Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Should I tell my married coworker that I want to sleep with her?

I need advice. I work in a corporate environment and have had what would be called a crush (if I were 20 years younger) on a coworker for years. She just turned in her resignation to spend more time at home with her young child.

I'm friends with her husband and don't really want to do him wrong, but I have a nearly overwhelming urge to ask her to sleep with me before (or just after) she leaves the company. I know it is traditionally regarded as wrong, but that's where I am.

Now, I'm not going to ask you if I should do it, because obviously I shouldn't . . . and I won't. But should I tell her that I wanted to ask? I feel like it is a barrier between us. I mean, she is gorgeous and that's not a biased opinion, nobody that has ever seen her would ever think differently. So she has to know that I'm attracted to her because all straight men would be. But, is it right or wrong to come out and say it?

Lustful in the Cubefarm

Dear Lustful,

Nothing good can come from telling your coworker that you want to sleep with her.

Do you secretly hope that you’ll tell her, she’ll share your feelings, and then you’ll end up in bed? And do you think that using phrasing like “I always wanted to ask you to sleep with me,” rather than “Would you sleep with me,” might somehow diminish your culpability? You know, I loved Bill Clinton as a president, but the way he sliced and diced language in an attempt to justify his affair was a little pitiful. (But not impeachment-worthy, mind you.) It doesn’t depend on what the definition of “is” is, and it wouldn’t matter how you phrased it. You’d still be doing something that you acknowledge is wrong.

And suppose you tell her and she’s mortified? Has she ever even hinted about being open to the idea? Maybe she’s happily married and, in all her gorgeousness, is weary of being ogled and hit on. You think a barrier exists between you now? It’ll be the Great Wall of Awkwardness if you indulge in your urge to tell her.

I don’t mean to be harsh, and I’m not judging you. I suspect most of us would admit to having had an “inappropriate” crush at one time or another. You can’t help being attracted to someone who happens to be married. And married people still get crushes, too. But crushes have a tendency to block rational thought. So let me be the voice of reason: you’re asking for trouble. Write something kind on the card that’s probably circulating around the office. Chip in for her going-away gift. Keep your hidden crush hidden and, even better, try to move on.

Good luck,