Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Office romances can be OK

OFFICE ROMANCES are very common, and can lead to great things.

OFFICE ROMANCES are very common, and can lead to great things.

Dear Marilyn,

There is a woman at work that I am interested in asking out on a date. She is smart, funny and cute. We also share a lot of the same interests in TV shows, music, and we even majored in the same field in college.

I like her a lot, but I am afraid if we did start dating, and things didn’t work out, it would make things difficult DearMarilogowhen we would see each other at the office.  Also, I am afraid that she might not be interested in dating me, and it would be so awkward to be shot down by her. My gut tells me that she would be interested, though. We laugh a lot and talk in the break room. The vibes I get from her are very positive.

But, I don’t want to ruin our friendship, or make things uncomfortable between us. We don’t work in the same department, and neither of us has a senior position, so there is no issue about us dating as far as my employer is concerned.

In fact, I asked my boss to make sure, and she said it would be fine. In fact, she smiled and encouraged me to give it a try. What do you think? Should I keep my feelings to myself, or should I go for it and ask her out?

Signed, Scared in Huntington Beach


Dear Scared in Huntington Beach,

   Oh, my advice is that you go for it. You sound like a thoughtful, nice guy, and I suspect she is hoping that you ask her out. Your fears about the downside of an office romance are very realistic. It can be quite uncomfortable to see someone at work after you have dated and things didn’t work out.

   However, I really think that the risk is worth it. Since you are getting positive signals from her, there is a good chance that she is hoping you will ask her. And, if it turns out that things do work out between you, you will be forever thankful that you had the courage to ask her for that date.

   By the way, my parents met at work. My dad asked my mom out several times, and she turned him down as she had the exact concerns that you have. She finally relented and went out with him, and they fell crazy in love a short time later.

   So, good luck and I hope you have a wonderful time.

Dear Marilyn,

I am 18 years old, and I live at home. My parents are getting a divorced, and my father moved out about 6 months ago. I am feeling very guilty. I am not having any of the reactions that I would have expected to have.

I don’t feel sad, nor do I feel a sense of loss. Instead, I feel at peace. I feel like our home, with just my mom and my two little sisters and myself is a calm, happy place. My mom is very happy.

Truthfully, I am happier in seeing my parents apart than when my dad was living with us. The arguments that they used to have were so upsetting. I still see my dad pretty often. He seems to be OK, and he is moving on.

I have two friends that went through the divorces of their respective parents, and they were so sad, and scared at the time. They cried quite a bit. I feel like I am being very selfish to be so happy. Is something wrong with me?

Signed, Questioning Daughter

Dear Questioning Daughter,

No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Please don’t let yourself feel selfish or guilty. You are thinking with your heart, and not your head. So, you think you should be grieving, or feeling sorry for your parents.

   But, if you think about it, you will see that it makes sense for you feel good about the situation. You are living in peace. The stress is gone from your home. Your mother and sisters are happy. The arguments are over, and the difficult decision has been made by your parents.

   There is no textbook way to handle a family crisis. It is a very personal thing, and depends on each individual and their situation. So, enjoy your peaceful home, and don’t think that you should be sad. You are doing just fine.

Dear Readers,

Please send your questions or problems to Please put “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line. I would love to hear from you.


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