What Do I Do About This Weird Situation With a Person I'm Into At Work?

Illustration by Jim Cooke/GMG.
Illustration by Jim Cooke/GMG.
Dear JaneWhat the FUCK is your problem? Write to me and I’ll help you figure it out! Dear Jane is a regular advice column here at Jezebel. I’ll take your questions, from the petty to the metaphysical, and dispense guidance.

Dear Jane,

Please bear with me ‘cause this has a bit of backstory. Keep in mind that at 24, I’ve never had a boyfriend, first date, or first kiss, so there’s a lot of undercurrents or dynamics here that I just don’t know about.

This is kind of a double-fold issue. There’s this guy at my job. We both get along pretty well. I’ve asked him to have lunch because I was in that weird in-betweeny state where you’re not sure if you 100% like someone but still want to see where it goes. I was pretty sure he was in the same boat, as we hit it off immediately and would shoot the breeze like old friends. He manages to turn it into just “hanging out” one evening after work, which he postponed because this girl he’s “kinda seeing” was going through some stuff. I didn’t know this other girl was in the picture, but here’s where it gets sticky.

They’ve been in this thing-he-refuses-to-call-a-relationship for at least 2 years. He refuses to call her his girlfriend, and the strongest word he’ll use to describe what they have with each other is “friendship.” He says he considers me a friend and tells me I can come to him if I need to talk something out, but I feel like he’s keeping me a secret (and on the hook). None of his other friends know of my existence. He makes a point to tag his friends on social media all the time when they hang out but he never tags me. I even got him a birthday gift a few months ago and he just refereed to me as “one of my coworkers” when he posted it. Even though he just told me I could basically bare my soul to him if I needed to. It looks like he’s backing off and I have no idea why.

I’m also worried because his not-really-girlfriend seems... controlling. She threatens to dump him or hurt somebody (either him or another girl) when he even mentions interacting with a woman she doesn’t know (I wish I was exaggerating). I don’t think the “psycho girlfriend” spiel is cute— quite the opposite. But he’s not the most confident guy and I think he’s holding on to her out of...I guess the word is convenience? I feel voicing my concerns would make me the home-wrecking bitch or something and I don’t want any of that drama.

TL;DR— I have no g*dddamn idea where I stand with this dude but I’m also worried about his....not-relationship-that-totally-is-one. I feel like the stock advice of backing off and letting him “figure it out on his own” might lead to....bad things down the road. He’s in his late 20s and probably thinking about settling down, and I don’t wanna be the person who’s like “I told you so” if things go south. My aforementioned in-betweeny feelings also throw a monkey wrench into this because I don’t know how you “get over” people you have to see all the time. We still like each other as people, but it’s just...complicated. Any ideas on how I should handle this?


Broken Triangle

Your first paragraph says it all. There’s so much you don’t know about! Here’s a partial list:

  1. You have what is called a “work husband.” This is someone you do NOT sleep with, but confide in at work or at work-related things. It’s kind of romantic but it’s not a relationship; it’s a way to pass the time.
  2. Your work husband has a woman in his life who is more important to him than you are, regardless of how he talks shit about her behind her back.
  3. If you were that chick, wouldn’t you be a on edge, too? This guy seems like a piece of work! I’m glad for you that he’s sort of taken.
  4. Wait, on second thought, I can’t find the part of your relationship with him that’s romantic.
  5. Actually, yeah, I’m scouring and it seems like he’s just a pal? With low confidence and/or a hatred of women?
  6. Ah, the old “I’m doing this out of selfless concern for your well being, not because I want to bone” excuse! Man, haven’t used that one in awhile. Knock it off, we can see right through it.
  7. This is none of your business.

And, finally, if you’re still reading: when love smacks you in the face—and I’m talking about the good kind—it won’t feel like this. I’m not saying it’ll feel great and everything will be smooth, but it won’t feel like this.


Dear Jane,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about a year now. We go to the same college, so we spend a LOT of time together. Over the past year, we’ve had some problems that any couple who spends a lot of time together will, but I’m happy with him a majority of the time. However, I had a pregnancy scare. I was so nervous and he promised to take care of me. We went out with some friends, even though I wasn’t feeling good, and he got so drunk that he was throwing up and I had to take care of him all night, even though he promised he would make sure I was okay that night. I’m sure he was nervous too, but I can’t really make an excuse. This isn’t the first time he told me he would do something and then just did not do it. Do you think I should break up with him? I’m young and I know it’s not going to last forever. Should I enjoy being young in college and not be in a serious relationship? I have a lot of respect for myself and know that I shouldn’t be treated like this and I’ve talked to him about that but I don’t know if I should break up with him or not.

Look forward to your advice.

Yeah, break up with him and go have fun. He doesn’t sound terrible; just immature and not ready to handle any of life’s serious shit, which is totally normal but it’s obviously causing you grief. So yeah, break up with him.

My girl says nut instead of orgasm. “I didn’t nut” or “I nutted three times.” Phrases like that and it makes me cringe. It sounds so unattached to me, so not like love but sex. What are your suggestions to me for conveying my thoughts to her about my feelings.

LOLOL, your girlfriend is a riot! I love her just the way she is. Give her to me.

Or: just tell her you find it off-putting. For some people it’s chewing with their mouth open or not wearing deodorant or getting too drunk at parties. For you, it’s a word that takes the romance out of the moment, you adorable little darling. Just say, “Honey, I’m a sap, you know that. When you call your orgasms “nuts” it makes me feel like a piece of meat, and I am not a piece of meat. I am your lover. If you don’t mind, could you try calling it “blowing a load (or whatever you’d prefer) I’d appreciate it so much.” She’s going to laugh so hard but then she’ll probably be more aware of how funny and unromantic it sounds (to you).


Also, she should always be nutting three times, so keep up whatever you’re doing there.



Oh god LW1.... The combination of you having zero relationship experience at 24, along with some exaggerated fantasy of your relationship with this guy, is creating some major non-existent drama in your head. You are friends with this guy and that’s it. On your end, you may be crushing. And he maybe is keeping you on the hook for attention and has a really jealous gf so he doesn’t mention you IRL, but yeah this guy has no interest, and you should just back away slowly if it’s causing you so much grief. Because it isn’t causing him any.

I have no g*dddamn idea where I stand with this dude but I’m also worried about his....not-relationship-that-totally-is-one. I feel like the stock advice of backing off and letting him “figure it out on his own” might lead to....bad things down the road. He’s in his late 20s and probably thinking about settling down, and I don’t wanna be the person who’s like “I told you so” if things go south.

Backing off and leaving him alone will not lead to bad things. You are not responsible for him or his “not-relationship-that-totally-is-one”. And you’ve injected yourself way to much into his personal life. Unless you’ve left out some major details of hooking up with him or being romantic, this comes off as a little creepy how much you are spinning this into a “love triangle”.