updated 24 Dec 2010, 11:20
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Sun, Nov 07, 2010
The Star/ANN
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In love with an older colleague

I AM 24 and have fallen in love with my colleague. But she is married, has a child and is 29. She is aware that I'm interested in her. However, she treats me normally, just like before she knew about it.

She is open-minded and has advised me not to think about her. I do not want to have these feelings for her, but it is difficult for me to keep things under control as I'm forced to see, meet and discuss work-related matters with her almost daily.

I was thinking of resigning, as I do not wish to disturb her. But I like my job and my company.

Hopelessly in Love

MAYBE you should resign if you cannot control your feelings. This woman is married and unavailable. You spell trouble if you persist in showing your feelings for her.

Many office romances start because of propinquity. You see each other every day, share work pressures and get emotionally attached without realising it. The person becomes more important in your life as she becomes the central part of your day. You feel relaxed and in sync with her because the relationship is not burdened by commitment and responsibilities.

A young impressionable man like you, who is probably just out in the workforce, might have found a strong, capable woman extremely attractive. You are warmed by her maturity and find her lack of pretension refreshing as younger women tend to be spoilt and expect to be pampered.

You look forward to work because she is there for you. Perhaps you want to believe that your love could eventually win her heart.

But if you truly care about her, do not give her a reason for regret. Your attention is, of course, flattering and heart-warming. However, she knows that she cannot reciprocate your feelings. She told you to stop because there will not be a happy ending for the both of you.

You will get hurt if you continue because she is a wife and, more importantly, a mother. She will not jeopardise her marriage because she will always protect her child from pain and grief.

Grow up. Falling in love is not just about you. Think of the consequences before you throw good sense and caution away. If you do not wish to quit your job, then stop bothering your colleague. Be professional about your work and do not allow your feelings to show. Date other women, treat your colleague with respect, and keep your distance.

If you cannot stop showing your love, then you must find another job. You do not want to break up her family and cause pain and distress for all involved.

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