12

I am a female engineer who has been in the workforce for 3 years and working at the same company since i graduated.

My boss is 10 years older than me and is well respected in the industry we're in. He's taught me a lot. Initially i pushed my crush on him aside because i thought it was probably just due to him being in a position of authority and just generally being brilliant at what he does. However, over the past year we have worked pretty closely on projects and we get along really well on a personal and professional level.

I have always prided myself on being professional at all times and being an objective, impartial engineer. However, i am concerned that my feelings are clouding my judgement here. I am biased towards his opinion and worry that these feelings are getting in the way of doing my job. I am at the point now where i am second guessing all of my actions because i worry they show an unprofessionally high regard for him. I am probably more guarded now than i would be otherwise.

I really like working at this company (him aside) but am starting to feel like i need to leave because i am worried my feelings will be noticed. We are both in relationships with other people and all these feelings are unwanted. I really don't want to leave but don't really know what other options i have.

Is leaving my only option? Before i take such drastic action, what other options do I have?

  • 1
    Do you honestly believe you cannot control how you perceive this person or how you behave towards him? This seems unlikely to me. – pay Nov 8 '16 at 20:57
  • I don't know if i can control how i perceive him but i certainly can control how i act around him. The issue is i spend so much time worrying about the situation. I hold myself to a high professional standard and i feel like this is compromising that standard in my head. It worrys me that i am biased. – Annie Engineer Nov 8 '16 at 21:03
  • 3
    I'm going to post this piece of advice outside of my answer because i consider it out of scope for Workplace SE. You mention that you are a in relationship. Are you unhappy? Are you projectinng your lack of satisfaction with your current relationship onto this other person whom you admire? If this is not so, and these feelings are indeed "unwanted", then maybe you should discuss this situation with your significant other. Or, if you feel that they might not take it well, maybe contact a counselor of some kind so that you can simply figure out what's happening in your own mind. – AndreiROM Nov 8 '16 at 21:07
  • 6
    I'm not going to psychoanalyze you - I'm just a stranger on the internet. The phrase "I'm not supposed to have feelings for someone else" alone could spark an hour long conversation. I just really think that you need to talk to a "wise" and trusted person before you make any decisions. By "wise" I mean someone with life experience, or professional knowledge. Maybe book an appointment with a relationship counselor, or just talk to your mother. I hesitate to offer more advice than that, as I'm no expert. – AndreiROM Nov 8 '16 at 21:16
  • 1
    This is I may not be able to provide much advice, personally I cannot envision favouring someone's opinion over others because of my feelings towards them.. In fact, if they had a really bad idea, I probably wouldn't have those feelings for them anymore... Have you experienced that yet or you are worried it may happen? I feel like you can still evaluate his opinions objectively. – pay Nov 8 '16 at 21:29
17

I'm not going to tell you anything that you don't already know, and I sincerely doubt that anyone else is going to offer much other advice either.

If you can't keep yourself under control to such a degree that you fear it is degrading the quality of your work then perhaps removing yourself from this person's presence is the wisest choice.

Try making a lateral move in the company (change teams or departments). If all things fail, you can simply quit.

Just in case you were hoping for some advice along these lines, since this person is in a relationship, as well as in a position of authority over you I sincerely doubt that confessing your feelings would be appreciated.

  • 5
    That last sentence is spot on. Nobody needs that kind of drama thrust upon themselves. – Myles Nov 8 '16 at 21:02
  • No intention of telling them, i assure you. I just feel like my judgement is compromised and i need some kind of external view. It's not that i cant control myself its just that i worry about hiding my feelings all the time and it stresses me out. I really want to distance myself from the whole situation. – Annie Engineer Nov 8 '16 at 21:09
  • 2
    @annieengineer - you can't distance yourself from your own thoughts. What if you get another crush at your next workplace? Advice on how to confront your thoughts and emotions is really out of scope on Workplace SE, but I think you need to figure out why you feel the way you feel. Talking to a trusted friend, or professional might be advisable. – AndreiROM Nov 8 '16 at 21:11
  • Thanks for your help. You're right, i didn't think about this happening again. Leaving isn't going to fix the problem if it just happens again. – Annie Engineer Nov 8 '16 at 21:16
  • 6
    Unless things get exceptionally bad, your 3rd paragraph should end "...find another job and then quit." It's normally easier to find a new job while still employed, and you don't want to gamble on being able to find a new one before unemployment causes severe financial hardship. – Dan Neely Nov 9 '16 at 0:33
4

On a personal level: You are in a relationship, he is in a relationship, he is a lot older, he hasn't shown any interest. Best case, nothing happens. Worst case, you do something entirely stupid, he drops you like a hot potato, you lose your job, your husband or boyfriend kicks you out.

What happens on your personal level is what you have to sort out first. If you want to break up your existing relationship, do it. If you don't want to break it up, what the hell are you doing? Take a photo of your boyfriend and carry it with you all the time. Call him during your lunch break. Take a cold shower before you go to work. Do what you can to improve your existing relationship.

The work problem will go away on its own once your personal problem is sorted out.

  • Can't she just kick her boyfriend out? – Jonast92 Nov 9 '16 at 14:44
  • "Kicks you out" of the relationship. End result is the same, no boss, no job, no boyfriend. "No job" makes it hard to pay the rent. – gnasher729 Nov 9 '16 at 16:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.