I am very much confused by a certain individual. He is much older than I am and he is my boss. He is not my immediate supervisor, but he is a higher up in the company and I work with him quite a lot. (I am aware that this is considered by most to be an inappropriate relationship between superiors and subordinates, but the environment in which I work is unconventional so this does not apply and there is no specific rule against this. I would appreciate if this was not part of your answer. Thank you.) I am confused by the mixed signals that he sends me and I am often wondering if he is attracted to me. We banter back and forth, he play fights with me constantly, and teases me mercilessly because in his own words giving people a hard time is his way of showing affection. I am aware that he treats me differently compared to my other coworkers. He teases the others and plays pranks on them, but he does not play pranks on me. He avoids distressing me or giving me too much of a hard time because he has stated that I have a strong personality and that he is intimidated by me though I scoff at that. (He has expressed that he likes women like me who have strong personalities.) My confusion is only aggravated by the fact that when I am in his line of sight, he will stop whatever he is doing to say hi to me, even if he is the middle of a meeting, and his lack of personal space when he needs to talk to me is a bit alarming(he will stand right in front of me or hover next to me if I am sitting down). He high fives me all of the time or pats my shoulder. At our meetings, he sits across from me and stares. If it is a manager meeting (all men), he always occupies the seat next to me. I know a lot about his personal life because he likes to talk to me. He likes to complain to me about things and I listen. He goes out of his way to help me, even if it is just to bring me coffee or when I need his manly strength for something. He comes to me to help him with every little IT thing and customer project that he cannot do on his own and I spend a lot of time fixing things for him. He always sits down in the pose that I have jokingly coined the crotch shot because he sits with his legs open wide any time that I am present. It throws me off because I have never seen men do this in my presence. He has a habit of holding prolonged eye contact with me and I have caught him checking me out on more than one occasion. He has exhibited jealousy at other supervisors that have made it known that they are attracted to me and would like to pursue me. A supervisor has made it obvious that he is interested in me and my boss has stated that this supervisor is one of the three people he can't stand. He warned me not get involved with the guy. Another time, a man who worked in the building next door had a crush on me and bought me flowers for a month. I wasn't interested and told him so. My boss came to me and said that he knew that I was capable but that he offered to help me get rid of the guy if he continued to bother me. He doesn't like to see me sad. He has offered to beat someone up for me if I wanted him to so that I could smile. I have cried in his presence once from being in pain because I was ill and he took me to his office to calm down and made me tea. The day after I had a car accident, I returned to the office and he was very worried, asking if I was OK and sending me home early to rest.The owner's assistant has declared me the president's favorite because he actually listens to me when I tell him to do something. A fellow coworker has accused me of having a "love affair' with the boss after I gave him a Christmas present. I gave him a pair of reading glasses to repair the ones he lost. He is single as am I. Our interactions are limited to the office because he has stated that he is too old, even though I have told him that the age gap does not matter (I am in my late 20’s, he’s in his early 50’s). Our office has called us the married couple because of the way we deal with each other. I am confused by his behavior of the past three years. Is he attracted to me? If so, I would like to let him know that I am attracted to him as well, but am unsure how to say that. Any advice would be welcomed.
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affair, christmas, co-worker, crush, flowers, I work with, jealous, my boss
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reader, Sageoldguy1465 +, writes (4 May 2012):I think the most important phrase in your submittal is this one: "... I would appreciate if this was not part of your answer. Thank you."By including it, you've pretty much acknowledged that you KNOW the "answer" to your question... but you want us Agony Aunts and Uncles to avoid telling you what it is....Good luck...
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reader, oldbag + ♥, writes (4 May 2012):Hi
He could have asked you out over the 3 years at some point but has not,when he knows your single.
Sooo he either thinks YOU are far too young for HIM and looks on you in a fatherly way.
Or he does not mix work with dating, you are a valued employee and he a professional.
Dont think this will go anywhere at all,so I would look to date others
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reader, Tisha-1 + ♥, writes (4 May 2012):He sounds like he has a 'schtick' and a playful nature. You may be reading too much into this.
Someone here has pointed out that there is no such thing as 'mixed messages.' Mixed messages appear to be confusing signals, when in fact what's happening is that one person has a certain hope for an outcome but the actions of the other don't really meet that. A mixed message is a 'no,' essentially.
If the guy liked you enough to ask you out, and there are no rules in the workplace against it, he'd have asked you out already.
He's playing a role he's created. "Sandy's quirky and fun and caring boss" is what the role sounds like. It's a schtick.
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