I hope someone can give me some advice. I know I sound pretty inept about it, but it's been about 5 years since I've really dated someone.There's a girl who started working where I do recently, our work is such that we only see each other every couple of weeks and even then it's rare to get a chance to talk without 20 other people around. I'm pretty sure I've noticed her smiling at me. Yesterday we were alone together for the first time and had a nice chat, she asked a lot of questions about me, and I about her. What I can't tell is if she's just being friendly or is really interested. Replaying it in mind now, it seems like she is, but I've had similar experiences in the past only to find out the girl had a boyfriend (or I noticed a wedding ring after a couple of conversations), so I'm wonder if I just can't tell socializing from flirting. I know there's not a lot here to go on, but I'd appreciate any insights you might have.
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reader, appliance +, writes (18 June 2017):In most workplaces, it is absolutely normal for people to socialize, and I have yet to work in a place where nobody ended up dating. So it could be either way.
Hard to tell if you guys spoke only once. It's a judgement call and it can be hard to make after only one conversation. Even when someone is open to dating, the first step is generally simply socializing, and oftentimes it doesn't go any further. A second chat might be a much better indicator.
If you can make such a second chat happen again, note if she's asking personal (not too general) questions, about your feelings for example or your interests, something not work-related: that might be an indication of her being interested in a different way. Don't be afraid to ask her questions, about what she does when she's not at work, if she has lots of free time, it might indicate that she doesn't have someone, or children, in her life.
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reader, WiseOwlE + ♥, writes (16 June 2017):I supervise a large business office. So our policies frown on using the workplace as a dating site. The risk of sexual-harassment liability is too high. Therefore; we have yearly seminars about office conduct, hostile work-environment at the workplace, and proper conduct.
She is a new employee. So she wants to get acquainted with her co-workers. If she is a friendly and outgoing person; so she is just being polite and introducing herself. If she is young, she is inclined to be a little more inquisitive than she should; but that is attributed to inexperience and the need to be educated on the company's policies on ethics and conduct between employees, supervisors, and management staff.
You should remain polite, professional, and keep conversations impersonal. Consider all conversations and smiles from women you don't know only friendly.
It's wiser and easier to seek romance away from the place where you earn your income.
A misunderstanding or misinterpretation of signals can cost you your job. She may show you one face, and HR another. You may get too personal unintentionally, and offend her. If you date, and things go wrong; then there's awkwardness and discomfort during work hours. If I see employees showing any signs of discomfort or hostility towards each other; we have a meeting one-on-one. Then it's my problem as a manager and representative of our firm. I'd get canned if I don't address it.
Our policy, socializing is done outside the workplace.
Courtesy and professionalism is exchanged when you're on the clock. When you're off premises and on your own time, it's your business. We butt-out! We have a happy and productive staff, and a very low turnover.
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