Bitter Sweet

Today was one of the best and worst days of my life. I am also an incredibly sad person.

Today I told a woman I like her. I’ve worked with this woman for years, and have secretly liked her for years. We were both married, so I kept my mouth shut. Eventually, she and her husband separated. I kept my mouth shut. A while later, my wife and I separated. In between, this woman started dating someone.

Jump to last week. For whatever reason the fates ordained, this whole situation really started weighing on me. Telling her how I felt was all I could think about at work. It was making me feel ill. I got better over the weekend, but it came back with a vengeance come today. I decided, for better or worse, I had to tell her.

Break came, and I pulled her aside. Scared to death and being horrible at these things, I stumbled through my confession. She was surprised, but seemingly genuinely touched. Of course she said she was seeing someone, and I allowed that I thought she was. She thanked me and said I made her day. That was it.

The rest of my day was a rollercoaster ride on the bipolar express. One moment I was grinning like a fool. This attractive woman, whose personality I love, * finally* knew my true feelings for her! The next moment, I could hardly bother to move. It didn’t even matter she knew. Regardless what she thought of my confession, she was still off limits after all these years.

I still feel a fool, but also relieved. I’m telling all you this because I honestly have no one to tell, but I had to tell someone.

Thank you for listening to me.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You reached out and…the Universe whispered wait.

Give her time to think.

Are you sure it’s not a bit soon to be dating, anyway? You said “separated”, not “divorced”, and I get the sense that it’s recent.

I said separated because we’re not divorced yet, and the marriage died about two years ago, really. I sure you it will not be revived.

I applaud you for your honesty and bravery. But I do wonder… why choose this method of baring your soul in an office setting? Why not the more discreet, indirect, less in-your-face approach of asking her to lunch, or out for a coffee, or a drink after work?

I don’t mean to be critical because I’m sure it took guts to spill them, as it were. But in a way you’ve dropped this bomb on her and she’s left to deal with the fallout. You’ve unburdened yourself by putting the load on her. Not exactly fair or the best way of going about exploring a possible new relationship.

You did it! That’s really all that matters. Regardless of how it ends, you managed to muster up the courage and you went for it. That’s a really big deal. Don’t let the negativity ruin it for you.

These are all valid points.

I agree with QuickSilver. I’m a fucking idiot. I’ve always sucked at this. Regardless, I think she’s pretty much forgotten the whole thing, so there’s that.

That said, I also agree with Delta-9, and thank you for your kind words. It was a huge deal for me, being an introvert. My honest first thought afterwards was “and his balls grew three sizes that day.” So there’s that to be proud of.

In the end, what’s done is done, and I’m no worse off than I was before. It’s one more chapter I can close. Maybe now I can work on just being me, whatever the hell that may be.

To be fair, I never called you “a fucking idiot”. :slight_smile:

As you say, in the grand scheme of things, this was just a minor faux pas. We’ve all said and done far dumber stuff given half the chance.

Next time you want to show her how your really feel, try reciting poetry. Like:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Nice tits.

Congrats on that part. :cool:

Good luck with your impending divorce. (*There’s not really a smiley for that, is there?)

Someone is usually around, here, to listen if you need it.

You win the thread! LMAO.

I wish I had taken that risk more than I did. At 51 I remember all the times it made me happy and any embarrassment I had when I was turned down has long faded.

In true rom-com fashion, you have to plan an outrageously public display of your affections, surprise her with it around her friends and family, guilt her into going out with you, accept her anger at being tricked, do borderline stalking actions against her, her friends, and family, then await the inevitable moment when she realizes she loved you all along.

You indeed never did, but I’ve been calling myself that off and on today. :wink: It’s nothing on you.

Don’t give up hope, she could still come around. I’m not saying you should waste your life chasing her, but she needs time to absorb that information. She probably never saw you as a potential mate.

My advice is to not let things get weird. Just act like it never happened, and she will too. But what you told her will be in the back of her mind. Sometime down the road she will be single again, then make a move.

Thank you purplehorseshoe. I have to say this board does seem to err towards the nicer side when it comes to stuff like this. It’s nice to know there’s someone I can tell about my stupidity. :slight_smile:

YogSoSoth, that’s kind of what I felt like I did, looking back today. :slight_smile: Reality of course dictates that my life not stop sucking and the jerk gets the girl at the end. Oh, well!

That makes sense, I suppose. She’s probably just as confused as I am. :smiley: She had indeed remained mum, and I’ve decided to do the same. As I said, I feel a fool, so staying quiet hasn’t been a challenge. :slight_smile:

No dear, she hasn’t forgotten. At the risk of overgeneralizing, we (women) don’t forget things like that. What you did was not foolish. Maybe nothing will come of it, maybe something will in good time, but either way I’d say today was a success. You discovered that some things are more important than rejection and that is a lesson that will likely stay with you forever.

Good on you for stepping out of your comfort zone. That takes balls.

With that out of the way, I would try to avoid the put-her-on-a-pedestal “I like you, do you like me?” kind of approach in the future. Next time just ask her out.

Congratulations on pulling that one off, I wish you the best.

Let me tell you my similar story and I hope your situation turns out vastly different.

I started working with her about 10 years ago. I adored her from day one, but kept it professional. After 7 years she divorced. 2 years later I became separated. A few months after that I confessed my feelings to her. She said she felt the same way but would not act on it until I was divorced as well. Then my divorce became final, she said it would be weird to date someone she worked with. I quit and switched jobs (not just for her, there were other factors). Then she said the holidays were coming up and she would be too busy to start a new relationship. It is now after the holidays and it finally dawned on me that were I to ask her out again there would be another excuse, and that she was just too nice to tell me to get lost.