Dear Annie: For two years and counting, I have been attracted to a married man.
We became friends at work and would go out to lunch occasionally. I would flirt, and he would reciprocate. I know he was attracted to me.
Recently, I was laid off from this job and decided to tell him my true feelings. He seemed shocked. He said he was flattered and hoped he hadn’t done or said anything I might have misinterpreted.
All of the lunches, flirting and body language were not my imagination. I want to see him to talk more about this situation, and also to be in his company as a friend. What do you recommend? — Confused and In Love
Dear Confused: We recommend you find someone else. This man may have encouraged your flirtation, but he is now telling you that there has never been anything more. He is married. He is not interested. Any further approach from you will look like desperation and stalking. Stop.
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Carol” for a year. We have a great relationship and only seem to argue about one thing — she refuses to spend the night. We have been intimate since we starting dating, and I have told her it’s important to me that she stay over once a week, but she hasn’t done it yet. She says she has anxiety issues and doesn’t sleep well.
She won’t try sleep aids because her father was addicted to prescription pills. I have tried everything possible to help her work on this and make her feel comfortable, but it doesn’t help. Yet she managed to stay a week with me in Mexico and another weekend in Chicago.
If I so much as mention that she’s not trying very hard, it turns into an argument. Carol also has lied to me a couple of times.
I found out six months into our relationship that she is three years older than she claimed (making her five years older than I am), and she also said she has a college degree when she doesn’t. She apologized, saying she thought I would think less of her if I knew the truth.
My friends think I should end it, but Carol is not a compulsive liar, just a very insecure person.
Also, she is unemployed, and the job market is so competitive, I can understand why she lied about a college degree.
I want her to spend the night because it would show me how much she cares. I want to be with her, but should I after the lying and the fact that she won’t make an effort to stay until morning? — Mr. T
Dear Mr. T: A lot of women lie about their age, so we’d let that slide. The college degree is a more serious fabrication, especially if she uses it to land a job.
There could be many reasons why Carol doesn’t want to spend the night, and you don’t need to make such a big deal out of it.
But is it possible there is one more lie? Might she be married or have a child, and this is why she doesn’t sleep over? The bottom line is, if you are dissatisfied with the relationship and you cannot effect change, it is better to break it off sooner rather than later.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Frustrated in Mississippi,” who is seven months pregnant and a co-worker yelled, “Here comes Fattie” when she walked up the stairs. Other co-workers have made unkind comments about her size. If I were at work (pregnant or not) and someone said, “Here comes Fattie,” I would consider this to be contributing to a hostile work environment, and I would report the matter to human resources. — N.Y.
Dear N.Y.: An excellent idea if it qualifies under the regulations, and she should check it out with the human resources department.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.