My colleague suddenly lost interest in me, now I’m at a loss

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my 60s. I’m seeking your advice regarding my relationship with my coworker.

She was a secretary under my department’s director and I am the department’s section chief.

I’ve been infatuated with her ever since she gave me a Valentine’s Day gift. I sent a thank-you email and got a reply of “Let’s go out for a drink sometime.” I knew she wrote it to be polite, but I wrote back, “I’d be happy to.”

We ended up going out for a drink. Although I didn’t really think that anything would come of it, I had a good time.

After that, it was days of her waving at me whenever she saw me, and going to see her favorite baseball team play; keeping our relationship fun.

However, ever since she transferred to a different department, she rarely responds to my emails and even ignored my invitations for lunch, although she had read the messages. One day, I asked her in person what was going on and was told flat out, “I’m not interested anymore.”

I thought about moving on, but I lead a separate life from my wife while living under the same roof, and my daughter told me, “Divorce may be the only option, I guess?”

Now that I’m in my 60s, I feel uncertainty when I think about my future.

—R, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Mr. R:

It may have been a lot of fun, but you’ve already been dumped. Do not text or talk to her anymore. The relationship is over.

You may be wondering, “Why didn’t I stay attractive to her?” This may be stuck in your head, like a bone stuck in your throat.

You see your relationship with her as one she initiated most of the time. She invited you, and she agreed to your invitation. I think it’s a little odd that you wrote, “ It was days of her waving at me.”

Even in your married life, I suspect you see the situation as “days of my wife being quiet.” Despite it being your own problem, you wrote that your daughter said: “Divorce may be the only option, I guess?” with a question mark. You put the responsibility of the situation on someone else rather than face it yourself.

Whether you get a divorce or stay married, I want you to think and make a decision on your own — not because someone tells you to. Once you’ve made your decision, stick with it no matter how hard it might be, and take responsibility until the very end.

Adopt the mindset that each of the two parties bears 100% of the responsibility in love, marriage and divorce. You grew quiet so the other grew quiet, too. If you laugh, the other may laugh one day, too.

—Shinji Ishii, writer