Question: Dating At Work

Hi there,
I’d appreciate some advice on this. A couple of months ago I started a new job and there’s this guy I’m really attracted to, and it’s not just physical, but something about his presence just draws me to him. Well, I’m not entirely sure if he likes me too, but I do catch him looking at me sometimes, and one time I passed by him (wearing lipgloss), and he stared at me and somebody was talking to him and he didn’t hear them cause he told them ‘sorry’, he wasn’t paying attention heh! I also notice him smiling whenever I say something funny to a colleague of ours. And one final thing, during a social event recently, we were standing practically opposite and, even though there were other people in the circle, his upper body was facing me, and I had heard that may be a good thing. The only thing is I don’t talk to him as much as I could cause I get all flustered and feel silly flirting. I really want to be able to take things up a notch and try to let him know I like him, but I’m at a loss. I’d appreciate any words of wisdom :)


Dan’s Thoughts

It sounds like he has definitely noticed you, and in all the right ways.  Us guys are pretty simple so you really don’t have to do much.  Just make an effort to say ‘Hi.’  Engage him in conversation and take an interest in what he says.  Ask questions, and maintain eye contact.  If appropriate, try to touch his arm or hand when you speak to him to reinforce your interest.  It shouldn’t take long for him to take the next step himself!  If it doesn’t happen, but you still like what you are learning about who he is, it could be he is simply shy or unsure of himself.  Then it’s as simple as asking if he wants to do something outside work.  Look for an opportunity to be together that isn’t too date-like; find an errand you can run together, or an event you can double up on.  From there, let the chemistry do its work.  My only word of caution is about the workplace romance.  Be very careful you understand the implications if things don’t work out.  Feeling awkward and becoming gossip are bad enough to risk, but harassment accusations, conduct questions and promotion potential are all possibilities that you put on the line when you date at work.  That goes double if the guy is in a position of authority or one of your subordinates.


Mike’s Thoughts

My gut reaction to an office place romance is that it’s always going to be the smarter move to not get into one.  There’s a reason why most companies have a policy against them, especially in a supervisor/subordinate capacity (no matter what you decide, check your employee handbook to see if there is such a policy).  The bottom line is that if things go south, it could easily wind up being a bad work environment for one or both of you.  Imagine coming to work everyday seeing the guy you despise – this would be your future.

However, let’s look at the best-case scenario for this to potentially happen.  Your company has no inter-office dating policy (or has a permissive atmosphere), you have no qualms leaving the company if things get hairy (maybe it’s not your dream job, just a stepping stone position), and you really think it’s worth a go.

I’d start by asking him to lunch a few times.  Get to know him better without the pressure of dating.  If the two of you can hold a conversation without the thrill of “getting away with flirting at the office”, you should be better able to decide if you want to take the next step.  If all that works out well, give him your phone number and ask him to call sometime.  Now that he has permission to contact you outside of work, if he’s interested, he can take it from there.


Paul’s Thoughts

Getting closer to this guy and finding out if he likes you is much easier at work then you think.  You both have one thing in common, you work at the same place 8 hours a day.  So talking to him should not be anything out of the ordinary.  Whenever you see him say “hi” Ask him how he is doing, how was his weekend, did he do anything special last night.  Once you have opened up the opportunity for conversation, if he is interested he will take it from there.

There great thing here is that you are asking him questions, so he will do most of the talking.  This way you don’t have to worry about getting flustered while talking to him.  Just ask him questions and show an interest in him.

Many men can be hesitant about talking to a woman they like at work because they might get in trouble.  This could be why he has been a bit shy around you.  He needs a signal from you (such as you starting a conversation) to let him know its ok to interact with you more at work.

If he is interested he will want to talk to you more and more and for longer periods of time.  Despite the fact that he should be working, he will want to keep talking to you.  If he is not interested he will always try to cut the conversation short and try to get back to work as fast a possible.

With that said, once you begin to interact more take things very slowly. Build a friendship before you jump into dating.  Make sure if you do both decide to date that you want them same things.  Things can become very uncomfortable when one person wants a serious relationship and the other person just wanted sex.  By taking your time and getting to know who he is, and how he is at the best and worst times of his life you can then better decide if dating would be a good idea.

Some rules you should follow when dating at work: 1) If the company you work for does not allow interoffice dating it would be best to avoid the situation.  2) If the guy you are interested in is a subordinate then he is off limits.


Leigh’s Thoughts

It looks like you are sending all the signals and his antennae is picking it up. I would suggest that you keep on smiling and making eye contact, nothing works better. You say that you have difficulty speaking to him. I would suggest that since this is a workplace relationship being able to converse about issues in the workplace would be a good starting point. Maybe you can suggest going to coffee together preferably away from the workplace as you don’t want tongues to wag. Someone has to make the first move and unfortunately men are afraid of rejection. They hold back and don’t make the first move waiting for a signal from you that there is interest. Once they know that the feeling is mutual then you will find that the relationship will progress quickly. So be brave and try not to get flustered and just think of him as any other person that you would interact with in the office.


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