Falling for a married woman at work

Hi Meredith,

I'm writing to you now for the second time hoping to get some more good advice. You and many of your readers provided helpful insight last time (which I thank you again for) and I hope you'll assist me once more. Right now I'm single and actively dating although I can't get one person off of my mind.

For years I have known a woman at work, we'll call her Samantha, who I've been very attracted to. The attraction is almost inexplicable, as I've talked to her only a handful of times, but it has snowballed over the years into a pretty sizable attraction. I think she's the brightest thing under the sun ... and yes I know how extremely lame it is to say something like that but it's how I feel.

Samantha has been flirtatious and talkative with me, and many of my coworkers (who are close friends and have kept this a secret thankfully) have noticed how she acts around me. I guess I have a crush ... however it does feel a lot deeper.
Samantha is also married. I probably think everyone knows where this is going, but I promise it's not going there. I'm not writing about how I've made up my mind to spark up an adulterous relationship with a married woman. What chance would a relationship like that have anyway? Plus, she seems happy. I hope she is anyhow, and I have no intention of messing with anyone's marriage. I couldn't hold my head high and sleep at night knowing that I've caused many people pain seeking something that will probably blow up in my face anyway.

My initial plan was to try to get to know her a little better as that would probably clear up some of this "infatuation" or whatever we're going to call it, but that has had the opposite effect so I stopped that immediately.

I can't choose my emotions, so what should I do here? I'm trying to not view this person in the same light, but that's pretty difficult. Neither of us will be leaving this job for sometime (possibly years) but I will do that if it becomes necessary. I will say that that option seems to me like running away and not actually dealing with the problem. I don't know what to do here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

– Just Trying to be Happy, Boston

You've only talked to Samantha a handful of times. For all you know, she's a major jerk. It's easy to decide that someone is the brightest thing under the sun when you can invent your own narrative about who they are and what it'd be like to date them.

Before you allow this obsession to take over, please focus on your dating life and make a real effort to get to know some new women. Listen to their stories and remind yourself that Samantha can't do that kind of sharing with you -- ever.

It might not seem like it, but you are in control of how much you think about this woman. If you find yourself daydreaming about how awesome it would be to become Mr. Samantha, force yourself to think about something else. Call a friend or set up another date. Because when it comes to this crush, all you're doing is writing fiction. All you really know about Samantha is that she's someone else's wife.
Readers? How can he stop this obsession? Does he have to leave the job? Is he in control of this crush?

– Meredith