Her Fear of Rejection
Q: This guy and I had an instant attraction when we began working together over a year ago. We went on a few dates, but things couldn't go further as he became my supervisor and people always talked about us. A few months ago he got a new job. Trouble is I've really fallen for him. We still chat and text, and I still see him as he lives near me. To this day he says I'm beautiful, and I think he may still have a torch for me. He doesn't know how I feel, but I'm scared of rejection even though it's unlikely. He was dating a girl when he left work but wasn't into her too much as I saw them together and they were never close like he was with me. I think he's no longer with her. Please help, I see a future together for us! -- Martha, 21
Dr. Susan: Does this crystal ball show you and him talking together, I mean genuinely communicating (not just "chatting"), or is the picture totally fuzzy? The only way to clear up this fog is to take a risk, because there can't be a relationship without a leap into the unknown. You had great times, you still "chat and text," you like him, you suspect he likes you. "Rejection" would only mean he's with someone else or he's not interested in taking your friendly flirting to the next level. It wouldn't mean you are unattractive; after all, he thinks you're beautiful. Of course, you know that lots of men think lots of women are beautiful, but that alone means nothing. So you have to take a chance and be slightly assertive. Next time you chat, say, "Are you still with that girl I saw you with?" If he says he's not, say, "Or with anyone?" If he admits he's girlfriend-free, say, "Wanna get together and talk about old times?" I think he'll take it from there. You needn't confess your passion right off. Be friendly and see what happens. You have nothing to lose but your dilemma.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.