I fell in love with a male co-worker. We’ve known each other for over a year, we have deep conversations from time to time and we even kissed once last year.
He’s held back from seeing me in private. He says it’s because we’d end up having sex and he doesn’t want us getting into a “superficial sexual relationship” since he knows we’ll be working together for the next three years. and he doesn’t want to “invest” into a relationship with me.
I really like this guy and I’m contemplating if a sex-only relationship would be doable with someone I see everyday at work. Its confusing, since the way we talk definitely goes further than superficial contact and I’ve grown to really care for him.
What should I do?
Tough position to be in.
Co-worker love affairs are a challenging line to walk. Hell, a regular relationship itself is challenging, but think about the extra elements with a co-worker relationship:
- You spend half of your waking hours (if not more) at work. And you’ll see each other throughout that time, whether you love each other deeply or end up hating each other.
- Other people can’t help but pick up on the vibe between you and them. Whether you like it or not, people will see it for what it is and what you’re going through at the moment (good or bad).
- If things fall apart, there’s no escaping that other person. You’ll need to access a very high level of maturity and restraint in situations that normally would make you jealous, angry, sad, etc.
- If things fall apart and he starts dating someone else, you’ll see him. If he disappoints you deeply, you’ll see him.
- You can’t go back once you cross that line. Once you’ve crossed it, no matter what happens, you’ll see the consequences of it day in and day out.
So when he says “invest” in a relationship (however he wants to describe what it could be), it is a BIG investment to cross into any type of relationship with a co-worker, even a casual one.
On the other hand, there are people who get into a relationship with a co-worker and it leads to a great place. Maybe it becomes a great relationship. Some co-workers even end up getting married (it’s happened where I work).
It’s incredibly tempting. I mean, here you have this guy for whom you have genuine feelings. You’ve shared parts of your life with each other and connected at a deeper level. And you’re attracted to each other.
Moreover, this tempting option is present in your life constantly and is going to continue to be. Makes it pretty hard to resist with all that exposure and opportunity.
With that said, relationships are always a roll of the dice. That’s not to say that you have no ability to influence and grow a relationship, but sometimes even the best intentions in a relationship can lead to a sad ending.
The fact of the matter is that even if I recommended a course of action (and I’m not going to), it wouldn’t do any good. You’re going to make a decision after sitting with this for a while and that will be that.
But I will invite you to really take some time to appreciate how big an investment this is for both of you. No matter what, you’ll be forced into a commitment. Not necessarily to each other, but you will be committing to living with any consequences for the entire time you are both at this job. That’s a major investment.
Moreover, if your bosses think your relationship is affecting your work negatively, you’re going to be in for a very uncomfortable awakening.
You mentioned considering a “sex-only relationship”. I could water this down, but I am going to be blunt here because sugarcoating this will not be helpful: There is NO way you would be able to pull that off for any extended period of time.
You might be able to maintain the illusion of having a totally sex-based relationship for a little while (maybe one month tops), but eventually feelings will come up on one side or both.
And then add the fact that you have deep conversations. And then pile on that you already “really care for this guy” and said you fell in love with him. And then throw in the fact that you’ll see him 5 days a week at least. And let’s not forget that you’re intermingling all the concerns that you’d normally have in a relationship with all the concerns you’d have at work.
I don’t want to sound mean, but this just conjures images of you crying in the women’s bathroom a couple months from now.
Again, I am not telling you to not go for it. But I am trying to give you a realistic male opinion (and I am speaking from experience, believe me) – you should proceed slowly with extreme caution.
This is a tricky situation and I’m sure it weighs on your mind. It’s going to take strength and a lot of consideration, but I hope things work out for you no matter what you decide.
Good luck and hope it helps,