In a workplace environment, male and female coworkers are expected to be friendly and interact closely with each other. If love and feelings enter this space, it can get incredibly messy.
If you feel that a coworker has feelings for you, you need to make sure this is the case before jumping to conclusions. Often we tend to confuse kindness, helpfulness, and friendliness with attraction and romantic feelings.
But how can you figure out whether the friendly gestures are romantic or platonic? Are they having a coworker crush?
Asking the coworker is definitely out of question in this situation unless you want to make a fool of yourself. The ideal solution for this dilemma would be to look out for signs your coworker has feelings for you.
This article delves into the workplace environment and explores the relationship formed between male and female coworkers, specifically the coworker crush. Though love and romance can complicate workplace relationships, sometimes they cannot be avoided. You will find here a few easy-to-spot coworker attraction signs.
Signs your coworker has feelings for you
Even though most workplaces discourage romantic relationships between female and male coworkers implicitly or explicitly, sometimes, coworkers do fall in love. The reason is simple. These are human beings and it is hard to put up fences like that.
Sometimes, a coworker relationship gets complicated with romantic feelings for each other because they are together for long hours in close proximity. They are driven by circumstances to each other rather than genuinely having feelings for each other. If the two of them had met in another environment, they may not have felt the same way.
So, before you go ahead and do something about a coworker crush, you need to make sure that it is real and not a product of circumstances. These signs will help you figure this out.
1. Your eyes meet frequently
Coworkers or even friends don’t make much eye contact when they are together. Even when they are constantly interacting with each other, it is more casual and their attention will be elsewhere. However, when someone is attracted to you, it’s different. They will find it difficult to pry their eyes away from you.
You may feel being watched and when you look in that direction, you will notice this coworker looking at you. When your eyes meet, they will turn their gaze away as if they were caught red-handed doing something forbidden. All these are involuntary reactions and hard to fake or manipulate. That makes this sign more trustworthy.
2. Your coworker finds it hard to focus on work when you’re around
Unless something else is not bothering them, distraction is a clear sign of being in love. As you share a common workplace, you may have to pass by their desk at times. If you notice them pausing their work and watching you walk by every time, it may be a coworker crush.
Even after you are gone, they may have trouble coming back to what they were doing earlier. Other colleagues may notice this and make fun of them. In case you have some work with this male coworker, you may find them confused and incoherent. They seem not to listen or understand what you are saying or respond well to your queries. The word “lost” would describe their mental state correctly.
3. They want to hang out with you after work
When someone is attracted to you, they are reluctant to part ways with you. They will always come up with new suggestions to be together. If your male coworker has feelings for you, the most obvious suggestion would be to hang out after work. As this is what friendly colleagues do, no one will read anything more into this.
On the other hand, if they aren’t interested in you, they wouldn’t want to be together with you after work hours. They may have better things to do and other friendly people to meet. So, if they suggest hanging out together after work, it is a definite sign they are more interested in you than normal. You may have to check other signs to confirm the romantic angle though.
4. They seem reluctant to end conversations with you
Again, very understandable in someone who is attracted to you. Your female coworker may have found you interesting but they barely know you well. As this coworker relationship develops, they may naturally want to know you more. They will use every opportunity to gather more information about you and know you better.
You may be talking to each other regarding official matters, but your female coworker will manage to steer the conversation toward more personal topics. Or they may pop up out of nowhere and start a conversation with you. No matter how the conversation begins, your female coworker will make it last forever.
During these conversations, you will find your female coworker pumping you for personal information like your relationship status.
5. They are always ready to help you
To you, it may seem as if your male coworker is hiding behind the screen and observing you. Because they always seem to know when you want help and are the first ones to offer it. This will make you wonder whether they are finishing their own work or not. Maybe they are doing it faster to help you out with yours or neglecting theirs.
Your male coworker seems to relish every moment they spend with you and their conversations with you. Their offer of help seems to be an opportunity to get closer to you, talk to you and spend more time with you. However, a genuinely nice person without any wrong intentions may also offer to help you.
6. They openly and shamelessly flirt with you
This particular male coworker may shower you with compliments, lean in or sit too close to you, place their hands on your shoulder or arms, brush against your body as if by accident, and invariably encroach on your personal space. All these are signs of attraction but clearly, they are not trying to hide it from you or other colleagues.
Even when their desk is far away from yours, this male coworker will come up with some excuse to come where you are and strike up a conversation with you. They are not so bothered about what you or anyone else may think about their behavior.
7. They talk rubbish and tell banal jokes
When a person is attracted to someone and hasn’t yet revealed their feelings, it is natural for them to feel nervous. This will come out as talking gibberish and bad jokes.
If this is their usual behavior, there is nothing to read into this. But if the coworker behaves this way only when you are around, it can be read as a sign of attraction. Most probably, this person is trying too hard to impress you but falling flat at it. However, you can’t dismiss the fact that this person is having a coworker crush on you.
8. They open up to you
Whenever you find yourself alone, your coworker doesn’t hesitate to show an intimate facet of themselves to you. Maybe you asked a question that prompted them to open up. Or they created the situation and revealed their secrets.
If this coworker does this with everyone, there is nothing unusual in this gesture. However, if they single you out for this, it is a sign that they consider you special.
