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Crush on guy at work
June 11, 2006 8:05 AM   Subscribe

So there's this guy at work that I'm getting a crush on...

I just started a new job (he started at the same time as me) and we are in the same training group where we sit opposite each other, which means I am basically looking right at him all day.

He is very shy and I'm not exactly the most outgoing person either, and he has only initiated conversation with me once (it was work-related). I have not initiated conversation with him at all, other than to say "have a good weekend" on Friday, which took me about two hours to work up the nerve to do! However, there has been a bit of peeking over monitors and I've caught him looking at me and smiling a few times and I'm sure he's noticed me looking at him too.

I'll be honest and say that I'm not the best-looking girl in the world. I could do with losing some weight and I'm not especially attractive IMO. I don't get a lot of male attention generally. This guy is very good-looking, but not in an asshole-ish knows-it sort of way. Out of my league though, so I can't quite believe he might like me, especially considering that there is a really beautiful girl in our group. Why would he be looking at me when he could look at her?

Our training ends next week and we will be split into different teams, so it's quite likely we won't be so close to each other again. But I really like him and I wish I had the confidence to say something! I'm just too afraid that I'm reading this wrong and he's not looking at me at all (or at least not looking at me THAT way). This is the first time I've liked someone in a long time, and I guess I don't want to completely give up on the idea that he just might like me a little. But how do I tell? And if he does, what do I do now??
posted by speranza to Human Relations (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just ask him if he would like to have coffee with you sometime. You'll figure out whether he likes you pretty quickly. Don't be afraid of rejection!

Out of my league though, so I can't quite believe he might like me, especially considering that there is a really beautiful girl in our group. Why would he be looking at me when he could look at her?

Not everyone finds the same people attractive. Different people are attracted to different features.
posted by grouse at 8:16 AM on June 11, 2006


The bottom line is, the only way you will know if he is interested in you is if someone says something. People go through months and years of glances and casual conversation without being sure, so there is likely no way you will be able to find out in a week.

My advice? Wait until the last day or two of training and go up to him at lunch or at the end of the day and ask him if he'd like to have coffee with you some time. If he makes any kind of excuse or says "yeah, we should do that sometime" or some other non-committal response, well, I think you know what that means. The good thing about your situation is that there is little chance that any awkwardness caused by an ill-advised asking on your part will end as soon as training does.

And FWIW, as far as attractiveness goes, different strokes for different folks, so don't assume you are out of his league until you know what his league is, OK?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:18 AM on June 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Jinx, you owe me a Coke!
posted by Rock Steady at 8:18 AM on June 11, 2006


It's a cliche but true -- people look beautiful or not largely because of how they feel on the inside. (ie, Cinderella's stepsisters -- not beautiful). So, you might be wrong about her actually being more beautiful than you. (Added bonus is that if you can talk yourself into feeling more beautiful and confident, then you'll look that way.)

Personally, I wouldn't make a big deal about telling him how you feel. Since it's a workplace, I'd just be extra friendly. That way, if he likes you, you'll get a chance to talk to him more, and then you'll be able to tell, and if he doesn't, no awkwardness will come up -- he'll just think you were being friendly. So, when the chance comes up, invite him in a casual way, as though you were just being friendly. Like, "Sally and I are about to go grab some coffee, want to come along?"
posted by salvia at 8:33 AM on June 11, 2006


"Out of my league though, so I can't quite believe he might like me, especially considering that there is a really beautiful girl in our group. Why would he be looking at me when he could look at her?"

Dudes like different stuff. Don't believe the advertisers that try to shunt us all into one box. Though, if he wears Tag body spray, avoid him now.
And yeah, it's easy to ask a guy out— "Hey, you wanna get coffee some time?" If he's shy, he'll appreciate it, and even if you don't end up in romance, you can still be friends with the dude.
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 AM on June 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sound advice from The Social Issues Research Centre:

If you are female, the odds are that you are more attractive than you think, so try flirting with some better-looking men.
posted by Elsa at 9:16 AM on June 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I second the suggestion to invite him out for coffee. Be specific--"Saturday at 3:00 at that Royal Bean place around the corner," rather than "You wanna have coffee somtime?" This gives him a way to politely turn you down if he's not interested. He can just say "Oh, I can't, I have plans already" and let you down easily if he's not interested, and either accept or propose alternative plans if he is.

