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Massive crush on senior female colleague - please pour cold water on me

(25 Posts)
WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 21:14:04

I'm new to mumsnet but have name changed just in case. As my title says, there is a woman at work who is my senior and I really need to find a way to dampen my feelings. I am happily married (to a man) with young children and have absolutely no desire to damage my marriage. But... I cannot stop thinking about her. I've known her a few years and we clicked instantly. I can't explain it, things are just easy with her (the same way they are with my husband), or at least they used to be. I am straight (I think) and have never felt like this about any woman before, besides thinking that somebody was pretty etc.

It's the classic crush story of working closely with someone for a while, emailing about work, texting about work (accepted policy at my workplace), and then we met outside of work with our kids for a playdate. This was about a year ago and then I would say we became real friends as opposed to work friends. All good so far.

I realised around Xmas time that i had feelings for her. I have no real idea when these came on and I really have tried to turn them off. We text most days, just about little things. I know I need to stop the texting. We see each other all the time at work but only every few months out of work, always with kids and sometimes with our husbands. Alcohol is never involved, thank goodness. I deliberately avoid it on work nights out now and volunteer to drive as I fear I will say or do something. I think about her all the time. I have no idea if she feels the same way and I honestly have no desire to take this further (except in my head). I know she thinks we are close but I think / hope that's it. She is very happily married and a bit older than me if that's relevant.

Well done if you got this far! What I'm asking is: is there a way to turn my feelings off but still be friends? I fear not as it hasn't worked for the last 6 months. The standard advice to avoid her will only work if I leave my job (small department) and I really don't want to as the hours are great and career-wise I worked hard to get here. What the hell do I do? Do I have to leave? We have talked about leaving and setting up a business together... This could all end in tears couldn't it? sad. I need to get a handle on this as colleagues have remarked on our closeness. Thank goodness they can't see inside my head. I really don't want that to happen and need to get her out of my head in that way while still working with her. If I detach completely I fear that will also be obvious. Aaagh.

JCo24 Sat 16-Jul-16 21:41:02

What is in the water on MN at the moment?
Unfortunately, the only way to 'dampen' the feelings would be to cut contact. If you can't even drink around the woman without worrying about your behaviour it'd probably be best to not be around her at all.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 21:45:08

Ugh, I really don't want to leave my job. Maybe if I just cut contact out of work? Could slowly reduce then stop the texting. We have a playdate with our kids planned... I really just want to be friends but have no idea how to turn the feelings off.

OneAppleADay Sat 16-Jul-16 21:54:37

I have had a huge crush on a good friend while we were in university that lasted for five years. From year 2 I started having feelings for him, saw him everyday, ten hours a day.
I eventually realized it would never happen anyway and accepted that, kept my friendship and went on with my life. Through the years, my feelings faded away even though I would easily say yes if he wanted anything with me.
It's been fourteen years since we graduated and we are still good friends. I really like him still and care for him, he never knew about my feelings.
I believe things can get better for you even if you are close to her. Give yourself time to process all that before you decide for something as radical as changing jobs.
Good luck!

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 21:59:45

Thanks for both your replies smile . Apple that gives me hope!! How did you avoid letting your feelings slip? Am so worried I will say something.

TheWindInThePillows Sat 16-Jul-16 22:09:37

I think intense crushes often fade over time, and I look back in wonder at the bond/crush I was so sure about a few years ago. I would file it under 'private' in your head, say nothing, and plough on. Google limerance and see if this is what you are experiencing, there's been some good advice on MN over the years on how to beat it (as it is usually pointless, sometimes a way of escaping, and uses up a lot of emotional energy to no end).

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 22:14:21

Love the idea of filing - I do tend to put things in boxes in my head anyway so will firmly lock that one. Off to google limerance...

OneAppleADay Sat 16-Jul-16 22:16:48

Well, I never said anything because I didn't want to ruin what we had. But some of my friends realized just by how I behaved close to him. Maybe he also knew deep inside? If so, he was kind enough to keep it for himself and keep being my friend as before.
The thing is, in the middle of my crush he had a short relationship with my best friend. She had absolutely no idea about my feelings for him, and even though it was hard for me to watch them together, I loved both and had to be ok with it.
So for me it was vital to keep my feelings inside and never tell them, because I knew she would feel really bad if she got to know I loved him.
I am sure I loved him more than she did, but that's life.
She is still my best friend, he is still my good friend, but they don't talk to each other any longer.
Do you feel the urge to tell her about your feelings? As you are both married, use it as your reason not to say anything and I think you be ok.
I read once that a crush usually lasts for 6 to 36 months, so it will eventually fade away. Be brave, accept that nothing can happen between the two of you and soon you will see your feelings going away.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 22:40:24

Yes, constantly thing about telling her. No idea why as that would be incredibly stupid and no good could come of it, whatever her answer. WTF is wrong with me?!

