Dear Cheryl: I recently went on three nice dates with a guy. He took me to three nice restaurants. At the end of each date, he dropped me off in front of my condo. He never hugged me or kissed me. I felt maybe he was waiting for me to do something, so, regrettably, at the end of the third date, I turned to him and pecked him on the lips. I never heard from him again, which is fine.
Now my girlfriend is telling me I should never initiate something like that on a date. She thinks the guy should. Normally, I would definitely agree with her, as I'm really a very prudent and old-fashioned young woman. But I just felt I needed to try something different.
Personally, I don't think the kiss was the reason he stopped calling, but since she's so firm on this issue, I feel like I did something wrong! I'm curious to hear what your male and female readers think about a woman taking the initiative to kiss a guy first. — Mad Kisser?
Dear Mad Kisser?: Thank God you took the initiative and kissed the guy. Otherwise, you may have wasted years having platonic dates with him. You're a healthy young woman who's looking for a partner, not a dining companion who happens to pick up the check. Who knows what he's looking for, but it's definitely not a relationship that includes intimacy.
This guy is gay and knows it and looking for a cover, or gay and doesn't know it, or asexual, or socially inept to the point of paralysis. In any case, the problem is his, not yours, and certainly not the fault of the kiss.
Readers, what do you think?
Dear Cheryl: Why do people get so involved with the people they work with? I think going out for a few drinks after work might be OK. But there are people who do everything from socializing with co-workers on weekends to having affairs with them. They're out of luck when the friendship or the affair sours. They can find themselves the victim of vicious gossip, demoted or even fired.
Being so close to people you work with severely limits your perspective. All you know is what you do, and the only people you know are the ones you work with. Having a life separate from work allows you to get away from work, even if it's just the weekend. That seems much healthier.
I don't consider the people I work with friends, and they probably know it. A job is a way to earn money, not a social club. Friendless in the Workplace
Dear FITW: I agree with some of what you say. It's hard for a manager to discipline a worker who's also his close friend. Dating someone you work with is a messy proposition. What happens if you break up and you still have to see the person? And if you change jobs, you lose your whole social network.
But — and here's that big stinky "but" you knew was coming — most people don't have a choice. They work so many hours it's either co-worker friends or no friends at all.
And by the way, what's with "workplace spouses"? Do you have one? What do you think about the person? Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not.