9. They synchronize their schedule with yours
If you work in an organization with diverse work schedules, you find this coworker always working the same schedule as yours. Initially, you thought that it was just a coincidence. But as it continued, your suspicions were aroused. While you never get to see your other coworkers for weeks together, this particular person always has the same work schedule as yours.
There is no way a coincidence can go on for so long. This person must be adjusting their schedule to suit yours. There can only be one reason for this behavior. They are attracted to you and falling deeply for you. They are not leaving any stone unturned to be near you and looking for opportunities to talk to you.
10. They call or text you after work
These calls or texts may be on the pretext of discussing some official matter but it will be so trivial that the conversation will be mostly personal. How smoothly they transition from work to personal is amusing if you pay attention to it.
Coworkers calling or texting each other after work hours is nothing serious. It happens all the time. However, when the conversation crosses over to personal every time, it should ring the alarm bell. A person experiencing a coworker crush will try every chance to talk to you.
11. They refuse to compete with you at work
Most workplaces nowadays have a fiercely competitive environment. If you want to get ahead in your career, you have to do everything you can to promote yourself. In the midst, sometimes you are forced to bring your coworkers down.
But you will be surprised to find this coworker not interested in competing with you. They are clearly competing with other coworkers but not with you. In fact, this person tries hard to protect you when others try to cause your downfall. There can only be one reason for this behavior – a coworker crush. This coworker has romantic feelings for you.
Not only about career advancement, but this coworker will also shield you and come to your defense when other colleagues spread rumors about you or talk behind your back.
12. They make you feel special and important
In the workplace environment, when so many people are working together for long hours, it is easy to spot an imbalance in interpersonal relationships. While most relationships remain casual and friendly, some of them bond better than others. Those who make closer ties with their coworkers can be recognized easily by their behavior.
When a coworker treats you as special, there can be two interpretations – either you are good friends or they are attracted to you. You will know if the two of you are friends. If this is not the case, you can easily conclude that this coworker likes you and wants to have a closer relationship with you.
13. They give you lots of attention on social media
This coworker may not have said anything to you about how they feel toward you in person. They try to act normal when working together and others are present. But you will notice the special treatment when you are on social media. This coworker is not very active on social media. In fact, they joined only recently. All they seem to do is like and comment on your posts.
You may not notice this for some time but eventually, your curiosity will be aroused. This person doesn’t seem to have any other activity on social media platforms other than liking and commenting on your posts. This coworker is not leaving any opportunity to get closer to you.
14. You know from the reaction of others
It may have escaped your notice, but there will be others in your team who are aware of the fact that this particular coworker has feelings for you. Some people tend to be more sensitive to interpersonal relationships in their group than others. If one of the colleagues notices this attraction your coworker has for you, they will let you know.
While some will pass on this information to you personally, others will choose to reveal it publicly. Your coworkers may make fun of the whole situation or even try to set you up with this coworker. When you are having office events such as parties, your coworkers will make sure that you sit next to each other.
15. They ask you to join them for events outside of work
This may be indoor or outdoor activities or a day’s outing with friends. As your coworker is interested in you, they will know enough about your likes and dislikes to come up with something you would like to do. This can also be volunteering activities or work for a cause.
This coworker knows you well enough to be sure that you can’t resist the offer. This is another of their ploys to hang out with you more and get to know you better. They also want you to know that the two of you have many shared interests and values.
Some more signs your coworker is interested in you
- This coworker finds a way to have lunch with you every day.
- They leave you gifts on your desk.
- They solve problems for you without you asking for help.
- They jump to your rescue and even take the blame.
- They are curious to know about your activities outside work.
How do you deal with being attracted to a coworker?
Feeling attracted to a coworker can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure of how to handle the situation. It’s important to maintain professionalism in the workplace and avoid making any advances that could make your coworker uncomfortable or create a conflict of interest.
If you find yourself struggling with these feelings, it may be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or therapist for support and guidance on how to navigate these emotions in a healthy way. Additionally, focusing on your work and finding ways to distract yourself outside of work hours can also help take your mind off of the attraction.
How common is it to sleep with coworkers?
Sleeping with coworkers is generally considered unprofessional and can have negative consequences for both individuals and the workplace. While it’s difficult to determine an exact percentage, studies have shown that workplace relationships do occur, with some surveys reporting that around 10-20% of employees have engaged in sexual activity with a coworker at some point in their career.
However, it’s important to note that engaging in romantic or sexual behavior with coworkers can lead to conflicts of interest, favoritism, and potential legal issues such as sexual harassment or discrimination. It’s always best to maintain professional boundaries and avoid any behavior that could be seen as inappropriate or compromising.
If the signs tell you that your coworker is interested in you, there is no need to panic. The first thing to consider is whether you are developing feelings for coworker. When you are attracted to a coworker, check whether your organization allows relationships between coworkers. If not, you may have to keep this a secret or one of you have to find another job. If you have romantic feelings for coworker and choose to keep it a secret, make sure you are staying focused and your performance at work remains unaffected.
If the coworker is married and you don’t want to get entangled in a relationship with a married coworker, choose your reactions with care. Let the person know that you aren’t interested. And, don’t do anything that this person may consider as encouragement. If this coworker continues to pester you, don’t hesitate to complain of harassment to the appropriate authority.
Dating a coworker is a gray area you may not want to try but sometimes this may not be something you can control. Handle the situation with kid gloves because your job may also be at stake.