Magazine

Love Letters

I’m crushing on a co-worker at my new job. But she’s married

And I’m in a relationship, too. How do I get her off my mind?

Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. I started a new job six months ago. I always lock eyes with this woman who works in the same area. When our eyes meet, it’s so intense. We always talk and laugh, and she makes me smile every time I see her. I would say we flirt some, but it’s subtle and on a classy level (I am very respectful). She is just so genuine. I can’t get her off my mind.

I never thought brown eyes could be so bright. That’s just how I feel.

The issue with this: I have been in a relationship for years and she is married. I know it’s wrong of me to feel this way. But the way we interact tells me we are both crushing on each other. More than anything, I’m writing this letter to process this for myself, but some speculation about what’s happening from a third party would be some really helpful insight.

— Feelings

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A. What’s happening? You’re attracted to a married co-worker. It happens. The end.

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You don’t have to act on these feelings. You don’t have to amplify them by thinking about them all the time. Please remember that over the life of a long relationship, you’re bound to have crushes on other people and vice versa. They don’t have to mean much. You can wait them out until they go away.

It’s worth thinking about your real relationship and why you said nothing about it in this letter. This new person in your life has made you feel so romantic. Is it possible to have feelings like that for your partner? You’re asking for speculation, but the only relationship I’m making guesses about is the one you seem so willing to summarize in one sentence.

As you consider all of this, please remember that you don’t know what this work crush is thinking. What you perceive as flirting might be something far less exciting. She’s your co-worker at a new job. Maintain and respect boundaries.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Dude, this is wrong on so many levels. One: She is a co-worker, and you’re at a new job. Two: She is married. Three: You’re not single. Enjoy the flirtation FOR WHAT IT IS. Don’t go blowing up several people’s lives over a dalliance. GDCATCH

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Four: Some people just have super flirty personalities and the letter writer might be completely misinterpreting his/her crush’s personality. SURFERROSA

And as Mere said, I’m wondering why you breezed past your own relationship with barely a mention. JARAJOE

You are choosing to stare at her and “lock eyes.” Stop that. Yes, you have control over your muscles (including those of your eyes), your will, and some other things. Do not seek her out for personal chats (beyond the passing hi/how are you) or to have a little drinkie alone after work. If we do not feed an obsession eventually it will fade. JIVADIVA

This reminds me of a story a friend told me years ago. He was out with friends in a bar, watching the Pats game on TV. After about an hour, some random girl that was standing under the TV walked up to him and said “I noticed you have been watching me, I think we have chemistry.” He paused for about 10 seconds, looked at her and said, “Um . . . what? I was watching the TV.” She left the bar immediately. Sometimes perception is not always reality. HAPPYDAZED

This is my 10th year with the web’s love lorn. Join in the angst by sending a letter to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.