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Thread: Co-Worker/Friend

  1. #1

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    Co-Worker/Friend

    Hi All: I have a bit of a situation here and would really appreciate your help. So I changed departments at work around November of last year - everything great with the new team. This lady joined like slightly after me and initially sat right next to me. We completely hit it off right off the bat. Like texting at work, on mobile, going for breaks, having lunches and everything. We initially clearly stated that I am married and she also has a BF - so that was cleared off. I really saw her as a female-friend whom I helped with work and also with issues, some personal etc. We shared practically everything. And on a couple of occasions even with out on Fri night after work to have a tea and chat. She even met her old team-mates and told them all about me and how nice I am and that she would be so bored at work without me. She said the same thing to her best friends. This went on, say for around 5 weeks or so, until she said she likes to cut back on texting on the train rides home as she normally takes naps and she was new to the team which is why she had gone out of her routine. I said yeah of course it makes sense. So it literally got cut, to almost zero texts on the train rides. No issues.
    After that we are still completely cool and hung out as if nothing.

    last Friday before the holidays we went out to have a tea and I asked if she wanted to hang out once during the breaks but she said no, she likes to chill with friends. Issue began around the Christmas holidays where we were off for couple of weeks. First week through she had to work for a few days, so I logged in and we texted and even talked just fine and laughing. In the second week, I texted her, but no reply despite being online. All I said is how things are going. Then after 4 hours I called, no answer. Then she sent me this text saying she is chilling with friends and brushed off my text. I was pretty disappointed and went for a walk and for some reason it bothered me that i could not even say hi. At night I texted her and we texted back and forth and it got a bit rough. She practically said that on her off time she likes to catch up with friends that she does not see often etc. I said so I cannot even say hi to you? she said yes we are still work-friends etc. And that we can still go to food court at work and talk and yes some Fridays are also ok. Anyway the tone was bad.

    Few days in and I emailed her and apologized for that and she said thanks for giving her space. Then I responded and copied some of her initial messages and emails showing how open and close we were initially. She did not respond to that. When we returned to work, she was like a different person. Like I mean completely. First few days we texted at work, there were no emojis or anything. I asked if she wanted a break, she said no she is busy etc. Throughout the week later I said Chill man, snap out of it etc. She started texting better with some more emojis. But we never hung out. Only once we met in a meeting room and discussed the situation and she said how initially she was hanging out since we were new and that she is an intro and likes her privacy and does not normally hang out. So this didn't make any sense to me at all. I knew she is hiding her feelings. Like first 6 weeks or so were so real and pure, I would not have imagined in a Million years, it would turn this way.

    We texted on and off at work still. i waited for a week or two then asked her for break again, she said no she is busy. I flipped and texted are you serious? You destroyed the whole friendship over one contact over the holidays for which I apologized already and you accepted, yet you don't want to hang out any more. She kept saying how she does not feel comfortable. I said how, we were like so close and suddenly you don't feel comfortable. You do know I have dozens of other friends who are dying to break with me already but I am asking you out of respect, etc. She got even more mad. she said let's go talk again.
    Went to a room, same stuff. I even came down with tears and could not understand it at all. How something so perfect can take a 180 turn like this. Then I said so you never ever want to go out again? or maybe you need some time to settle. She said yeah... Then she said Ok this Friday if her work is finished we can go down for a break. But she also mentioned going out on Fridays she doesn't want to do either....I just said yeah it makes sense.

    Today is Wed - we texted over work stuff and her tone normal. After lunch i texted, she suddenly said busy, brb - but she never texted back and left home. She has these erratic behaviors. Like i would never do that to anyone to be honest.

    (Side notes: It maybe applicable also to mention that in the past she has said "I make people cry", etc. She is an Intro. I am a pure Extro. she had me do this personality test and mine was like a Protagonist and she always said how nice I am and I go out of my way to help everyone - swear not kidding and this is the truth also. I put my own desires last normally.)

