Does my coworker like me?
June 6, 2014 8:56 PM   Subscribe

I know some people may judge me, but I am not looking for that...I already know I'm in a sticky situation. I've been married for 9 years but am planning to leave within a few months (I have to wait to move out due to financial reasons). Anyway, I started a new job about 6 weeks ago, and have been working very closely with a guy that I am attracted to. One day we were working a little late, and he closed the conference room door and started playing music while we were working together...he kept asking what kind of music I preferred, and would only play that. We talked a lot and that is when I really started liking him.

A few days later, I noticed that he kept touching my arm while he talked to me. But then I realized he did not know i was married...when it came up, he seemed surprised, and said, "You're still married?" Then when we were alone, I told him that things were bad with my marriage and I was planning on moving out. He immediately said he was there for me if I ever wanted to talk about it with him. Since then, he has kind of backed off a bit...and he has started talking about the dates he goes on, but says that he doesn't really like any of the women. I jokingly said he sounds like a player...he then said, "I like to have my fun, but I am totally committed when I'm in a relationship"...then he winked at me (?) Does it sound like this guy is interested in me? I am just very clueless about these types of things. I get the feeling he likes me, but not sure...
posted by Maggsie97 to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, he likes you. But you should probably wait a bit after getting out of your marriage before starting anything up with anyone.
posted by whitewall at 9:02 PM on June 6, 2014 [9 favorites]

You're married and you work together. He's probably not going to make a move. He might like you, but that's probably immaterial.
posted by RainyJay at 9:03 PM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's not clear to me whether he was interested and stopped being when he found out you were married or whether he is still interested. But boy howdy would it be a terrible, terrible idea to pursue anything with him or anyone else at work. You're still establishing your reputation at your new job. I don't think I would want my reputation at work to be quite this drama-tastic.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:08 PM on June 6, 2014 [18 favorites]

He likes you, but he does sound like a bit of a player. He's very smooth with you, winking at you, making little flirtatious comments. He's not nervous around you. He says all the right things, and doesn't seem vulnerable or uncomfortable. So he probably is interested in you, but it could just be casual. He's not acting as though he has a crush.
posted by cheesecake at 9:12 PM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thank you for the replies. Yes, I understand that I am married...but the marriage has been "dead" for a long time and I plan to leave soon. And no, I would not immediately get involved with someone else. As for working together, we actually work for two different companies, just on the same contract...pretty soon we will probably be put on separate projects and won't see each other as much. If we ever were to date, it would be kept secret for a LONG time. I am mainly just wondering if he is interested or if I'm misinterpreting things...thanks.
posted by Maggsie97 at 9:12 PM on June 6, 2014

He's definitely interested in you. I recommend not flirting and joking around with him about relationship stuff anymore for now - if you don't want to get involved, this could get weird/awkward and end up in a situation that will put pressure on you to get involved much faster than you think, I'm betting.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:16 PM on June 6, 2014

He might like you as a person and also be romantically interested in you, yes. He might just be after sex, too. He might be the kind of guy who does this with all the 'new girls', and is just testing the waters. He might just be looking for an ego boost. Hard to tell.

I mean, the 'wink' thing is definitely a sleazy move, yeah, but...I wouldn't be too impressed by it, either, if I were you. He knows you're still married. It seems...presumptuous, perhaps? I dunno. Not the kind of come-on that would endear me to him, but YMMV.

I guess that's my long-winded way of saying, yes, he is interested in sleeping with you. But also, something about him does sound a bit player-ish to me. That's my advice from the micron of information we have, and worth what you paid for it. ;)
posted by Salamander at 9:19 PM on June 6, 2014 [12 favorites]

Don't get your meat and your taters at the same place.
posted by notsnot at 9:32 PM on June 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

He likes you enough to sleep with you and this is a disaster waiting to happen.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:43 PM on June 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

There are 7 billion other people on earth that you don't work with who you can date. Pick one of them.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 PM on June 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

You're in a vulnerable state. Wait until the divorce is clear and your head is on straight. Rebounding is fine but it's hell if you do it in your workplace and it causes toxic ramifications. Rebound and date outside of work.
posted by RoboKaren at 11:12 PM on June 6, 2014

One thing at a time. Deal with the breakup/move out, and give yourself space to clear your head.

If you must get your jollies, DONT do it with a work colleague. Bad idea, for two reasons - you are vulnerable and you are jeopardising your job. Think ahead, and you will see the pitfalls.

Seems like he is a player, and he has picked you for a game or two, and the fact that he is targeting you in your current position is, for me, a red flag.

As a new starter, are you on some sort of probation?
posted by GeeEmm at 1:17 AM on June 7, 2014

He does seem to like you, BUT.....

