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Does Objectivism have a premise on sleeping with co-workers?

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A female co worker (who was formerly my trainer) five years my senior has been flirting with me on the job since day one. At first, I took it as joke and blew her off, but I’ve noticed she doesn't seem to do it with the other guys there, and lately she's been ramping it up...by doing stuff like rubbing my back, grabbing my leg, and slipping in a few overtly sexual comments. Though I feign disinterest, I secretly like it and am attracted to her even though I’m pretty sure she’s a different walk of life and not a long-term match for me. I’m aware of the adage “don’t shit where you eat,” but is it really that wise? Hank and Dagny were co-workers, right?

Edited by happiness

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1 hour ago, happiness said:

Though I feign disinterest, I secretly like it and am attracted to her even though I’m pretty sure she’s a different walk of life and not a long-term match for me. I’m aware of the adage “don’t shit where you eat,” but is it really that wise? Hank and Dagny were co-workers, right?

If you're not extremely adept at seeing this kind of thing through from start to aftermath, run, do not engage! There's nothing tricker from a management perspective than a romance gone bad, and you're going to get the brunt of any negativity (even if only perceived), not the company if they can help it.

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JASKN's advice looks good to me.

Hank and Dagny were not co-workers. They worked at different companies in different industries in cities 371 miles apart. Galt was down the chain of command from her, though, when they first rode the tracks together.

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Well... Jaskn was right.

I’ll take responsibility for the other stupid thread overlapping with this story and reiterate the details:

January 2018 I started a new job, where a very attractive female member of the training staff took a liking to me and became flirtatious immediately. I did not reciprocate her advances, which in turn escalated to the point of being overtly sexual. Every time she would say something, I would just ignore her and act like it didn’t happen. In private I was always very superficially attracted to her, but kept it to myself because she was a co worker and I knew we weren’t a good match. She was very good at her job and we had a fantastic working relationship.

This pattern of her flirting and me ignoring it continued for 4-5 months until one night in late May she when she added me on FB and came on to me hard. She said the fact that I ignored her drove her crazy and made her desperate for my attention, and basically begged me to date/sleep with her. I initially turned her down, the red flag there being pretty obvious, but she kept working on me for two weeks until I finally changed my mind and agreed to go out with her.

We dated casually for five weeks. We had some fun, but as I thought, didn’t mesh well in a romantic level. Our relationship revolves around work, and outside of that there was always a lot of friction between us. I don’t know why, but I still caught painfully strong feelings for her, which I kept to myself because I knew she was the less interested party. I made a ton of mistakes in dealing with her, including spending way too much damn time with her. There was nothing I wouldn’t blow off to be with her, and she must have picked up on it.

At five weeks, like a switch flipped, she shut me down overnight. She stopped texting first, became aloof at work, stop inviting me to hang out after. She never said we were done, but sent a stream of nasty signals; things like referring to us as “friends” and complaining to her girlfriends within earshot of me that she would be single for life. She would only socialize with me in a group setting, never alone. Like a chump, I stuck around and orbited her as a “friend,”pretending to accept a platonic relationship when I should have gotten the Hell away from her. I wasn’t ready to accept that it was over even though I knew it was.

A few weeks after shutting me down, she shared in our group text that she had plans to hook up with someone else that night. A few weeks prior, she had made plans to spend that weekend with me; so she blew me off, replaced me in her sex plans and texted it where she knew I would read it. I was absolutely shattered.

Months later, I found out the guy she hooked up with was Johnny, another co-worker and close friend of hers whom I had believed was thoroughly friend-zoned and never considered a threat. I knew she was fond of him on a friendly level, but never thought in a million years that she’d be attracted to him. He always whined to her about his problems, which didn’t impress her.

I finally quit the friendship act and cut contact. I also quit my job. I only saw her once more after that, when I stupidly agreed to accompany her to the hospital to visit a mutual friend, and it was a very uncomfortable encounter. We fell out via text the following day and that was the end of the relationship, five months ago.

Her rejection cut deep, and I was pretty screwed up for the first few months after, sat around pining and plotting ways to get back with her. At this point, I’m not carrying a torch for her anymore and have accepted that there’s no coming back from this. Our relationship is dead and buried and I will never, and should never see or hear from her again… unless I go back where she is.

