Wrong in Too Many Ways
Q: I know I shouldn't be, but I'm totally in love with a married woman, who just happens to be my three-layers-up boss and 10 years younger than me. I think she's interested also but afraid of repercussions if we got together. Should I go ahead and tell her how I feel or just back off and crawl in a corner? -- Jim, 57
Dr. Susan: How can you possibly be "totally in love" with someone whom you only think is interested too? What you mean is that you feel very attracted to her. So far, normal, natural, and understandable. If there were some way you could spend time with her casually, not in a boss/underling setting, that might give you a clue as to how to proceed. But as things are, the risks of repercussions in such an office affair are very real, to both of you. And I suspect she fears she has more to lose. Don't come right out and tell her how you feel, since feelings of attraction are common enough. No big deal there (except to your needy heart). By verbalizing such feelings to her, you'd only put her on the spot. Maybe crawling in a corner for a little while would cool you off.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.