How do I get over a co-worker I have a crush on?
October 6, 2013 8:47 PM   Subscribe

I am a lesbian with a crush on a male co-worker. That, however, is only the beginning of my troubles. At first I was willing to just laugh off my crush to myself as something silly and unimportant (I mean, I understand human sexuality is weird and fluid, whatever), but recently my crush went out of town for a week and I found myself missing him a lot more than I thought I would, so much so to the point that I ended up texting him something innocuous and then crying when he didn't write back. I've decided that this is getting ridiculous and I need to get ahold of myself. So how do I get over someone I see almost every day? Fuller explanation inside.

In August, a friend of mine got me a job at the restaurant where she worked at the time. I developed a crush on one of my fellow servers rather quickly afterward, despite the fact that he is male and I am a lesbian. I was not too put off my the fact that I developed a crush on him because I have been with men in the past, even if I didn't find it too pleasurable. It took me a long time to come out, and I thought I finally knew who I was, but I realize that human sexuality is fluid and it's not always good to pigeonhole one's self. Anyway.

This coworker and I became friends as well, occasionally hanging out outside of work, and have made plans to see a play together next month. I really enjoy his company and generally find him sexy and wouldn't mind fooling around with him if the opportunity presented itself, but I don't really ever see myself wanting to take things to the next level. Besides, I'm pretty sure he only sees me as a friend. So I was very surprised to find myself crying over him tonight at work after he didn't respond to my text and after I found myself longing for him way more than I thought I would. I mean, I'm sure he isn't missing me to this degree, if at all.

I've struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and have also struggled with becoming too attached to people too quickly, and I'm sure this is somehow related to all of those things. Unfortunately, I can't afford a therapist right now. So what I need are some ways I can put this thing into perspective, and maybe move on from the point where I am now-- anxious, thinking of him often, becoming depressed if he isn't around-- to the point where I can have a healthy friendship with this guy without all this baggage. Or no friendship at all, if that's better, and focus on work without being distracted by him.
posted by gypsyroseme to Human Relations (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, I'm wondering how your life is right now in general? Is there anything that is really stressing you out or are there any problems going on, apart from the situation with this guy?

I just ask because I think sometimes when this happens, it happens because we're unconsciously trying to distract ourselves from something else with escapism. So sometimes it goes away if you address the other stuff head-on.
posted by cairdeas at 8:58 PM on October 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Meditate on this irony: that there's a good chance that if he reciprocated, you would be annoyed by his attention. You're in love with a fantasy. Not that it has no basis in reality. But as soon as you got what you wanted, you might realize just how quickly you didn't actually want it after all...
posted by shivohum at 8:59 PM on October 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, I'm wondering how your life is right now in general? Is there anything that is really stressing you out or are there any problems going on, apart from the situation with this guy?

Well, I'm supposed to be focusing on going back to school in a couple months, and getting my student loans in order so I can go back, so yeah. I should probably work on that instead.
posted by gypsyroseme at 9:11 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


to not answer your question: i suggest you ask him on a date.

to answer your specific question: do not text him, do not talk to him or even make eye contact unless it's specifically about work stuff. mention your new fake girl friend. cancel your date to go to a play, and tell him it's because you thought about it more and you think it's boring. after you've done those things, once you've finished talking about the minimum work stuff you go do something else. do not engage in any small talk. you're goal is to come off as cold and weird, and then he'll also only engage in the minimum amount of interaction needed for work.
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:14 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


find another person to focus your crush feelings on.
posted by nadawi at 9:16 PM on October 6, 2013


"Well, I'm supposed to be focusing on going back to school in a couple months, and getting my student loans in order so I can go back, so yeah. I should probably work on that instead."

So, there ya go!

As for the rest... Sometimes people touch us deeply. Rarely, I think, does their (biological) "plumbing" really matter.

