DEAR ABBY: I am in love with my ex's co-worker (I'll call him Jim). This is dangerous as I live with my ex in the same house, although not in the same quarters. We have both had some trouble distancing ourselves from each other since we decided to break up nearly a year ago.
Jim and I have talked on the phone and communicated by e-mail on a regular basis, and I feel I connect well with him. When we have met in person, my ex has always been there -- and I know that's why Jim isn't taking things further. My ex and Jim have been pals as well as colleagues for many years, and I think Jim fears my ex's annoyance. (Whether he'd be unhappy or not is questionable.)
I have put myself slightly out on a limb in terms of expressing my feelings to Jim, but each time our conversation becomes flirtatious, he cuts it short.
This is very frustrating. I have become so fascinated by him that if we don't go beyond flirting soon, I can see myself making as much of a fool of myself at 25 as I did when I was 15, by doing something stupid or too forward and ruining my chances of a relationship with him. Please help. -- JENNIFER IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
DEAR JENNIFER: As long as you're living under the same roof as your ex, your romance with his co-worker has gone as far as it's going to go. I salute his good sense. In the interests of all concerned, you must make a clean break with your ex before proceeding seriously with anyone else. One of you should move.