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A breakup at work

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 9, 2013 08:30 AM

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It's time for self-help homework. Get the details here.

And we chat today at 1.


Q: Hi Meredith,

I recently transferred to a new office and met a great guy/coworker who was interested. We hit it off right away and dated for about a month or so. He told me he had never been happier. He texted me "Good morning, sunshine," among other sensitive and sweet things. He ended it about a month later because "there was no connection," according to him. He said I never talked to him about things (despite the fact he knew extremely personal things) and that he didn't feel a click. He also had A LOT to say about my family issues and told me his opinions about why I am the way I am. He was often selfish and entitled. Our intimacy was not an issue, for the record.

We went back and forth for some odd months, hanging out on and off and the occasional sleepover at his place. It's now been five months since we split.

Since then, he has been relatively distant and I recently sent him an email recommending that we cut ties entirely. My family member then got very sick and he reached out to me for support.

Aside from that, we haven't hung out in over a month and barely talk at work. He walks by me for what feels like a hundred times a day, but the constant emails and texts have stopped. He'll sit next to me at work parties or staff meetings, but that's about it.

Other coworkers and friends say he's still interested but has a huge history of commitment issues, and that his M.O. is to dump girls and then slowly rekindle the flame some odd months later, so that I should relax and stop over analyzing everything.

The problem? I can't seem to move on. I see him almost daily and although we have not hung out, I still feel very close to him. It makes me feel crazy because there's no reciprocation on his part. Other coworkers have tried setting me up with others and I just find myself still thinking about this one person. He wasn't even that kind, especially when it came to his opinions about my family. He hasn't reached out and has proved in more ways than one he's not interested. But I just can't seem to kick the habit. Any recommendations on getting over a work flame when you see them every single day and can't exactly distance yourself? I eat lunch at my desk (always have) and don't spend time strolling the office. I'm not seeking him out but find it impossible to not see him at least daily. We only dated for a month. What's wrong with me? Help!

– Confused and Stuck, Boston


A: You have to break up with him, CAS. I understand that he's already broken up with you, but you're still invested in the relationship. You need to make the decision to end it for yourself, on your own terms. The goal is to be able to say, "I would not date this guy again, even if he wanted to try." If his friends tell you that he might want you back, you should be thinking, "He was entitled and judgmental. I don't want to deal with that nonsense."

I understand that it can be horrific to share the same work space with someone who rejected you. (Trust me, I've been there. I once bought a toaster for my desk to avoid a company cafeteria.) But you just have to desensitize yourself. The more you see this guy, the more you'll come to expect his disappointing indifference. After a while, it'll just feel routine.

Again, you must break up with him. Stop thinking about those romantic texts and focus on what became of the relationship. When you find yourself stewing about the situation, put on some music. Visit another friend in the office. Make after-work plans with non-work acquaintances. And yes, go out on more dates. You have to keep doing that. It's worth your time.

Readers? How can you get over someone you see at work every day? Will he change his mind? Did his opinions about her life and family mess with her head? Any advice? Help.


– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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