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My boyfriend keeps texting a female co-worker and it's getting inappropriate. Am I overreacting?

Tagged as: Cheating, Flirting, The ex-factor, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 February 2017) 7 Answers - (Newest, 22 February 2017)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

So my boyfriend has a female co-worker. He told me a couple weeks ago that it was pretty obvious to him and a few co-workers that a supervisor was trying to get with this female coworker, let's call her "B". My boyfriend told me that he told B "I want to talk to you about something" and asked to exchange numbers, so they did. He said he wanted to ask her if the supervisor was being inappropriate, since the same supervisor had been inappropriate to him in asking to hang out with him and he did not want to.

So that's all fine. I have been sick for the past week. Last weekend I went to bed early. My boyfriend and I have the same kind of phone so I accidentally got his and noticed he had texts, I peeked. It was B, and he had initiated a conversation with her after I had gone to bed. Nothing inappropriate, but friendly. The next morning, I found the same thing to have happened. The other day she was out of work sick and, as I guessed, my boyfriend texted her and they had a convo.

I confronted him about this, and he said he did not think he initiated the conversations that weekend. I said he did, I saw with my own eyes. I said, "she was out sick yesterday, I bet you texted her. It's getting inappropriate." He said he did not remember if he texted her. He does not text many people, so I was thinking, really? You don't remember?

I am not opposed to having casual friend coworkers of the opposite sex, but the way these texts are going and his response is making me feel very bad. Am I overreacting?

View related questions: co-worker, text

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (22 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntIt doesn't sound inappropriate to me. I have a feeling though if you ask him to stop talking to her things will get messy. So instead have a think about things, ask yourself do you feel that you can trust him to have female friends? Ask yourself what is it that is annoying you?

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (17 February 2017):

Anonymous 123 agony auntSo far, from what you say it doesn't really seem inappropriate. The only thing I can tell you here is, don't put ideas into his head. He probably genuinely didn't think of anything like "that" when he was talking her and if you keep hounding him then you're giving the girl too much importance. You've let him know how you feel and that you're not happy with how things are. He's got the message loud and clear. Now cool off for a bit and see how things go. The next few days will give you an indication of how he deals with things, with you and with her. This will also show you how he prioritizes you. Don't say anything, just wait and watch. You'll have your answer.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (17 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntWhy can't he be friends with a female co-worker? Having a problem with it is probably why he's hesitant to be upfront because he thinks you'll read too much into it.

Men can have friendships with women without anything inappropriate happening- if someone is going to cheat, they'll cheat regardless of who they're friends with.

As long as it wasn't deep and meaningful or flirty, there shouldn't be an issue with him being friendly and then having text conversations a few times a week like regular friends do.

If he starts getting secretive about it, *then* you should be concerned. Tell him you're fine with them being friends, as long as he doesn't lie about it or try to hide it.

Maybe you should talk to your co-workers more - maybe you'll get along well (platonically) with some of the guys.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (17 February 2017):

As someone who works in a mainly male workplace, I have the mobile numbers of quite a few colleagues and find myself having text conversations whenever anything is going on, like after a night out to see how rough they are feeling or if something has been going on in the office. This includes my direct manager. We even exchange funnies. However, there is absolutely nothing sinister going on with any of them. I treat them as I would any other friend. My partner has absolutely no problem with me texting friends and views them all, male and female, as the same - friends.

What is is about your boyfriend's texts that you feel is inappropriate? Would you feel the same way if the colleague he was texting was old enough to be his mum? Is it just that you feel inferior to her in some way? Does your boyfriend not have any other female friends? Do you not think males and females can be "just" friends?

Sorry, just a little puzzled by it all.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (17 February 2017):

No, I think you might have nipped something at the bud. He's getting friendly, and he wasn't being completely honest about texting her.

What business is it of his if a supervisor was being inappropriate? Let her take it to higher management or Human Resources.

If she was out sick, what reason would he have to text her outside of work? Especially, when he has a girlfriend.

I don't think there is cause to blow this out of proportion. He may be legitimately concerned, but his intervention and involvement isn't necessary. His gallant involvement would be better placed taking care of his own girlfriend.

It always works out best to keep co-workers of the opposite-sex as co-workers; and not spend too much of your personal-time with them away from work. Texting leads to meetings, and meetings lead to inappropriate behavior.

Suggest he let her handle her own issues at work. That's why most businesses have a Human Resources Dept.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2017):

No you are not overreacting, and don't let him tell you differently.

I think the frequency of his texts are innapropriate. If it was casual, maybe a text or two a week about work stuff is ok...but every night and morning? No.

I also find it kind of strange that he wanted to get involved with the whole situation of the supervisor hitting on her. I think that suggests some jealousy on his part, or the desire to find out if she requited the supervisor's feelings...because really he had those feelings too...IF the supervisor was flirting with her that should have been between them and them alone.

I think you need to sit down with bf and have a conversation about how it makes you uncomfortable. See what he says.

Alternately, you could quietly wait and see where this goes, because as soon as you start making a fuss he will hide his tracks more than ever.

This COULD be an innocent work crush that will fade out. Or it could be he is actually considering leaving if B returns his feelings.

Only time will tell, and perhaps conversations with your bf. But decide how you want to play it, because if you need more evidence that this IS innappriate, I would stay quiet and just do some more investigating, talk to his other work friends, etc.

That is what I think.

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A female reader, fishdish United States +, writes (17 February 2017):

fishdish agony auntBy inappropriate I thought you meant sexual or flirty. Sounds like this hasn't happened. So yes I'd say you've overreacted.. You say you're all for opposite sex coworker friendships, so prove it and don't have a problem with it. I think it's something to keep an eye on but you've decided to spin out on it far too soon, which maybe why he was dogey when you confronted him.

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