28 December 2008

I have a crush on my coworker but she wants us to be friends

I have a crush on my coworker but I found out from her that she likes her ex’s best friend and he likes her back and that she’s going through some problems with her ex about this. When I confessed my feelings to her, she said that she was really sorry and didn’t know what to say.
She also told me that she doesn’t know me long enough to say whether I’m her type or not and that I was a really cool and understanding person. Then she asked me if we could be good friends or not. When I told her that we’ll see, she goes ‘ You cant be friends with someone you like?’.
I told her that I’ll be around if she wants to talk or take things off her mind. Now the thing is, my friend told me if she only talks about herself for the next few weeks or doesn’t ask me to hang out then I should ditch her because it’ll be clear that she’s using me. I agree with him but I would also like your opinion on this as well. Is she trying to make use of me or is she trying to scrape out who I really am?

Rimma Orenman

Hello Victor,

Thank you for writing in to Alterheros. If I understand correctly, you are asking for advice regarding how to handle a situation wherein you would like to date a coworker but she is unsure of her feelings toward you.

Let me start by congratulating you on your first step. You did well by telling her how you feel. It is also important that you did not pressure her, and made it clear that if she needed to talk, you would be there as a friend. I think your coworker may be going through a difficult time, and so a friendly ear is something very important at this time.

I have a question for you. You said she was a “crush”. Does this mean that you feel very attracted to her? That you have seen her at work, perhaps how she dresses, how she talks, how she interacts with others, and thought she was an interesting person and that you would like to get to know her better? I think that if she says she does not know you well enough to know if you are “her type,” perhaps the two of you have not spent much time talking together. And so spending the next few weeks chatting casually over coffee may help you, as well as her, decide whether you would want to pursue the relationship further romantically or if the other person may just remain a friend.

Now if the two of you will decide to pursue your relationship physically, I would encourage you to talk together about the meaning this would have for both of you–whether you see it as a one time thing, a casual sexual encounter, or the beginning of a serious relationship, it is important that both of you know how the other person feels, in order to prevent disappointment and conflict as much as possible.

Now… what to do if your coworker “only talks about herself”… This really depends on you and on the role you decide to take on. If you decide that you want and can be her friend for some time, and she is going through a rough time, then perhaps it is actually acceptable for her to talk a lot about herself, as long as you feel acknowledged and appreciated. If you bring up one of your own problems, does she empathize? Do you do things together that both of you like? Do you have fun together? Or do you only do things that she wants? If you do not feel appreciated in your friendship with her, then she is not a friend worth having.

On the other hand, if you are really looking for “dating” right from the start and you are unprepared to hear her talk about other guys, then it is also up to you to let her know how you feel and not continue going out with her.

Since this is somebody who works with you, I would suggest that you try talking things out as much as possible, in order for you to retain good working relations together, even if your friendship or your romantic relationship does not work out.

Good luck, I hope this helps, and please write in if you have any other questions!

Rimma, for AlterHeroes.