Q: I went out with a few of my co-workers to a nearby bar for happy hour after work. I had been attracted to one of them, physically and mentally, and we always got along really well. Well, we hooked up that night. I was afraid of acting clingy the next time I saw him at work, so whenever I saw him I'd look away and not say anything. He didn't say anything to me either. I miss our friendship, though I have no feelings for him. I just want to be friends again. -- Casi, 21
Dr. Susan: Really, Casi! Didn't your mother ever tell you not to embark on a sexual relationship until you were mature enough to handle the consequences? Now look at what happened: one quick "hook-up" and a good friendship's gotten spoiled. But I'm afraid it's actually your weird attitude that's messing things up. You like this person, but you're avoiding him. What is he supposed to think?!
You could try resuming your old friendship as though nothing has happened. Next time there's something to talk about at work, simply make a funny comment, or share a story -- whatever it is you used to do so naturally. Or be bold. Say, "Hey, I miss our friendship. Can we just start over?"
And consider keeping it simple from this point onward: only have sex with those for whom you have genuine "feelings." That increases the odds you'll be able to face one another -- and yourself -- the next day.
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Advice for Her
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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.