I have no magic for making lopsided deep connections go away, because this will be a lifelong occurrence, rather, it makes it easier to accept when you acknowledge sometimes it is lopsided and that holds no special meaning.
posted by jbenben at 9:17 PM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Get over it by letting yourself give in to the crush, and then assess why you have a crush on him in the first place. Do you genuinely like him? Are you just really really lonely? Does he possess characteristics you wish you had? Do you feel something lacking in yourself that his presence fulfills? Figure out what it is and then seek what you need in other healthy ways. It's okay to have a crush, even if it's on somebody you won't end up with.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:22 PM on October 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've had tons of sex with guys that "wasn't too pleasurable" but that's never caused me to say I'm straight. Your problem -- well one of them -- appears to be that you're committed to a label that doesn't apply to you and your only rationale is that you haven't had pleasurable sex with "guys." That doesn't make you lesbian. It might make you miserable, though.

You have to follow your desires, not a label. Stop saying that you're lesbian (an adjective, not a noun, btw, just as is "gay") and follow your heart.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:23 PM on October 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yes, I'm missing the reason you can't ask him out on a date. (Though maybe you should switch jobs first?)
posted by salvia at 9:39 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


your goal is to come off as cold and weird,

What? No. Why would you intentionally treat a nice human this way? Don't make your shit his shit; this is hardly his fault. If you genuinely need space from him, then grab onto your underpants and tell him "I'm really sorry, but I have some shit going on and it's not comfy for me to hang with you right now because I'm getting a weird freaky crush on you."

And Jesus Christ, the last thing I want to do is minimise your sexual identity but as you yourself said, that stuff can be really fluid for a lot of individuals. Consider that you may be a person who digs, you know, specific people without the gender being a big issue.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:33 PM on October 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


I'm in the "ask him out" camp. It will either go well or it won't. Either way the issue is dealt with.

Also, you ... generally find him sexy and wouldn't mind fooling around with him if the opportunity presented itself, but I don't really ever see myself wanting to take things to the next level.
Depending on your specific situation, he could be receptive to hearing exactly this. But that's really something only you can gauge.

Agree you might try dropping the label and see if that perhaps makes you feel less pressure. You could learn something about yourself in the process. Just like who you like and see where it goes.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 1:42 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Agreeing with everyone, you don't need to self identify so strong with your "lesbian" label. You need to ditch the label (and all the implications you are backing it with ).You're a person who is attracted to other people. It sounds like sometimes you're attracted to women but sometimes you are attracted to men. Lots of straight people have had not-very-pleasurable experiences, and a lot of gay people have had not-very-pleasurable experiences. It is necessarily about the gender of the person as much as it is about the sexual compatibility between both people. You could be the straightest person that has ever walked this earth, but if the person you're having sex with doesn't have a similar sexual style as you and doesn't know how to make you feel good,.. well,.. the sex isn't going to be good. Zero to do with sexual orientation. Could you be a lesbian? Sure thing. But I don't think you need to decide one way or another and then consider that a set of rules you're declaring you're going to follow.


As for this person you have a crush on currently, you have the option of asking him out. Other than the potential awkwardness at work, is there any reason why you can't? I just married my co-worker that I had a crush on for YEARS so I am speaking from experience on this one.

Your other option is to try to squelch your crushy feelings. This would involve pulling back a bit (but don't be rude to him, cold and weird is NOT the way to go, sheesh!), finding other things to focus on (school prep, hobbies, etc. Working out always served as a great re-focus point for me), other people to focus on (Fastest way to get over a crush, in my experience, is to date someone else. Just sayin'.).


But seriously you'd be well served to not box yourself in so much anymore. It is okay to just be a person who is attracted to other people.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:16 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have to follow your desires, not a label. Stop saying that you're lesbian (an adjective, not a noun, btw, just as is "gay") and follow your heart.


For what it's worth, I have a friend who identifies as a lesbian who also sometimes has sex with men. This label doesn't have to box you in but you don't have to totally ditch it either. Use whatever makes you comfortable -- you don't have to drop an identity that's been important to you because someone on the internet tells you to.

Also, in my experience in LGBTQ+ activism and theory lesbian is used both as a noun and an adjective.
posted by kylej at 6:56 AM on October 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


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