    Anyway the feeling is so bad now that it is highly abnormal. Like only her texts are ok at work, since it relates to her work. But she does not say bye any more and walks off and never, ever texts on mobile any longer, no matter the situation. Like she has completely pulled away. I told her in the meeting room that we were so close at first, now when you do this, it's like complete opposite pole. it's not like you are telling someone else no - it's me.

    So tomorrow is Thu, and I have no idea if on Friday she will come out and ask to have a break. Seeing how her work is not going well (she is always sitting with someone to get help), it may not happen on Friday. But I made it clear that I am too embarrassed to ask her, so if she wants, despite being intro, she would have to ask me) so if the actual work is legitimately busy, she may not , and it may stretch into next week, putting us at the 4th week without a single break! (remember we used to break twice a day!).

    (Another perhaps helpful side-note: last week, for 2 days I ignored her, like i did not text or even look at her, then I noticed she was observing me and looked at me and looked away quick - I noticed that and since I don't have the heart to hurt/bother anyone, I texted her how things are going - she first brushed it off as "fine" and did not reply, neither did I. Then after 5 min, she started texting details - Point being, I wonder, if this type of person, I ignore more, she will come around after me better?)

    So this friendship, in my opinion is more or less annihilated. Like there is nothing left to salvage. All we have is a working (pretense) texts at work and no more HIs or BYEs or small talk, unless I initiate.

    Ok this is what I need help with now please: (please note, If she was in a different team, it would have been easier to ignore her for a while to see if she comes around, but she literally sits an isle away from me, with only a cube wall between us):

    My Questions are:

    Can this be saved? Can we ever get back to where we were? did 1 single contact over the holidays caused this entire mess? I dread that so much but can do nothing about it now.
    So I am supposed to wait for her now to get back to me on a get-together. I suppose I have no other choice.
    Will time really heal this? Am I supposed to be normal and mutual and just wait to see if she ever comes around? Or: seeing how that 2-day test (me ignoring her altogether made her crawl back a wee bit), am I supposed to do that again? Like totally cut it off and not text her at work?
    Even if this whole thing is over, I am supposed to work with her and we are on the same team - but do not work on same projects though. How will that work out?
    On the other hand, if by some miracle she does say Ok let's go break, I guess I just play it cool and have fun and make her laugh as normal. And do not bring up anything related to this at all right? I guess this is obvious.

    No idea why this whole thing has bothered me ever since. I lost sleep over it many days and many days tears rolled down my eyes while alone as to why this would have ever occurred. I swear I am the kindest guy, people say - I just cannot believe this at all. I am completely crushed for some reason and have this cloud hanging over me with a gloomy, morose feeling.

    What can I really do? What is the most effective way to get out of this or heal it. Can this really be ever corrected. How long do people's feelings take to come around? Like 4 months? 6 months? But 1 thing I know is that I can never ever bring up the issue or blame her for this again, as it just takes 2 steps back every time I did. Man, I can solve the most complicated technical problems yet I am helpless at this human friendship problem!!! I am truly sad. Please let me know if anyone has experience with this and what will happen. I know different experiences are different and may not even apply here but this must be a common theme i am pretty sure!

    Also one more thing about me: I feel sooo bad about blocking her out - since I care about her feelings, and also I am not the type to block anyone out, specially her. Like I cannot hurt anyone in any way. I feel very bad about it.

    If I think of anything else to add I will update this. But please don't put me down here or mock this, as I am already so down. Appreciate it!
    Thanks for your time!
    Steve.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    I presume you've discussed this with your wife. What does she advise?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Reading this whole thing I find myself wondering one thing: How's your marriage going?

    Were you not married, the above would be a story of a dude who is smitten with a woman and refusing to get the hint that she is not smitten back. Never a good look. Add in the wedding ring, and the picture gets even less pretty. Just calling it how I'm seeing it, not trying to throw salt on a wound.

