If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Work Crush, at my age.

  • 28-08-2021 10:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    So, I'm well and truly middle aged and married, happily for over ten years. But I have developed what is something like the crushes I used to have on people in my teens or early twenties FFS.

    The girl in question is ten years younger than me and also happily married. We get on well, and others at work have half jokingly commented is there something going on, but we were just having a laugh. Our job is pretty stressful so it's just a way to get through the day. There's never any inappropriate stuff, just nonsense, often surreal, absurd stuff, but we're on the same wavelength.

    The issue is I think about her all the time in recent weeks, and even if she felt the same (which I'm pretty sure she doesn't) I wouldn't want to do anything about it (since we're both in relationships). So my question is, how do I get the stupid notions out of my head? I'm far too long in the tooth for all this.

    I'd add we've worked together for over five years, and until a few months ago I'd never thought of her as anything but a work colleague, so fcuk knows what happened in recent months!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,096 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    COVID happened. Work places changed. Try to make your interactions more general and include others in the banter.

    The best way to go back to seeing this person as a colleague is to have someone else who is more special.

    Make a greater effort with your partner and have little treats to look forward to together. Rekindle the feelings you had when you began dating. it’s like weaning yourself off an addiction.

    Word of warning though. Don’t do anything too out of character as your partner may wrongly suspect you actually had an affair.

  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭LapsypaCork

    It’s more common than you think, but you need to be very very careful here and don’t ever think of taking things further. Subconsciously it could have been a coping mechanism for you both during the past year and a half and also, as she seems happily married, probably sees you as a ‘big brother or father figure’ type and obviously trusts you. I would suggest taking a few steps back here, for each of your sakes, try to create more of a professional relationship with her, talk about your spouse to her indicating how content your marriage is. Also, I would avoid any nights out etc where alcohol is involved as, if either of you have a little bit too much, things can be said, or done you’d both could regret thus totally spoiling the relationship. You could still have a good friendship with her but take it back a little, especially if your colleagues are noticing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    Thanks, it's all good advice. It's a shame I have to think about changing my interactions with her because for years it's just been fun and just a good laugh working with her, and now for whatever reason my brain has ruined it. But I will have to just try and get on with work in a different way. Just so odd out, of the blue after all this time! Oh and I prefer the big brother analogy, though the father figure one might be right 🙂.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭OMM 0000

    Learn to say no to yourself.

    It's that simple.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    I never intended to say yes to the fanciful notions. It would just be nice to move on from the daydreaming (which is essentially all it is).

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭LapsypaCork

    Don’t beat yourself up about it, as you say, mid-life…which does tend to trigger different emotions. If your having difficulty in coping with your feelings, pop into a therapist and have a chat, they’ll help you and it would be so much better to talk things out with somebody who can help you. Also, if you don’t already, try some meditation, loads of really good free wellness apps out there, might help you to ground yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    I don't think I ever found myself developing crushes if I was in love with my partner at the time. For sure you'd find someone attractive or have the craic but imo to develop a serious emotional attraction like this it usually points to something lacking in your current relationship.

    So I'd advise instead of burying your head in the sand and saying everything is great with your wife to explore what it is that has you straying emotionally to another woman.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    You might have a point but honestly I don't know where to look for an issue because my relationship with my wife hasn't changed in recent times, for years in fact, it's genuinely very good. If I were unhappy at home I think it'd all make more sense to me. Need to have a think, but if there's an issue it's not readily apparent, head in the sand or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    What your sex life like? Are you still attracted to her? Does she challenge you?

    I think a lot of people tend to settle for someone in life for practical reasons but then at some point you'll stumble across someone who you've more natural chemistry with and get them pangs of regret thinking could it have been this good, or could it still‽

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    It's a really interesting question, or questions, sex life is as it's always been, (not prolific by any means, and fine, but really not changed for years) and I absolutely think she still looks great, but then when I'm mooning over (because that's what it boils down to isn't it) this person I don't really equate it with sex anyway and it's not a looks thing either I don't think. It is an emotional infatuation (originally wrote emotional connection, but there isn't really a connection there I don't think!) maybe that's worse I don't know.

    That's what's confusing me just the complete randomness of it all, maybe it's a wider mental health thing I need to look at. I can't thank all the responses enough though, and I think it's done me good to just get a bit of perspective.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭hesaidshesaid

    Really good advice above.

    The past 18 months have been unprecedented for everyone. We’ve all needed a coping mechanism. Some people chose baking, some people chose box sets, some people chose to up the alcohol intake. We all needed a distraction to get us through. It seems you have a good relationship with your wife, I’d suggest you don’t go overthinking or over-complicating that. It seems likely that your recent crush on this colleague is just a distraction, a way to get you through the not always exciting working day.

    Maybe you just need a new distraction? A new sport, tech thing, whatever you’re into. Our brains just need a void to fill sometimes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind

    I think what you're experiencing is pretty human OP. Being married doesn't mean other women won't be attractive to you or you won't think, "what if?" with someone you feel a connection to for the rest of your days. Being married means you made a choice, and that choice continues every day. You choose your wife and choose to ignore the feelings that don't prioritise or respect her.

