Obsession can prove dangerous
Q - I think I’m obsessed with a co-worker.
My job is project work with others for about a month, then moving onto new projects/ people.
I first worked with this guy a year ago, then on another project where the work was complicated, intense, and stressful.
He was attractive. His intelligence and career level made him more appealing. He’s 32, and I’m 23.
Towards the project’s end I found him somewhat patronising and hot-tempered, so later, I avoided him.
Deep down I wanted another project with him to prove to him that I’m good at my job.
When I did get a new project with him, it went well and he was nice to me throughout.
Yet whenever I met with him my hands would shake.
I realised I must have a crush on him and became really depressed for a week when I found out he’s married and his wife works in a different department of the same company.
I started looking him up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as doing Google searches to find out more about him and his life.
I regularly checked his social media, though he keeps it all private.
I even studied his arrival time to avoid passing him in the corridor. If he passed my desk Iíd look busy.
But I still wanted to work with him again.
Recently, he hasn’t been in the office (we travel a lot for work) and I’ve started to think less about him, but I got depressed when I saw his wife who’s very pregnant. I managed to brush it off.
I just learned he’s leaving the company soon.
I’m devastated and realise I really do have an obsession. I know now that it’s fun fancying someone and trying to avoid them but secretly hoping our paths will cross. But soon that won’t happen again.
I’ve crushed on colleagues before but don’t know why this one affected me so much.
Will it go away once he’s left?
There’s a younger guy at work who I really do fancy but I don’t wake up thinking about him or feel awkward around him. I seek him out and enjoying talking to him. So why does the 32-yearold make me so nervous?
A - Crushes are fairly common and innocent, obsessions are deeper and can be emotionally disturbing, even dangerous.
You dug into this obsession when you assumed he thought little of your work. You determined to impress him. It wasn’t just about him, but about your own self-esteem.
Meanwhile, there’s a guy whom you like with whom you can have a chance for a normal relationship, if he feels the same way (and isn’t married).
But if you can’t get past your intense focus on the man who’s leaving, and continue to check his whereabouts and life, get counselling help.
FEEDBACK: Regarding the man, 60, who called his 15-year marriage “loveless” (June 5):
Reader — “His wife’s disinterest in sex doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t love him.
“A large percentage of postmenopausal women suffer from vaginal dryness, causing very painful intercourse.
“I’ve tried everything (estradiol, homeopathic and herbal solutions. I’m not a candidate for hormone therapy.)
“Losing estrogen is a harsh and unwelcome process of aging for women.
“My husband and I have tried to accept it and come up with alternatives.
“Communication is very important so the male partner doesn’t take it personally and feel rejected and unloved.
“There are other ways to be intimate.”