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Why is this married coworker trying to come in between 2 single coworkers?

Tagged as: Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (2 June 2020) 9 Answers - (Newest, 5 June 2020)
A female India age 30-35, anonymous writes:

So there is this colleague at work who used to be quite friendly. We both hail from the same city and had a good rapport with one another. We are both single. And we have been quite attracted to one another. I have been plannin to ask him out. But a married female co worker is a big concern. This guy and the woman are seniors to me at work and dating each other is allowed for single colleagues. Each time i try to talk to him politely she comes in between and gives me some work and somehow prevents me from having a conversation( she is one of the people i report to). I have also observed her trying to get close to this guy in a sisterly way - he is a divorcee who has lost a custody battle and 10 years older than me. She comforts him and he seems to listen to her. While i understand that she might care for him our mutual attraction is none of her business is what i feel. Basis interactions and observations at office i can understand she is politely trying to dissuade the guy. I have done nothing to offend her.the guy is now acting aloof. I would like to ask him out just to get to know him better. But how do i deal with this nosy dirty woman at work who somehow seems to have some issue with me? I cant understand what a happily married woman would gain by coming in between 2 single people. She is known to be extremely manipulative even otherwise. But without understanding her motive i find myself handicapped in trying to throw her off the trail and get on with my life

View related questions: at work, co-worker, divorce, married woman

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

It would seem that your boss would have every right to intervene in any matters you discuss concerning work. If it's her department to supervise; it is within her authority to interrupt your interaction concerning work with another employee; especially when it is basically a cover, just to distract a male-employee's attention that you are attracted to.

She doesn't do it to other employees? Perhaps because it isn't necessary! In other words, she's telling you both to get back to work! Do your jobs...stop chatting about it! If she takes credit for the work you do; it's because she's running the department, and whatever comes out of it is under her management. That's what they pay her for.

I frequently say, women see through other women; and it is very difficult for you to fool each other! Even when we men don't see you coming! I mean this facetiously, but it bears some element of truth.

I think your boss is being a buffer to keep her department drama-free. It is apparent to her that you have a lot to say to this particular guy; and I guess it bothers you that she keeps things neutral when you're on the clock. I'd say, she's doing her job effectively! Look! It's got you writing an advice site to see how to get around her! For all you know, he could have told her he thinks you're a nice person, but he may not be romantically-interested. Can you say for certain he wants to date you? Why the hesitation?

You said you wanted to ask him out; then contradicted yourself claiming your discussions are work-related. Who do you think you're fooling here? Apparently, it isn't your boss!

If you're sticking to job matters when talking to this guy; then I guess there is no real concern. What your boss is doing shouldn't deter anything; if the guy is as interested in you as you are in him. If she doesn't want in-office romances occurring on her watch; the authority of her job gives her the right to keep her department drama-free and professional. As for claiming she wants the man for herself; that's entirely subjective on your part! I would venture to speculate, that if you hold romantic-attraction towards him, your opinion about her is biased. You're jealous that she has equal, if not more, access to him. She may see his potential, and may be mentoring him for promotion. If the company has eyes on him; they would suggest to her to focus on him, for whatever potential would be of their benefit.

You can accuse her of only getting her job through nepotism, implying she is under-qualified for her position; and claiming she's out to dissuade the young-man from dating you. It all points back at you for how you seem to have such a negative opinion of her. It would seem more likely that you are undermining her as your supervisor; than she is blocking your romantic-pursuit after a male-coworker.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 June 2020):

You did say that you were thinking of asking him out. You can kid yourself and perhaps others that when you speak to him (or try to speak with him) regarding work matters, that you manage keep the tone 100% professional. Personally, I don't believe that's possible. If you fancy him enough to ask him out, when you approach him with work matters, the fact that you like him will show in your body language and your eyes and facial expressions. For everyone to see.

Maybe your boss fancies him herself and she uses her seniority to try to remove you from the equation.

Nothing much you can do about that, but rest assured, if he likes you back, nothing would deter him. But you said that he has now started to act aloof with you. Then maybe what she's been doing has worked and she's stabbed you in the back at work again. BUT, if he liked you back, I doubt he would go cold, unless she's threatened him with dismissal for flirting to keep you out of the way. Who knows? If she is as incompetent and unkind as you have said, then anything's possible.

The question is, what can you do about it? Not much. She is the boss and if she has put a spanner in the works intentionally then she has succeeded. Why did she try to come between you? We don't know. But it sounds as if she has. It also sounds as if your love interest isn't that interested.

If you're so unhappy and so capable, why not look for another place to work? Then you can get in touch with your crush and see if he bites.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (3 June 2020):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntI do wonder if this post is for real or whether this is a troll having a laugh. I mean, can anyone seriously have such a sense of entitlement as this? If she was a teenager, then you could put it down to immaturity and hope she would grow out of it, but a woman in her late 20s?

If this post is genuine, then I am flabbergasted that someone can berate a supervisor because - in her eyes - she is expecting her to work rather than flirt with a work colleague. I would dearly love to hear the supervisor's side of this story. I bet it would be something along the lines of "I have to manage a young woman who thinks she comes to work to flirt and get a boyfriend. When I see her wasting company time, I give her more work to do to keep her busy. She is, however, resentful and full of attitude. Another problem is that the colleague she keeps flirting with has just come through a bad time. He confides in me and I try to advise him. He is too polite to tell her he is not interested so I feel I need to protect him from her predatory attention."

