She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin! is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions, about anything at all.
So, there’s a lady at work I’ve been crushing on. I know work relationships aren't ideal, but it gets worse. She's in a relationship.
However, she's far from happy in this relationship. This I know. She’s pretty much told me. Everyday we flirt. We both smoke and usually take our smoke breaks together. Often when I don't show at the normal time when we go for a smoke break, she'll say something like 'you stood me up again' or 'what happened about our date?' This is not good when you're trying to quit smoking! On Mondays, or if we haven’t smoked together for a couple days, she’ll say something like 'where have you been all my life?' I'm not a naturally confident person, but with her, I feel at ease. We can joke around and it’s effortless.
I just don't know what to do because on one hand I feel I should leave it alone, as it's a messy situation, but then I believe I can make her happier than she feels...and certainly happier than I feel. Should I pursue this and tell her how I feel, or just let it go?
OK, how could I not have visions of Pam and Jim running through my mind as I read this question? Except for the smoking. Dude, quit, drop that nasty stinky rock. It’s killing you.
But, back to the question. Listen, you said it yourself — there are two major red flags here. One, she’s your co-worker, and if things end, you have to see each other, Monday-Friday. The bright side? Maybe then at least one of you will quit smoking! Two, she’s already in a relationship. And from how you tell it, not a very healthy one. So, that brings me to a third red flag — don’t try to be the rebound for someone who is sticking around in an unhealthy relationship. This does not bode well for her emotional health. Ya dig?
Points two and three are really the bigger issue. Don’t seek out emotional entanglements with someone whose own life sounds pretty muddy. This is not The Office. I don’t think you’re getting married to this lady in Season 6. Oh, and, no more smoking!
Well kids, I hope you’ve learned something about looking for love in all the wrong places. If you have a question for me about condoms, dating, breakups, narcissists, everything bagels, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills, 90210, The Mets, or anything else, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo