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How do I handle this? A co-worker likes me but I am dating his friend

Tagged as: Dating, Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 July 2020) 7 Answers - (Newest, 5 July 2020)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Dear aunts and uncle,

Last October I got promoted to a senior IT tech at my company and with the promotion i was assigned to a whole new team. Within a week of me being there one of my new coworkers ,lets call him Michael, started flirting with me pretty hard. He was attractive and i was single so I flirted back with him. Fast forward to January and nothing more happened between us other than flirting and i noticed he did it with a lot of other women so i figured that is just something he does with people. In January I started going out with another one of our coworkers , His name will be John,. In mid march Michael found out about it our relationship and he was not happy. I asked him if he wasn't happy about it he should have asked me out earlier. He then stated he was to afraid to ask me out and thought i would turn him down. I told him that would not have been the case but it is to late because i am with john. In late April me and john broke up and i told Micheal this. He immediately asked me out but i told him that i was not ready for a another relationship so soon.He was very respectful and understood and said he will wait until i am ready. In mid may when the Cornavirus restrictions got less strict some of our coworkers decided to get together at a bar and catch up. I asked Michael to go but he declined because he didn't want to risk it. That night when i went out i started flirting and hanging out with another one of my coworkers and one of Micheal's close friends ,his name will be James. We went home together and had sex. When we woke up in the morning we started talking and said we shouldn't do this again because we both know that Micheal likes me and has been wanting to date me. However me and James kept texting back and forth and a week later i went back over to his house. At this point we agreed to start seeing each other casually and that we did not have to tell anyone until it is serious. But now Micheal is texting and asking to go out with me and i am unsure of what to say to him. I feel really bad about passing over Micheal for another guy especially one of his close friends but i really am starting to like James.My questions are should I tell Micheal that i am seeing James or should James be the one to tell him? Do i tell him now or do i wait until me and James become more serious.

View related questions: broke up, co-worker, flirt, text

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 July 2020):

Sounds like a reality TV show. I'd fire the lot of you, and replace you ALL! Your workplace is destined for huge legal-liability, and just bucking for a financial-disaster. It's a hot mess! If they promote people in their early 20's to senior technical spots or management; they're usually small upstarts, or they have a lot of employee-turnover. They basically just need bodies to keep the business going. Everybody's too busy dating and having sex to be working!

Does any work ever get done? Seems like a popular single's-club; and everyone shows-up to see "who's dating whom next?"

Go ahead and date whichever or whomever you want! What do you care?

Seems none of you are interested in professionalism, or getting any work done. Of course, you'll claim your employer is cool about workplace-dating. I'm a regional-director for a large corporation. Running a corporate-workplace, I know exactly what happens in a poorly-managed overly-relaxed workplace like you've described. They end-up shelling out thousands of dollars in sexual-harassment settlements; or filing bankruptcy to avoid being crushed financially by the hefty legal-fees. The company's reputation and their public-relations takes a hit; and they'll lose clients, or they'll make the local and national news. Nothing like sex-scandals and class-action suits for a hostile work-environment to gobble-up your company's assets in a testy economy! Very little work must get done, or the final-product is usually a mine-field of mistakes and errors. Of course, you'll deny that too; and claim otherwise.

Who's concentrating on their job-performance or proficiency, when they're more concerned about who gets jealous about whom they're dating?

Small companies with that kind of environment are here today, gone tomorrow! Big corporations have learned the hard-way; you can't trust employees to manage themselves!

No business, big or small, can sustain their bottom-line when their employees don't take their jobs seriously. Larger corporations that tried giving their employees the "super-casual" lay back work-environment have been plagued with lawsuits; or their best workers flee to find jobs with a more professional atmosphere. They want to be well-compensated, and taken seriously for their skills and expertise. They have no time for nonsense and playground foolishness!

You're in a good field of work, concentrate on your job. I'm skeptical about the promotion claim; I think that was to keep us from targeting the lack of professionalism. If you claim you got promoted, that's supposed to dispel any suggestion that your team lacks competence and proficiency. Senior tech? I'm not buying it! Seems to me you'd be far too busy and serious about your work, to be sorting through the male-employees like they're in your private dating-pool.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (4 July 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntSounds like a dreadful workplace, how many more young men are there on your team, it sounds like you are going through them like a dose of salts.

In most western countries your behaviour would not be tolerated in any reputable work place, ponder that while you consider if your romantic shenanigans in the workplace are worth your reputation.

To be frank, this sounds like one of those tales we sometimes get from aspiring story tells.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 July 2020):

You OP, are the sort of employee, that most corporate management and HR people, truly wish they would not have hired! You were hired to perform a specific job! You, Young Lady, are NOT part of the companys benefit package even though you trying to spead the joy, to as many male employees as you can! You are the sort who creates workplace drama by wrecking working relationships and friendships! You can do better, but you must seperate work from play! Right now, you are a bad apple! I am retired now, but worked in upper management, for one of the Fortune 100 companies, in the USA. That said, if you were in my area of responsibility, we would have a documented counseling session, much like this text, letting you and the HR manager, that this would be your only warning, to leave the male employees alone! Your signature would indicate your understanding. You leave pouting unproductive male employees, in your wake, and you would be wise, to end that behavior, for longevity of employment.

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A male reader, kenny United Kingdom + , writes (2 July 2020):

kenny agony aunti always go along with its never a good idea to date and have relationships with co-workers. All is good when things are going well. But when/if things don't work out it can become very awkward having to still see them every day. Not only awkward for you, but for your other colleagues as well.

You are a senior IT tech, you were promoted to perform a specific role, and perform that role to the best of your abilities. I suggest you concentrate on doing your job and use your office hours to work, not to date.

Should you tell Michael? why should you, he is just another one of your colleagues now isen't he. If things start getting really serious with James one of you might have to consider a transfer, i get another job somewhere else. I would look into company policy on dating in the office as there could very well be stringent rules on this.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (2 July 2020):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntI think "Michael" has dodged a bullet if you can't wait a couple of weeks for him before jumping into bed with another guy. You should tell him as soon as possible so he can figure out for himself you are not worth the effort or the wait.

If you were sidetracked so easily, you either have zero self respect and just jump into bed with anyone who asks you, or you weren't sufficiently interested in "Michael" in the first place. Either way, he's better off out of it.

Out of curiosity, what are you going to do when you have run out of guys to date at work?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2020):

WOW...... you seem to love drama.

I agree with Honeypie. You should not be dating your co-workers, especially as a senior.

Sure, some people do date and go on to marry co-workers. But three of them?

You clearly have no actual real interest in Michael, or you wouldn’t of jumped into bed with his friend. Do you just like the attention?

I know that sounds mean and I’m not trying to be. But if I were you, I’d question my self esteem. Maybe spend some time being single longer. Or Try and find a guy that you don’t work with.

If James has said he wants a relationship with you. Then yes, one of you needs to tell Michael. It doesn’t matter who because it will end badly either way.

Then what? When you and James don’t work out THEN you will go on to date Michael?

You are going to give yourself a reputation at work. What will happen when your bosses find out?

I know this harsh, but I feel like you need a reality check. You are going to make your work place a very uncomfortable place to be in.

I would ditch the both of them and find a guy outside of the workplace. But I know you won’t do that. So Good luck

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (2 July 2020):

Honeypie agony auntJeeez, girl!

Your JOB is not a TINDER APP! Where is your professionalize? And how many coworkers are you going to chase and sleep with? You are supposed to be a senior (as far as rank) and you act like you are at "band-camp"!

"Don't eat where you shit!" You know that saying? It means don't DATE at your work place. It makes YOU look bad, especially if you are jumping from guy to guy!

But back to your question, should you tell Michael? No, not yet, but you should check your company handbook and see what it says about fraternization/dating and MAYBE think about WHAT you are doing. It's unprofessional.

You are 22+ and work a JOB, not 16 and in high school. Act like it.

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