Meet me in the copier room... we need to talk.

Hi Chuck & Garland,

This is my question- does he genuinely like me or is it just sex or friendship he's after?

I joined a company 6 months ago. I am 33 and married for 5 yrs and he is 31 and involved. From the day I joined I noticed him looking at me across the room and have caught his eyes couple of times. Since we are in 2 different divisions although he sits behind me in an open plan office our interactions have been very few over 6 months. When ever we interact he talks very softly and "caringly"(very politely in other words) and blushes. He tends to blush with everyone but a bit more so with me. All this attracted me towards him over 6 months and now I cant stop thinking about him. It doesn't help the fact that I decided to marry my best friend and compromise on passion. I feel I can have a passionate relationship with this guy if he ever decides to make a move.

This is why I think he likes me;

1. He smiles alot when I go over to talk to me as if he's very happy to see me
2. Every time he speaks to me - he is extremely polite with a soft voice- nicer to me than I 've hear him around others
3. He blushes around me
4. He has a very unusual name which I keep pronouncing wrong- he has never corrected me although I've seen him correcting others. When I apologised for it he said the way I pronounce his name sounds nice somehow.
5. He has given me 2 eye brow flashes when he sees me for the first time in the day, throughout the 6 months- first one about 2 months ago and the second couple of days ago.

This is why I think he is not interested romantically and interested in just being a friend or only attracted to me sexually:

1. When we do talk I try to linger the eye contact so he knows I like him(I have even looked at his chest while he was looking at me to show I like what I see!) but his smiling gaze goes from my eyes to elsewhere and back to my eyes and elsewhere again- he never maintains a lingering eye contact even if he;s red in the face and smiling silly.
2. He has a lot of friends- guys and girls a like- but have never seen him being loud and outgoing- he maybe well behaved around me or simply could be a flirt??
3. When transferring objects(only happened twice) he goes out of his way not to touch my fingers. He has never touched me or attempted to.
4. If we were in a small gathering with other collegues I would never catch him looking at me.- as if I am the last person on his mind to notice.

I would very much appreciate a guy's opinion on this.


GARLAND: Thanks for your question. Let me take a crack at giving you a guys perspective on it.

I can’t really sink my teeth into any of the examples you cited. I’m not trying to be difficult but you can actually flip any of your examples around and take them to mean the opposite of what you think they mean.

For example, you think he doesn’t like you because, “If we were in a small gathering with other collegues I would never catch him looking at me.- as if I am the last person on his mind to notice.” I could spin that and say he DOES like you because, he doesn’t look at you in the fear that everyone in the meeting would see the look in his eyes and know that he’s attracted to you and he doesn’t want his feelings known.

You think he likes you because, “He smiles a lot when I go over to talk as if he's very happy to see me.” And, I could rationalize that into him NOT liking you because he could be smiling to hide how much he can’t stand you. He could be saying, “Smile Jimmy. Smile. Don’t let her see how much she gets on your nerves.

Okay, look I’m just adding a neutral perspective on your situation.

Let me give you my real take on this. I honestly don’t know if he likes you or not. I’m a guy that’s big on letting people know how I feel about them, but you two can’t really do that at this point. This guy and you are both beating around the bush and for good reason, you are married and he has a girlfriend. The two of you can’t risk putting your feelings out in the closed in environment of work. What if he doesn’t like you like that? What if he does and the people in the office get wind of what the two of you two are doing? There is a lot at play in this situation and a lot at risk.

I think, I’m sorry – I KNOW the answer lies with the chap that you like. Despite my warnings above, the only way you will know for sure is to take some time and think about yourself, your husband, your marriage and your future and you have to decide one of two things – ONE, either you will approach this co-worker of yours in a private, away-from-work location and ask him straight-up how he feels about you, or TWO, decide that his feelings for you have no real benefit to your life or your future and you don’t push the issue any further. I’m not saying which one is right because I don’t know you personally, but YOU have to figure out what you want and what are willing to risk to get it and/or keep it.

This guy knows how he feels, YOU have to figure out if you REALLY AND TRULY want to know. You have to make a decision and you have to accept it and move forward. I wish you the best in your situation!

CHUCK: I can't make head or tail of your signs, either. "He smiles, he avoids my touch, etc." It may mean something. It may mean nothing. It may mean something one time, and nothing the next time. It may... You get the idea. What I'm saying is, I can't decipher this guy's behavior. I don't know him. You don't, either.

What you're doing with this question, really, is taking two issues, and combining them into one. And your dilemma cannot be addressed until you separate those issues, and address them as such. So...

Issue #1: You are married, but apparently unfulfilled. Why else would you care so much about what some dude in the office thinks about you? You say that you made a decision years ago to marry your best friend and "compromise on passion." That may have been enough at that point, but it doesn't look like it is anymore. You are taking what is a casual relationship, and putting a whole lot into it. Maybe it's time for you to reassess your marriage, and determine if you still want to stick with the compromise you made. But don't do that just because you're thinking about your co-worker.

Issue #2: You can't figure out what your co-worker's intentions are, based on his actions. As I said above, we really can't figure out what he feels about you. Which is the main reason you can't be making crucial life decisions based on what you believe he thinks. He may view you as attractive, he may have thought about pursuing you. But he is attached, and he knows that you're attached, and has decided not to pursue you. Plus, the workplace is a minefield for relationships, even when couples are unattached. Let's give this man some credit for his restraint.

In my view, what you need to dom first and foremost, is decide whether you want to remain married or not. You apparently want more passion in your life than you have now, and, if so, you should pursue it. Maybe your future lies with this man in your office. Maybe not. But you should be free of your attachments before you give it real consideration.

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