, and just ahve fun with our friends, but recently I went for a girls weekend and ended up sleeping with an ex of mine.  I told John and he was concerned, but wasn’t upset because we weren’t dating because I don’t like that label stuff.

He is a really cool guy and we click, but both of us have a history of being “promiscuous” and we both know about it.  Because his list is bigger than mine, I usually make him put in the most effort into spending time with me because I want to make sure he’s the one who is interested.  I already know he’s interested in me.

I don’t usually want a relationship because I don’t like answering to anyone, and I don’t divest emotional stuff either.  For some reason though, I don’t want John seeing anyone else, but I don’t want a relationship, but I don’t want to end things with him.  I am a mess really, I guess I don’t know how to do a relationship.  Am I in one?  Does he like me?  Should I put in the effort?

Annie

Holy Lord Annie, I tried to fix your broken sentences, spelling, and slang the best I could so I hope I got your message across correctly.  From the looks of what you wrote me, you like a guy but aren’t used to being serious with anyone.  My first message to you is STOP SLEEPING AROUND.  It’s how diseases are spread.

My second tip for you is if you like him, tell  him.  Find out what he wants to do about it.  Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.  You’ll never see a rainbow if you walk through life with your eyes closed.  There is no harm in telling someone how you feel and if it doesn’t work, there is no harm in having tried it.

You aren’t in a relationship until both sides agree that is the situation, so you need to talk with him.  If he’s making effort (by the way-you need to make some effort here too regardless of his list), he likes you..how much he likes you remains to be seen.  I think it’s time you grew up and had an adult conversation with this guy.

Sean