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Is he flirting or am I reading too much into his actions?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Crushes, Friends, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 October 2018) 8 Answers - (Newest, 13 October 2018)
A female Australia age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I recently transferred into a different team at work and started working very closely with the guy who recommended me for the role.

I REALLY like him as as a person and we get along great. Sometimes have suspicion that he 'likes' me, but then I think its impossible because I'm not in his league physically. (I look like

Shannon Purser, he looks like Ryan Gosling with glasses).

The last time I fell for a guy at work it did not end well, so I've sworn off dating for a while. The truth is I don't know what I want, but it would help to know what HE wants.

He is very complimentary to me and my work, nothing like his other female colleagues who he usually just teases and heckles. When we get going on a topic together people give us weird looks because we're so passionate about technical stuff which they perceive as nonsense.

He lives with a two very glamorous and attractive women (who are in relationships with other guys). Outside and inside work he is surrounded by models and other gorgeous women; but he's been single for a long time. When I suggest any of them come to our meetings he kindly implies that it will go over their head.

We dress pretty casual at the office and he spends half the time with his shirt untucked. The other day we were in a meeting (alone) and he yanked his shirt out of his belt to use it to clean his glasses. Way higher that he needed to to achieve his goal. (He flashed me his midriff almost to his pecs.)

Today someone made a joke that he and I should get together to take advantage of an office policy around Christmas gifts for partners.

I'm trying not to read into things, but when we brainstorm at the same computer he usually manages to touch my hand accidentally.

I guess I know the answer, sit back and wait. See what happens. Tread cautiously.... but I'm equally worried about accidentally putting him off as I am about letting him get too close.

I carried a torch for the last guy for WAY too long. I'm afraid to open my heart again.

View related questions: at work, christmas, flirt

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

I'll only add this. The purpose of any workplace is to make money. Money for the company, and in-turn; employees earn a living. We also have to protect people that work for us; because dealing with humans, you also have to expect to deal with bad-behavior. Dating and flirtation doesn't mix well with business; and the problem is when unwanted advances occur and/or people get rejected. There's also a human response to that.

I understand you may have little dating experience; but employers want productivity and good work from their employees. Your personal-time away from work is where you make your romantic-pursuits.

If workers are distracted and busy trying to create a love-life; which gets the most attention? Your work, or your love-interests?

If things work-out badly, what does the employer do to keep the peace and avoid scandals or lawsuits?

How do we protect people who just want to do their jobs and not be bothered by people making passes at them, or causing them discomfort? It's best to keep matters you want to keep private away from the eyes and ears of others who will gossip; and those people who just might take advantage of you, and cause you grave embarrassment.

An employer can only think of their business first. You can be replaced. That's the point I'm trying to make; which is in your best interest.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 October 2018):

Honeypie agony auntSorry, OP

I don't wrap up my answers in cotton, I tell it as I see it. Take from it what you will.

I (like WiseOwlE mentions) have also seen SO many questions asking about office romance gone wrong on DC, more time than I can count, so maybe it sounded harsher than I really meant it to be, because I'm having such a hard time that people don't use common sense with both work and romance.

Good luck.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (12 October 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntThe answer is: don't sh$t on your own doorstep.

This guy obviously values you on a professional level and finds working with you stimulating. He may feel an attraction towards you, regardless of how you think you look. After all, relationships are not purely about looks. A "connection" is much more important.

HOWEVER

HOWEVER

HOWEVER

If you did get together and things didn't work out long term, how would you feel having to see him every day and work with him?

Think long and hard before allowing yourself to fall into a relationship with him, then think long and hard again and again until it registers that this is not a good idea.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 October 2018):

Me three!

You've already had an office-romance, and it didn't end well. Boy, do people read DC, or only write their problems?

The same issues come here over and over. The responses are going to be much the same; because using the workplace as your dating-pool is heading for trouble. You have to see these people all week. If a fling goes sideways or crashes. You can feel the tension on the floor; and sometimes very observant bosses like me, detect the nonsense. I will not stand for it on company-time. You can be nice to a person and have no romantic-interest in them. Even if you suspect otherwise, pretend that's all it is. It's all it should be!!!