Right now, you've got an awkward situation at home with your 'dead' marriage --- your partner DOES know you're planning to leave, right? Because it has to be strained living with someone who is spending months planning to leave.

Meanwhile, there's this guy at work. You don't say if HE is married, but either way stay away! Even if you were to try, these things NEVER stay secret, and it'd just lead to difficulties with him AND the rest of your coworkers. Don't make your workplace as awkward and strained as your home currently is.
posted by easily confused at 2:52 AM on June 7, 2014

Yes, I understand that I am married...but the marriage has been "dead" for a long time and I plan to leave soon.

This is only relevant to some people. To other people, the fact that you still live with your husband is a very, very important factor in determining whether or not they are interested in you romantically. I suggest--with no judgment--that this fellow might be the kind of person who cares that you still live with your husband, so that he both might like you and might feel like that's irrelevant considering your current living situation.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:25 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

I swear to god, co-workers ALWAYS figure it out when those among them are sleeping together, or are about to. We are social creatures, we all see the cues, no matter how well the couple in question tries to hide them.

As was mentioned above, you are just establishing your reputation at this new place. If you become "that girl who...", you will be that girl for the duration, be it 2 years or 20. Even if you end up marrying the guy.

Yes, he likes you, probably just enough to sleep with you, but not much more. Be flattered by the attention, but don't pursue it.
posted by vignettist at 6:37 AM on June 7, 2014 [6 favorites]

We talked a lot and that is when I really started liking him.

It doesn't really matter if he likes you. Look at what you wrote here. You like him because you're in a crummy relationship and now here's a nice guy kind of flirting with you and giving you lots of positive attention.

That is why you like him. I suspect if your personal life were less stressed right now, you wouldn't really give him a second thought.

Don't pursue anything with this guy. Not because he sounds like a player (which he does a bit), not because you work with him (though that's a good reason), not because you're still married (which is another good reason), but because you don't like him, not really. You only like him because you're emotionally lonely and it's convenient.
posted by phunniemee at 6:46 AM on June 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

He might want to date you. He might want to fuck you. He might just want to flirt with you.

There is no way to know which of those ways in which he might "like" you is true, so whether he likes you depends on what you mean by that.

If you like him, though, my guess is that you guys aren't likely to be in the same place and level or kind of liking.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:17 AM on June 7, 2014

You say that you like him. I think that counts for something. It isn't all about what he wants/thinks/feels.

When you are in a position to pursue a relationship and also things have changed such that you are not working on the same project together, I see nothing wrong with telling him "Now that (I have left my husband/we no longer work on that project together/whatever), I kind of was wondering if you were interested in me. I felt like maybe you were but, god, I suck at this. And, whoops! if I got it wrong."

On the one hand, yeah, sleeping with coworkers can lead to drama. On the other hand, it does not always. It depends on a lot of factors.

We can't really tell you if he likes you. Honest. He's the only one that knows. And he may well like you but for any number of reasons may not be willing to pursue a romantic relationship with you. So it is always possible that the answer is "Yes, you are reading his behavior correctly: He likes you." AND it won't matter because he has some agenda that simply does not leave room for you in his life.
posted by Michele in California at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2014

As someone who ended a 9 year relationship after I kissed someone else, who was then 'there for me' while I decided whether to end my relationship are not - DO NOT CONFUSE THESE TWO THINGS! Being in a LTR can distort your thinking about other people and their intentions (I think you tend to see things a lot more intensely and see people more positively, and aren't as aware of the myriad of ways people hurt each other - often unintentionally), and being the person who someone ended a relationship for (or with that person in mind) is way too much pressure for anyone to take. My head was all over the place after I ended things, even though it was a long-time coming and I couldn't make sensible relationship decisions for at least a year. Give yourself some time for yourself.

Also, yes, he sounds like a player. And I think players flirt with women they know are attached because a) it's a challenge, and b) it's kind of 'safe' - they don't have to follow through. You can't know while you're attached how much of the way he acts around you is because he knows you're unavailable.
posted by Dorothea_in_Rome at 11:18 AM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would suggest this guy has poor boundaries. It is not OK for a man in the workplace to touch a woman colleague. It's not flattering or cute -- it's a power ploy. Do other women in your workplace stroke your arm? If they did, would you be OK with it?

I don't think you should concern yourself with his feelings for you. I think you should very much concern yourself with professionalism, and asserting your right to have a non-sexualized work environment. It's not healthy for you; it creates an uncomfortable vibe for your co-workers; and given your vulnerable position (end of a long marriage), it is guaranteed to be a heartache in the making if you choose to let it continue.

There will be plenty of men who are available and interested and not colleagues when you are ready to put yourself out there. Perhaps slow your roll a bit...
posted by nacho fries at 9:17 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Attending a scientific conference alone and...   |   Should I quit my job? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.