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 June 2020):

Ok posters, Iam the OP, so let me clarify a few things here

1. This is an anonymous post in an agony aunt forum -so I dont need to throw things in there anticipating comments that you guys make.WiseOwlE- I will clarify when i meant interacting -Its actually interacting about work. So if i need to interact with him to get work done I will. The problem here is whenever i approach him for work related co-ordination the lady actually gets in the way. Which is suprising since she doesnt do the same when I interact with others which is what I am actually questioning here. While i understand I havent specified the nature of interactions, i Havent mentioned flirting either. If iam not allowed to interact even on work ground with an employee just because I seem to interested in him then I dont know who is unprofessional here

2. Secondly trust me I am a star employee of the organization- I got in through merit - the lady's husband got her her job ( hes another senior here) and referred some of his talended team members into her team so that her own inadequacies dont meet daylight- Said lady actually took credit for an entire project that i did- I can go on and on - but this will take a different tangent.I have been at her receicving end for months now- this action of hers being the last straw hence i turned to Dearcupid since this is hitting below the belt by getting personal after all i hardwork i did!!!

3. What I am concerned is about two things 1- If i like a guy, does that mean i dont get to hold any kind of conversation with him at work ? Including professional ones ?

4.I am being made to look like a culprit in an open office by this lady as a result of our attraction - even if the interaction is purely professional.This is one telling me indirectly that the guy is not for me- none of her business and secondly trying to make me look like a desperate flirt.

5. The funny thing is i also said she comforts him - you guys never realised this is happening at work too ? And swanning in to save him from a professional conversation is therefore justified just because I have feeling for him? I am afraid if she is a friend of his then thats something that must be kept equally out of office

6- Lastly if things had been so straightjacketed as you guys are presuming while writing replies i wouldnt post in a agony aunt forum due to excessive guilt. I wrote certain facts alone here to keep the post just about long 7. Iam truthful here wiseowl- so if more of you think I am playing escapist- suit yourselves- what you are intepreting here as my attitude is angst of several months thats spans illtreatment at work by stealing credit, but it turned to complete hatred because the woman is trying to shame me for even having feelings for this guy after all the mule work i did for an entire year

8. Yes you guys are right - NO one can date on company expense and time. Trust me i know that. And yes office allows single people to get personal with one another during their personal time. BUt having said all this, i dont get shamed by a woman because she senses mutual attraction and uses that as yet another reason to throw me out ( I have hinted she is one of my reporting seniors - I am being transitioned so that i can work under another guy since her job of discrediting me reached her boss)

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 June 2020):

This drama and soap opera nonsense is where people become more interested in their love-life than getting the work done. I don't believe your job allows for employee-dating; I think you threw that in there because you knew that commentary would discourage dating coworkers; and there is a reason for that. If they do, the atmosphere is a workplace full of distracted workers, low work-proficiency, and a huge potential for liability for sexual-harassment.

You have no business chumming-up and dating while on the clock. All three of you are distracted and unprofessional.

You want to date the guy; take it out of the workplace where personal-affairs are better conducted. Then she won't be up in your business!

While on the clock, she's your boss; and she has every right to see that you're working and not busy flirting. That's not what you're being paid for. Your workplace is not your dating-pool; you were hired for your job-skills and qualifications. They expect you to do what they hired you to do.

The bottom-line is to make money, not love=connections when you're in your workplace. If you're looking at everything she does through resentment and jealousy; you'll interpret encouragement and praise for a good-job as "interfering" in your love-pursuits. Part of her job is to encourage, build morale, and keep employees on their toes. It is also to recommend terminations. Keep that in-mind!

Be professional. If your romantic-pursuit doesn't workout, if he rejects you, or you end-up getting played; then you'll have to face the guy at least 8 hours a day, and five days a week. Then comes more reason for drama and nonsense unrelated to work!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (3 June 2020):

Honeypie agony auntMaybe because she wants you to work? You are not there to be flirting with other single people, you are there to work.

She might JUST want her work place (and you) to focus on work and being professional.

Keep romance out of the work place and focus on doing your job.

I would say your attitude explains why she felt it was need to rein you in a bit.

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A male reader, kenny United Kingdom + , writes (3 June 2020):

kenny agony auntIts hard to say if he like's you or not. If you want to know his feelings for you find out when you are off duty and not on work time.

The female co-worker is just doing her duties of being the person you report too. If she see's you chatting to this guy in the office on work time when you should be doing your work she come's over and hands you some work to do.

Also she could have known this guy a long time and she knows that he has had a hard time lately with the divorce and the custody battle, and does not want to see him get in to anything to soon.

Getting involved with co-workers in a romantic way is a tricky one. When things are good and things are all rosy, fun, and romantic all is well. But if things never worked out it can become quite awkward when you now both have to see each other every day. Awkward for you, for him, and other co-workers in close proximity.

I would advise going to work to just do your work and leave love and relationships outside of the workplace.

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A male reader, Justryingtohelp United Kingdom +, writes (3 June 2020):

My guess would be she is doing her job and trying to get you to do yours. Whether it is allowed or not dating in the workplace is never a good idea. What is also not a good idea is carrying on your courtship in work time. You get paid to work. If you really want to date this colleague stop messing about and ask him out, otherwise do the job you are paid to do.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (3 June 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntIf this guy is ten years older than you he is big enough to come and ASK YOU OUT instead of you asking him. Why isn't he?

My gut feeling is that this guy isn't really interested in you in a romantic way and she is aware of this, so that when you try to get all pally pally she dons her armour, draws her sword and swans in to save him.

And calling a senior who is effectively your boss, at work dirty and nosy will not work in your favour if you do it somewhere she, or other seniors can read or hear it.

Leave the workplace for work and look for your romantic liaisons outside the workplace.

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