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Co-worker’s rejection has made things weird

Dear Harlan: I’ve been working with a woman for a few months. She is in another department, so dating her wouldn’t go against company policy. Whenever we interact, we always laugh and have conversations that strike me as flirting. Well, I finally found the courage to ask her on a date. She thanked me and told me she was in a relationship. I told her that I understood and quickly changed the subject. I don’t know if she’s really in a relationship or made that up. Since this happened, she has gotten quiet and doesn’t talk to me unless it’s work related. I didn’t want things to get weird, but now they’re weird. Should I say something to her or move on? What should I say to make this not so weird?

— Unweird

Dear Unweird:  There’s nothing to say or do at this point. You asked her out. She wasn’t interested. She doesn’t want to lead you on. For some reason, something has changed for her. There’s nothing more to do. Move on. Be confident and friendly when you see her. Interact in a way that makes it clear that you respect her boundaries and are comfortable not dating her. Let her see that you are still the same person. The more comfortable you can be, the easier it will be for her to be around you. Either she’ll get over this and you’ll be friends again, or she won’t. Spending any more time, attention and energy guessing her feelings will only make this more uncomfortable. Give it time. See what happens. Date other women. Live your life. Let the future unfold. You never know. She might break up with this person in the future. One day, she might reveal that she had to give you the cold shoulder at work because she liked you too much. It happens.

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