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TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m unsure what to do about a coworker I like

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company worker in my 30s. I can’t stop thinking about a junior female colleague and I’ve been wondering what I should do.

I’m basically not good at associating with people, and I spend my days off alone. It is not hard to spend time alone — or rather, I love being alone.

My mother tells me, “Marriage is not worth it, and you don’t need to get married.” Spoiled by such remarks, I have continued living with my mom.

This year, a young woman joined my company. At first, I felt she was hard to deal with, and kept my distance from her. But I sat next to her at a company gathering after work and had a frank chat with her. Then, I started thinking about her.

However, I have zero experience when it comes to romance, and I cannot be assertive about building a relationship with her.

She apparently has a boyfriend she lives with. I sometimes feel creepy as someone who can’t stop thinking about a girl who is nearly 12 years younger.

Probably because of this development, I have recently started finding it painful to spend time alone.

Should I make a move? Do you have any advice?

W, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Mr. W:

If you can’t stop thinking about her, you must have fallen in love with her.

But just because you fell in love with her, it doesn’t mean she has fallen in love with you. You just unilaterally started to have affections for her. It is not the time to tell her about your feelings.

So, what you should do is just wait and see. You should not make a move. If she becomes interested in you, she will approach you in one way or another. It would be better for you to wait.

When people develop crushes, they start to feel like everything their love interest says or does is directed toward them. But that’s an illusion.

You think she is behaving or saying something a certain way that’s special to you, but that’s not so.

Please don’t do anything that she won’t like. Keep the current situation for the time being. You may feel pain in your heart, but you must work at your job while keeping it to yourself. This is love. Real love is about hiding your real feelings.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Nov. 30, 2018, issue) Speech

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