Wedding Woes

Boss crush

Dear Prudence,

I’ve been with the same company for about five years, but this year I was transferred to a new division. My boss, “Jane,” is five years older than me. We’re both women. I’m openly gay, and she is married to a man. I have a huge crush on her. She’s a wonderful manager who cares a lot about me as a person and demonstrates that frequently. She’s given me no indication she views me as anything more than a direct report, and I would obviously never act on this crush. I’m dating a great woman who’s a few years younger than me. I see a future together, but I often compare her to Jane in my mind. That doesn’t cause problems in our relationship, but I worry it’s harder for me to be fully in love with her. How can I continue this close working relationship, knowing I have a crush on Jane? Crush aside, she’s the best boss I’ve ever had, and I would be really bummed to transfer out of the division, which could likely place me under a less-effective manager. What should I do?

—Best Boss Ever

Re: Boss crush

  • Put it aside.   You're going to either need to work around this or find a new job but acting on it is not going to have a positive personal or professional outcome. 
  • Do nothing and see if it fades. 

    I think it’s not at all uncommon to have a crush on someone you see as invested in you, that cares about you and your work, and is supportive of you. That doesn’t mean you need to burn down your personal and professional life. It’s likely it will pass. 
  • I'd also suggest to the LW that they just keep "retraining" their mind.  The LW, in their mind, should keep reminding themselves it's a professional relationship only.  It's "admiration" feelings, not "crush" feelings...I'm not saying there aren't crush feelings, but this is the stance/reminder the LW should keep telling themselves.

    They should also start focusing more on the things they love about and the wonderful qualities their SO has.

    The LW might even try (in their mind) making up terrible stories about their boss.  Like she secretly lives a life of running a puppy mill or whatever would be awful to the LW.  It can be funny and obviously not true.  But, anytime the LW has those crush thoughts, they can picture their boss selling malnourished puppies to the highest bidder.  Like a mental rubber band of picturing something negative when they think of their boss romantically.

    At least those were some of the strategies I used to stop pining over ex-b/fs.  Though with people I had been romantically involved with, I usually didn't need to make anything up, lol.  I'd just focus my mind on a few memories where they had been a jerk and badmouth them viciously to myself. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My college roommate used to say that she could always kill an unwanted crush by picturing the person with explosive diarrhea. I'd either do that, or just ignore it. It's not uncommon to have crushes on people you'd never actually act on. Just push it to the back of your mind. 
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