Dear Miss Emily:

I'm 27. I started talking to this guy at work and we completely hit it off. I gave him a lift home and he asked whether I had a boyfriend and I asked him the same question, to which he replied no. He emailed me to say that he enjoyed my company and totally enjoyed the short ride. We ended up flirting on office email and I asked him to accompany me to a party. He said, yes, and asked me whether I would like to do something afterward. I said. no. but emailed later to say that I actually would like to do something. He suddenly tells me that he can't make it to the party. I was a tad hurt and confused and decided to just ignore him. Suddenly he gives me his personal email address and we started emailing each other. The contents of the email gave me the impression that he likes me. As we have a week off work, I ask him out! He replies, telling me that he would love to but can't because he has a girlfriend and that he thought I knew. I'm totally confused because when I asked, he said he was single and the contents of the email were full of 'come-on' signals -- and a guy in a relationship should not be sending emails like that! The emails were sexual in nature.  I don't understand why the sudden coolness towards me and the appearance of a girlfriend. I like him, and have decided to leave him alone but would love to understand why he acted that way. It's totally confusing. One minute we are emailing and giving each other sneaky looks and smiles, and the next, he's completely gone off me. What's your take?

--------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------

This guy is all over the map. He backs out of an invitation he accepted, he makes it look like you're naive, or "out-of-the-loop" if you didn't know he had a girlfriend when he told you he didn't.  And now he's moved on as if nothing has happened. From where I stand, it doesn't really matter the truth of this -- whether he had a girlfriend, or he didn't at the time he flirted and made plans with you. Either way, he looks like a cad, or just plan foolish.  Let these feelings for him fade into the netherworld like those lusty e-mails. You handled everything above board, and he ends up being a mystery that's better left unsolved. If he wants back in your life, be cautious. By the way, here in U. S., companies monitor office e-mail.  Best to keep business and pleasure separate.