    If I had to guess what went down? Seems to me she realized, pretty quickly, that the way you were communicating was starting to verge into a place that made no sense: not with her having a boyfriend, not with you having a wife. Toes going over the line where things get disrespectful, and so she tried to draw a line subtly, hoping you'd take the hint. Problem was, you didn't take the hint. Not the first, second, or sixth hint. Still seems to me you're struggling to take the hint.

    Anyhow, in your shoes I would look at her as doing you a huge favor in asserting a boundary you didn't have it in yourself to assert. I'd also take a look in the mirror, and a look at your marriage, and ask yourself what's up that got you this invested in someone so quickly. This is not work energy or friendship energy wafting off you, after all, but romantic energy. Thirst, in a word. Thirst is for your wife, to be quenched there, not in strings of emojis from new officemates.

    Moving forward? Take three ice cold showers, then go to work. Be civil. Be normal. Treat her for who she is: a colleague, not a woman who owes you anything, least of all to soothe whatever it is that's churning around inside you. Let this little thing burn off, and do what you need to do address whatever deeper is going on that's bringing you down.

    My few cents, to spend however you see fit.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Considering you are coworkers, you're married and she isn't single, you became (very) inappropriately attached to her.

    From what you shared, she did everything to keep this from going off the rails but yet you pushed, pried and busted boundaries.

    It doesn't appear that she trusts you to stay in your appropriate place anymore. I have to agree with her.

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  6. #5

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    Thanks to all 3 of you so quick! You all make sense. I have been so into it that I didn't see the bigger picture. This isn't fair to my wife nor her BF. I even mentioned this to her last time we met - I swear.
    To be honest, I am not a cheater at all. I just wanted the relationship to be perfect and Happy and someone to spend times/breaks at work with so we don't get bored. This was my real intention. Nothing more.
    I know its hard to believe. But I swear to God this is the truth.

    So yes make sense, I have been emotionally over-invested and all for nothing. This is ridiculous. I just hope we can salvage a normal co-worker/friendship after this. How can I show her that I don't want anything more? Or is it really too late for that?

    P.S. Damn - thanks again for setting me straight and putting some (basic) common sense into me! Totally agree, I have taken this mush too far unnecessarily.
    Last edited by s2teve; 01-22-2020 at 08:24 PM.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by s2teve
    How can I show her that I don't want anything more? Or is it really too late for that?
    First step would be letting go of the whole notion that you need to show her anything. There is nothing here to "salvage" because, well, there was nothing here: a coworking relationship that verged into inappropriate territory, upon which she turned the wheel toward a healthier horizon. Time for you to do the same, rather than remaining attached to some idea of a "perfect" relationship.

    Are you this bored at work? In life? In your marriage? I really don't mean that harshly, but imagine if your wife was writing this thread about a dude at her work. Wouldn't you like an internet stranger to basically to say her: no, nope, no?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    How much of this have you told your wife?

  9. #8

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    Yes man I see your points of course! Totally correct and on the dot. I have been inside the box. Ok so I need to show her nothing. Keep in mind that will take time - for her to trust me again, assume you agree.

    as per work, I do things fast and efficient, so yes I get free time. I swear. I even help people with their tasks. Life, I keep busy with gym and with math as a hobby. Wife, no issues, she works 6 days, we rarely spend time outside the home. I like to take her out, but she is generally tired. I have full of energy normally. I see her as very attractive still. Completely. Yes you make a perfect point - if she were doing this, how would I feel . Common sense man. Duh.

    I will make the work thing just about work going forward. I swear, nothing more. and the after-work thing is a no-no obviously. That is a no-brainer - I agree! I hope she will come around and see my change? Damn where have I been? Why did I need to even hear these things and having it spelled out to me. That is not the shape of my heart. Thanks man!

  10. #9

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    >How much of this have you told your wife?
    I thought this was a rhetorical question and my lack of response to it would indicate none already. As I didn't want to hurt her.
    yes I know this is terrible. It's totally wrong and I will stop. Thanks

  11. #10
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    If I were you, I'd get prepared for some kind of HR moment, a letter about harassment, or even termination.

    You need to completely step back from this woman.

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