Editor’s Note: We have a new advice columnist coming soon. So, start asking your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll address a wide range of problems; if you’ve got one, no matter what, go ahead and ask. Meanwhile, here are some past answers from Jyl.
So, I am recently divorced. It has been a few months, but, realistically, we have been done for a year, but now the ink is dry on the divorce papers. I am in my 40s, in good shape and not unattractive. I don’t know a lot of single people, don’t get out that much and I haven’t had a date in almost 20 years. Needless to say, I am a bit panic-stricken. I have decided, after a lot of harassment from my sister and my friends, to try Internet dating. It is overwhelming. Terrible. But I’m trying. So, here’s the thing: What is with women all looking for tall guys? Even the tiny ones—there are women who list their own height as five-two—insist on a guy being at least six-two! Why is this so prevalent? And what should I do? I’m five-eleven, and I’m not really prone to bullshitting anybody. Should I not bother to contact a woman if she’s asking for a guy who is six-two? Or should I contact her and tell her up front that I’m shorter? Maybe wait until we meet and let her figure it out herself? I know this sounds stupid, but I am totally new to this thing, and I don’t want to be a dick.
I think what you need to keep in mind here is exactly what kind of woman is that specific about who she wants to meet. Six-two? Really?! You are resorting to digital dating and you’re going to rule out any guy who is not up to this arbitrary standard? I can understand a particularly tall woman wanting to be with a guy who is taller than her. One of my best friends is five-eleven, and she said she already feels like a freak all the time and she needs to date somebody taller than her so she doesn’t feel even worse about herself. Even though I don’t agree with her, I’ve never had to walk a mile in her flats (because she’s too tall for heels, get it?) and I know her well enough to know that this is about her, not about her potential dates. But anybody who is five-foot-one and insists on your being six-two is probably a shallow dimwit who is not worth dating anyway. Consider that they have done you a favor and narrowed the field.
I am in a very frustrating situation. There is a woman that I work with whom I really like. We have been working very closely with each other on a project for the last year. We spend a lot of time socializing as well. We have talked about the fact that we are attracted to one another, but there is just no way that we can let this thing happen while we work together. It sucks. I am not exactly her boss, but her superior in a way that would make it really, really bad for my career if we started seeing each other and anybody found out. Also I am afraid she would be devalued and her work might be taken less seriously if people thought that she was being rewarded because of our personal relationship.
I have mostly put it aside. I am very busy anyway, and I have basically decided to just sort of ignore my feelings for her because there is nothing I can do about them. I don’t socialize with her outside of work or work-related activities at all anymore. The whole thing is weird, and for a while it was painful, but I am getting over it. Now I have a new problem. I met another woman whom I am interested in. She is a friend of a friend, nothing to do with my job, not connected to anybody I work with at all. Perfect. And she is single, and she is interested in having a drink, which is great. But now I am not sure how to broach the subject with my co-worker. I feel like I am betraying her or cheating on her in some way, even though I know we can’t have a relationship. I don’t want to hurt her, but I don’t want to lie to her either, because I have too much respect for her. What is the best way to tell her?
Don’t get ahead of yourself here, SUG. I don’t think you need to tell her anything right away. It’s very nice of you to want to be straightforward, but do you really want to make a potentially painful announcement when this thing might not last more than one drink? I’m not trying to be negative, just practical. If you tell her about the date and nothing happens, and then you tell her about the next person you ask on a date, and then the next, it may come off like you’re trying to rub it in, or worse, make her jealous. Give it a minute. Go for the drink. If it goes well, meet up for another drink, or go to dinner. If you feel like this is a person you are going to actually start seeing, then you sit your co-worker down sometime when you aren’t at work, and tell her what’s going on. Start with “I’ve met somebody.” Explain to her that you feel awkward telling her, but that you don’t want to hide it from her, etc. Tell her you wish things could have been different between you but that you don’t see any way around it. Then hope that she also meets somebody else and you can both move on and be happy and not have any regrets.
I have a dilemma. I am in this class with my boyfriend, and I am starting to have a crush on the professor. The class is kinda big, but he always calls on me to answer questions. Once or twice he has asked me questions on the way out of class, and my boyfriend waited outside while we talked for a few minutes. I think he was flirting with me. My boyfriend is getting jealous.
The thing is, I think the professor knows and I think he is doing it on purpose. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I liked it. I know this is wrong, but I can’t help it. He is a lot older than I am, but I find him very sexy. I know he is married, and I wouldn’t want to ruin anybody’s life, but I can’t stop thinking about him. I have to see him during office hours in a couple weeks and I don’t know what to do. I get nervous when I am around him. I know this is crazy, and I do love my boyfriend, but I don’t know how to make these feelings stop. Help!
Crushes are common. Crushes are fun, and they’re exciting, and they seem so intense when you’re in the middle of them that it might be tempting to read more into them than you should. But don’t. You can enjoy the crush, ride the wave, but know deep down that it is completely meaningless and fun. Get better at hiding it from your boyfriend until you are over it. Don’t talk about the man or his class unless you need to. Encourage your boyfriend to wait with you after class if you have questions, and take him with you when you to your office hours appointment. Nothing’s going to happen with your boyfriend right outside, right? If you invite him along he will be confident that you don’t have bad intentions. Even if he doesn’t go with you, you will have put his mind at ease.
Know that even if your professor is noticing you, he is probably not stupid enough to risk his career and his marriage for whatever fleeting pleasure he might get from you, and know, too, that if he would take that risk, then he is a big, fat, cheating scumbag, and big, fat, cheating scumbags are decidedly not hot. Even if it is an ego boost (and let’s face it—it is), realize that this flirtation is hurting your boyfriend and you have to stop it. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t answer questions or participate in class. What I’m saying is that it’s up to you to make this stop. Don’t flirt back. Keep all of your interactions completely neutral, and if you sense him flirting with you, don’t respond. I promise you this will go away, and, eventually, you will wonder what in the hell you were thinking. Just stay in control until then.