I got a new job, but it’s much further away, and offers fewer hours, so I’m losing a lot of money by avoiding her. I’m a few months away from being ready, but it would be in my best interest to go back to my old job, if not not for her presence there.

How bad of an idea is it to go back? If I do so, what should be my strategy for dealing with her be? This woman ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it. I wish we could go back to our old working relationship before things got real, but I feel like that's impossible. I am NOT comfortable working directly with her again and do NOT want platonic contact with her, period. I hear she’s now in recruiting, which means she could be involved in processing my application. I don’t know what interaction I’d have with her beyond that.

My options, as I see them:

  1. Don’t go back
  2. Go back, but put up a wall and refuse to deal with her period. Tell her straight up not to talk to me, disclose everything to management, and ask them to keep us separated.
  3. Deal with her in a strictly professional manner, but tell her we can only talk if it’s work related.
  4. Let her talk to me if she wants, but be an aloof acquaintance and never initiate conversation or give her attention. Just treat her like every other co worker I don’t give a damn about.
Edited by happiness

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My advice is blunt. If you don't want to hear it, don't click on the spoiler tags:

 

Stop playing the victim. Every thread I see you start is about you being the victim of something or somebody. It's the worst possible way to go through life. Start taking responsibility for the things that happen to you.

Here's how I would rephrase this story, if it happened to me (actually, it happened to me more than once...happens to almost everyone except the most confident, assertive 5-10% of young men):

I met this girl at work, there was a mutual attraction. She flirted with me, but I'm not that good at it, plus I'm deathly afraid of rejection, so I pretended not to be interested for months. And what better way to avoid rejection than to never start anything in the first place? However, it didn't work, because she isn't a typical, passive, agreeable woman. She's in that minority which has an assertive personality, so she took charge and got what she wanted. Except, you know...that's not what she really wanted. What she really wanted is what every woman wants: for the man she likes to take charge and ask for what HE wants, so that she can simply give it to him.

So, naturally, things went downhill pretty quickly. We both screwed up: she screwed up for not realizing that there's a reason why women are not supposed to take charge in a relationship: it won't work. And they're the reason why it won't work: women will stop being attracted to a man who lets them be in charge of the relationship. Men don't necessarily have that problem, most of them are fine staying attracted to a bossy, physically attractive woman. That's why they end up bearing the brunt of the breakup: they're still attracted, she is not.

Speaking of which this Johnny character she moved on to seems to fit that description pretty well too. So it's probably the same exact dynamic we had, and it's gonna end the same way. Hmmm, maybe once it does (not before, because she won't be receptive to it before) I should mention some of this stuff to her, help her realize what she's doing wrong. Of course, that would involve being honest and admitting my failure too, instead of playing the innocent victim.

Anyways, back to the story: And then the rejection came, and I didn't handle it well. Which, frankly, is the bigger problem, because it means I can't even practice getting better at this relationship stuff: I'm too afraid of another messy, way too painful rejection. So perhaps that's the first thing I should work on: figure out how to handle rejection without turning it into this huge, emotionally draining drama.

Edited by Nicky

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3 hours ago, Nicky said:

My advice is blunt. If you don't want to hear it, don't click on the spoiler tags:

  Hide contents

Stop playing the victim. Every thread I see you start is about you being the victim of something or somebody. It's the worst possible way to go through life. Start taking responsibility for the things that happen to you.

Here's how I would rephrase this story, if it happened to me (actually, it happened to me more than once...happens to almost everyone except the most confident, assertive 5-10% of young men):

I met this girl at work, there was a mutual attraction. She flirted with me, but I'm not that good at it, plus I'm deathly afraid of rejection, so I pretended not to be interested for months. And what better way to avoid rejection than to never start anything in the first place? However, it didn't work, because she isn't a typical, passive, agreeable woman. She's in that minority which has an assertive personality, so she took charge and got what she wanted. Except, you know...that's not what she really wanted. What she really wanted is what every woman wants: for the man she likes to take charge and ask for what HE wants, so that she can simply give it to him.