    Feelings are just feelings anyway, you can't stop them, but equally they don't have to dictate the actions you take in order to live a responsible life. If I followed my feelings today I'd be still in bed and eating a late breakfast of hob nobs and ice-cream. Acknowledge the feelings, explore if they're giving you any helpful info about your life, and move forwards with integrity and honour. Maybe they're indicating to you that you need to manage the stress of the job more constructively (like creating a better work-life separation, a better emotional connection with your wife, etc), rather than you actually having meaningful feelings for this person that would just lead you to a lot of self-sabotage and destruction.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    Thanks both, and everyone. I have had some good advice from all and it is appreciated. I do need to try and fill in my down time with something else and change how I go about things at work.

    Perversely I have actually been thinking less about her/it/the issue in general less since I have been talking about it. Although I haven't worked with her for a couple of days, tomorrow is first day working with her since then, so just need to step back a bit and see how we go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,741 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio

    I wonder how many people have lost their wives, their children, their homes, and their savings over twenty minutes of sex with someone they had a crush on.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    A crush is just fancying someone. Why would that be age specific? And being with somebody else after the giddy thrill period has settled certainly doesn't stop people from fancying others. It's perfectly normal and natural. So long as they don't act on it, it's just thoughts.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,010 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    I wonder how many divorces started with that thought?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭irishgrover

    I'm not saything this reflects you or your behaviour, just my 2c worth


    a.) Imagine that things develop between you and the co-worker and you begin to have sexual relations

    b.)Now plan out the conversation that you will have with your wife to tell them that you are seeing another woman

    c.)Carefully detail what will happen after that conversation, counselling, moving out, separation, divorce, telling your parents, friends and family, selling and dividing your assets, financial impact etc. Calculate the effort, cost, impact of it all.

    Do you still believe that A>(B+C). If no then maybe change your interaction with the co-worker. If yes, then maybe be a little more direct in appropriately communicating how you feel about her, in case she does not feel that same way and you are wasting your time and risking your marriage unnecessarily.


    2: You get a call from HR. You are advised of a complaint being made about the way to interact with your co-worker. She states that she thought she had a positive working relationship with you and that she had considered you somewhat of a mentor given your significant experience and the not insignificant age difference. However recently she feels that you are behaving in an inappropriate manner. You are orchestrating scenarios to spend time with her, and she feels you are engaging in a slightly non-professional almost flirtatious and overtly personal manner. Although you have not explicitly done or said anything directly harassing she has noticed a pattern that she is uncomfortable with and has gone to HR to raise her concerns / discomfort.

    Are you confident that you had said and done nothing that would lead to such an interpretation, correctly or incorrectly?

    If yes, and you’re still happy after scenario 1, then go for it 😁

    Otherwise, step back and re-evaluate what you are doing and the potential for damage. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    @irishgrover Yeah, I mean that's a pretty good summary, and just thinking about all those kinds of things, the fallout etc, is why I wanted to move on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,673 ✭✭✭mrslancaster

    Know someone who didnt say no about four or five years ago. All kinds of hurt & heartache caused to his wife, kids, both extended families & the woman colleague. The couple separated & the woman had to leave her job. The couple got back together & had counselling afaik but his wife still doesnt speak to his extended family because they tried to support him during the separation. Lots of damage caused.

    On the other hand lots of people who work together enjoy a bit of flirting and banter / fun / laughter and it doesn't go any further. Just be aware that if you cant say no you need to be prepared for the fall-out.

    Post edited by mrslancaster on

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 8 ramirodelojo

    Oh, man, relationships at work are not the best idea. Especially since you both have partners. I don't think you need to talk to her about it since she won't help you, so you just need to move on and get over her on your own. You can check to have some fun and forget this girl, and I hope it'll work for you and you won't see anything more than just a colleague in her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,203 ✭✭✭Tork

    You're very hard on yourself by adopting the username midlife moron. People can develop crushes at any age and the important thing is to deal with them in a mature way. Intellectually, you know that acting on your feelings will end in disaster. Even if this doesn't affect your career, the consequences for your home life are likely to be very grim indeed. If you know anybody (male) who has been through a separation or divorce, a chat will be quite an eye opener. The last year and a half have been very odd times for most of us. It's likely things have gone stale at home for you in more ways than one. You've probably seen far more of your wife than you normally would've done. You've not had the same social outlets as you did and you won't have been able to do many of the things you normally would've. So perhaps this crush on your colleague has become your mind's way of relieving the tedium and shaking things up a bit. It's interesting that you said you weren't thinking so much about her when you weren't working with her. That's the key to reducing the intensity of this, I think. Can you busy yourself with work and make yourself less available for chats and banter? It's usually distance and less contact that makes crushes fade anyway. Also, after being married for so long things at home probably need a bit of a shake-up. Are there any things you and your wife could do to shake up your routine? Like going away for a short break or doing more things together?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 midlife moron

    Can't sleep (for unrelated reasons 🙂) and just reading the last couple of replies.

    Thanks for everyone's advice, nearly all good I think. I've definitely stepped back a bit from interactions at work and it's fine. Just going to keep doing the same now.

    Happy I discussed it, sensible outside perspective was much needed, and realism about it all was missing when it floated round my head. I probably won't reply any more but thanks again.