Dear Annie: A flicker of co-worker romance
Dear Annie: I am a 31-year-young man with a question about a woman who is 28. This story started in August of last year with my asking this woman on a date. We work together but were in different departments at the time. She said she doesn’t date the people she works with. I didn’t buy it, so I kept flirting with her. And she’d flirt back.
This went on until December of that year, when we saw each other in a neighborhood bar. She came up to my friend and me and pulled on the hood of my sweatshirt. Then she started to walk away, but my friend stopped her by standing in front of her. I talked to her like normal. Then I kissed her on the cheek. Then my friend left, and we hugged. I rubbed her back, and she rubbed mine. I kissed her hand. Then she turned away, and I playfully smacked her on the butt. We left at the same time but went our separate ways. The next day, we saw each other at work, and she came over to me and gave me a peck on the cheek.
After that, it all went downhill. I saw her sitting on another guy’s lap at work. (He works in a different department than we do.) I took it personal. Here she was, the girl I was attracted to, sitting on this guy’s lap.
I felt as if she’d lied to me. I think that maybe she’d forgotten I asked her out, but I have told her I want her to be my girlfriend on several occasions. So I think she knows how I feel about her. After all this, I’m not sure what to think. Any help would be appreciated. – Pining
Dear Pining: Dating co-workers is great — if your goal is to save time by simultaneously ruining your personal life and your career. I would like to know why you didn’t buy it when this woman told you she doesn’t date co-workers, because you should have bought it, thrown away the receipt and gotten the message in your head, even if she later sent mixed signals.
Save yourself a lot of strife and look for love outside the workplace. Yes, we all know happily married couples who met across the watercooler. In the right circumstances with mature individuals (and maybe a consultation with HR), it can be done. But this sounds like an astonishingly immature group. Case in point: Unless it’s Bring Your Child to Work Day, no one should be sitting on anyone’s lap at the office.
Dear Annie: I have just turned 65 and recently retired. My spouse is several years younger and not able to retire for four more years.
Although I am staying active, including handling all of the household chores, she seems to be resentful that I’m enjoying an unstructured schedule. She grills me every evening on what I did all day. Some days, I just like to sit around reading a good book. This makes her angry and makes me feel guilty. It seems as if every conversation ends in an argument.
I worked my whole life and have looked forward to this time, but now I’m considering going back to work part time at nights just to avoid this daily confrontation. – Retirement Unrest
Dear Retirement: Kick up your feet and enjoy that good book. You earned it! Jealousy is rearing its ugly head here. You haven’t done anything wrong.
With that being said, marriage is about communication. Talk to your spouse and find out why she’s so resentful. Perhaps she really can’t stand her job right now. Show empathy and recognize her hard work. But don’t be afraid to remind her that you are in fact taking care of all the household chores. When we’re cranky, we become expert at zeroing in on all the things our partner isn’t doing and forget to have gratitude for all the things our partner does for us.
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