Don't be so sure he's out of your league. Speaking as a relatively shy guy myself, interest on your part already makes you more attractive. If he's shy, it's quite possible he's a little insecure and might appreciate attention of that kind. Give it a shot.
posted by EarBucket at 9:36 AM on June 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


If you are really shy or insecure, at the end of the day say "I'm going out for a cup of tea/coffee at the Old Bean around the corner. Want to come?" and/or get his email address and send him links he might enjoy, like music, or great photoos on Flickr, or political cartoons, so you don't find out too late he's the wrong affiliation. Pay attention to him. People like that.
posted by theora55 at 10:35 AM on June 11, 2006


A large percentage of those women I've interacted with seem to underrate their attractiveness, or feel they are too fat. (I don't mean that as a slight against women, or an misogynistic assumption, just as my empirical exposure.)

In short, the odds are very high that he doesn't even know what you're thinking of as the weight you could stand to lose. And it's very likely he could think you are quite the cutie, too.

I'll let others offer advice as to how to actually offer the date, but just speaking as a guy, walk up to him with confidence thinking you're a dish. He almost probably will agree with you. ;-)
posted by WCityMike at 11:03 AM on June 11, 2006


In the above post, "he doesn't even know" should've been "he doesn't even notice." Typed it too quickly.
posted by WCityMike at 11:03 AM on June 11, 2006


I second the suggestions already offered that recommend you either invite him along for a cup of coffee or a drink with another coworker or to suggest a specific date/time for coffee that gives him a gentle out if he's not interested. If he is interested, he will most definitely rearrange his schedule so he can show up.

One thing I wouldn't do however is to discuss your attraction to him to anyone you work with. Gossip is terrible at work and coworkers won't necessarily have your best interest in mind (gossip begets gossip).
posted by Juggermatt at 11:36 AM on June 11, 2006


If he's making eyes at you over the monitor, he's attracted, believe me.

Just send an email -- "coffee after work?"

I know, it's nerve racking. That's why we have email. DO IT. DOOO EEEETT.

Then report back.
posted by sugarfish at 11:58 AM on June 11, 2006


Going out for coffee is a great idea, but I think it would be a little awkward to just walk up to him and ask him out if you've only exchanged pleasantries a couple of times. Can you "run into him" and have a chat first? Ask him what he thinks of the new job etc. and offer your own impressions, and then say you'd like to talk some more but you have to get back to work. "Coffee or lunch later?"

And as a former (and still a little) shy guy, I can tell you that he might indeed be more interested in you than you think, but you need to make the first move, and if it doesn't pan out, take it in stride. At least you won't be lying on your deathbed wondering if you missed out on something good because you couldn't work up the nerve and sold yourself short.

Good luck.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:02 PM on June 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


You're basically describing how I met my husband six-and-a-half years ago. We were both so shy it took us months for anything to happen. We started out with group activities like going to the pub after work. Then I invited him to my birthday party. Eventually we went out, but it was with another friend so we could hide behind the safety of a "group" thing. Finally it all came to a head on a dance floor after many drinks, when we were suddenly just kissing and he said "I've been wanting to do that for so long" and my heart just about exploded.

Do you have any friends/allies at work that could help you organize things? It might take the pressure off. I had a girlfriend that knew I liked him and would take the lead in making sure he was going to be at the various group things. Saved me a lot of nervousness and embarrassment. And never underestimate the power of liquid courage (if you drink). A few beers gave us the confidence to admit what was really going on.

And don't worry about how you look, seriously. I was so self-conscious at the time but it turned out he thought I was beautiful. Six years later we're married and I've finally gotten myself down to a healthy weight (lost nearly fifty pounds). People jokingly ask me occasionally whether I'm going to trade him in for a younger guy. I just laugh and explain that he who loved me when I thought the least of myself, is the one that gets all the benefits now that I'm confident and proud. :)
posted by web-goddess at 2:54 PM on June 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


Just to add a few more details - he is Czech, I am British. His English is very good, but the language thing might be part of why he's quiet. I don't know that for sure. I don't know if he has a girlfriend or not and I wouldn't feel comfortable asking him out if he does, obviously. I don't know how to find out if he has a girlfriend other than to ask and there's no way I'd have the guts to do that!

I have a male friend on the training course that I've known since before we both started working for this company. I mentioned to him that I thought this guy was cute (he's not a gossipy type), so I guess he could maybe find stuff out for me but it seems a bit sneaky.

