I don’t want to give up on this work crush

Annoyed with your partner? Having trouble on apps? Dealing with a crush? A breakup? What's on your mind? Send a letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

I met a guy almost a year ago at work. We didn't speak to each other much back then – just a little conversation here and there. Then we stopped talking altogether because our schedules changed. But soon after, his friend got hired in my department. Then that's when I started seeing the first guy a lot – because of their friendship.

We have talked a lot more, and now we eat together. I ordered food for him once, and that's become the routine. I decided to invite him to a party outside of work, and he said he would come, but then, when the time came, he didn't respond. I think he just forgot and I was slightly upset because it seemed like he flaked for no reason. He came up to me the next day and knew something was wrong. He said he tried calling me but the call didn't go through. Then he said he didn't want me to get hurt.

I know he goes to bars a lot, hangs out with awful people, and loves to drink (I don't drink). He wants to take me out to a bar, but I'm 20 and can't get in so that won't work anyway (he's 23).

I know there's not much here. I know he's not responding to my calls. My friends think he's a player, based on his Instagram. But at work he is so sweet, and we get along so well. He is too good of a person to be living this lifestyle. That’s why I don't want to give up on him. What do you think?

– Can't Give Up

Give up on him.

He's not calling you back, and he's only interested in seeing you on his terms, at a bar you can't get into. He's not building a relationship, only getting your hopes up without delivering much.

The work version of him appeals to you, but that kind of connection can be easier. You both have to show up – because you're being paid to – and there are natural boundaries. There are few other distractions, and you can focus on what you have in common, as opposed to the very different lives you live outside of work. Please remember that you share very little after you clock out.

Try to minimize your time with him so you can get some perspective. Focus on the task at hand, and get yourself excited about your own plans for your free hours.

Keep your guard up because as soon as you pull away, he'll probably show up and be wonderful – maybe even try to make a date – because he won't want to lose you as a source of flirtation and attention. Understand that a shift in his behavior doesn't mean he's a good match for you.

The last thing I'll say is that it sounds like you want to save him from drinking and whatever else he does out of the office. But he might love his life and not want to change it at all. In fact, there's no evidence to suggest he's disappointed with his own priorities. If you want to change him, he's not the guy for you.

This is a mutual rejection – a work crush that hit a wall. Give yourself some space and let go.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you escape a crush on the wrong person if you see that person every time you go to work?