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Feeling the Spark in Saginaw

  • Posted on May 31, 2016 at 9:35 am

Dear Christine,

I’ve only been in love twice in my life.  Both times it was instant attraction and both times it turned into relationships that lasted over 15 years.  I thought love wouldn’t hit me again.  I meet people all the time and haven’t even felt a spark in years. Well, I feel the spark. I just recently met two lovely women and I’m head over heals for one of them.  I don’t know what to do.  The more time I spend with them, the stronger it gets. I have one friend that says all’s fair in love and war and another that says it’s just wrong to lust after a friend’s wife.  Thanks for any thoughts you have to share. 

Signed, Feeling the Spark in Saginaw

Dear Sparked,

You have a dilemma.  You are single, not looking for love, and then love presents itself!  But she’s not available!  Now you get to make some hard choices based on your values and being blunt and honest with yourself.  What do you really want?  Do you continue contact if that is fueling futile desires?  Do you tell her?  Is she already aware?  How about her wife?  Has she caught on to your attraction?  What do these two lovely women want?  Friendship?  More?

The story of your life, thus far, is when you fall in love, it is instant, with someone who is available and who also is attracted to you, and who also is interested in a long-term relationship.  OK, now, you have unexpectedly fallen in love with someone who doesn’t fit that whole pattern.  What do you do?  Your friends have differing opinions, but all that really matters is what you believe, who you are and how you can live with yourself.

Can you just be friends with these two, even as love for one is growing?  Can you be honest with them about the situation?  Do you want to woo the one away from her wife (all’s fair, etc)?  Do you respect their relationship and commitment?

The only person you have to live with through all this is you.  Search your heart, your soul, and decide what you must do to have peace with yourself now, but also in the future.  Communicate what you need to, to friends, to this couple, to this woman.  This could be a wonderful opportunity, or it could be a nightmare.  It all depends on your values, morals and needs.  If you choose to pursue this woman, then you become vulnerable to everyone else’s opinions and possible rejection, including from this woman herself.  Do some journaling, take some long walks and think about what could happen if you take one choice, then if you take the next, and so on.  Then go and do whatever is truly in integrity for you.  Good luck.
Christine C. Cantrell, PhD.


Heated in Hell, MI

  • Posted on March 13, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Dear Christine, 

I work at a professional office where there’s a strict no dating policy.  It’s a really good job and I need it but I have a problem that’s making it hard to go to work.  A co-worker started flirting with me big time and though I knew the policy, I figured what the hell, we could be discrete.  We went out several times and I thought he really liked me.  I was falling!   Suddenly he just started ignoring me.  He won’t take my calls and acts at work like nothing happened.  I can’t talk to anyone at work about it but I did find out, he has a husband!  I’m so damn angry and there’s nothing I can do without serious risk of affecting my position at work.  Part of me wants to tell our manager just to get him in trouble and hell with the consequences.  If he would at least talk to me I might have some understanding but he has totally cut me off and I’m frustrated and confused.  How do I let this go before I blow!? 

Thanks, Heated in Hell, MI

Dear Heated,

Now you know why there’s a no-dating policy in most workplaces.  Even if you two hit it off, your dating can be very difficult on your colleagues who have to endure your drama once they realize what’s going on.

So, at work you met a flirt who is married.  Here’s the result of your decision to see  “what the hell.”  You took a big risk.  Welcome to hell!  You might be discrete, but  who is he really is?  Is he capable of discretion?  Healthy relationship are when both partners are equals to communicate what they feel and need and want.  That’s really hard to do in the workplace.

You can’t make someone else take your calls, like you or talk to you.  You can’t make a relationship work all by yourself.  A good relationship is when both parties are giving 100%, not even just 50/50.  You are putting your job at serious risk.   If you truly need and want this job, you’ll find a way to take a deep breath whenever you see him/think of him, and remind yourself that you need this job.

Welcome to a life lesson.  When you truly get a lesson from the School of Hard Knocks, you will never need a refresher course!  Consider yourself lucky that you still have your job and focus on that.  Count to 10 when you see him, use self-talk to talk yourself down when you get riled up.  Anger is a normal reaction, but after about 90 seconds of feeling anger surge, you have to feed it to keep it going.

Remind yourself that you put yourself in this position.  If you tell yourself you were the victim and you just want him punished, whatever the cost to you, that’s nurturing the anger.  For every 5 minutes that you are angry, you increase your blood pressure, decrease your digestion, your breathing gets shallow and your immune system goes off line for the next 6 hours!  That’s not including losing your job.  It’s not fun to be an adult:  bills, responsibilities, jobs, boundaries, communication and most important, self-care.   Good luck as you practice good self-care in the coming weeks, modulating your anger rather than feeding it!

Christine Cantrell, PhD

Licensed Psychologist