I guess I will see how things go this week and then if I feel any more vibes from him, I might suggest coffee or something on Friday. There is a cafe area at work, so it's not like it has to sound like I'm asking him out, specifically. Though of course it will!

With regards to the looks thing - I know I sound like I hate the way I look, but I don't think I'm hideous or anything. I just see other girls that are so much prettier than me (and this other girl is like Porn Star Hot - I could do porn too, just Chunky Pale Girl porn) and I can't imagine why anyone would choose me over them.

Thanks for the replies so far!
posted by speranza at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2006


I can't imagine why anyone would choose me over them.

Because you're smart, charming, intelligent, can string a coherent sentence together, have intersting things to say, care about the people around you, are good at making the people around you relax, you listen and empathise... or maybe just because some guys really have a thing for Chunky Pale Girls.

Obviously, I don't know how much of that's true about you, but you probably do. I'm just trying to make a point that there's a lot of guys that aren't interested in Porn Star Hot (yuk!). Give yourself a break!
posted by normy at 3:39 PM on June 11, 2006


Because you're smart, charming, intelligent, can string a coherent sentence together, have intersting things to say, care about the people around you, are good at making the people around you relax, you listen and empathise...
I just have to echo this. Especially if he's the shy/geeky type. Your brain is probably the equivalent of Porn Star Hot to him.
posted by A Kingdom for a Donkey at 5:51 PM on June 11, 2006


Web-goddess, that is the best story.
posted by theora55 at 6:42 PM on June 11, 2006


I'll pass on advice from my friend Mo and from my friend Alan (appropriate gender changed): From Mo, just say, "If you'd like to go out sometime, I'd love to take you out." That's an opening. Take it from there.
From Alan, "You're not afraid that he'll turn you down. You're afraid he'll accept." Keep that in mind or if it's not quite right, when you recognize and accept your fears, they're easier to deal with.
posted by plinth at 6:57 PM on June 11, 2006


OK, well I went to work and it seemed like the over-the-monitor glances continued, but then he sat with Hot Girl for break - and she sits behind me so now I'm paranoid that all this time he's been staring at her! I did find out from my guy friend that he is single.

So now I'm thinking I'll wait until Friday and if I still feel how I do now, I'll drop him a note with my email address and an "email me if you want to have coffee sometime". I know that's chickening out, but I just can't ask him face-to-face! Is the note thing incredibly tacky of me?
posted by speranza at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2006


This strikes me as somewhat ridiculous, and I'm the shy type. Yes, don't make assumptions about whether or not he finds you attractive. No, don't work yourself up about "asking him out" if you've barely spoken. Yes, try to make conversation whenever possible. No, don't worry about this "other girl". Yes, flirt your ass off. Either he'll go for it (yay), or he won't (boo), and then you move on. Easy peasy.
posted by trevyn at 1:41 PM on June 12, 2006


OK, well I'm glad you find it that easy, but I wouldn't have posted if I did. This stuff is not easy or obvious for me and I do have self-confidence issues that I can't just make go away. Though being told I'm ridiculous certainly doesn't help.
posted by speranza at 2:14 PM on June 12, 2006


speranza: no one is calling you ridiculous. I understand being a little nervous about it. In fact I understand being a lot nervous about it.

It's best to do it face-to-face, but if you don't think you can pull that off, the note option will be fine. Just relax. :)
posted by grouse at 2:36 PM on June 12, 2006


My concern is that a note like that might boost the awkwardness quotient, instead of reducing it, you know? That's why the casual invite is better in my book. ("Hey, we should all celebrate this silly training being over, with some beer after work!")

Or if you can't do it face to face, maybe get the other guy to drop hints for you. He could pretend he wasn't supposed to tell but decided to drop hints anyway, so shy guy wouldn't think you were using him to intentionally pass the word. Or he could act like it's just his own opinion, "what do you think of speranza? She's been looking over here a lot (nudge nudge wink wink)." If you want the shy guy to know you like him, but you don't want to ask him out, maybe a controlled leak is the way to go.

Also, is Porn Star Girl talkative? I can't tell you how many times I've sat with talkative people so as not to sit alone. I've also intentionally talked to other people to hide a crush I felt was too obvious for the whole world to see. Especially if he's really shy, these might be why he sat with her.

Good luck!
posted by salvia at 8:21 AM on June 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


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