Adapted from a recent online discussion.
More from a married commuter who falls hard for her new boss
Soul mate again: I keep considering saying to my boss, "Hey, I know we've bonded, but I'm never going to have an affair."
It's a tricky thing to do, and he might deny he's ever been flirtatious. But, I really do want to keep him as a friend as soon as I can get the hormones to die down. Have you ever seen this work?
Carolyn: Please don't tell him that, and not because it's "tricky."
When the boat is sinking, you don't run around grabbing trinkets — just get to the lifeboat. If you wind up friends someday, swell, but trying to achieve that now is just another way you've rationalized staying close to him. Overrule that voice.
Re: Soul mate
Anonymous 2: You do realize he farts in bed, blows his nose on his socks, and has a thoroughly boring life? The infatuation will wear off.
She needs to be in the same ZIP code as her husband to stave off the loneliness/temptation, and the rest will go away on its own.
Carolyn: All good — though blowing his nose on his socks? I've missed that bit of domestic thrill-seeking, apparently.
Re: Soul mate
Anonymous 3: Heh. I found "my new best friend" when I relocated. MNBF was married with a child; hubby and I have none. It quickly became an emotional, and somewhat physical, affair. I've long since ended it, but it took work, and could have destroyed my marriage (I came clean on my own). MNBF is still with his wife, whom he's cheated on before. I realized I didn't like some things about MNBF; there was a weakness of character I could not get past, and I had to sink pretty low myself to see it. Don't go there. I have to deal with the self-loathing daily.
Carolyn: Thanks, hope it resonates.
Soul mate again: I'm trying to find the flaws. I keep trying to meet his wife, because knowing her will really help me feel better about both of us actually having our real soul mates nearby.
I think so much of it just comes from not coming home and being normal — instead, I'm left at work trying not to focus on my boss, when no one else in our office realizes how close we are (large department and we're trying to make sure I'm not seen as a favorite). Stupid teenage hormones are supposed to go away when you're not a teen anymore — how long until they fade away this time?
Carolyn: You said (recently) the wife is "fine with our being friends." You know this, how?
I'm going to risk redundant redundancy and say you're doing the one thing that guarantees deeper trouble: kidding yourself. You're looking for ways to get closer to him under the pretext of solving the problem.
Don't get to know his wife, don't socialize with him, don't pretend you're friends. Or "soul mates" — you don't know him well enough yet. Don't think you've fooled anyone in your office, either.
Work, go home, call husband. Don't loiter in Bossland just because your husband is away.
Stupid hormones are timeless; don't underestimate their power.