Question: I work at a very small company. Several months ago, I noticed that one of the managers (not my direct supervisor) is attracted to me. I’m really attracted to him too, so I proceeded to ask him out. He politely declined, pointing out that he is married and that he is one of the heads of the company.
After that, I tried to forget about it, but he persisted in showing an interest in me. I asked him again and got the same reply. Again, I tried to forget about it.
At work, we all have lunch together and I constantly get the hint from colleagues that we don’t keep secrets. I assume that’s an indication they think I should ask him out in front of everyone. That makes me uncomfortable. I talked to some co-workers about this and asked if that is a proper way of asking someone out at the company. They didn’t reply, acting as if they’d never suggested I do such a thing.
Is asking out a superior publicly the proper policy for dating in a company? I’m sure I’m not imagining everything.
Need to Know
Answer: There’s been nothing “proper” about either your approach or your reading of people. When someone says he has two reasons for not dating you — the fact that he’s married and your boss — what he is telling you is NO!
Asking him out in the first place was brazen. A second time was pushy. Taking it public would be downright stupid.
You’ve been wrong every step of the way, even in what you’ve imagined. The man is showing kindness, not interest. And let’s be clear here: When you “ask out” a married man, you’re asking for a sexual affair. That’s all he has to give if he’s staying in his marriage.
In a small company, you’re pursuing self-destruction. Unless you cool your jets and stop any further approaches to him, you’ll be looking for another job.
Question: This fellow took me out and shortly after I moved in with him. He is a widower and I thought we had something good. But when I asked him where he went on Saturday nights, he told me about his mistress.
They’ve been together for 35 years, on Saturday nights only, even when he was married. His wife of 40 years died two years ago. He cheated on her, and now he’s cheating on me.
We no longer live together but still go out twice a week. But we don’t go to each other’s houses any more. I’m getting fed up, so I’m looking for someone else — someone who’s loving and honest.
We’re both over 75, so cheating doesn’t just happen to younger people.
Answer: When there’s a choice between having company or having self-respect, age doesn’t matter. What’s important is being aware of what you can handle without losing confidence or getting upset or depressed. Mental well-being and self-worth are too valuable to ignore in favour of “being a couple” with someone who makes you feel second rate.
Loneliness is also tough, but there are countless community-based events and activities where you can meet people. Or else look to faith organizations, volunteer opportunities, courses, special-interest groups, etc.
Do not sell yourself short. Even if you are only dating now, you know this guy disappears on Saturday nights. The mistress is his armour that keeps him emotionally protected, even during all those years when he was married.
Get out and meet other people. Women and younger people are also excellent company, so broaden your network. Remember that even at the age of 75, rushing into a relationship is unwise.
TIP OF THE DAY
Be sure you are reading signals of interest correctly before you seek a connection.