Start an Office Affair?
Q: I'm really attracted to a guy I work with, and in the past, he has mentioned that he thinks I'm "hot." I know he likes me as a person, too. We're both on the "rebound." I really, really, really want to have a fling with him. I'm pretty sure neither of us is ready for a serious relationship. How do I make the first move without scaring him off or making an ass of myself???
Dr. Susan: Has your attractive office mate (let's call him Joe) mentioned to YOU that you're hot, or did you hear it from another co-worker? If the latter, why not go to the co-worker and say, "You know how you told me Joe said I'm hot? Did I mention that the feeling is very mutual?" And let office gossip take its course. Once Joe knows you're equally attracted to him, then he can make the next move without your risking the humiliation of a rejection.
It's always possible that Joe has a personal rule against sleeping around at work, since these kinds of affairs can get messy when they end. If you did have the fling you're fantasizing, one of you might get more than you bargained for. One of you could fall in love -- it happens all the time -- while the other may be more able to keep it light. You'd be kidding yourself if you thought that two people on the rebound wanted only physical intimacy and not the other kind, which you've both probably been deprived of lately. You may be correct that you're not ready for a serious relationship, but that doesn't mean your hearts won't go their own ways and get you in deeper than you planned.
Ideally, you and Joe would get to know one another as real people over a few weeks' time (at least!), not just hot restless bodies, and then take it from there.
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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.