Reality Check

Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 16, 2002

Two years ago I made the greatest mistake of my life. I started dating a coworker. She is this beautiful young girl that totally captivated my world when I met her.

As time went by I realized we have almost nothing in common, including music, food, sports, movies, and outdoor activities, to name just a few. Worst of all, there is no passion between us.

Furthermore, I do not feel welcomed at her house, and I don't fit within her circle of friends for two reasons. I'm seven years older and come from South America. Although I learned to speak English, I have difficulties saying what's on my mind, and when I mispronounce a word, I become the clown of the crowd.

When I mention how we aren't meant for each other, she becomes very emotional and begs me not to finish it. You may wonder, what's the big deal, just break it up if it's not working. I don't find that easy. We not only work in the same place, but she sits next to me.

I have the kind of job that comes only once in a lifetime. It would be hard to quit, but it would be hard to break up and see each other unless I quit. She is a wonderful girl, but we aren't meant for each other. It hurts me more than anything when she asks if I love her and I lie through my teeth. What a mess, eh?


Javier, you have nothing in common, there is no spark between you, and her friends belittle you. That is the reality. She wants the relationship to continue. That is unreality. An ancient prayer says "lead me from the unreal to the real." That statement applies to everything, including relationships.

The relationship you two have is not a job relationship. It is a personal relationship. You don't need to give up your job over this, but if you don't act, what happens will come back to haunt you. Accept that there will be some discomfort at work for awhile.

Your letter reminds us of so many others. One man told us he just needed a date to a fraternity party. He inched toward marriage with a woman he didn't love, and they created two children. A woman recounted how she begged her mom, when her suitor called, "Tell him I'm not here!" They married and had four children.

Each marriage ended in divorce. Each divorce was initiated by the person who wanted the marriage. Realize that a person who prolongs a relationship you don't want, will leave the relationship when they no longer want it. That is the path you are on.

Wayne and Tamara

The First Step

If a guy sees or knows a girl he fancies, and if he is a bit shy in asking her out, is there any other way he could do it?


Paul, inaction turns things into monsters when they are not. Vacillation, fantasy and worry immobilize us, but doing a thing resolves a thing.

Each day millions of guys ask girls out. Sometimes the girl says yes, sometimes no. Either way, the world keeps turning. The playing field is more level than you realize. You may be hesitant to ask, but girls often feel stuck, waiting to be asked.

We are never guaranteed the end result. We won't know what will happen until we act. That's life. Part of getting the job is going to the interview. Part of scoring the goal is taking the field. Part of getting the girl is asking the girl.

You could send flowers and a note, but why not be direct? Clean your slate and move forward. You're not asking for a kidney or a pint of blood, just a date. Taking action sets you on the path to success, whether this particular girl says yes or no.


About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at" target="_new">

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:


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