Well, that conversation took an unexpected turn. Double-post, I know, but I'd again be immensely grateful for any input that anyone would be prepared to throw my way. Anyone already sick and tired of what seems to have become my usual subject in this thread, please save yourselves and look away now! So... (deep breath) I've sort of been able to get talking with a person at my workplace who I'd already kinda liked for a little while. I happened to mention the Japanese language course I signed myself up for, and the conversation turned to her and her friend's visit to a local comic con (in cosplay, no less!) last weekend. It's really her friend who's the big anime fan, apparently, but it sounded like she enjoyed a certain film at last year's event that's also a favourite of mine. I'd rarely had the chance to chat with her before as our shifts rarely overlap (I had to wait more than a week to follow up our previous conversation), and it's pot luck whether you get a quiet enough moment or not. Again I really could've stood and talked with her for ages; it felt like barely scratching the surface. Of course, it's not a two-way street. I would say that her response to me is no more than "politely patient" at the moment. I guess what I want to ask here is: Do you think that already sounds the death knell for any hopes of mine? (I think it does, personally.) Or is there room for these kind of things to evolve? The main problems would be: the already mentioned fact that our shifts rarely overlap (how is someone as bland as me supposed to build any kind of rapport with so little time to work with?); the very obvious gulf between us in the looks department (I should imagine she must be someone who finds herself, to borrow @Rui's phrasing, "swimming in people showing interest"); and the undeniable age gap (I must have probably around a decade on her. How creepy must that be?). I'd love be able to throw caution to the wind like @Vashdaman can, since the workplace is unavoidably restrictive in terms of opportunity for conversation, but I should imagine that there's the very real danger of doing irreparable damage to what precious little I've been able to build so far. Am I right in thinking that? Is patience the key here? I'd be easily willing to fall flat on my face if it turns out she's already attached, though. It would be worth that. If you'd offered me this situation only a month ago, I'd have bitten both your arms off for it and devoured your whole body, but I don't feel like I'm exactly doing cartwheels with joy. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because I'm probably already punching well above my weight with what I have already. Perhaps this is what @serpantino meant about swapping one set of problems for another? It's still a set of problems I'll gladly take. I learnt that our shifts overlap again in a couple of days. (I asked her.) I literally beg of you good folks for some input. Thanks.