It's best to get along with the people you work with, or work for. You can admire them for their talent. You don't have to want to get in their pants!

The threat of a sexual-harassment liability following adult behavior like you described; keeps employers on high-alert in businesses across the world. I don't like shelling-out money for lawsuits; when I'd rather pay good salaries and bonuses to smart, responsible, and productive employees. I go out of my way to make them feel appreciated, safe, and respected. I weed-out the bad-apples who spoil it for everybody else! Those who can't behave like sensible and responsible workers, and be adults.

He's obviously vane and showing-off. He knows you're checking him out, like all the other young women and model-like females he likes to surround himself with. Lifting his shirt to reveal the flesh underneath was a bold move; and quite inappropriate for the office.

Be smart! Learn from experience; don't go do the same dumb thing and expect different results. Turn down the volume on your hormones!

Keep your eyes at eye-level, be professional, and date away from your job.

Then you won't be back here for advice on what to do after making a mess with a co-worker. Having to make the choice of finding a new job; or forced to face somebody who broke your heart or played you, all week-long. Having to share projects side-by-side, loathing the air he breaths; while he flirts with the next knuckle-headed female who thinks her workplace is a dating-site. Being more distracted by the male co-workers; than focused on what she's hired to do.

That's why we have regularly scheduled mandatory sexual-harassment training seminars. Therefore, our company has happy workers with zero sexual-harassment complaints. What they do outside is their business; but the minute I see nonsense, I think of the bottom-line; and toss your flirtatious-butts to the street. You get one warning!

There's plenty of well-behaved talent out there to be found to replace them. I always choose several good candidates; and hold their resumes just in-case things don't workout. That's what a smart boss does! Young people will learn how to separate work from their personal-lives. If it costs them their rent money and no food in the refrigerator; they'll learn fast! What applies to my employees, applies to everyone all the way to the top!

There are so many more available single-men out there for your selection, than you can find on your job any-day!

Fishing in a barrel is easy; but you get very limited selection compared to what you can find in the ocean!

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (12 October 2018):

mystiquek agony auntI'm going to chime right in with Honeypie. DO NOT date a co-worker. Its just asking for trouble. Office romances at best normally do not end well and at the worst can be disastrous.

You've already been down this road so why go down it again? Keep it professional and look elsewhere for romance. The workplace is FOR work not love. You start dating him and people will notice, people will talk and you will be drawing attention to yourself that you will not like.

It sounds like he's attractive knows it and enjoys it. Don't be drawn in. He could very much be a heartbreaker that just racks up the broken hearts. Be smart sweets and steer clear of trouble.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 October 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks for your response Honeypie.

I mean.. it was horribly patronising and unpleasant.

But probably very valid.

One extra point; I've never been in a real relationship, I used to weight over 140kg and lost it all two years ago (for the last guy). So my romantic experience is about on par with your average 22yr old.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 October 2018):

A man who heckles women at work sounds a pain. A man who implies things will 'go over some women's heads' sounds an arse.

I'm not sure he's as great as you think he is. I think he might be very good at getting you to think he's great.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 October 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI think he IS flirty but I think you need to use that big brain of yours and realize that romance in the work place isn't a smart move. What happened last time you mixed work and romance? hmm?

To quote you:" The last time I fell for a guy at work it did not end well". So why on Earth would you try that again?!

YOU just transferred in. You have a team-mate whom you get along well with and work well with... HOW do think thing would go if the romance didn't pan out?

Could you still work with him?

And you have no idea of how many women he goes through.

He knows he is attractive, he likes the tease, and he likes to make you think you are smarter than all the other women there....

I'd be very vary here.

JUST stick to being professional.

You go to work, to work. NOT to look for your next romantic conquest.

Your work place is NOT a dating place. You aren't there to scoop up potential bed-mates or partners or ... crushes.

If you are ready to date after LAST fiasco... Then look OUTSIDE your job for a potential BF.

You are old enough to know better.

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