Lifestyle

Love Letters

Rejected at the gym

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Q. I developed a crush on a trainer at the gym where I work out, and he seemed to like me back. We spent some quality time together, but I think I was trying too hard and came off as egocentric and needy. He started giving me less attention.

When I realized that, I asked him out and he said “another time.” About a month later, I told him that I liked him a lot and asked if he was interested, and he said no and that he was in a different stage of his life than I am.

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The next time I saw him at the gym, he was very friendly, but I pretended to be indifferent. The time after that, he noticed my presence and started flirting with other women. I saw him again and he pretended he did not see me.

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After that incident, I left the gym and did not go back for three weeks. I don’t know what to do. I’ve paid my membership for a whole year and I do not want to lose my money. And I do still like him. What do I do?

Working it Out

A. One of the most important life skills is the ability to deal with rejection and move on. People get rejected all of the time. They must learn to bounce back from failed relationships, even if they have to see their exes (or crushes) every day.

Unless all of your dates are with strangers from apps, you will wind up having to face some people who don’t reciprocate your feelings. If you accept that as a fact of life, you might do a better job of coping with your reality.

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In this specific situation, you must accept that this trainer doesn’t have any romantic interest in you, and that he was clear about why. It’s your responsibility to be civil when you see him. Try giving him a nod to show him that you want him to be comfortable (it’s his workplace, after all). Give him space, and stop assuming that his interaction with other people at the gym has anything to do with you. He’s just trying to do his job.

Find other things to focus on while you work out. Bring a good magazine, or make an incredible playlist. I promise that after a while, with a new routine, you’ll forget he’s even there.

Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

Trainers are generally nice, sociable people who often work on boosting their clients’ confidence. If they didn’t have these skills, they wouldn’t have jobs. It sounds to me like you may have misinterpreted your interactions. F7677

What would your advice be to a guy who keeps asking a girl out at her workplace and she says no? That’s right. Leave him alone. Be adult. Be civil. The awkwardness will subside. WIZEN

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Rather than concentrating on feeling mortified that he knows you fancy him, concentrate on the fact that you worked up the nerve to ask him out. You may not have gotten the answer you wanted, but you know where you stand, so you can move on. If you’ve asked one bloke out, you can easily ask the next one you fancy out. Also, there are loads of letters on here from people who have fancied someone for years and have never managed to ask that person out; have a read through those. AULDYIN

If you want to meet someone at the gym, check out the other clients, not the staff.

GONETOTHEDOGS39

When I was a sophomore in high school, I asked a well-liked junior boy out on a date who happened to be in several of my classes/extracurricular activities. He said no. He was nice about it, luckily. But that didn’t stop me from feeling embarrassed or wishing things were different. I saw him every day after that. I interacted directly with him almost daily as a more senior member of these groups. If I could do that at 15 years old, I think you can buck up and go to the gym, where you may or may not run into this person and never have to talk to him unless you choose to. GRETCHYNN

He probably gets hit on all the time by women at the gym, so don’t sweat it. BKLYNMOM

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.