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HELP! I'm in Love With my Boss
Dear Armchair Psychologist,Hope this email finds you well. I was hoping you could give me some advice on my current very complicated situation. I work in a 5-star hotel, and met our new general manager a few months ago. The moment I met him there was an immediate connection and I was attracted to the idea of being with him for a long time...Long story short, we spent quite a lot of time together after that, because I was in the process of getting a big promotion thanks to him. He sees potential in people and that motivated me so much and made me so confident. In the time I spent in his office or him coming to say hello, we would talk about all sorts of things, we became good friends. He also told me after a while that he has never had such a good relationship with anyone at work. I was intrigued. And then all of the sudden the flirting started. It was very exciting.And then shortly after that we started texting and within a few days we were talking like we were in love. I have very strong feelings for him, but I'm afraid I was more in love with the idea of him and now that it is a reality, it's different.I am back at work again after spending the weekend thinking of him constantly and talking over the phone a lot. But I can't help but to feel absolutely sick about the whole situation. I don't know if it is just my fears coming to light or it is because it was wrong of me to fall for him.I don't think I've felt this way about anyone before, but I feel sick to my stomach. And I am so scared things won't work out and I will lose my job. Or things become so uncomfortable at work, because I report to him directly as well. So I just don't know what to do. I hope you can give me some advice to put my mind to ease.- Love Sick
Dear Love Sick,
I'm sorry to hear that you're agonizing over this burgeoning love story with your boss. These situations can prove to be very complex and there are rarely any easy answers. Don't beat yourself up too much, it is not your fault where your heart leads to. Many years ago, I too used to lust for my boss, but thankfully he was professional enough to turn me down.
You say that you think of him constantly, you speak often and you're in love with him. You also say you're worried about losing your job should this love story take a bad turn. These are all legitimate points. Traditionally, it is advisable for co-workers to maintain professionalism should they have a workplace romance. For someone who is a boss, it is almost always advisable to not engage romantically in the workplace with any of their direct reports given the uneven power dynamics, and in this case your boss is certainly using bad judgement.
Many companies have strict guidelines regarding workplace romances and oftentimes these are offenses that can get a person fired. However, as I mentioned in this previous post, in some cases as in Michelle and Barak Obama's case, (where she was his boss), a workplace romance might lead to the love of your life?
I suggest two things: 1) Read your employment contract carefully to see if there are any clauses wherein you'd get fired for engaging romantically in the workplace and 2) See if you can move to a different division so that you report directly to someone other than you boss/lover? This way you can explore the relationship without worrying about a potential backlash. I also strongly advise that you speak to a qualified professional regarding your conflicted feelings of the "whys" of your attraction to your boss, including the feelings of shame and guilt.
- The Armchair Psychologist
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WRITTEN BYUbah Bulale