DEAR ABBY: I'm a 27-year-old professional who works long hours at a hospital. Dating isn't easy for me, so I decided to try an online service. My first time online I recognized a co-worker I see on a regular basis and have always exchanged smiles with, but don't know personally. I wrote him a message just to say hi. I didn't say I was interested in him. I never heard back from him.
Since I sent that message he has checked my profile several times. But when he sees me in the hallways, he turns red and now just gives me half-smiles. I was waiting at the elevator with him the other day, but he was so embarrassed by the silence that I bailed and took the stairs.
He continues to smile, but I'm not sure what to say to him the next time I see him. I think it's rude that he didn't reply to my message -- even with a "See you around!" -- but I'm too embarrassed to do or say anything when I encounter him. Help! -- ON MY SHIFT IN OHIO
DEAR ON YOUR SHIFT: Your co-worker may not be particularly adept socially, or he may be reluctant to become involved with someone where he works. Please don't take his not responding to your email so personally. The next time you run into him in the hall, just say hello. If he has any manners at all, he'll return your greeting and it may melt the ice.