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Confused and Hurt

Published on October 27, 2012 by toystry23

Dear Renee,

I’m in a tricky situation. I’ve been casually dating this guy at work for three months. We have a great time together but I can feel that he’s lukewarm about the situation. He’s been divorced (for two years) and also a little introverted.

He’s going to be a manager at the place where we both work January 1st and is completely obsessed with making sure he does a good job. The department has had some hiccups and he wants to run a tight ship. He’s never been a manager before and doesn’t want to screw up.

He said that he really likes me and that he can be himself around me. I’m the first person that he met since his divorce that is really genuine, but for the next six months, his life is going to be consumed by work, being at the beck and call of our boss. He even said that right now he has no life and the only person that he hangs out with is me. He’s informed me that he’s not looking for anything serious right now and that our relationship is not off the table, it just can’t happen right now. He wants us to be friends and see where it goes.

He’s also mentioned in the past that he needs to go slow and is asking me to be patient with him.

I’m not exactly sure what to do about this. Am I wasting my time? I’m still going to go out and live my life, but did I do something wrong? Why doesn’t he want me there as support?

Confused and hurt


You took a risk and it didn't pan out. That happens a lot to most of us. The bad thing about dating people at work, is that it's hard to have closure when you see them every day, and it's awkward, of course. Don't get caught in a going nowhere merry-go-round where "friends" means friends with benefits. I would tell him that you can go back to being co-workers, but don't want phone calls from him, or to go to lunch with him or anything, etc. You need to move on with your life.

Do this for yourself for closure. And your future bf won't appreciate you being friends with a guy you once had sex with. He told you he doesn't want a serious relationship, and you do. You don't want the same things. No man is worth waiting around for. If if they're ready later, it's usually with another woman. He's just not that into you, otherwise he'd make it work. It's nothing you did or anything you're lacking. He shouldn't have started anything up with you, unless he told you from the get-go that he only wanted temporary fun. You can do far better than this guy. Never settle for mediocre. Hold out for the guy who is crazy about you and makes you a priority in his life. You'll be happy you cut all the guys who were lacking, loose. Always remember that you are the prize and the treasure, and that guys have to be worthy of you to stay in your life. Good luck.

It sounds like he's being very honest with you about where he is and what he has to offer. He has expressed what he wants - it is up to you to decide what you want. He has told you explicitly that work is his top priority - everything else, including you, comes second. It is completely reasonable for you to decide that's not enough for you. You did not do anything wrong. If he does not have the mental or emotional energy to manage work stress and a budding relationship, that's about him, not you.

Since this is someone you will have to see on a regular basis, try to let go of the hurt feelings (it feels like rejection, even if that's not his intention), and do live your life. None of us knows what the future will bring, but sitting and waiting for it to pan out will not be good for you or the chances of a future relationship.
Best of luck!

Give him points for being upfront and honest with you, then decide if you want to wait for him, and how long.

If his promotion will put him in your chain of command, do NOT allow the relationship until that is no longer the case. He and/or you can get fired for that.