Dear Ayana Iman: I fell in love with a colleague and as the months went by I thought that he felt the same, but when it came down to acknowledging the connection, he said: "I value our friendship too much to let love come between it."
He stopped working at the company shortly after and our communication ceased, but I think about him every day. No matter how much I want to, I can't seem to let go. How can I stop this madness? I'm driving myself crazy.
I understand that you can't seem to let him go, but I challenge you to take a step back and really think about your time spent together.
Was a relationship discussed? Did you notice him being distant? This is for you to gain clarity.
There is always his truth, your truth, and what actually happened. He may have led you on. Your expectations may have exceeded reality. One thing for sure is that he had the decency to give you an answer.
So many times we're left without a clue of why things ended, and even if it's not the outcome you wanted, he did you the favor of setting you free. This freedom gives you the chance of actually having a healthy relationship that's reciprocal, meaning you two choose each other.
Your job is not to make someone see your value, in fact, when you place the value on yourself, you will attract someone that's worthy of receiving your love.
He just wasn't it. Don't waste your energy, sis.
If the moment ever arises again, here are some tips to consider before dating someone at work:
Determine the quality of your previous relationships. Have they ended amicably? Are you emotionally tethered to the people you've dated? Also, find out the quality of relationships from the other person. The last thing you want to do is get involved with someone that is emotionally unstable in the workplace.
Most companies have a policy about dating internally. Check the HR handbook (if you have one) and make sure you are in compliance with the rules. If not, it may affect your status as an employee.
If you're hoping to grow with this company, it may be beneficial to limit romantic interactions. Also, your professional career is based off of how you maintain relationships, so whether it's this company or the next, a moment of passion can influence years of decision-making by hiring managers.
That Gray Area
Love can happen anywhere. You should not compromise your integrity to have it. If you decide someone is worth exploring, take your time. I suggest limiting sexual encounters until you are clear of the expectations of this relationship.
Dear Ayana Iman: I am 25 years old and I've never had a boyfriend. Actually, I've never even dated. I'm scared I will never find the love of my life and end up with no kids.
First things first, why haven't you dated? This is a big ask.
My gut reaction is that there's fear that keeps you from entertaining people. I can't say what this fear stems from but it's worth exploring. Were you violated as a child, physically or emotionally? If so, you are being guarded to protect yourself. Trauma has great impact on your body and mind. Also, are you fearful of rejection? Vulnerability takes courage because you are exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed. If this is the case, I'd love for you to listen to scholar Brene Brown and her take on the power of vulnerability and how powerful you become when you own your truth.
Before attempting to date anyone, I think you can benefit from speaking to a therapist. We should all experience love at least once in our lives.
Romance is one of the ways to unlocking the fruitfulness of life.
Therapy can help you with some of the underlying issues surrounding dating, and hopefully, help you learn to engage with others and create boundaries. Let me make this clear, you deserve to be loved. Do not compare your situation to others; we all have our own unique journey's. Keep your heart open.
Do you have a question about love, life, career, wellness, etc. that you'd like for life coach Ayana to answer in a future Ask Ayana segment? Submit your questions here for a chance to have your question answered!