I’m falling for my boss!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about attraction to boss: I’ve even had a dream where I’ve written him a letter telling him how I feel and he wrote me back reciprocating those feelings.

I’ve always noticed that my boss is attractive, and we’ve always gotten along at work, and we’ve never done or said anything that wasn’t work related. However recently it has come to a whole new level.I find myself thinking about him quite a bit, and I’ve even had a dream where I’ve written him a letter telling him how I feel and he wrote me back reciprocating those feelings. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a dream about he and I being together. Nothing sexual, but I’m afraid that’s next. I can’t stop thinking about the prospect of he and I being together, and I don’t know how to stop this from affecting my job.

Signed, Dreaming

Dear Dreaming:

Fortunately (or unfortunately) a dream isn’t reality. Your job and your boss’s job both are reality. So, you’ll need to think very carefully about what you do regarding this infatuation. If either your boss or you are married, that should help you make up your mind to keep your dreams and fantasies to yourself. Jeopardizing your job is one thing, but ruining a marriage over an office romance is too bad to contemplate. Those never end happily and you’ll end up losing your job and your friendship–and one or both of you could lose a marriage, with all that involves.

If you both are single, the main issue is whether or not there is a company rule against a personal relationship between a boss and an employee. If you’re both single and there is no rule against a relationship, your next step is to decide if he has shown even the slightest interest in having more than an office friendship with you. Most men are not so shy that they don’t make their thoughts known. If he has never hinted around and has always treated you in a respectful office-friend manner, you’ll probably embarrass him and yourself terribly by telling him your feelings. If he has seemed to feel personal about you, maybe he would welcome a bit of nudge.I expect, since you wrote to us about it, that some aspect of the situation makes it unlikely that you could have a happy ending to the romantic dream. If that’s the case, and you want to stay working there, you’ll have to find a way to deal with your feelings.

You may want to consider just accepting your feelings and being glad you get to work around someone who appeals to you so much. The idea of loving from afar is not as sacrificial as it sounds. Sometimes that’s just what a person has to do to avoid hurting the person you care about and hurting yourself as well.You should certainly avoid causing yourself more pain than you have to. Don’t be in isolated offices or in a car with him. Avoid going to lunch alone with him if you have done that.

Don’t discuss personal issues. One way to know what to avoid is this: If you want to do it because it will help you feel closer to him, don’t.Put your focus on your work and don’t spend more time than necessary in his office or on emails or calls to him that aren’t work related or necessary to get the work done. Even if he enjoys all of it, they may not have any deep significance for him. He certainly may not realize they encourage feelings on your part.If there are other employees in the office, they may suspect how you feel. As long as you haven’t said or done anything overtly, they don’t know anything for sure. Consider strengthening your friendships with others at work, so you aren’t so likely to think of your boss as your best friend there.

Finally, give it some time and decide then. That will help you get over feeling that you have to decide what to do, right away–and something may happen to change your mind.For example, wait until after the first of the year. Notice how he talks about his family during the holidays and use that to remind you that he has a life away from you and away from work.Hopefully some of these thoughts will help you as you deal with your feelings. If you and your boss can’t be together without bringing sorrow or upset to someone’s life, it just won’t be able to happen. That’s a shame, but it’s also a tough fact that won’t change. Use self-discipline, mental toughness and your character and determination, to help you do the right thing.Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.