One day not too long ago, a male coworker stopped at your desk and gave you a fascinatingly wry smile. He said he needed coffee. He offered to go out and get you a cup, too.

You’d log on to your computer and find his delightfully flirtatious emails. After a couple of days, you found yourself seated next to him at a bar after work. You found yourself liking him. Why hadn’t you noticed him before?

You went out for dinner a couple of times. You went out for drinks a couple of more times. You thought about introducing him to your friends. You decided that your family would like him, definitely.

You started falling for him.

And then, as suddenly as the romance started, it stopped. He ceased asking you if you wanted coffee. He terminated the flirtatious emails.

Your mind began to spin with questions: What happened? What did you do? What can you do to get him back?

The answer to all three of these questions is probably nothing.

For whatever reason, the man showed interest. Then he stopped showing interest. Unfortunately, men and women do this to each other all the time, and somebody gets hurt.

Really hurt.

Can you rekindle his affection? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Ask yourself if it’s even worth it. The guy played with you, and if you want him back, you might ask yourself why you want a man who treated you so cruelly.

Your best bet? Respond to his sudden lack of interest in kind. In other words, do not under any circumstances offer him a cup of coffee (or anything else). Do not email him. Do not make excuses to walk past his desk.

Avoid him at all costs. When you do see him, keep your back straight, offer a perfunctory hello, and keep moving.

One of two things will happen:

He’ll realize he’s made terrible a mistake and start appearing at your desk again. In this case, continue to treat him coolly. Do not allow yourself to become vulnerable until you’re sure he won’t drop you like an old shoe again. Make (and keep!) plans with friends, family, and other men until it’s clear that he understands that you’re the greatest thing to ever cross his path.

The other possibility is that you’ll get over him. It will become apparent that the poor guy isn’t even in your league. You will glimpse him sucking up to his boss at the water cooler, and your stomach will turn. You will run into him in the elevator and discover that his ears are too small for his head. You’ll wonder what the heck you were thinking.

In other words, you’ll move on. And it’ll be his loss.

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