November 25, 2012 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Coworker I think I may like, and who may or may not kinda like me, did something today that I'm trying to figure out whether it was flirty or innocuous. Level-5 beanplating below the fold.

I've known her for about two months. She was sitting in our break area eating a meal she had brought from home. (Alas, we work slightly different shifts and our breaks/lunches are staggered so I never get to have break/lunches with her). I was coming back from my break and still had a couple minutes left. I sat down across from her and asked her what she was eating.

She said it was a new recipe she just made, would I like a bite? Sure, I said. So she cut me off a piece with the spoon she was eating with (actual brought-from-home silverware), scooped it in said spoon, and handed to me.

I think if the roles were reversed, I'd have to be pretty damn comfortable with a person to let them eat off my spoon. So I was kinda...flattered? Perhaps pointlessly?...that she did that.

So I'm curious what the consensus is on probably flirty/probably not flirty her gesture was.

FWIW, I'm just getting over a cold, which sort of gave me an out. I said, "Well, I'm just getting over a cold, so..." and I dumped the spoon's content into my mouth without touching the spoony part. It was aiight.
posted by mreleganza to Human Relations (23 answers total)
I don't think it's that flirty to share a spoon, though some people think it's gross. It would have been flirty if she fed you. That doesn't mean she doesn't like you though.
posted by juliplease at 3:20 PM on November 25, 2012 [8 favorites]

No biggie if it was me doing it. I'm clueless.
posted by b33j at 3:22 PM on November 25, 2012

Not flirty.
posted by cmoj at 3:24 PM on November 25, 2012

I can think of a million reasons she might have done this thing this way that have nothing to do with flirtiness, and I can also very easily imagine that it actually did mean something.

In other words, if I were in your situation I wouldn't really read anything into it since it doesn't strongly suggest anything to me one way or another.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:25 PM on November 25, 2012

Maybe flirty. Only way to know is ask her out.
posted by incessant at 3:25 PM on November 25, 2012

Did she smile when you sat down? Did she look happy to see you? Did you two make eye contact? Was there a lingering pause when you left? These mean way more than the spoon, which in and of itself does not strike me as particularly flirty, though I suppose it could be.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:26 PM on November 25, 2012

This is neutral. It relies on how she feels about things like food-sharing and utensil-sharing. People have different comfort levels with that.

The "If the roles were reversed" part just reveals more about you than about this specific situation.

So, not really flirty, no.
posted by vacapinta at 3:26 PM on November 25, 2012 [7 favorites]

I think you're reading too far into it. Also, watch out for coworker flings. Imagine your worst breakup with the added annoyance that youre forced to be in their vicinity for 40hrs a week.
posted by rambletamble at 3:31 PM on November 25, 2012

That'd be a totally neutral act for me - I don't have to like you to let you try my food, and letting you use my spoon seems like the easiest and most natural thing in that situation.
posted by Stacey at 3:35 PM on November 25, 2012

I wouldn't let someone eat off my spoon if I found them repulsive, and I imagine that's a sentiment most people share. I think that's all you can reasonably conclude from this.
posted by amodelcitizen at 3:41 PM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]

I wouldn't let someone eat off my spoon unless I wanted to kiss them. Because, eew. But I seem to be unusual in this.

In any case, even if she did something *obviously* flirty, like spoon-feed you, I don't know if you could assume anything. After all, some people only flirt with "safe" people where they think nothing real could happen.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:45 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree it could go either way. I would personally never do that with someone I don't know really well and like, but then I've been trained by my roomie. She would have recoiled in horror from that spoon, and likely fled the country.
posted by kythuen at 3:50 PM on November 25, 2012


The only thing that prevents me from eating food off complete strangers fingers are certain lessons learned in the past and social customs. Her passing you the spoon seems perfectly normal to me.

So yeah, it may or may not mean anything and you've learned way too much about some of us, while you're still don't know whether your office crush is into you or not. This means you should stop asking random strangers what they think and ask her out.

