DEAR AMY: I went on a date with a co-worker some weeks ago. We both had a great time, and he suggested a second date the following weekend. I waited for a text to set something up and when nothing came by Thursday, I decided to text him. We agreed to do something Sunday, but Sunday came and went and I got radio silence. I texted him on Monday, saying it's too bad we never got together, and he responded back a few hours later with, "Yeah, I should have let you know I was spending time with my family." We had a companywide holiday dinner where it was very obvious that he was avoiding me at all costs, yet texted me as soon as he left, claiming he didn't know I was there. I suddenly realize that as a woman, I was doing all the pursuing and he was basically sitting back and letting it happen. He was always so sweet when we crossed paths at work, so this ghosting took me by surprise. He is a few years younger than I (he's 23 and I'm 27), but he acted so mature before all of this happened. I know now that he is too emotionally immature for me, but I really want to ask him why he did that, and let him know how much it hurt me. I think I need closure. Should I pursue closure from him?
DEAR CONFUSED: I struggle to see what, exactly, closure would look like for you, because so far — you have pursued him, and he has deferred and dodged you. This behavior might be embarrassing for you, but please do not let this rise to the level of being hurt. He is merely revealing himself. He is not into you, but he hasn't figured out how to be a grown-up about it.
Do you really need to confront him? This one-date relationship doesn't seem to warrant it.
He might be an adequate work friend, but he is not boyfriend material for you.
This is as much closure as you're going to get, and you should not pursue him for more, because, in doing so, you could affect your own professional experience and standing at work.
It's fun to crush on someone at work, and — unless your company has a strict policy against it — the office can be a good place to find a potential partner. But what you're dealing with now (wringing your hands over this nonstarter) is why companies sometimes frown on interoffice romantic relationships: they lead to drama.
DEAR AMY: My husband and I are in our mid-30s and have been together for eight years. We are happily childless, by mutual agreement. I work as a genetic counselor at our local children's hospital and occasionally a family asks if I have kids of my own or what decision I would make for my own child. Each time I say I don't have children the family appears sad or disappointed. A few families have asked me WHY I don't have any, and this trips me up. Amy, there is a laundry list of reasons why we don't want or have kids, but it would be offensive and irrelevant in my position to share. It's also none of my client's business. Recently, a family shared with me that one of their doctors was childless and so they felt like she wasn't as good of a doctor to their child. Now I want to hide that fact about myself because perhaps families will think I'm not as good of a counselor to their child. Is there a nice, easy phrase at work I can use when families ask me if and why I don't have kids?
DEAR E: The families you are working with are vulnerable and sharing deeply personal information with you. Perhaps this is why they are leaping over boundaries while they are with you.
A polite, crisp and professional answer from you might be: "We're not here to talk about me. We're here to talk about you. Let's get started and focus on your case, OK?"
DEAR AMY: "Dismissed and Invisible" stated that she is routinely interrupted during conversation. I wonder if Dismissed is one of those people who rambles on and on, where people can't get a word in edgewise without interrupting? I wish you had suggested this.
DEAR CONVERSATIONALIST: Rambling is a definite possibility. I agree that "Dismissed" should review her own speech patterns.