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Help! I'm Falling For My Boss
Dear Armchair Psychologist, OK — so — about a year ago I got a new boss at work. He is one of the handsomest men I've ever met. From the first second that we met and started talking, it felt like we'd known each other forever. If we weren't enjoying the conversation so much, we probably would have guessed that within an hour we would be splurging all about our personal lives and issues in our marriages that were very similar to each other. We really enjoy each other's company and we're almost inseparable at work — lunch every day — I hang out in his office to chat — he hangs out in mine. My team has noticed that we are together all the time and gives me a jab about it every so often in good humour. Anyhow, I have fallen for this person REALLY hard.I try not to show it at all because A) He's my boss B) he is still married (unhappily, but married for his kids sake nonetheless), C) I'm separated from my husband but still married and D) we are such close friends and I feel like showing or doing anything to jeopardize that wouldn't be worth it for all the reasons above. BUT that doesn't change the fact that I'm completely infatuated with him.I know he likes me a lot as a friend but I'm not confident at all that he has romantic feelings there. I could be wrong, I guess, but I don't think so. Whenever we spend a lot of time together he will often go quite cold for a couple of days out of the blue which I've noticed happens consistently. I guess maybe he feels like our relationship is heading down a more complex road and he purposefully steps away from me… anyhow, I feel creepy about it but can't help how I'm feeling. I have some time away by myself to think about it now so thought it would be great to get a complete outsider to the situation to provide their thoughts.– Distraught At Work
Dear Distraught At Work
I'm sorry to hear you're in such a pickle; this is a very complex and nuanced situation. I can imagine you must have been toiling over what direction to take and it's completely understandable given the dangerous elements involved in this issue; your profession, your reputation, and even your heart is on the line here.
I think it's important that you're aware that the advice I dispense here may not be the best, as I haven't seen, nor understood how you and your boss interact, behave at ease, or complete each other. There are many variables in this, and it's a very complex, dangerous scenario. It's easy to judge this situation as unprofessional, but simply take a look ex-President Obama who married his mentee and have lived happily ever after, and one can conclude that love can occur in the most unsuited scenarios:)
The thing that concerns me most about your case is the fact that you're experiencing trepidation about your Boss' intention — and you, yourself, "feel creepy" when he doesn't reciprocate and goes cold. My advice is A) gather more information about him before you try to move in any direction. For example, does he ever intend on leaving his wife in this unhappy marriage or is he in a permanent marriage? Is he planning on staying married for the children's sake until they go to college? The more information you can get, the better you'll be able to gauge what is realistic for your future without throwing your career, reputation, and heart into a dangerous gamble. B) Can you change the reporting relationship so that you may not affect your employment? According to this great article in Psychology Today, "It may be acceptable to have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, as long as those involved are professional about it, but it is not advisable to have a romantic relationship when there is a workplace power differential. When you're the CEO, a power differential exists with everyone else in the company. This type of relationship is a potential powder keg waiting to explode." C) Perhaps it's a good idea to explore with a qualified therapist if you have a history of engaging unattainable, unavailable men? Again, you have lots of work ahead of you that doesn't involve sweaty palms and love struck dialogue, so get to it!
- The Armchair Psychologist
Help! My Friend Is A No-show!
I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship. I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision, and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that –– you and your friend have history. So let her be history!
– The Armchair Psychologist
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WRITTEN BYUbah Bulale