But based on your description, I'd say it's totally innocuous, even if she does like you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:55 PM on November 25, 2012

She might have a maternal personality so she probably didn't give it a second thought. I agree that at the very least, she doesn't not like you.

As a guy, I'm pretty sure it's a lot different for a woman to offer to a guy she barely knows than vice versa.

I agree you'll have to find other ways to find out how she feels. And don't get too caught up with the spoon thing, because you'll be utterly heartbroken if you catch her offering her spoon to another guy...
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:15 PM on November 25, 2012

I'm voting "probably not flirty," it's just not enough to go on. Some people really don't mind sharing utensils, some people do, and that may have been the most reasonable avenue (in her mind) of getting you a taste of her food.

Although I am kind of hoping (?) that the young lady in question posts a question of whether OP likes her or not based off of how he got the food from the spoon into his mouth without touching the spoon. But maybe I'm just ridiculous that way.
posted by sm1tten at 4:31 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]

Maybe not flirty but you should ask her out anyway. Definitely not unflirty.
posted by mermily at 5:33 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

She shared her lunch; that's a good sign.
posted by theora55 at 7:05 PM on November 25, 2012

It should be pointed out that you're interpreting this situation through your own filter. You wouldn't casually sure a spoon you've eaten off, so you're viewing her doing so as something potentially meaningful. But maybe sharing utensils is no big deal to her.

Don't live in your head about any relationship. Talk to her!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:22 PM on November 25, 2012

Someone I would let eat off my spoon would be someone I feel comfortable with, or agreeable in some way. Probably someone I wouldn't mind kissing but not necessarily. Most likely, someone I wouldn't feel uncomfortable about letting stand in my personal space.

Again, this doesn't mean they would be someone I'd want to kiss, per se. It does mean that I don't find you repulsive, because if I did there would be no chance of sharing utensils. Seems like a general good will/comfort level thing to do, but that's just how I feel.

She probably feels comfortable with you, to say the least. Then again maybe she grew up in a family that shared their utensils with everyone, save the family dog, so it's not even a "thing" to her, as it is to you. Have to agree though that the way you ate it would be off-putting to say the least. You must think she has coodies or something? (sorry, it just felt right).

I take it you're not too into her otherwise you wouldn't have let the food fall into your mouth from high above, avoiding touching her spoon with your lips, that had just been in her delicate mouth. Nice of you I guess if you're really sick, but probably a little weird to witness. Eating it and then washing it for her would have been nice.

If you really like her I'd suggest not doing that in the future, & for God's sakes show her somehow that you don't think she has the plague. All in all, it seems like a general act that really doesn't have much meaning behind it to interpret. All is well with the world- feel better, and happy spooning!
posted by readygo at 8:06 PM on November 25, 2012

Sounds kinda flirty to me. The bigger question is, are you willing to date a coworker and risk all that entails? If so, ask her out. If not, keep your eyes on your own plate.
posted by hazyjane at 10:24 PM on November 25, 2012

Another for not flirty and just something I would find a bit gross even if I was attracted I think. I don't really want to share my husband's spoon. So there are, you see, vastly different trains of thought in this that make an analysis futile, as others have said.
posted by jojobobo at 12:10 AM on November 26, 2012

Thanks for the feedback, all.

Dating her, for a multitude of reasons not germane to my question, is pretty much off the table, but I do like her so I would welcome low-level flirting. I certainly would not wish to make her uncomfortable though.

Readygo, your response gave me pause. The only reason I didn't just eat off her spoon is I truly am just getting over a NASTY cold. My voice is still a little froggy. If it was last week, I would KILLT that spoon! It's been going around the office, so hopefully it didn't come off as an excuse. Seems like bringing it up again would be awkward however I phrased it, but then again you did suggest "showing her somehow" rather than "telling" her.
posted by mreleganza at 1:38 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

There is no evidence that she was flirting with you.

Don't put this on her. If you want to go on a date, ask her to go on a date with you.
posted by tel3path at 2:52 AM on November 26, 2012

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