Dear Gems from Jen,

A couple of months ago, a man in another department at work began showing me a tremendous amount of attention.  I recently realized he was showing up everywhere and calling me for questions I knew he didn’t need to ask.  He’s really friendly and funny and we get along great.  He asks a lot of questions, sometimes personal as if he is seeking information about me, and I enjoy the attention.  I finally got the courage to ask him out and he thanked me profusely but said, “That wouldn’t be possible because I’m sort of seeing someone right now.”  It was the most uncomfortable thing, but he kept me there talking for 45 minutes and since then he has not backed off at all; if anything he may even be more attentive.  I really like him but would not want to hurt anyone and also feel kind of angry that he might be playing a game with me.  Friends say maybe his relationship is not working out and he’s “testing the waters.”  Also, we are both in our early 40s but he is single with no kids and I’m divorced with four kids.  What should I do?

Dear Conflicting Messages,

It sounds to me as if this guy has already given you your answer.  You asked him out and he told you he was dating someone else. I understand the attention is enjoyable, but do you want to date someone who is asking personal questions while involved with another woman? I’m also curious as to how you could potentially hurt him? It sounds to me as if he has hurt you with his conflicting messages.  My suggestion is to set your sights on someone who is available, not someone who gives you only partially what you want and need.

Secondly, dating someone from work, even if the person works in a different department, can be like treading dangerous water. What happens if it does not work out? How would you feel going to work every day and seeing this guy? My guess is it would be very uncomfortable, not just for you, but for him as well. Make a conscious effort to spend less time socializing with him. The more distance you put between the two of you, the more ready you will be to meet someone who will not give you conflicting messages. I hope this helps!


Gems from Jen