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Wedding Woes

There's something about this situation that doesn't add up.

Dear Prudence,

I’m a guy, and for the past year I’ve had a friendship with a female colleague. This friendship has always been above-board and respectable, I’ve been open with my wife about it, and she’s never been bothered by it. Generally, it involved a lot of friendly chat at work and lots of instant messaging after work about music, TV, and co-worker gossip. I honestly felt more like one of her girlfriends than anything else. Recently, however, my friend was bothered by the attentions of a male friend of mine and blamed me for somehow encouraging him. I didn’t encourage him, but since she was so annoyed at what happened, I pulled out of a work event we’d planned on attending together on short notice. I thought this was a respectful way to handle things, but she then deleted me from all social media platforms and asked that I not contact her outside of work again. I was shocked, but I agreed.

Now at work she acts like her old self around me—always joking, occasionally flirtatious, clearly treating me with more trust and familiarity than the average co-worker. And to other colleagues, I bet it seems no different at all. Yet, whereas we used to chat up a storm after dinner, now I go home to radio silence. I’m finding it hard to understand what’s going on. Particularly as we are still our old selves at work, I can’t fathom how she can go home and not want to continue the fun we’ve had during the day like we used to. Is she the world’s best actress? Why remain so friendly at work if she doesn’t want to be pals outside of it? Any thoughts?

—Confused Co-worker

Re: There's something about this situation that doesn't add up.

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Something is awry here.   

    Either you're a really trusting dude or there's more to this than you're letting on.   That you mention "This friendship has always been above-board and respectable" tells me you're either lying or you're aware how things can look but you're managing to ensure that it's somehow true to your values.

    That said, you're either missing signals or something is off with your "friend".  And given that one alleged argument is going to lead to a social media scrub I'd stay that you need to keep this friendship at a professional level and in the office only.   If what you say is true, this is not a person to trust. 
    VarunaTTOurWildKingdom
  • Seems like she’s finally starting to draw appropriate boundaries. With all that extra time perhaps spend time with your wife?
    I think this is it exactly and he needs to calm it and emotionally get with the new program himself.  I do commend him for respecting the new boundaries she has set and, although he's confused by them, hasn't even made the mistake of trying to change her mind.

    I also have coworkers I really enjoy non-work conversations with.  But they rarely step over into "outside of work" friends.  I realize it is a little weirder for him because they were "outside of work" friends and now the friendship has stepped back.  He mentally needs to put her back in the category of "co-worker only friend" and enjoy the pleasantry of working with someone he likes...platonically.  Which leads me back around to the elephant in the room.  Seems his "like" has a crush aspect to it and perhaps was/is mutually so.  Let that go, LW.  Work friends only. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    OurWildKingdomcharlotte989875
  • Seems like she’s finally starting to draw appropriate boundaries. With all that extra time perhaps spend time with your wife?
    I think this is it exactly and he needs to calm it and emotionally get with the new program himself.  I do commend him for respecting the new boundaries she has set and, although he's confused by them, hasn't even made the mistake of trying to change her mind.

    I also have coworkers I really enjoy non-work conversations with.  But they rarely step over into "outside of work" friends.  I realize it is a little weirder for him because they were "outside of work" friends and now the friendship has stepped back.  He mentally needs to put her back in the category of "co-worker only friend" and enjoy the pleasantry of working with someone he likes...platonically.  Which leads me back around to the elephant in the room.  Seems his "like" has a crush aspect to it and perhaps was/is mutually so.  Let that go, LW.  Work friends only. 
    I have lots of work friends who are also outside of work friends, including a married dude. But we aren’t chatting up a storm every single night! Completely agree with you, she’s clearly decided they are work friends, and that’s a good thing for these two 
    OurWildKingdomMyNameIsNotcharlotte989875Casadena
  • I can't quite put my finger on it but this letter just reads nice guy syndrome. "I didn't do anything wrong . I'm a nice guy. I love all women. They're just all crazy bitches. I have no earthly ides what happened. That gaslight isn't flickering. She's just crazy."

    VarunaTTmrsconn23OurWildKingdomcharlotte989875
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I can't quite put my finger on it but this letter just reads nice guy syndrome. "I didn't do anything wrong . I'm a nice guy. I love all women. They're just all crazy bitches. I have no earthly ides what happened. That gaslight isn't flickering. She's just crazy."
    THIS!!! That's what's off to me.  Him acting like he's been completely aboveboard and just can't figure it out for the life of him is sending my spidey senses tingling that there was more going on.  I just don't trust his 'golly, gee' ignorance is real and not willful. 
    VarunaTTOurWildKingdomcharlotte989875
  • Even if there's more {which you're all right, there likely is} I feel like the coworker could have even made up a lie so LW wouldn't feel blindsided.

    I mean, glad he's accepting so easily but if he had even a fake answer from coworker, it would have avoided this letter.
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Something is definitely not kosher here.
  • Even if there's more {which you're all right, there likely is} I feel like the coworker could have even made up a lie so LW wouldn't feel blindsided.

    I mean, glad he's accepting so easily but if he had even a fake answer from coworker, it would have avoided this letter.
    This really bothers me. It's not a woman's job to make up a lie and coddle a man's feelings when she rejects his affections, and this just furthers the idea that she should.

    She's setting appropriate boundaries and behaving like a coworker should. Dude shouldn't be confused and CW shouldn't have to make up a lie to preserve his fragile ego. 
    No, 100% it's not. But I personally feel just as a nice-thing-to-do if you're ending a friendship with whatever gender, it's just a closure thing.

    I'm probably looking at it with a different angle on the sheer fact I was dropped by 2 friends without a reason and I would have liked a reason - even if it was a fake reasoning.
    OurWildKingdom
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