Man hopes to move affair with his co-worker forward

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, February 19, 2020

DEAR ABBY: I have been communicating with this woman that I work with. She is currently seeing a guy she’s been with for about four years. We have a clear connection and primal attraction, and have both discussed our feelings with each other. We communicate by texting. There is no communication through phone calls, for obvious reasons. Her man works for the same company but in a different building than we do. It’s clear to me that he isn’t good enough for her and doesn’t know how to elevate himself to her level.

I let her know that if they were to break up, I would want to give it a try, and she said the same. She contacts me when she wants and flirts, but it’s always at her convenience and not mine. We have “known” each other for about a year and a half now, and she claims she cares for me. My question to you is, how should I move this situation forward? — THREE’S A CROWD IN NEW YORK

DEAR CROWD: Try to control your libido and allow me to offer a flash of insight. This woman likes things just the way they are. You may not think her boyfriend is good enough for her and can’t “elevate himself to her level,” but the woman you have placed on this pedestal is someone who enjoys sneaking behind the back of someone she’s been involved with for four years and discusses an exit strategy with a co-worker. Open your eyes. She’s not seriously interested in you. She’s enjoying a flirtation on her own terms, period. What makes you think you are the only one she does this with?

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DEAR ABBY: I have been overweight for half of my life. After many diets, exercises, weight loss and eventually gaining it all back, I’m planning to have gastric sleeve surgery within the next two months, or when my surgeon can place me on his schedule.

I have gone through all of the required office visits with my doctor, but haven’t yet made a final decision because I’m so nervous about it. I have not mentioned this to my adult children or my parents. My parents are elderly and probably would hate it and worry, so I don’t want them to know. As for my children, they probably won’t like it either.

The surgery will mean I’ll lose 60 to 70 pounds. Should I say something or wait until it becomes obvious? I’m a private person, and I absolutely don’t want any negative or snarky remarks from neighbors or my church family.

Am I being ridiculous, selfish or silly? If I don’t tell, how will I explain how I lost the weight without spilling my secret? I may tell everyone later on, but not right now. — GOT A SECRET IN THE SOUTH

DEAR GOT A SECRET: Wanting to be your best and healthiest self isn’t ridiculous, selfish or silly. If you need surgical intervention to conquer your weight issues and your doctors agree, there is no reason to be defensive about it. Attempting to hide a 70-pound weight loss would be like trying to smuggle dawn past a rooster.

As you pointed out, your weight loss will become obvious. When you are asked about it, all you need to say is that now that your weight problem is in the past, you prefer not discussing it, so please don’t bring it up again. You may encounter fewer raised eyebrows if, once your doctors allow it, you start doing some walking so you can be seen by others adopting a healthier lifestyle. If you do, people may assume it’s the reason you are thinner.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.