Q. I met a man at work who said he is single and unattached. I started to see him, as a friend, during work hours for coffee. I felt like I was getting attached, and he seemed to have a good time too. But when I asked him to do fun activities outside of work with me, he always had an excuse.
I stopped going for coffee, but he still acts flirty with me. In fairness, he is a bit of a flirt around the office with other women. I still like him. Should I try to resurrect a friendship or not? Meredith, what do you think?
A. No more coffee. With him, at least. If you wanted an in-office friendship with this man, I’d tell you to go for it. But the fact that you had to write this letter says it all: You desire more, and he’s not going to deliver.
See him for what he is, the flirty guy at the office who doesn’t want to hang out after work. I know you can’t erase your feelings, and it’s probably difficult to stop yourself from wondering if things could change, but if you stay busy, you can get over this. Make plans that have you ready to run out of the building when your work day is over. There are also other work friends, right? Who else is available for coffee?
Sometimes when people write in about work crushes, we tell them to take a risk – to ask for an out-of-office date or a clarification of feelings. It can be dicey, but worth it. You can skip that step because you have the answers you need. He’s not a close friend or a romantic possibility. If he wanted to be in your life in a bigger way, he’d be excited for the next step.
A lot of people have work crushes that stay like this forever – something to think about on occasion, but nothing more. Demote him.
If you want to revive the friendship, have at it. But if you’re looking for romance, you have your answer. You put it out there and he politely declined. He’s not interested, sorry. THATGUYINRI
“I felt like I was getting attached ...Should I try to resurrect a friendship ...” The friendship isn’t dead and doesn’t need “resurrection”. You thought it was more than a friendship, and that’s what you need to correct. HARRISBSTONE
Friendships don’t usually involve flirting. Having said that, it’s good that you discontinued the coffee meet ups with him. Sit back and watch his mega flirting play out in the office for now. THEKIDSRALLRIGHT
^I’m guessing no one else in the office takes his flirting as seriously as the letter writer. JESNANA
There’s a certain type of flirty coworker who craves attention. It’s a one way street, as evidenced by the fact that he still flirts with you but hasn’t asked you why you don’t go for coffee anymore. STRIPEYCAT
Much, much better that you know it’s a dead end sooner rather than later, so that you can move forward. I’d even say happily move forward, because you’ve got the gifts of clarity and freedom. Get out there, meet people and find someone who you won’t have to play a guessing game with. Someone who will clearly and demonstrably adore you. I do hope you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, and that you’re diversifying your people meeting portfolio with apps and in person activities. You want to increase your numbers, which will increase your chances for success. EACB
He was never your friend. He’s a work acquaintance who is good with people. You invited him out a few times, he’s declined, so that’s it. Nothing to resurrect. Sorry but crushes happen. I’m sure there were people who had crushes on you and you weren’t interested in them. Maybe use that to help you move on. JSMUS
You did the right thing. He isn’t interested in any connection outside of work. Meredith said, “See him for what he is, the flirty guy at the office who doesn’t want to hang out after work.“ This is what you should do. FREEADVICEFORYOU
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.