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I'm crushing on my team leader.

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Question - (13 December 2018) 1 Answers - (Newest, 13 December 2018)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I am very frustrated because there is someone that I'm potentially interested in at work that I think is also very interested in me but that nothing is happening for --

So I started work at this new place about five months ago now, and slowly I started noticing someone who just seemed very interested in me -- like just from the way his eyes looked into my eyes, or the way he would steal glances at me or I would just randomly find him nearby and looking at me at random times in the day, I just get the gut feeling that this is someone very interested in me, and he had also been sitting next to me and slowly I realized that that's not his actual seat there and he intentionally moved there to be next to me, and he also kinda went out of his way to come to this happy hour with me where he sat next to me and talked with me the whole time -- so this was all within the first month of me starting work there -- and without getting into too much details, we had talked and found out more about each other and it kind of makes sense why he would be attracted to me, and I find him attractive as well...

Then we all had to change seats, so he didn't sit next to me anymore -- he still runs into me at least once a day -- but he is probably deep down an introverted person (although he talks with lots of people at work!), because I can tell that he's nervous when he says hi to me -- and this in turn makes me nervous!! He also walks by very quickly so it's hard to ask him how his day is and start a conversation. Additionally, we're in the same group but different teams so we don't naturally get to interact much at work, and he is also more senior to me and manages people so that makes it harder for me to just go up and talk to him as I might do for someone who is the same level as me... When there are work social events we would talk together usually with other people around, and I think that he would stick around just to talk to me more, but then the next day he would go right back to saying hi really awkwardly to me again and not saying anything else, as if the social interactions didn't get us closer at all. -- I don't even mean romantically but just as human beings, I have become very comfortable/friendly with other colleagues after socializing just a couple times together but clearly that's not what's happening here.

It also seems like he doesn't like to admit that he had gone out of his way to talk to me about something or that I was especially on his mind even though I really feel like it was that way - like he would justify certain things he does by then doing the same thing to other people. I really wish that he could just feel comfortable towards me and that we can talk more together, rather than just exchanging glances with each other once a day. I actually like him as a person and find him attractive, and now if ever there's a day that I don't get to see him I feel a bit sad, which I feel is a bit unhealthy.

It's been about five months now and I feel very frustrated about how little is happening. I also don't enjoy going on dates with other people because I feel like there's something here, and I really would just like to find out sooner rather than later. My friend told me to just ask him out -- it's not really that I'm afraid of asking someone out, but I feel that we don't have enough chances to talk and it's frustrating to go in to work every day expecting something to happen and have nothing happen at all, and I don't feel like we're at the comfort level for me to be asking him out.

View related questions: at work, crush

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 December 2018):

I think you're over-reading the situation; based on your own crush, and wishful-thinking.

The first-month through the end of the work probationary-period; you take a new employee under your wing, and you get them acclimated to the job. You show them the ropes. You might need to get within close-proximity in order to do that. Mindful of your personal-space.

As a supervisor or team-leader; your job is to get your worker situated within the team-framework. It establishes confidence within a new employee, and a good rapport between the supervisor and his/her employees. You can be friendly and studious. All that stuff about looking at you could have been nothing more than evaluating how you work. You seem more focused on getting his attention, or distracted; than engaged in your work assignments.

I'm going strictly by your description of the entire situation. If you're staring at me, I might make eye-contact for a totally different reason from yours! Supervisors have to observe you at your work station; to be sure you're being productive, and not goofing-off! Read it any way you like! Also observing if you seem uncomfortable, or require any assistance. Making note of your job-proficiency. You're new; so you get more attention than the others.

He has suddenly distanced himself; because he's beginning to notice you're misreading his intentions, and you may very well become a company-liability.

If he has been out of line. He is very much aware that it's this kind of behavior that sends women to HR complaining of inappropriate male-behavior. He should know better. He had better clear this up! It seems he is now attempting to.

This is where it gets sticky; because if he rejects you, you'll be insulted or resentful. So now he makes sure he keeps a professional-distance; in order to maintain the proper respect for his authority, and not have his friendliness misconstrued as flirting. As you seem well on your way to doing. Even if you can't see it that way, others within the team might consider you a problem!

It's your workplace; not your dating-pool, or a single's club.

Stay professional, and more attentive to your work responsibilities. You are treading on shaky ground; and you yourself could be reported to HR, if you make the wrong move.

Err on the side of caution. He's the boss!

It's a new job, and you're messing around in dangerous territory.

Men have to be extremely careful on the job these days. Even if you don't mind or invite his inappropriate attention; coworkers resent workers flirting with the boss. It lowers morale, starts gossip, co-workers will suspect favoritism; and the presumption of bias on the part of your supervisor, when it comes to your work-performance evaluations.

Why am I saying all this? I'm the Regional Director of a large company. We keep an eye-out especially for liability from sexual-harassment, hostile work-environment, and on-the-job bullying. It's a federal requirement by the U.S. Department of Labor. Everyone should feel safe and comfortable on the job.

That's why companies are required to offer scheduled sexual-harassment seminars (annually, or biannually); and issue company ethics and conduct manuals. People don't always know how to behave while on the clock! Schmoozing and flirting is done on your time; and not on company premises. He still represents the company, even off-premises. Even his inappropriate behavior off-premises makes your employer legally liable.

This comment is especially alarming:

"I actually like him as a person and find him attractive, and now if ever there's a day that I don't get to see him I feel a bit sad, which I feel is a bit unhealthy."

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