Q: Dear Meredith and Loyal Readers,
I might be in the biggest possible pickle of my life. OK, well not the biggest, but it's up there. I had been dating a guy for about a year and we talked about moving in together when my lease was up this winter. He got scared back in August and decided that he needed to take a step back. Which is fine. We're both 27 and I'd rather him be sure than not sure. Granted, we've talked every day since his decision to take a step back, and we see each other on occasion. Although at times it doesn't seem romantic, I still have a little bit of a flame flickering for him.
That little flame, unfortunately, is the least of my problems.
My problem is the bombshell he dropped on me this afternoon. Hold on, let me back up to Friday. Friday night he met me for a drink and a movie. The conversation over the drink was great. Things seemed to be going well and I was hopeful that we might be taking a step back in the right direction. I decided not to get my hopes up and talked myself into letting things progress naturally. Why push the subject if there's no subject to push yet, right? The drive home was also great and we talked about when we could see each other again. He was very active in communicating the rest of the weekend, which surprised me a little.
Fast forward to Monday morning. So he IMs me from "ABC Company," where he works, and we chat throughout the day. We made plans for the next week and mentioned an event he thought we would both like to attend in December.
Then, shortly after lunch, he told me he was interested in my company, "XYZ Company," which is ironically down the road from ABC. Needless to say, I felt like I was punched in the stomach. I know how miserable he is at ABC and that he would like it at XYZ. So I told him I would pass on his resume to the HR Director. He said he would put together his resume this week and send it over to me to pass along.
Here's what I'm thinking -- that this is the end of the chances of us getting back together. Do office romances really work in the long run? So what should I do? Do I actually pass along his very qualified resume or do I lie and say we're on a hiring freeze and continue on with our current situation? I know it sounds selfish if I lie but do I consider my feelings or his? What a mess.
– Stuck Between a Rock & My Heart Place, Burlington
A: I wouldn't worry about an office romance at the moment because I'm not quite sure you're in an out-of-office romance. Are you still together? How would you define your relationship, SBAR&MHP?
You have to be selfish. But you also have to be honest. Tell Mr. I'm-taking-a-step-back that you're a bit confused about the status of your relationship and that having him in an office down the hall won't help. He's more than welcome to apply for a job at ABC Company, but he shouldn't be asking you to facilitate. You're doing a lot for him -- stepping back, stepping forward, being a friend, being more than a friend. Let's be honest -- it hurts, right? Can he consider your feelings for a few minutes or more?
Maybe he'll be ticked off that you don't want to help him. Maybe he'll stomp his feet because he's used to getting his way. Or maybe he'll say, "Wow -- I've been a bit selfish, and I had no idea this hasn't been easy for you. Let's get back together and make out."
Maybe. But don't lie -- to him or yourself. This step-back thing has felt like a break-up, and you certainly wouldn’t a recent ex to be bumping your cubicle with his own, at least not right now. Right?
Readers? Should she pass on his resume? Was he wrong to ask? Should she be worrying about office romances? Was he suddenly being nice to get her to support him at ABC? Discuss.
Recent blog posts
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.