Dear Dr. Love,I have a simple question. Is there anyway to get someone that you are extremely attracted to, to the point where you feel that you are in love with that person, to love you back? The person that I love is someone I supervise at work. There is a considerable age difference: 48 (me) and 26 (her). She is from Poland. I have never been married and have no children. I have had 2 prior relationships in the past 20 years lasting under 4 years each. I don’t date (work consumes my time and I live in a very small and isolated community).Comparing with my prior two relationships, I have never felt this way about a woman before. I have conducted myself in a very professional manner and she does not know how I feel about her. I have to interact with her everyday. What I have many times complimented her on her work (which is sincere). She knows that I think she does outstanding work and that I think highly of her. I have a concern about going farther or in any way directly indicating my intensions because of concerns over’sexual harrassment’. I also have a concern about being ‘rejected’. However, it has become painful to the point where I am miserable because my emotions hang on her every gesture when we meet at work, a smile here, a conversation there, in the normal course of interactions. I feel sometimes that I want to quit my job, but it’s not easy.She does not have a boyfriend (yet) but she has recently become ‘close’ to one of her co-workers (whom I also supervise; they share an office), and they do things like go to movies, have lunch, etc. However, so far I know they are not serious. About this entire situation, I get very depressed at night thinking about it. I wish that a love potion existed where you can simply give it to the other person and that person will find you very attractive and love you. For me, this is the person I want to marry (in spite of our age difference). Is there anything I can do to where the woman will find me attractive to the point of falling in love with me? Is there any type of behavior, or actions, or anything, I can do or demonstrate where she will fall in love with me? Thank you.
You sound like an absolutely delightful man. This woman would be lucky to have you. Only, I’m sure that she has no clue that you are interested in her, because your fear of rejection is causing you to hold back with her. Your question is two-fold, one: how can you improve the odds that she will fall for you; and two, how can you deal with the fear of rejection that blocks you from making a move with her.As for the fear of rejection, please search my Advice Archives under the key words: shy, scared to make the first move, and fear of rejection. I think that once you resolve your fear of rejection, you will be prepared to be more forward with her. In addition to reading the Archives, I think you need to reprogram your mind. At this point, you are avoiding the pain of rejection at all costs, to the point that you are immobilized. You need to tell yourself that your pain will be much worse if you don’t take a chance with her–you will live with the pain of this unrequited love for the rest of your life.Plus, if you never take action, you will never have her. How’s that for pain? On the other hand, if you approach her, you have a chance that she will say yes. So, here’s the choice: stay immobilized and live in permanent pain. Or take a chance, which offers the possibility that your dream will come true. Yes, you may suffer pain if she turns you down, but you will heal (the pain won’t be permanent as in the first option).So, as I see it, becoming more active means less pain all around. Now, before you actually stick your neck out and declare your love, there is much that you can do to make her interest in you grow. If you follow these preparatory steps, you will do much to minimize the risk of rejection when you actually make your move. Bottom line: women fall for men (and stay in love with men) that make them feel special. How is this done? Show interest in her. Ask her about herself, her feelings, her interests, etc. Also, verbalize what you like about her, not what you like about her work, but what you like about her personally. Research shows that we are drawn to people that have positive feelings for us.So, let her know that you care. And, do this over a few weeks. After she knows that you like her, tell her that you would like to know her better. Ask her to meet you for a drink or coffee or dinner. Notice you are not asking for marriage, or declaring your love. You are just asking to know her better. She’d have to be pretty foolish to turn down the opportunity to form a friendship with such a caring man. All the while, watch for signals that she is receptive (she smiles at you, holds your glance, arranges to bump into you, etc. ) When you receive green lights, you can move to deepen the connection with her. (Realize that most men never declare their love until they have received many green lights from the woman they are interested in. In this way, your risk of rejection is practically zero. ) My best wishes to you. I truly hope that you win her. Please let me know how you do.