Office-Mate a Flake?
Q: I work with girl, and we are both 37. We have this strong sexual attraction to each other, but we haven't "gone there" when we are at work. But if we are hidden away, she's all over me. When I call her or we make plans, she stands me up or just plain avoids me. What gives? This has happened three times in a row. What should I do? -- Jackson, 37
Dr. Susan: This woman is bad news, Jackson. She's addicted to the thrill of the chase and doesn't show any intention of following through. What she gets turned on by is the forbidden aspect of your (non-)relationship. Getting close but not quite close enough is what she's after with you. The central fact here is that whenever she has a chance of really connecting with you, she avoids you or stands you up. Many men, at least those who respect themselves and others, won't keep pursuing a woman who stands him up, certainly not more than once. What's happening, of course, is obvious. She's teasing you. And that intermittent reinforcement is a killer: You'll keep trying virtually forever, in hopes that this time she'll come through. My advice, if you don't want to quit her cold turkey, is to say to her, "Hey, what's going on? I thought we had something here." If she indicates she really does like you, then give her one more chance, and tell her that's what you're doing. And then when she doesn't follow through, quit wasting your time.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.