Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Handling A Crush,” of July 8:
My married brother (with whom I work in a family business) has been acting very friendly and even flirty with the new girl we hired.
She’s just out of college and very sure of herself, even though she’s new on the job.
Maybe it’s because of her great figure, and she’s pretty too, she knows that men are attracted to her.
I’ve seen my brother standing way too close. He’s been “showing her around” the area at lunchtime and coming back late, etc.
I don’t think it’s become an affair, but I’m worried.
What can I say to him without accusing him of something and making him angry with me? We have a very good working relationship.
It should be acceptable, in a good business relationship, to say something non-accusing but real… such as, “You seem distracted at work, which is unlike you. Is there a reason? Anything we can talk about?”
If you’re close, he might open up about being attracted to her. Or not. But he’ll privately realize that his actions are visible and he should re-think what he’s doing.
If the optics begin to look more worrisome, suggest that you two have an after-work meeting.
Once alone, describe objectively what you see is going on, tell him you care about him and his family, and ask if he has a plan for handling the fallout of where this flirtation may all go.
His crush may’ve progressed towards an affair, in which case try to have a reality-check conversation about what he sees for the future.
Try to bring him back to earth about the practical course of such liaisons – what may be just a fling to him and the young worker can potentially devastate his family.
My daughter keeps talking about her crush on her boyfriend at college. I hear signals of everything I would’ve warned her against if I’d met him first.
He brags about being an athlete (though he doesn’t participate in any college sport). He misses classes he finds “useless,” and leans on her tutoring him to get through some courses.
He tells her what clothes, makeup, etc. to buy (he never buys her a gift, but frequently encourages her to spend my money since I support her).
She’s crazy about him. If I openly criticize him, I can push her closer. How do I fight a blind crush?
You’re a Wise Mama to know the danger in just trying to come between her and this guy. Out of pride, she’d feel almost obliged to prove you wrong.
Her boyfriend sounds controlling. If he realizes you’re set against him, he’ll manipulate her into thinking that you’re the one trying to control her.
It can become a dangerous battle of wills with her caught in the middle.
She’s NOT blind, so gently help her open her eyes and see this guy more clearly.
Invite him to your home, be gracious, and let her see how he handles himself and responds to your family members.
Talk to him without judgment, showing interest in his goals and his plans to reach them. Do this when your daughter can also hear what he says.
Also, in private with your daughter, be prepared to listen to her reasons for caring for him, and to not overreact.
Once she doesn’t have to defend him, she won’t be “blind” to anything that bothers her about him.
I met and felt an instant vibe with a woman in my profession. But we were then both married.
I never forgot her. When I separated, I sought her out at professional events and we’d talk.
Finally, at a conference, I invited her for a drink. She confessed then that she was unhappily married and had maintained a crush on me.
We’ve been married five years now, grateful for that mutual feeling that we had the potential for something special as a couple.
This was the crush that grew into a romance… over time. Neither of you acted on it frivolously when you were married to others.
And that’s what helped it endure.
Most crushes start with attraction, but the rest is usually fantasy beyond what you actually know about the person.
You two did get to know each other.
You dealt with your marriages until you each knew you had to move on.
Tip of the day:
When a crush leads to an illicit affair, a reality check’s needed regarding the future.