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Promoting an office fling

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 20, 2009 11:54 AM

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An office fling with potential? You decide.

Q: Meredith,

I have a problem, obviously. I keep a busy schedule and don't often go out and meet women. Instead, what I find happening is that I tend to sleep / spend time with co-workers. While this hasn't caused any problems -- either small or large -- within my workplace it does leave me with a problem. Recently I hooked up with this girl who I work with and I have developed feelings for her. We get along well, both at work and outside, and seem to have similar interests. I truly think she is a beautiful woman and would like nothing more than to spend time with her outside our respective bedrooms or offices. I haven't "dated" anyone in a very long time and she says that she does not want a boyfriend right now and I respect that. My problem is that I am tired of being a warm body and want to have someone in my life I can be with, but, I also feel like if I let this girl go then I'll regret it. I'd like to spend more time outside of work with her but I don't want to pressure her into anything and risk blowing it all together. Any advice?

-- Raindrops, Medford

A: Raindrops – I’ll try not to ask where you work even though I’m quite curious. Fidelity? State Street? MGH? Where can you get away with sleeping with a number of co-workers at once?

You’re lucky this is the first problem you’ve had dating in the workplace. Often, these relationships don't end well, especially when they're about sex, not love.

I think you have to be very clear with her about your intentions. Tell her in no uncertain terms that you want to have a real relationship with her. I mean, you’ve bedded her co-workers. How is she supposed to know she’s any different than your other conquests? It’s your job to tell her your feelings are genuine and that she’s different than the others.

If she tells you she just wants a warm body, perhaps you should let her be so that you can take some time out of your busy schedule to look for a real partner. You seem to be ready.

Readers? Think I’m right? What should Raindrops do about his office romance(s)? Share your thoughts here. Submit your own letter here. Read yesterday’s letter here.

-- Meredith

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9 comments so far...
  1. Dear Mimbo,
    She told you what she was looking for: a warm body, nothing more. Let this lady go. She doesn't see you as anything but a 'good time charlie'. Since you've already ruined your reputation at work, stop swimming in the office pool. Try online dating or ask a family member to set you up with that nice girl down the block. Next time keep your goodies to yourself for at least 5 dates.

    Posted by yer mama February 20, 09 01:25 PM
  1. This is a very weird situation. My first reaction is that The Wet One should treat this as a learning opportunity: don't hook up at work, for exactly this reason, i.e., if you become attached to the person in a more substantive way, you've prematurely crossed the bedroom door. Or the custodian's closet. Or wherever. Since T.W.O. clearly does not want just to move on from his co-worker, I suggest he keep it a strictly at-work relationship and let her give him some cues if she wants to advance it. They'll see each other regularly, so if her feelings develop for him, she'll know where to find him. Last point: I'm curious about her statement that she doesn't want a boyfriend right now. Maybe she already has one?

    Posted by Sasha February 20, 09 02:06 PM
  1. Tell her that you are fine with the arrangement but you want to add another coworker in the mix...make things more interesting.

    Mer, he may work at any number of firms in boston/boston area. Neil and Cathy seem to be making the rounds and I am sure there are others.

    Seriously, Keep sleeping with her and try to slip in a "date" once in a while. If it doesn't work out then at least you are getting some action while you go out and look for someone else to have a real relationship with. Why doesn't she want a boyfriend right now? Is it that you are of a different background and she doesn't want to mix due to family/friends opinions? Does she have another guy in mind for a relationship and using you till he comes around?

    Use her or you will get used, enjoy it while it lasts.

    Posted by Freddy February 20, 09 02:20 PM
  1. dude, you need to get out more, you're asking for a lawsuit.

    Posted by rock February 20, 09 02:50 PM
  1. The problem is she may know you're sleeping around with co-workers before. That's bad news as she avoid you outside of work for fling. She doesn't want more than just co-worker & friends. You might lose her but there are plenty of women around from your work.

    Posted by KL February 20, 09 02:52 PM
  1. I think it is usually unwise and unprofessional to get romantically involved with people you work with. if things don't work out it can be very awkward. Also, I don't understand why women go to work dressed in a sexy way. Why advertise sex at work? I think people will think less of you in a professional setting when you are wearing anything lowcut, tight, short skirt, etc. I doubt you will get ahead in a good way.

    Posted by Ellen B February 20, 09 04:08 PM
  1. Raindrops. I would watch your step - in this economy, companies are looking for reasons to get rid of people, and you could easily be setting yourself up for that. If she says she doesn't want a boyfriend, I would drop it all together because that could be turned into, I told him I wasn't interested and he keeps "harassing" me. It's a thin line, be careful!
    P.S. There is nothing wrong with meeting/dating people at work, but going about it this way is NOT how you do it.

    Posted by Sox09 February 20, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Dont fish off the company pier is one of the oldest lines in the book. Since you are too stupid to follow that one, you get what you deserve. You dont get to flip the switch off and on in terms of how you treat people. You are a brainless hook up, that is all she sees you as and all you will ever be. Stop being an immature jerk and learn some self control and self respect.

    Posted by Chris P February 20, 09 05:08 PM
  1. Frankly, I find it hard to respond to the immediate situation because I am so distracted by the idiocy of serially sleeping with the people you work with. It's quite clear that you've already been cast as the office boy-toy. She's had her fun with you and she's done with you. Problem is, once this gets to the higher ups, they may want no part of you either. You are a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen. You are a liability and in this dicey economy, no one wants that. By involving yourself sexually with your co-workers (hopefully no one in your supervisory chain?), you have endangered more than your heart; your reputation, career and job are on the line as well. You need to learn some boundaries.

    Okay, to answer the question you actually asked - you have developed a reputation as nothing more than a good lay. Before you ask her to consider a real relationship, you need to change your reputation (and the truth behind that reputation). Once you clean up your act, then you can consider asking her for a more serious relationship. Right now, there's no reason for her to take you seriously. You need to show her (and others) that things have changed. It sounds like you are ready to make the move into a "real" relationship, with this woman or someone else. But your behavior to date belies that. Take some time (9-12 months, minimum) and change your behavior. People will notice.

    Posted by Nancy G February 25, 09 01:45 PM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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