How to handle workplace attraction

"Wait a minute. Your possible to-do list is all about what you say or don’t say or feel or don’t feel about your colleague — but your focus belongs on your fiancee."

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August 6, 2020 - 9:43 AM

Dear Carolyn: For the past year I’ve been engaged to a wonderful woman who I’ve known for over three years. I’ve recently developed strong feelings for a younger colleague who I started mentoring. She is married and as far as I can tell the marriage is okay. She is very attractive and I also find her extremely intelligent and engaging. We’re both introverts but interacting with her refreshes me in a way I have not experienced in a long time.

Carolyn Hax

We have been working long days together on a high-priority project, and I get the impression both of us are holding back about our mutual attraction. Sometimes I catch her looking at me in a way that seems to indicate she’s also thinking about me. The nature of our job requires that we spend a lot of time in close proximity, making it increasingly impossible to ignore how I feel about her.

I don’t know what to do. When I go home, I’m reminded of how great my fiancee is and I feel guilty for this incredible attraction to my colleague, but I can’t help how I feel. This project will be continuing on and I am worried I will say something to make things awkward, but I’m also worried that if I don’t say anything I’ll always wonder what might have been. What should I do?

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