So, we've looked at a couples pieces of evidence so far, and the consensus from my handful of loyal readers so far has been, "You should ask him out!" Unfortunately for those readers, that is NOT going to happen, so let those hopes go ahead and die. Let's talk about why.
1. "Dipping Your Pen in the Company Ink"
Dating co-workers is generally acknowledged to be a bad idea. For one thing, many people who've tried it and dealt with the ugly aftermath warn against it. Keep in mind that Dr.B. is on staff with me at Christian School. We have to live our professional lives on the same campus, no matter what happens with a potential romantic relationship, and that could become VERY awkward if a potential romantic relationship goes potentially awry. I don't want to have to actively avoid eye contact at every staff meeting because of an ugly break-up, and the easiest way to make sure that never happens is to not date a co-worker.
A second issue is that as a general rule, bosses/supervisors frown upon inter-office relationships. When we had our mandatory training on sexual harassment prevention, one of the major points they made was that we are NOT to date colleagues. Now, to be fair, this is a somewhat ironic point, since my immediate supervisor did, in fact, date and marry a fellow Christian School teacher. But still, it's frowned upon, for sure.
So we know that it's a bad idea to risk the awkwardness, and we know the bosses don't want it to happen. Therefore, on the "dating a coworker" front, it's a no.
2. The End of an Era... The Crush Era
Let's be honest, okay? The crush phase of a relationship? It's fun. And it generally ends way too soon. I am of an age now where I want to appreciate the crush for what it is, especially since any crush I experience these days has the potential to be the last crush. If this is my last crush, I want to enjoy it for a while. I want to enjoy the tingly butterflies in my stomach when I see him, the giggling with friends when I talk about him, the goofy grins when I think about him.
Yes, I realize that the next step can be fun too. The first dates, the first hand-holding, the first kiss - those are all great. And none of those happen until we move forward from the crush phase. But... maybe I'm just not ready to move forward yet.
3. Facing the Hard Truths
If I am being brutally honest with myself, I'm just not sure I want to pursue a relationship with Dr.B. There are always questions at this stage, when you first start to develop feelings for someone, as to whether it would work out. What if we don't get along? What if there is no chemistry? What if we don't have enough activities in common? You just never really know if a relationship would actually be a good one or not, and that's pretty normal.
But beyond that, I have further doubts., that I suspect are less common. Even imagining that our relationship did work out in all the traditional ways, I'm not sure I would want to pursue it. There's no easy way to put it, but... there are things about his story (remember? The one that elicited this reaction?) that make me uncertain about whether this would be what I really want or not. I wonder, in some ways, if that makes me a terrible person, to even let those parts of his story give me pause. But I can't help my response - it is what it is. And, well, I want to be certain before I make any definite steps towards pursuing a relationship.
I guess you might ask, then, why I've been giving you all this evidence to analyze if I didn't want to get into a relationship with him. Well, for one thing, the crush phase hinges, in many ways, on obsessing over whether the other person feels the same or not. Part of the fun of the crush is thinking about every move and what it might or might not mean. And besides, just because I'm not sure I want to pursue a relationship doesn't mean I'm sure I don't want to pursue a relationship. If/When I decide I do want to go through with it, it'd be nice to believe that he likes me back. And it'd be nice to believe that because my loyal handful of readers have told me so.
So no, there will be no asking him out anytime soon. There will be... trying to find ways to spend time together within the realm of normal life, so that hopefully we can get to know each other better and I can decide from there what to do. Maybe then I'll ask him out.