Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr. Margarita Holmes.
Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in three continents, he has been training with Dr. Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives.
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,
I am in love with a man who works in my office and he is in love with me too (I think). Pero po, if hindi na po siya nagparamdam, ano po ba ang dapat gawin? (If he is not showing me he loves me, what am I supposed to do?)
Until relatively recently, tradition demanded that men pursued and women were pursued. Female emancipation, birth control, and the internet are just some of the influences that have changed this dynamic and permitted women to make the running if they so desire. This is by no means a global trend, but it is quite widespread, especially in metropolitan areas in Western Europe and North America.
With this in mind, it seems that your situation offers you the opportunity to take the initiative and approach your colleague directly. However, prior to doing so, you might want to take stock and analyze exactly where your relationship with him stands.
Obviously you are aware of your own feelings, but what of his towards you? You state that you think he is in love with you but that he doesn’t show it. This, however, appears to be a contradiction – what could possibly make you think that he loves you if he doesn’t show it? The answer to this question ought to give you some guidance as to the way forward.
If there is genuine reason to think he loves you, then what is holding him back from showing it? Is he married or commitment-phobic? Or perhaps there are office rules prohibiting relationships between employees?
If there is no genuine evidence that he loves you, then maybe you are indulging in a degree of wishful thinking that circumstances do not warrant.
If your analysis reveals that there is a chance that love can blossom between you, then perhaps you should break with tradition and adopt the direct approach. As the Latin proverb puts it, fortune favors the bold.
All the best,
You don’t even have to wait till you know you are fairly sure/think he is in love with you too. If he is worth it, go for it.
I would suggest making the first move, BUT not because you think he’s in love with you, that he thinks you’re special, or even – AURGHHHH!! – he noticed you.
Make the first move because you are in love with him, think HE’s special, and have noticed him lots and lots.
After all, dearest Alma, what’s the worst that could happen (presuming he’s not an absolute cad, of course)? He will reject your advances.
BUT rejecting your advances now doesn’t mean he’ll reject them forever! Plus, this may be the very reason he starts to notice you and starts to find you special.
If you told us more – how he behaves on an ordinary day, what your feelings and experiences are regarding depression for starters – maybe we could share more insights with you.
But as it is, and with the paucity of knowledge we have, can we start with this now and maybe say more – lots more – if you write us again?
I am hoping this is sort of what you hope will happen when you make the first move: He will respond – maybe not in an as eager or enthusiastic way as you hope he will, but it is a start. And starting is a whole lot better than guessing, fantasizing, or regretting you did nothing when you had a chance.
All the best, and wishing you courage and good luck.