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 22:40:36

Think not thing

OneAppleADay Sat 16-Jul-16 22:48:37

Nothing wrong with you. People are different...
I guess you just have to realize that it is not going to be good for any of you to have that exposed.
It will be better, believe.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sat 16-Jul-16 22:54:11

If I was sure she would say no I would find it a hell of a lot easier to resist the urge. I will though, I have to...

Mamaka Sat 16-Jul-16 23:28:11

WhatTheFuck - are you the bff in the thread about flirting? Do you wipe down her kitchen table? grin

OneAppleADay Sun 17-Jul-16 00:12:27

grin Mamaka

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sun 17-Jul-16 06:16:04

grin no. Unless she has changed a massive amount of detail. Although her kitchen could definitely do with a clean grin . Have been reading that thread with interest!

AddToBasket Sun 17-Jul-16 06:59:01

Don't say anything.

She may have similar feelings for you, she may not - but don't find out. You've said here that you don't want anything to happen but something will happen if you tell her. It may not be a good something. It may be awkward, awful or generally bad for your working relationship. However she feels, she is likely to reject you as she is married.

If you like your job then you do need to pour cold water on this. If feelings are high/passionate then be careful not to change the outward nature of the relationship too dramatically as you could end up having a row. (Also bad, obviously.) But you must cool off 'inside' yourself.

Don't invite her to things. Don't stand close to her. Don't offer to help out in non-work situations, etc. Don't text after 8.30pm.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sun 17-Jul-16 08:06:02

Thanks for all responses flowers. Add to basket thank you, that's the kind of cold water I need. Thinking of posting in AIBU to get some harsh responses grin

WorstBarmaidEver Sun 17-Jul-16 20:48:00

Have been in a sort of similar situation, she was senior to me and about 10 years older (not that age matters whatsoever). No DC time together though as I don't have children (she does), but we did do various things after work together, mainly for professional reasons. It started before we started working together as the first time I met her it was just, weird. I felt like I had always known her. By the time we actually started working together I had a massive crush on her. This went on for about 6 months and we went separate ways for various reasons (I never told her about my feelings or anything like that, but our relationship was strained at the time). This was a few months ago, and I thought it was getting easier but then last night I had an almighty dream about her. Woke up this morning and just realised that I'm either going to have to ignore it forever or tell her so she can tell me to fuck off once and for all. We text occasionally as apposed to numerous times daily, but the most difficult thing is missing her friendship as well, I found it quite easy actually to separate really appreciating and liking her as a friend and having feelings for her. So as much as I would like to say it gets easier, not sure it does! confused

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sun 17-Jul-16 21:48:45

Thanks, that's exactly how it feels... weird. Anyway, have had my arse handed to me on AIBU (deservedly so) so have given myself a shake and feel in a slightly better place. Hope it all works out for you Barmaid

Greenandmighty Sun 17-Jul-16 23:24:58

Just wondering if there are things amiss in your relationship with your dh as maybe the crush is a way to escape something there? In other words, maybe it's worth reflecting on what this woman gives you that you might be needing from your dh. Just a thought.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Sun 17-Jul-16 23:40:16

That's the thing. There really isn't. Aside from the whole busy life, sorting kids, housework, occasional bickering that I think everyone does, things are fine with DH.

Foolscapped Sun 17-Jul-16 23:49:27

I had this once too, with an older female colleague, despite being happily in a longterm relationship with a man and being straight. I just didn't do anything about it and behaved in a normally friendly way and eventually it went away, as crushes do. I don't think they're any indication that there's anything wrong with your life, or that you're bi or secretly unfulfilled or anything.

WhatTheFuckDoIDoNow Mon 18-Jul-16 03:00:28

Foolscapped do you mind me asking how you stopped it messing with your head? I did a mumsnet search last night (as opposed to just google) and found a few old posts from people and think my situation's more common than I realised, people just seem to talk about it less.

I'm not going to act on it, just really struggling with the messing with my head side of it all hence posting at 3am

Am resolved to just ignore it, file it away and accept it as one of those things. Starting tomorrow...

Kenduskeag Mon 18-Jul-16 12:38:04

Isn't this the third thread from this poster on the same issue?

deplorabelle Mon 18-Jul-16 18:04:54

This happened to me and I've been waiting four years for it to go. The feelings are much less intense than they used to be but have never faded completely. Like other posters I went for the press on regardless option. No idea whether it's the right thing to do but this friendship occupies a very precious place in my life even if it is painful. I am careful never to behave inappropriately and try not to give it too much brain space

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