I’m really attracted to someone I work with. I’ve had feelings for him for years however I’ve always hidden this. I need a man to pursue me and I’m incapable of flirting! As he’s never asked me out (despite previously showing interest in my hobbies, staring at me, etc.) I felt his attraction wasn’t strong enough and it was better to keep a distance.

Because of my defensiveness, I don’t think he even likes me, despite seeming to when we first met. He also really objects to the fact that I’m a feminist and insists on opening doors,etc even though I object.

This and the fact that he finds me opinionated and I find him rude, means I don’t see a point in trying to date and I doubt he’ll ever ask. I don’t think I can put in the work necessary to reverse his opinion of me – I’m too afraid of rejection. Currently, if asked, most people would say I dislike him and I’m sure that’s what he thinks. I take comfort in this as I don’t look desperate!

I just wonder how I can get over him? I’ve tried dating others and focusing on his faults but it’s been years and I always end up focusing on him again! He’s smart, gorgeous and funny and although I’d never admit it publicly, in many ways my dream guy.

I argue against his patronizing, traditional, view of women, whilst secretly wishing he’d buy me flowers and make me his girlfriend and his wife. I’d be humiliated if he ever guessed any of this and I doubt I’d like it in reality. I just keep fantasizing about it.

I’m 29 and I really want children soon. How can I rid myself of this stupid crush and focus on more suitable men?

Scarlet

I’ll admit: my head almost exploded from reading your letter, Scarlet.

There were so many twists and turns, it was like riding a roller coaster while watching a soap opera while dropping acid. To briefly recap:

You’re attracted to a guy that you find rude.

You think he doesn’t like you because you’re an opinionated feminist.

You don’t see a point in trying to date him.

You don’t think it’s worth the effort.

You’re not a good flirt and are afraid of rejection.

Most importantly, he’s had years to ask you out and has never done so.

Naturally, you want to know how to get over this man you don’t like who shows no interest in you. Because even though everyone thinks you dislike him — and you admit he’s traditional and patronizing— you keep fantasizing about him and want to marry him.

If your head is spinning, Scarlet, you’re not alone. But I’m going to do my best, in spite of the fact that hard to give advice to someone who doesn’t know what she wants.

What you’re experiencing, alas, is not altogether unusual. It’s just love/hate relationships seem to happen a lot more on the silver screen than they do in real life. From my own personal experience, most of the women I’ve liked, I actually LIKED.

But here’s the thing: I suspect you really DO like him, that you are attracted to him, and that, more than anything, this scares and bothers you. Attraction is a funny thing, an involuntary feeling that defies all logic. And you, like all the readers who are reading this and shaking their heads at your plight, can’t help how you feel about this one guy.

Because what you’re attracted to and what’s good and healthy are two separate things that only occasionally overlap.

What you — and they — have a hard time understanding is that attraction is just a feeling. It’s not your destiny.   You do NOT have to marry the person you find MOST attractive in the world. In fact, I’d dare say that you’re better off not even trying. Which means that there are millions of happily married couples who — gasp! — are MORE attracted to other people than their own spouses – and yet their relationships work. How can that be?

Because what you’re attracted to and what’s good and healthy are two separate things that only occasionally overlap.

If you were to snap your fingers and marry this guy tomorrow (Don’t worry, you’re not. This is just a hypothetical.), you’d be really excited and maybe even happy that you landed a smart, gorgeous, funny guy. But I can promise you, it wouldn’t take too long to see that if this guy had retrograde views of women in the office, it would certainly spill over into your marriage, rendering your love/hate relationship into a hate/love relationship.

This, by the way, is how a majority of divorces happen — two people marry because of attraction and discover they’re incompatible when it’s too late.

You have the distinct advantage of realizing this in advance and recognizing this as the lustful, ill-fated crush that it is.

You also have the distinct advantage of this guy not being remotely interested so hopefully it should be easier to move onto a guy who IS interested in you.

Finally — and perhaps most importantly – you’re 29 years old. Here’s what that means:

  • Go on a date per week until you find a boyfriend who treats you like gold and also wants marriage and children.
  • Date him for 2+years to ensure you’re making a smart choice for the next 40 years.
  • Move in for six months, if it’s still good, get engaged, if it’s still good, get married.
  • Spend a couple of years married to enjoy life before children come along.

That means you don’t have to panic — and it also means you should start proactively dating other men to put this crush behind you ASAP.





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