Work and relationships can be a funny mixture. On the one hand, work can be a great way to meet people but on the other hand, there is the professionalism issues and possible fallout that can come if things don't work out the way one or both of you would like. Finding out if someone likes you in that way can be difficult at work; you don't want to find out that you read the signals wrong. After all, you will have to face your co-worker every day in a professional capacity. Navigating this slippery slope is even more difficult than finding out when to give the perfect push present! You also need to think about whether you like them in that way too, if they are into you. If so, how do you proceed? If not, how to let them down gently and without ruining your professional relationship?
Possible signs a co-worker likes you:
- They go out of their way to talk or engage with you
- They are interested in what you do outside work and whether or not you are going to the staff party or not
- They suggest meeting for lunch or drinks after work or at the weekend
- They laugh at all your jokes (even the bad ones!)
Listen to your intuition. These signs could also mean a co-worker likes you as a friend. Some people think no-one likes them in that way, even when it is obvious they do! Others, think everyone has a crush on them, when they don't! Try and read the situation honestly. If you're unsure, ask a colleague (that you trust not to gossip) for feedback and see what they think.
If You Both Have a Crush on Each Other:
Great! However, I recommend taking things slowly; it will help minimize the impact at work if things don't work out and help you both to get your head around the change in your relationship if it does work out. It might be worth taking your time about sharing the news with other co-workers and making sure you're both on the same page about the relationship before you do. Outside interference can put pressure on a fledgling relationship and you want to make sure neither of you ends up with egg on your face! If one of you line manages the other or if the relationship will have a direct impact on your working relationship or your working relationship with your colleagues, be sensitive and navigate the issues in a professional way.
You Have the Crush; They Don't:
Stay professional and move on.
If you've told them how you feel and it’s not reciprocated, praise yourself for your honesty and taking a risk and be professional. Don't try to change their minds or ignore them; it will be embarrassing for both of you and make it harder to stay professional.
They Have the Crush; You Don't:
Let them down gently and treat them how you would like to be treated if the situation were reversed. Don't lead them on or give them false hope. You could let them know you're flattered, but you see them as a friend / co-worker and value that relationship and don't want to jeopardize it. Don't gossip with other co-workers about it, as what you say could get back to them, making the situation more difficult for both of you.
Many wonderful romantic relationships start in the workplace, but many careers have also been affected by romantic relationships gone awry. Romantic relationships don't have to be a no-go area in the workplace, but it is worth paying extra attention and care to how you handle situations so that your work or reputation isn't negatively impacted.
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.