I think a girl in my office has a crush on me, but I am married. Last night, there was a work dinner that ended up just being the two of us. Tonight, everyone in the office is going out for drinks and I know she will be there. If I don’t go, I won’t be seen as a “team player.” How can I get her to lay off?
You can get her to “lay off” by not acting inappropriately. Oh, I know. You don’t! You’re married! But someone behaves appropriately realizes that a work dinner that accidentally turns into a tete a tete over wine and oysters should be ended immediately the second the notion occurs to you that it’s not strictly business, and you didn’t do that. If this woman isn’t your boss or superior, and you weren’t required to be there, then you should have excused yourself as soon as humanly possible. You could have made a million excuses to get out of there–“My WIFE is sick and the KIDS are sick and did I mention my WIFE AND KIDS?”–but instead you hung out and shared a dessert and twinkled your eyes at her.
Interact with this woman regarding work matters only. Don’t bring her a latte because you were at Starbucks anyway, don’t send her a link to a YouTube video of a cat and a chipmunk cuddling and eating mangoes because you know she likes cats and chipmunks and cuddling and mangoes. Go with your colleagues for drinks tonight. Talk to your coworkers, enjoy their company, and enjoy your drinks. But don’t chat with her alone, don’t go to a second location with her, and if she puts her hand on your arm, move away. You know how to do this.
And P.S., you shouldn’t call the women in your workplace “girls,” unless you work in a daycare or as a Toddlers and Tiaras beauty pageant judge. They’re women.