So, naturally, things went downhill pretty quickly. We both screwed up: she screwed up for not realizing that there's a reason why women are not supposed to take charge in a relationship: it won't work. And they're the reason why it won't work: women will stop being attracted to a man who lets them be in charge of the relationship. Men don't necessarily have that problem, most of them are fine staying attracted to a bossy, physically attractive woman. That's why they end up bearing the brunt of the breakup: they're still attracted, she is not.

Speaking of which this Johnny character she moved on to seems to fit that description pretty well too. So it's probably the same exact dynamic we had, and it's gonna end the same way. Hmmm, maybe once it does (not before, because she won't be receptive to it before) I should mention some of this stuff to her, help her realize what she's doing wrong. Of course, that would involve being honest and admitting my failure too, instead of playing the innocent victim.

Anyways, back to the story: And then the rejection came, and I didn't handle it well. Which, frankly, is the bigger problem, because it means I can't even practice getting better at this relationship stuff: I'm too afraid of another messy, way too painful rejection. So perhaps that's the first thing I should work on: figure out how to handle rejection without turning it into this huge, emotionally draining drama.

I only want blunt replies. For the record, I'm very keenly aware of everything I did wrong with her, I just hadn't dated in so long before this I had to learn these lessons the hard way. 

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You said that there was, " was nothing I wouldn’t blow off to be with her, and she must have picked up on it."  And with the additional context you provided, fundamentally it sounds like she wants whatever man she is going after to be dependent on her.  This guy Johnny, too.

If you want an Objectivist answer, Independence is a virtue and you won't be able to practice it with her.  She wants dependence and if she doesn't get it, she's gone.  If you were to practice independence then you'll need a woman that practices that, too.  With her you'll have to practice emotional and psychological dependency and try to mold yourself to be what she wants.  This is my "blunt" opinion.

Edited by KorbenDallas

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6 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

If you want an Objectivist answer, Independence is a virtue and you won't be able to practice it with her.  She wants dependence and if she doesn't get it, she's gone.  

According to happiness, she was attracted by his initial rejection (which she interpreted as independence, even though it wasn't), and dumped him because he got too clingy (which is psychological dependence). So how did you get from there to the exact opposite?

 

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11 hours ago, happiness said:

I only want blunt replies. For the record, I'm very keenly aware of everything I did wrong with her, I just hadn't dated in so long before this I had to learn these lessons the hard way. 

This reads like something out of the Pick-up Artist literature.  You ought to spend some time studying it.  By rejecting her you made yourself irresistible, then when you became clingy, you were no longer a challenge for her.  Your rejection went against her self-image as an attractive woman who can get any man she wants, so she had to get you to validate herself.  After, rejecting you gets her even more self-validation, plus (maybe) a bit of payback. 

I don’t think it’s a dynamic that will ever result in a healthy relationship, so you need to write this one off. 

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23 hours ago, happiness said:

We had some fun, but as I thought, didn’t mesh well in a romantic level. Our relationship revolves around work, and outside of that there was always a lot of friction between us.

What more is there to say? Based on this, it would mean that the more time you spent together, the more friction there was between you. So naturally, you wouldn't progress to anything more. The only reason I could imagine you would try again is if your personality changed substantially since then.

Edited by Eiuol

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4 hours ago, Nicky said:

According to happiness, she was attracted by his initial rejection (which she interpreted as independence, even though it wasn't), and dumped him because he got too clingy (which is psychological dependence). So how did you get from there to the exact opposite?

When he rejected her she saw she wasn't dependent upon him, so she went after him.  They dated casually for five weeks, but she is promiscuous and she appears to go after men who she deems aren't dependent on her at all.  I interpreted the friction they were having as her trying to establish more dominance in the relationship, when she couldn't get that she was gone.  So, not the "exact opposite."

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5 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

When he rejected her she saw she wasn't dependent upon him, so she went after him.  They dated casually for five weeks, but she is promiscuous and she appears to go after men who she deems aren't dependent on her at all.  I interpreted the friction they were having as her trying to establish more dominance in the relationship, when she couldn't get that she was gone.  So, not the "exact opposite."

She actually isn't promiscuous; she said she had been celibate for over a year. She rejected me because I turned out to be the opposite of what she expected. She took my initial rejections as a sign of strength, and I turned out to be timid, needy, supplicating nice guy and have no idea how to handle myself with a woman.

Edited by happiness

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