I’m a very educated person with a good job, well put-together, but romantically, I have nothing.
This man and I were co-workers for five years. He’d hint that he liked me, complimented my clothes, said, “anything for you,” with a flattering smile.
My friends believed he liked me, but he was my boss working for the same company.
When he started dating another co-worker, I was extremely jealous. Then, they broke up and the flattery was back on.
I finally asked him out for a drink and he said he was busy, which I understood. So, when I quit the company, I sent him a message asking him out. He never answered.
Now I only get to see him when I visit my friends. I only say Hi or pretend I haven’t seen him.
Whenever I try a new relationship, I leave it hoping the other guy will give us a chance.
Tired of Waiting
That guy is not for you.
But it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. Nor with him.
You’ve had a “crush” with the usual fantasies involved in liking someone based on very little real connection.
His phrase – “anything for you” – meant nothing more than a co-worker/boss saying he’ll get something done.
A workplace crush can be fun, but not when it drags on too long and especially NOT when you invest your self-confidence in it.
Your letter started with a proud assessment of yourself. That’s where your focus should now be, along with determination to put this tired crush behind you, and move forward in your life.
You’ve allowed yourself to see this man as your personal failure, when nothing actually happened.
If you can’t get past this self-defeating attitude, see a therapist to find out the real origin of it (past experiences, negative childhood events?).
Once you finally shake your self-doubts, you’ll be free to give your all to a new relationship.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother whose son’s girlfriend has estranged him from her (March 22):
Reader – “The girlfriend gives no specifics. The mother insists that it’s untrue. Yet she’s now alienated from her son. He also no longer has contact with his friends.
“I’ve seen three distinct cases of this myself. In each, the female involved has borderline personality disorder. They’re fearful of abandonment and create conflict to divide and conquer.
“One reference: Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason.”
Reader #2 – “What the mother describes is the way someone with Malignant Narcissism will gaslight people.
“The odds are enormous that the girlfriend has systematically cut off the man from his family and friends, to feed her own narcissism.
“My own son is currently the victim of a narcissist who, within a very short period of time, cut him off from all previous relationships – ALL family, friends, church and school contacts.
“Ironically, when the victim tries to break free, he or she is “punished” by the abuser doubling down, so they’re more afraid to make contact.
“Unfortunately, there’s very little the mother can do but hope that the son seeks help, and be there for him when he does.”
Ellie - I hope that these two different mental health explanations may encourage people involved in similar circumstances, to learn what’s motivating false accusations and painful estrangements.
I do not, and should not, “diagnose” the cause. That’s the work of trained professional mental health specialists – psychiatrists, psychotherapists, etc. Seek their help.
A year ago, my now ex-husband and I, lived cities apart. I moved to Florida to be closer to my parents and family.
I fell in love with a married man, we separated from our spouses, and have lived together since.
My family immediately said, it’s either them or him. They turned my children against me, saying I chose him over them.
My kids now speak to me, and we’re working on our relationship. But how do I mend things with my parents? They’ve said that so long as I’m with him, they never will.
Family or Love?
You already chose, twice. The first time was to move closer to your parents and family. Remind them of that caring decision. And remind them that, by living apart and moving away, obviously your own marriage had already cooled.
Now you have love and your children’s better understanding. Ask them what more they would wish for you.
Tip of the day:
Don’t let a go-nowhere “crush” limit your self-confidence for another real relationship.