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Returning to work with a co-worker whose rejection devastated me

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Old 12th March 2019, 1:54 AM   #1
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Returning to work with a co-worker whose rejection devastated me

Last year I ****ed up hard by dating a co-worker, not realizing the fire I was playing with. Prior to her, Iíd never dated anyone before. She was a member of the training staff at the call center where I started in January, five years older than me and very attractive. She started flirting with me the day we met, but I ignored it because I suck at flirting, and knew we werenít a match anyway. Privately, I was always very attracted to her, and over the months this developed into a huge crush. I loved the attention she gave me even though I feigned disinterest. Apart from her lack of professionalism, she was very good at her job and we had a great working rtelationship.

After four months of working with her, one night she added me on Facebook and came onto me hard. I had always taken her flirting as a joke, but this was serious. Although I initially declined, a few weeks later I changed my mind and agreed to meet up with her outside of work. We dated for five weeks and never had sex. There was a verbal offer on the table, but I couldnít get comfortable enough with her to make a move. Not only was I right that we werenít a match, but I had no idea what I was doing, and made constant mistakes in dealing with her. The whole thing was a huge embarrassment. I had very strong feelings for her, and even though I did my best to hide it, Iím pretty sure she picked up on it.

Then mid-July the rejection came. I didnít handle it well. She never explicitly said we were done; she just went cold on me overnight and left the writing on the wall through her statements and actions. I made the mistake of continuing to hang around as a ďfriendĒ (admittedly in the hope that she would change her mind). She maintained platonic contact with me, but I now realize that this was probably just a courtesy to let me down gently, and that she didnít care whether we remained friends.

This went on for three weeks, until she shared in our group text that we had with some mutual friends that she had plans to hook up with someone else that night. It devastated me utterly. Four weeks prior, she had made plans to spend that weekend with me, so she replaced me in her hookup plans and texted it where she knew I would read it. It was worst pain Iíve ever felt. At that point, I knew I had to stop playing ďfriendĒ and stopped contacting her.

She reached out to me a few times in the following weeks, and things went downhill hard as I failed miserably to handle my emotions. I couldnít just say ďwe canít be friendsĒ (that would be an admission that I liked her), instead I had to act all dramatic and make it obvious how butthurt I was until she cut me off in an ugly text exchange.

That was six month ago. Iíve totally cut all contact and blocked her on social media. Our relationship is dead and buried. From her silence, I take it she wants nothing to do with me. It hurts, but itís fine because I donít want to be her friend anyway. At the end of July, shortly after blowing be off, she was transferred to another location, and I was laid off, so we no longer work together. Iíll never see her againÖ unless I go back to work where she is.

After getting laid off, I got a job in another city, but the commute is a disaster, and Iím making substantially less due to the more limited hours. Now that six months have passed since I got laid off, Iím eligible for re-hire at the same company, at the site where she is now. I would be a lock to get hired, and it would be a better job option for meÖ except for her presence there.

Although I feel like Iím over her, I am very uncomfortable with the idea of being around her again. Sheís very social, if she treats me like everyone else, sheíll talk to me and try to make conversation. I canít stand the thought of it. I never want to see her again. I donít want to be unprofessional or act hostile, but I want her to stay away from me and not talk to me at all unless itís work related.

How should I handle myself around her?
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Old 12th March 2019, 2:40 AM   #2
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The rule of thumb with a workplace fling is that you both need to stay civil and act professionally towards each other if things go pearshaped. I suspect that if you move companies, she could keep up the facade...but if you don't think you can, then don't move to her company.
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Old 12th March 2019, 6:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by himynameis253 View Post
How should I handle myself around her?
I'm trying to look at this from her standpoint. You had a 5-week "romance" that didn't include sex and then didn't handle the break-up well when she moved on.

I'd guess she saw the relationship differently than you did and had (much) less invested emotionally. So there shouldn't be much drama from her end, leaving you as the only variable.

I'd accept the position and use my interactions with her as an opportunity for self-growth. As you've learned, best not to mix business and pleasure...

Mr. Lucky
Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct -

Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 13th March 2019, 8:49 AM   #4
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Stop borrowing drama.

She likely sees you as emotionally and socially stunted and she probably doesn't even think about you at all. You're all hyper thinking about having to be within 25 feet of her at work and she's likely forgotten who you even are. I highly doubt she's going to be wasting her time hanging around you trying to make conversation and making your life difficult day after day. She's clearly moved on and isn't going to waste her time looking back.

How do you handle yourself around her? The same way she's likely going to handle herself around you - probably with very little interest in being friends or romantic partners or anything else.
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