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Do I give office intern crushing on me a chance?

Tagged as: Crushes, Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 July 2022) 3 Answers - (Newest, 1 August 2022)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I am trying to decide if I should give a chance (dating or sex, or both) to the male intern in our office who has an open crush on me, who I initially turned down when he so nervously but bravely asked me out, but who keeps proving himself such a gentleman and a better catch than I gave him credit for at first.

I think it was the age difference that made me discount him initially, but I feel like he shows more maturity and decency than any of the other guys in the office. I also find I have a growing attraction to him physically even though he has stopped officially pursuing me after I turned him down. He has admitted to others and shown me in many ways he still is crushing but just giving me my space.

Noah is 18 and will be 19 very soon. He is a single straight white male. He just finished his first year of college. I am 24 and the receptionist in our office. I am a single straight white female. He interned here last semester and just continued to show up 20 hours a week as a volunteer even though he is no longer getting academic credit. He has admitted to my supervisor it is 50 percent for the experience and 50 percent to just be around me.

It all started when I was getting anonymous secret admirer gifts on my desk. This would be things like my favorite items from the vending machines (a cranberry energy bar and pink lemonade), my favorite cherry yogurt from the deli, cute cartoon drawings of me, poems, and single tulips (my favorite). He was outed as the secret admirer about 3 weeks in when I walked back from the bathroom to discover him leaving a gift. He was so nervous it was priceless and I was very flattered.

When he asked me out a week later and admitted it was a crush and not game (which I already knew), I wish I would have said I would think about it instead of laughing and turning him down cold. He was in a depressed little funk for a while but when one of the guys gave him a pep talk he snapped out of it and went back to being his peppy adorable self and still leaves me random gifts but not every day. He has not asked me out again.

When I had to move this summer he and some other coworkers volunteered to help me. On moving day everyone had an excuse and bailed on me, except for Noah. He told me not to worry. He got one of my neighbors to help load the heaviest stuff and then one of my new neighbors to help him unload the heaviest stuff. I suspect he paid one of them out of his pocket. I packed and unpacked boxes and he loaded and unloaded everything. It took two days instead of one but he showed up both days in 100 degree heat. The only break he took was when it rained for a few hours. He got drenched securing the truck and ramp in the downpour and just laughed it all off like a day at the beach. He blew me away with his faithfulness and devotion. He was patient. He never complained. He even assembled my new furniture and hung my art. I fueled him with food and water but on the end of the second night he ordered a pizza at his expense and asked if he could just “pretend” it was a date. So we ate pizza in my new apartment for his “pretend” date. It was very sweet.

His heroics moving me were only a part of my change in attitude toward him. I know this is shallow but I might as well be honest. Very quickly with the incredible heat he ended up taking off his tshirt and it never ended up going back on and he did not even bother with one the second day. I always thought of him as a handsome clean-cut boy, but I found Noah has a very manly killer body of skinny muscles he was hiding under his dress shirt and necktie all along. He says he is not an athlete but he does run for exercise and does some program of isometrics. Watching him get all sweaty while he was flexing and moving things was slowly turning me on and I thought about asking him to stay the night. He was self-conscious at first when my neighbor teased him rudely about not having any body hair and made some joke about not going through puberty but I told Noah he looked yummy and smooth was “in” (to which he grinned and blushed). There was some obvious flirting between us over the two days and he lingered each night but I gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked him to his uber both nights.

We had a funny moment when he made a joke and I pretended to be mad and poked him in his bare chest while I was pretending to tell him off and he flexed his pecs. You could tell he was turned on by it and it was awkward. So I played it off and kept jabbing him really hard and telling him flexing his pecs does not make him tough. He kept flexing and took like 6 jabs and then started laughing and backed away from the poking, rubbed the spot, and said he would have a bruise.

So now I am having fantasies about Noah the intern and his flexing pecs and having him carry heavy things for me. I am having fantasies of running in the park with him and getting him all sweaty again or seeing him do something in the rain. I bought him a Dasani water several times now (his favorite) and left it on his worktable. He just smiled at me like I had given him a winning lottery ticket. He is acting normal in the office just his friendly self, still delivering single tulips and other treats, but I am the one admiring him now.

I judged him on his age and took his politeness and shyness as not being manly or mature. I realize now he is just a decent young man. I now listen to him ask questions and watch him learn new things and I realize how smart he really is. He always dresses to impress even when the other guys turn into slobs on casual Fridays. He knows the tasks I hate and does them without asking or telling me (I just discover them done). He does not curse or make crude jokes or talk about others behind their back. And even though he probably wanted me to invite him to spend the night and I was thinking about it, he shows no grudge, did not try anything inappropriate, and seems just as determined as ever to shower me with attention. His vulnerability is extremely sexy – especially mentioning a “pretend” date to let me know he was still into me.

