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You Asked: Is This Just a Fling?

Dear Sugar,

Recently, I had a new employee hired under me; he's friends with my boss. At first he was just a flirt, but as time went on my attraction grew, and before I knew it we kissed one day, and it was like fireworks went off. After that kiss, we began talking every day, texting, and emailing, and then eventually sleeping together. We have the greatest chemistry and when we're together, I just melt! It's been about five months and we have had sex repeatedly. Sometimes I cook dinner and he will come over or sometimes we just cuddle and relax on the sofa without any intimacy.

We are compatible and I've grown to really like him, but I am beginning to think he is either losing interest or possibly dating someone else as my strong feelings are not being reciprocated as I'd like. We usually have sex at least once a week; however, it's been about a month and a half since the last time. I don't see him much any more outside of work. He doesn't come by my place nor do we go out anywhere. On the weekends he always has an excuse for not being able to do anything . . .

I have asked him if he was seeing someone and he says no. But why else would he be pulling away? The crazy thing is, in the office, he acts like everything is OK, showering me with attention throughout the day. So why the sudden changes? What should I do?

— Office Love Laura

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Office Love Laura,

These are the perils of a work relationship. It sounds as though your co-worker is trying to break up without formally ending your relationship as that might cause drama in the workplace. Essentially, it doesn't matter why he's doing it — another person, disinterest, or sudden concerns of work-related issues — only that he's giving you the cues that from his end, it's over. I would guess that his nice behavior in the office is an attempt to keep things friendly between you two.

It's frustrating and, I'm sure, disappointing. Although it might seem satisfying to continue to confront him until you get an answer, I think from a professional standpoint it's far better to just back off and mentally put an end to things. It may be a challenge, but it's important that you don't let this relationship interfere with your job. And if he comes around again, certainly use caution.


Join The Conversation
justLooking31566 justLooking31566 8 years
As someone who dated a co-worker years ago (and it didn't work out), my 2 cents is: Detach from him romantically but remain professional (no flirting) towards him; focus on your career goals, work reputation and performance; and chalk the whole thing up as a valuable learning experience. It really is a good lesson to learn on many levels, especially if you're young and plan to have a career or be in the workforce for a long time. Good luck. :)
myystque myystque 8 years
I agree with DearSugar: it's probably over and it doesn't sound as though you'll get a reason. I'm sure he wants to keep things friendly since his position is lower than yours: he's worried that you might be pissed off or upset about the relationship and retaliate by doing something in the workplace (which of course is illegal but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen). I know it's difficult since you are really into him, but I'd try and forget about having a relationship with him and just move on.
Katmandu6886 Katmandu6886 8 years
I'm not even sure if it was a fling! You said you never went anywhere he would just come over to your place and sometimes you would cook dinner! That is a big sign , if he doesn't want to be in public with you, he's not even considering you as a girlfriend. It was nothing more than an sexual thing, you guys weren't even dating just meeting for sex. I think you let your emotions believe it was more and he only wanted one thing,which he got and now is moving on. Even though your probably hurting, don't show it, use this experience to know better next time, at work do your job well and treat him as you would any other employee.... It may be hard, but remember you just grew!
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 8 years
stop calling him. if he's trying to distance himself you're only looking needy. especially because you never so much as talked about a relationship. i say stay away from him at work too. unless you absolutely have to discuss business with him. K8- i agree... he probably isnt worth it.
k8-rckstr k8-rckstr 8 years
Agree with the others... he sees it as a fling and is most likely seeing someone else now and doesn't want to make things at work awkward for either of you... IMO You just need to play it cool and let it go... he's not worth the heartache anyway :) ~"The man who makes you cry is not worth your tears, and the man worth your tears will never make you cry"~
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Definitely a fling on his end.He saw,he conquered, and now he's done. Guaranteed he'll be flirting and moving on to some other unsupecting girl in the office. Accept his lame ass way of keeping things friendly because he doesn't have the balls enough to tell you he's over it.Gather up your dignity and move on. Next time set up some ground rules for yourself before dating/sleeping with a co worker.In the long run it will save you alot of discomfort and the embarrassment of people gossiping about your personal life in the workplace.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I think you're starting to come off as needy. If he keeps making excuses every weekend and you guys haven't even shacked up in over a month, the fling is pretty much over. Be nice to him at work and let him know 'no hard feelings' (even if there are, it's not going to help making things awkward for yourself). I'm afraid this chapter is closed.
colombiansugar colombiansugar 8 years
It sounds like it was a fling. And he just doesn't want to make it an awkward situation at work by officially "breaking up" (if there was truly anything to break up...). Sucks, but it's time to just act nice to him in the office and move on.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Maybe he's just not that into you? That book is really helpful. What you do with the info is up to you. And, what has happened does's so easy to get lost in the excitement of it all and suddenly, when it's not as exciting you start wondering what has happened, what is going on?
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i think it was just a fling for him. since he was hired under you he might be worried about job security. there could be legal ramifications here, so be careful.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 8 years
I don't understand why everyone usually takes such a harsh tone with these people. they're coming here asking for advice so obviously they're not pretending to be the smartest or the brightest. my opinion: look at actions, not words. if he's cooling off with you when you're not both getting paid to be in the same building, that should be enough. if he wanted to be with you, he'd be with you at a time other than work. and he's not. so I think you should call it over, maybe pull a bridget jones in front of the workstaff (or you know just end it gracefully ;) ) and then go about life as if it never even bothered you.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Wait, you act first then you stop and think? Did you actually even talk about being in a relationship together? Because sex does not a relationship make. You can't make this about you and your hurt feelings because it doesn't seem like you discussed much of anything, just acted on it. Or assumed. Also, messing around with a co-worker is the brightest idea you could have.
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