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Direct Answers 'Column for the week of December 29, 2003

I'm attracted to my manager. He was the one who showed his interest to me first by complimenting me and making wonderful eye contact. He is single and one year younger than me.

Until today he only asked me out one time and that was when a close friend of ours also attended the dinner and we had so much fun. Indeed I never gave him enough opportunity to approach closer because I was not sure if this was wise in terms of office ethics.

He has a good reputation in my company for his character, virtues, and moral values. For the past five months we have been working side by side on the same project. Sometimes we have a chance to talk friendly about our private lives, and once he told me he misses relationship opportunities since he hates to see himself chasing after women.

From what he told me I figured out he will never ask me for a private date because he is afraid it might be considered trying to seduce a woman working under his management. So today, after struggling by myself for many months, I offered to have a drink with him some night this week, and he accepted with great joy. Do you think I am doing something right?


Anjuli, work is a less artificial situation than dating, and it is hard to conceal who you really are in your daily work. Many happily married people met at work. There are, however, several things to keep in mind.

Dating someone at work also involves your livelihood, so you must respect this element. Keep your personal relationship out of the workplace. At work, focus on the job you are paid to do. Although you may want to share the joy of your new relationship with your coworkers, it is a joy they may not share. Would they be happy that you have a special relationship with your manager, and they do not?

Some will suspect your special connection with him will mean favorable treatment for you at their expense; others will suspect you of shirking your job responsibilities. In addition, what you might innocently say to one person may, after being repeated, turn into something else.

From the outset you need to realize if either of you does not wish to continue the relationship, then you will both be in the uncomfortable position of working side by side with someone you were once romantically involved with.

The outer attraction between you was too great for you to resist asking, and for him to resist accepting. You can minimize the risk by doing your job well, and if this turns out to be more than a job for you, we will be very happy for you.

Wayne & Tamara

Life Without Dessert

I'm entering a relationship with a great girl. She's sweet, she's beautiful, and we have the same interests. My only issue is her weight. She's not obese, but every time we go out to dinner she eats dessert. I'm sure it's a simple matter of eating habits and getting a little exercise. How do I bring this up without sounding like a jerk?


Gus, where have you been? Controlling weight is anything but a simple matter. Two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight. There are thousands of diet books, and some people even go to the extreme of having their stomach stapled because nothing else seems to work.

You can keep dating this girl in hopes she will become the weight you want, just as she could keep dating you in hopes you will become taller. But you each have about the same chance of success.

You want her to change her life, so you can feel better about dating her. That is shallow, and you know it. We are not going to tell you how to get away with it.


About the Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:


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