Dear Dr. Love,I am a 25 year old single female (now 5 months free from a relationship) and have been utterly IN LOVE with a male co-worker of mine for almost a year. We are both teachers. We are both single and 1 year apart. I tried to forget about him over the summer but it didn’t work. All I ever think about is him. Everything about us seem to match up perfectly except for the fact that he has no idea of my feelings for him and I could never come out and admit them; most of the time when we speak we look away from each other and I start to babble or stutter or fall or something just as clumsy.All of our other co-workers and even students have said that we would make the ‘perfect’ couple. I don’t know what to do. Could my dream to be with him ever become a reality? From’Jerry McGuire’ . . . ‘I LOVE him!!!’ Please Help me.Signed, Helplessly in love with a co-worker
I am wondering why you tried to forget about this man who sounds just right for you. Were you afraid that he would never like you, and, so, you tried to convince yourself to forget him. Your confidence doesn’t seem as a high as it deserves to be. You don’t seem to realize how attractive and desirable you are. How do I know? It’s pretty obvious to that your dream lover likes you too. (You said that he looks away from you when you talk with each other. You are so caught up with your own feelings that you didn’t realize that he has a crush on you. In fact, he is shy like you are and afraid to be turned down by you! He hides his face because he is afraid that you will read his attraction for you and reject him!)So, what we have are two shy people who are terrified to be rejected. I know you said that you could never admit your interest. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen? That he would tell you that he just wants to be friends (I highly doubt it. ) But, even if he did say that he wasn’t interested in more, you won’t die, I promise you that. You might feel embarrassed, but you won’t die. (Read through my advice archives under key words such as ‘shy’ and ‘scared to make the first move. ‘ In other Q & As, I have talked about how to overcome shyness and the fear of rejection. )You might also try solo rehearsals. Imagine yourself telling him that you are interested in deepening the relationship and imagine him refusing. If you practice in this way, the feeling of terror should weaken after several ‘Dr. runs. ‘ Then, you should be more able to take a chance. Remember, the sayings: ‘The only people who fail are those who don’t try. . . And, nothing ventured, nothing gained. ‘ So, read my archives, rehearse alone, and then, go for it. Someone has to make the first move here. If you wait for him, you will end up a wrinkled, dateless prune.If after all the above steps, you still feel too afraid to face him, you could send him a note telling him how you feel. Promise me that you will do something. And, also promise me that you will let me know what you decide and how you make out.