I’ve been dating a coworker of mine for about three months now. In the beginning things were lighthearted and fun but as the time has gone by I feel like he thinks I want this relationship to be super serious. Not that I don’t want it to be eventually but I’m in no way asking him to put a ring on it just yet. However, I am getting quite frustrated because I feel as though he does not make the time for me that I feel like I deserve. He is a workaholic — working in the office and at home basically any chance he gets. I want to be a priority but I constantly feel expendable (even though he says I’m not, otherwise he wouldn’t still be dating me).
Then, the coworker card comes into play. He refuses to tell our boss about us, at least for now, because he knows he would never approve of our relationship. Now, this isn’t some throw away job; it’s actually a job that I am very passionate about and he has invested a lot of time in as well. Even though I’m not this huge secret because he has told his friends, etc. about me, I just feel like our boss should be aware and not be so harsh. There isn’t a rule against not dating coworkers as long as it remains professional in the work place. Basically, he just doesn’t want our boss to think less of him.
I don’t know if I should just cut my losses now or stick with it in hopes that things can get better. I know that our relationship has the potential to be amazing; I just don’t know if a relationship should already be so stressful so early into it. What do you think? Should I run for the hills or really try because he is a genuine good guy and I know those are hard to come by in this day and age! Please help! — Crazy for My Coworker
The main issue in your relationship is that you have different needs and availabilities, which isn’t all that unique. It happens all the time, and while it can mean the end of a relationship, it doesn’t have to. You’re ready for things to be more serious, and in that vein, you want more time from your boyfriend and for your relationship to be “validated” by telling your boss about it. Your boyfriend, however, isn’t ready for that kind of seriousness. It doesn’t mean he won’t be; it just may take him longer to get there — another month; maybe another three months. You have to decide if you’re willing to wait that long, especially given that there is no guarantee that your boyfriend will eventually want the same level of commitment as you or have the availability to meet your needs.
It’s a question only you can answer for yourself, but I can tell you that pressuring your boyfriend to be available in the way you want him to be won’t make him commit any faster. It won’t advance your relationship to the next level. On the contrary, it will make him resentful, and cause all kinds of issues between you two. If I were you, I’d make a decision; wait another 1-3 months and reassess then; or MOA with no hard feelings. If you go with the former, you have to accept things as they are now and quit pushing them to move faster. That means dropping the whole “we need to tell our boss” agenda you’ve got going on. Who freakin’ cares if your boss knows whether you’re an item or not? It won’t make your boyfriend any more committed to you. The commitment you crave will come first; it’s not dependent on your boss’ blessing, especially considering that your office has no office romance policy you need to be sensitive to.
If you decide to MOA, then do just that, and do it with the understanding that your boyfriend has done nothing wrong. He’s simply in a different place than you. You can’t fault a person for that. It doesn’t sound like he’s led you on. And if you work together — at jobs you’re both passionate about — it would be stupid to create drama where there doesn’t have to be any. Simply wish your boyfriend well, express regret that your timing wasn’t better, and move on.
But, again, if you think there’s enough between you to warrant a couple more months together, then by all means, take them. What’s two more months of your life? Especially when you’re talking about a great guy and a relationship that may have real potential. Just be honest with yourself about what stresses you out. Is it your desire to have more than your boyfriend is able to give? Or are there more issues in your relationship than you’ve mentioned here? If it’s the former, decide whether you can live with what you have for a couple more months in the hopes that things will change. If it’s the latter, then you’re right; relationships shouldn’t have so many complications in their first few months. If you’re stressed all the time this early on, it probably is time to MOA.