I think I’m obsessed with a co-worker.
My job is project work with others for about a month, then moving onto new projects/people.
I first worked with this guy a year ago, then on another project where the work was complicated, intense, and stressful.
He was attractive. His intelligence and career level made him more appealing. He’s 32, and I’m 23.
Towards the project’s end I found him somewhat patronising and hot-tempered, so later, I avoided him.
Deep down I wanted another project with him to prove to him that I’m good at my job.
When I did get a new project with him, it went well and he was nice to me throughout.
Yet whenever I met with him my hands would shake.
I realised I must have a crush on him and became really depressed for a week when I found out he’s married and his wife works in a different department of the same company.
I started looking him up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as doing Google searches to find out more about him and his life.
I regularly checked his social media, though he keeps it all private.
I even studied his arrival time to avoid passing him in the corridor. If he passed my desk I’d look busy.
But I still wanted to work with him again.
Recently, he hasn’t been in the office (we travel a lot for work) and I’ve started to think less about him, but I got depressed when I saw his wife who’s very pregnant. I managed to brush it off.
I just learned he’s leaving the company soon.
I’m devastated and realise I really do have an obsession. I know now that it’s fun fancying someone and trying to avoid them but secretly hoping our paths will cross. But soon that won’t happen again.
I’ve crushed on colleagues before but don’t know why this one affected me so much.
Will it go away once he’s left?
There’s a younger guy at work who I really do fancy but I don’t wake up thinking about him or feel awkward around him. I seek him out and enjoying talking to him. So why does the 32-year-old make me so nervous?
Crushes are fairly common and innocent, obsessions are deeper and can be emotionally disturbing, even dangerous.
You dug into this obsession when you assumed he thought little of your work. You determined to impress him. It wasn’t just about him, but about your own self-esteem.
Meanwhile, there’s a guy whom you like with whom you can have a chance for a normal relationship, if he feels the same way (and isn’t married).
But if you can’t get past your intense focus on the man who’s leaving, and continue to check his whereabouts and life, get counselling help.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man, 60, who called his 15-year marriage “loveless” (June 5):
Reader – “His wife’s disinterest in sex doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t love him.
“A large percentage of post-menopausal women suffer from vaginal dryness, causing very painful intercourse.
“I've tried everything (estradiol, homeopathic and herbal solutions. I'm not a candidate for hormone therapy.)
“Losing estrogen is a harsh and unwelcome process of aging for women.
“My husband and I have tried to accept it and come up with alternatives.
“Communication is very important so the male partner doesn't take it personally and feel rejected and unloved.
“There are other ways to be intimate.”
FEEDBACK Regarding older man/younger woman marriages (June 16):
Reader – “My father was 63, my mother not yet 22 when they married. She was his third wife, the previous two having died (of childbirth fever and stroke, respectively.)
“The second wife was 12 years older than him. They apparently had a long and happy marriage until her death.
“My father was older than both of my mother's parents and had a daughter several years older than her.
“They had three children - I'm the oldest - and were very happily married for 32 years, the longest of his three marriages.
“It was a very egalitarian marriage with no abuse, adultery, drunkenness, or financial irresponsibility.
“Four of my mother's sisters who married more conventionally were divorced after enduring many of the above.
“The fifth, married for 50 years, said near her life’s end, that her only regret in life was that she’d stayed with her husband!”
Tip of the day:
Crushes can be harmless, but obsession with someone can become a serious problem for you both.