Dear Em & Lo: I Like My Co-Worker More Than My Boyfriend

Dear Em & Lo,

I have a bf of 6 years, but I am crushing on my coworker who is very different than my man.

I have been with my now bf on and off for maybe 6 years. I love him, but we don’t get to see each other very often. Probably like once or twice a month because of distance and different schedules. We’ve been good for now though and I think our relationship is more solid than it was before. He is really cute, sexy, nice, funny, and charming. He knows everything about me and gets me. I can be myself around him.

Now I have a problem. I am starting to like my coworker. We’ve only been working with each other for less than 1 year. He’s completely different than my man and is less attractive, shorter, and skinnier but I don’t care. I dunno if this is because we work together so I get attracted to him since I see him a lot. But I see qualities in him that my bf lacks, such as being more gentle and sensitive. I don’t think he could harm a fly. My bf is smart too, but my coworker is extremely brilliant and I find that to be such a turn on! I think he’s more mature than my man too since it appears he thinks more before he speaks.

I don’t know if these feelings are here because I’m also a bit nervous since my man and I have had a rollercoaster relationship before, breaking up and getting back together more than 3 times. And each time we broke up it’s for the same reason and then I hate myself for getting back together with him.

But I don’t want to gamble on my current relationship for this feeling. And the person of interest is a coworker so I can’t even act on it since we work closely. And I feel like sometimes he’s flirty with me too and he always checks up on me at work to make sure I’m doing okay and I think it’s so thoughtful and sweet. My coworker knows I have a bf and he is very shy and I know he would never act on it because I know he thinks it’s messed up to try to get a girl that already has a bf. My coworker always makes fun of me too so I think he may have a slight attraction? He makes fun of me more so than he jokes about other people we work with.

I’ve only seriously dated my current guy right now too so I don’t know if I’m supposed to be dating around more. I’m 24. My bf and and my coworker are also 24. My gut is telling me that no matter how much I love my current bf, it will probably not work out in the future because of our pattern of fights. But another part of me is saying I need to be happy with what I have since he is really great and gets along with my friends and I think his family adores me.

My biggest question is what do I do? I don’t want to ruin what I have and I know my bf would be so upset it would ruin our relationship forever. I don’t want to ruin something that may not even have potential. Please help.

— Bird in the Hand

Dear Bird in the Hand,

You’re twenty-four! Does that answer your question? Because it should.

But clearly it doesn’t, because you wrote this letter to us, so we’ll say it a little more clearly. You’re twenty-four! We happen to think that even ninety-four is too young to settle for someone just because they get on with your family and friends, but twenty-four is definitely way too young to be thinking like this.

Whether or not you end up dating your co-worker — and you seemed to have answered your own question in this regard: it’s just not appropriate in your particular office environment — we think you need to let yourself be, well, twenty-four. You’ve got so much time to figure out what you want in a relationship, and it’s way easier to do this when you’re not attached to someone.

We’ll say it again: You’re twenty-four! You should be having a blast, flirting up a storm, and dating anyone who takes your fancy. If you fall head over heels, feel free to get all mushy and hand-hold-y and serious, but until then — and it doesn’t sound like you’re there yet — have some fun, dammit!

— Two Birds



  1. Yes she is 24! So she should be mature enough to not think like a 15-16 year old kid. The problem with today’s society is that it keeps young men and young women in the ” kids” status by claiming you are too young to settle, in other words today’s philosophy is ” your too young to take on responsibility. No wonder today’s society is so narcissistic and immature, people back then at 16 plus where mature and forced to take on responsibility for their own live, stop using you are only 24 years old excuse to keep people in the Peter Pan syndrome, she is 24 she should be an mature adult and if she is not is time to become one. Grow up article writer.

  2. It is always good to keep what u have now. Supposedly, u broke up with your boyfriend and date your coworker. Things will not be so sweet at work anymore and either u or your coworker will have to quit the job because it is not good to work at the same place with your boyfriend. Now, you end up work at a new place and attract to a new coworker at your new job. This will be a everlasting cycle because it is human nature to have crush on your coworker because you guy work at the same place. That always happen at workplace but nothing is wrong with that as long you guy stay it as friend and coworker. Nothing more!

  3. Attractions are normal, but how you decide to act on them shows your heart. Alot can change in 6 years and sometimes our hearts can wander and look for something greater and bigger, but it’s a never-ending cycle. Keep what you have and work on the relationship (don’t throw it away, like cultuyre tells us to do with broken things), it seems like both of you are committed since you have been in it for 6 years. If you really love your boyfriend, you will stay faithful during this time. Hope it all works out.

  4. Less-attractive, short, and bald, but has a way with the ladies… I bet it’s me! Sorry, I’m taken. I didn’t mean to lead you on.

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