Dear Annie: I recently met someone on a business trip at our company’s office in Arizona. I’m located in the Southeast office.
Although we work for the same company, we are not in the same department, so there is no real need for work interaction.
We did seem to hit it off really well during my visit, and I have already reached out with pleasantries such as, “It was nice to meet you” and received a pleasant response.
But where do I go from here? I don’t know if the attraction is mutual or not, but I’d like to get to know him and see if anything can develop.
How can I do this without looking desperate or being intrusive? Any suggestions? — Lady With a Crush
Dear Lady With a Crush: My suggestion would be to go for it. Reach out to him again and see if he is responsive. You will have a good idea pretty quickly, but you will never know until you try. Even if it doesn’t work out, it will be OK because you won’t have invested much. But if you fail to reach out, you might regret it for your entire life. We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.
Dear Annie: This is in reference to the letters about how to talk to someone who has lost a child without offending them.
It is OK, even kind, to ask, “How long have they been gone?” or, “Have you a favorite memory you enjoy sharing?” But never ask, “How did they die?” This is invasive and can hurt and, of course, make the parent uncomfortable.
If a newly married young couple has no children, never ask, “When are you going to start a family?” It’s not anyone’s business, plus if there are fertility issues, this will cause emotional pain. It is OK to ask, “Do you have children?” If the answer is no, please drop the subject.
I speak from a world of experience. My husband and I are friends with two younger couples who have no children; in both cases, the women cannot conceive. They’ve told us of the heartache they feel when others bring up the subject of their lack of offspring.
As for loss, my niece, my mom and I have all miscarried. My niece had a stillborn. We lost our oldest son at a young age. My mom has outlived four of her birthed kids.
If the lady is close to you, she will likely share it with you. If she has not, then please show her compassion and respect by maintaining boundaries and controlling your curiosity. — Out of Respect
Dear Out of Respect: Thank you for your wonderful advice. I am so very sorry that you and your family have suffered such loss. What a wonderful gift you gave to help others be more empathetic and sensitive to friends and family who don’t know what to say or who say the wrong thing.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]