Using him for sex would be very easy but obviously unfair and wrong. I also think my feelings for him are potentially deeper. I know he is just a college undergraduate and we are at different phases in life, but is 6 years really too much? Is it possible? Is it practical? He still lives in a dormitory. Technically he is an adult, but he is a teenager too. On the other hand, he is more mature-acting than most of the older men I know. He will be behind me in terms of career and income at first, but should that be an issue? He seems like a hard worker and he is smart enough he will end up finding something solid. He says he wants to be a CPA someday which shows some ambition. It would sure be nice to actually date a guy who is as thoughtful and selfless as Noah. Part of me also feels like I want to reward him for his perseverance. Maybe a test date? Just to see how it goes? I think everyone in the office is still rooting for him. What do you think? Should I join Team Noah?

View related questions: ambition, co-worker, crush, depressed, flirt, his ex, muscle, older men, shy

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2022):

Got halfway through the romance novel, and came to this conclusion. Noah is just a boy. He has no experience; and yes, you are a crush. Boys have crushes that are built on fantasy and placing a woman up on a pedestal. He may be a nice "boy;" but Noah has a long way to go to know his true feelings, and to learn what a real relationship is. All this is great for you; because he is exercising his fantasies on an older-woman, whom he has idolized in a "boyish" way. Idols are created and embellished from our imagination; possessing traits and attributes that are either exaggerated, or seen through the eyes of worship.

How dare I say such arrogant and self-righteous junk? I used to be Noah, been there and done that! Most guys go through this as a rite of passage as we approach our manhood. It's good he met someone who seems to be gentle, sweet, and patient with him. You're not that much older; but chronologically, you were like two years older in maturity than he is at 19. In maturity, you're like six to nine years older now. I bet his mother would agree with my assessment.

I think you shouldn't encourage young Noah to pursue this as a romance; because you're expecting more than what a kid can offer at his age. You have your own place, a job, and you've had some experience with dating; and you've probably been in-love before. In the last paragraph of the post, you answered your own questions. Read it. He needs to concentrate on his future and get through college. He needs to date girls his own age; and base his feelings on something more real than imagined. Exploiting his youthful-innocence isn't cute, it's opportunistic. Forgive me, I tend to be frank and straightforward.

I'm speaking from experience as a man. I am not trying to insult you or burst your bubble. I know there will probably be female-posters who will probably encourage you to go for it; but I don't think Noah's limited experience and naivete is ready for anything serious. Heartbreak for someone his age is devastating. You're too old to be in an imaginary fairytale-romance. You've graduated to the big league; and should leave Noah the space and time to catch-up. Not because you're a woman; but because it's probably what's best for Noah.

If you want to reward Noah, thanks and a mature send-off to allow him to seek his future goals; and allow him the time to mature into a good man. I do not recommend sex; because it will mess his head up. I don't expect other people to agree with my post; but I don't care. I look at things people like to overlook, or just dismiss; because we have a selfish and entitled society that thrives on selfish-pleasure, promiscuity, and greediness. Somebody has to be the voice of conscience and reason sometimes. Maybe not popular with people nowadays; but what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. You already covered all that yourself in your post. You are a bright and very articulate person. Wise as well.

That's my advice. Your last paragraph says it all.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 August 2022):

Honeypie agony auntIf you do want to try to "join Team Noah" I'd say KEEP it out of the workplace but also ASK yourself - WHAT if this doesn't work out. How awkward will it be? For both of you? For your coworkers?

18 is young. While legally an adult, he is still a child. I say that with the facts in mind that I have 3 children, 22, 20 and 18. They are all LEGAL adults. The 20-year-old is off at Uni and the 22-year-old is working full time. My 20-year-old is the most "adult" of them all.

He is 6 years younger than you. That is a HUGE age gap in your age group. The distance is like an 18-year-old with a 12-year-old... If you just look at the age, though not really if you look at maturity.

You can't "test-date". That is ridiculous. But you can go out on a DATE but let him know you are still unsure about the whole coworker thing and the age gap, then take it from there.

GENERALLY, I will say DO NOT date people you work with. I find it kind of unprofessional. But you are both kind of young and he isn't REALLY an employee.

Go on the date, be honest with him and yourself.

Maybe part of the reason you want to date him is lust. Think about it.

Lastly, NO SEX. Keep sex out of it until you decide that you WANT to date him and HE wants to date you.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 August 2022):

Honeypie agony aunttest

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