He's the one who made things awkward, so why do I feel like a jerk?
August 30, 2013 5:06 PM Subscribe
A co-worker/friend drunkenly confessed romantic feelings; I reciprocated; now he’s acting cold to me. Do I try to clear the air? Or let it go?
posted by gimleteye to human relations (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I’ve known this guy for a couple of years. He is a co-worker (in a different department at my company). We’ve hung out socially in small groups, and a couple of times just the two of us. We’re both in our 30s. Personality-wise, I’d say we’re similar: we’re both relatively quiet and private people, but I wouldn’t call either of us shy.
I considered him a friend, but eventually noticed him expressing what I took to be romantic interest in me—hinting at doing date-type stuff together, being uncharacteristically flirtatious, confiding in me about personal things. At the time I was ambivalent about him in a romantic sense, so I didn’t do much to encourage him.
However…. after a recent company outing, we were both pretty drunk and shared a cab home, which he took as an opportunity to ask if we could be more than friends. My drunk brain said “Why the hell not? You really enjoy this guy’s company and he’s a good person.” So I said, “Yes, I think being more than friends would be nice.” He came up to my place, and we made out/fooled around. To steal a phrase I heard elsewhere: It didn’t go too far, but it went.
In the sober light of the next morning, I was actually glad it happened. I didn’t realize how much I liked him until he pressed the issue (and, to be honest, until my guard was lowered by some Sauvignon Blanc). We texted back and forth the next day, and then after that he left for vacation and on business travel for a couple of weeks. I figured that he’d contact me when he returned.
…Except he didn’t. The next time I saw him was at work and he didn’t mention anything about that night. We carried on as usual as if nothing had happened, so I figured that we’d just go the “let us never speak of it again” route. I thought about bringing it up with him, but decided I didn’t want to make things awkward. So I was disappointed but relieved that we’d be able to go back to being friends.
...Except that didn’t happen. He has since begun acting totally stand-offish towards me. If I speak to him, I get a curt response. If we’re in a group, he stands or sits as far away from me as possible. We recently shared a cab ride home, and he spent the ride talking to the cab driver (uncharacteristic for him) and ignoring me.
I’m confused and hurt by this, and a little angry. I understand why he might regret what happened, or might not remember it totally clearly. But I thought he had more respect and affection for me as a friend than to handle it like this. I haven’t done anything to push the issue with him so I don’t get why he’s going to such lengths to avoid contact with me.
So what do I do now? Should I talk to him about it (something I now realize I should have done much earlier) and risk making things even more awkward? Or should I just let it go and hope that in time things go back to normal?
Final note: I know that many people consider dating co-workers to be a bad idea. I have never dated a co-worker before, but thought this guy might have been worth the risk. I am now fully aware of what can go wrong when you mix co-workers and romance, so consider me already educated on that point!