Work Husband or Working Towards Disaster.

Hi Liz!

Just wondering how you feel about workplace dating. I have a coworker who I, harmlessly, flirt with daily. It started out as a playful thing with a few us making little comments here and there to pass the day. Now, I’m noticing that things are getting a little deeper. In addition to the, sometimes, sexually toned talk we might grab each other’s hand or touch a leg or give a slight back or shoulder rub. Our other co-workers have begun calling him my work husband. Outside of work, neither of us have a serious relationship but we do see other people, on occasion. We do have each other’s contact information but our after work conversation is little to none. He says it’s a force of habit that he turns his phone off after work because on most days he heads straight to the gym. He usually either answers me late at night or early in the morning before work. We have gone out to lunch together (in a group, never just us) but he seems to be a little shy and it’s driving me crazy!

Should I make moves to take this to the next level or should I wait for him to do it?

My opinion:

Dating in the workplace is a very tricky situation. Of course you can’t help who you become attracted to and where you are when it happens, but catching feelings at work has the possibility of turning catastrophic.

A few things stand out to me.

Are you sure your coworker is on the same page as you are? For the most part, everything that happens is done in a group setting. You haven’t really identified any behavior that would indicate a primary attraction to you- aside from your coworkers calling him your work husband. That could just be a result of the behaviors you are manifesting from your own feelings.

Next, are you certain that he is not in a relationship or at least very intrigued by someone else? His actions don’t seem to make any attempt to make you a relevant part if his day, outside of the at-work shenanigans; but, even then you aren’t much of a main focal point. His early morning, late night responses also do not ring any bells for the last person I want to speak to at night/First person I want to speak to in the morning type innuendo. If there’s a remote possibility that he’s interested you, you are definitely at the bottom of the food chain.

If the latter is the case, pursuing a further relationship should no longer be a factor. That implies to me that he’s a cheater and 1) won’t give you your due respect, 2) I don’t think you want to be the headliner if and when he is exposed, at work, for being one– Your employer may not appreciate it either or 3) If it doesn’t work out, do you really want to have to share the same office space with a mistake that should have never happened- day in and day out?

Lastly, if I were you, I would also familiarize myself with your employer’s policy on inappropriate workplace behaviors. Even though you and your coworker may not have an issue with the playful touches and the sexual undertones of your conversations, other office mates may find some offense and report it. And yes, that does get taken as a form of sexual harassment.

That’s my opinion. Good luck.

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1 Comment

  1. I totally agree with you, she should move on, flirt stays flirt especially if the latter shows not more interest then sex. Sorry for the disappointment dear, wake up call, move on. Thanks

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