I am attracted to a man who is the director of our division but not my direct boss. When we see each other, I feel chemistry between us. I thought that he shared this attraction. The other day, I had an appointment to interview him for a department publication. When I went to his office he was reading a newspaper. He’d forgotten about our appointment. I felt bummed out. I don’t know if he has a clue that I feel attracted to him. I am 40 and single. He’s 47 and single. I don’t believe he’s ever been married. Does it sound hopeless? Should I just move on?
Before you make a move, let’s review basic human chemistry. If you sense an attraction between yourself and another, it could be a sign from the Divine that you are meant for each other, it could be lust (an unhealthy attraction based on neediness) or it could be your ego recognizing someone with a familiar energy pattern (one similar to your mother’s or father’s). The latter is particularly interesting to me because it’s the one that most people ignore. But if you have had a painful relationship with your parents, you may feel an energetic signal when you encounter someone who is similar. It’s a sign that this relationship can provide an opportunity to heal an old wound—if you’re conscious. If you’re not, it will add to the pain of the old wound.
But you’ve decided that this chemistry means that you are, at least for a time, intended to be together. I’m not privy to how you arrived at that conclusion, but let’s say it’s true. Does attraction at first sight mean that he can read your mind? Nope! So stop mixing parapsychology with the hard sciences. Instead, take a spiritual approach: be direct and ask him out. Your desire to move on just because he hasn’t made a move on you means that you have concocted a romantic fantasy and expect it to be unfolding. Stop. Extend an invitation. Otherwise, yes, it is hopeless to wait to be noticed or to expect that he’s read the situation precisely as you have.
Shortly after moving into a new apartment, I began dating a neighbor. At first, she wanted to see me every day and I loved it. Then suddenly she pulled back. When I asked about it, she said that she wanted to balance things out a bit in “our friendship.” After that she was hot (passionate) and cold (cordial) toward me, in words and actions. I could never tell which I was going to get. I really care for this woman, so her attitude toward me has been painful, to say the least. The more she “balances” things, the more unbalanced I feel. What do you think I should do?
Know that you’re not alone. I was having dinner at Three Sisters with my friend Susan recently and we were talking about a similar drama. Susan, a Buddhist and art therapist, offered this simple assessment of the situation, “Mixed messages are crazy-making.” It’s better to end relationships such as the one you describe because the potential joy of having a relationship is not worth the betrayal that you feel every time this woman backs away. Real friends are consistent. While it’s true that a healthy romantic relationship is built on friendship, friends only engage in platonic affection. So if you’re kissing passionately or engaging in other forms of physical affection, you’re well beyond the behavior of friends. Calling a dating relationship a “friendship” is an attempt to weaken its intimate nature. Don’t fall for it.