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Thread: Flirted (and more) with boss

  1. #1
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    Flirted (and more) with boss

    I became somewhat involved (flirting, texting, kissing) with my boss after the project we'd been working on fell through (and my job was essentially over). He felt bad about the deal going dead and said it was his responsibility to offer me a job at his firm when i moved home next summer. After our last meet up, something happened, and he went radio silent. I do know that during this time he had a medical issue and was in the middle of litigation (on the deal that tanked) plus he has an investment company to run...he's on the board of multiple companies, so to say he's busy is an understatement.

    I got a little freaked out thinking I'd f'd up a perfectly good job opportunity by falling into something I wasn't emotionally prepared for. His texts stopped and so did mine - it was a palpable shift, at least to me. I decided it was time to clear the air so I texted him - he called the next day and sounded as if nothing had happened, very cool and casual, and reiterated the job offer to me again. We talked about a few different things but all very positive, like old friends connecting. What was I worried about I told myself...clearly he isn't thinking about what happened in the same light as I am. My friends say I'm way too in my head on this and all is well. Truth be told, I would be open to having a relationship with him - and find a different job.

    Did I commit the ultimate sin, as a female in business? Would he even waste his time leading me on if he didn't mean that the job was still mine? I get there are other implications to deal with in a work setting, but I've know him for 25 years, and our paths have crossed more than once...this is the first time anything flirty ever happened. Just sucks that now when I'd like to work with him again, my heart is involved. Do I believe him and take it at face value? Do I lay low and re connect closer to when I move home? I was the one to reach out last...he knows how to reach me, so ball in his court. Last thing I want to do is come of as pining and needy.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Is he married?

    Anyway, by the very limited info, to me it looks like he's just going to lay low until you are home and able to take the job and then he'll try to et you in bed then.
    You'll correct me if I've misread the situation, I'm sure but he's not pursuing a dating situation at all.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused.

    Did you "clear the air" by acknowledging the proverbial pollutants that you wanted addressed, or by sending a vague text and gauging how he responded? There is a difference. Regardless, it certainly seems that he's putting up a pretty hard wall: back to business, no more footsie, in short. If that's not something you feel you're capable of doing, it might be best to find work elsewhere since you'd be taking a job under conditions where your ability to be professional is compromised.

    I'm not going to read you a riot act about the perils of mixing business and pleasure. Whatever happened, happened. Not the "ultimate sin," but not the wisest of choices. I would take him at face value right now, meaning the job offer (and only the job offer) remains on the table. Along with that take yourself at face value, meaning being honest about whether this job is one you can take with zero thoughts about it leading to more footsie or knotting up the heartstrings.

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    [QUOTE=bluecastle;7184998]I'm a bit confused. Did you "clear the air" by acknowledging the proverbial pollutants that you wanted addressed, or by sending a vague text and gauging how he responded? There is a difference.

    Good question and I'm sorry to say that I was so caught off by his manner of speaking and the tone of the call (he truly sounded happy to speak with me, said I sounded great, etc) and we went off on so many tangents about his other projects, holiday plans, etc, that I hung up without saying the very things I'd rehearsed: "sorry if that put you in an uncomfy position, i'd never want to jeopardize us working together" yada yada. So that was my chance and I blew it. Hence this mental drama I keep putting my self through and my concern that he just called me back to keep stringing me along but he's done on all fronts. But if that was the case, why not just text vs call, why reiterate the job offer, why go through all those hoops, as a man who has a million things coming at him every day and no time for that stuff. And now, it would be bad to reach out again, as too much time has passed to address it now.

    He's not married.

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    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Whether this guy is married or not, involved with somebody else or not, you are very naive if you are treating this as a potential relationship. There is all sorts of power imbalance at play here, so unless you are perfectly okay with sleeping with him to get ahead in your career, then pursuing anything with this man is a very bad idea. Chances are that likes to use his wealth and power to have fun with women who work under him, and you are just the latest target. If you get your job this way, you will forever be at his mercy in your career, and everyone in the office will dismiss anything and everything you do because you are literally in bed with the boss.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Time to put a stop to the mental drama by admitting it is just that: mental drama, self-stirred.

    He called you back because...he called you back. He was kind because...he was kind. He reiterated the job because...the job remains on the table. These are the facts, no need to editorialize them or turn them into smoke signals because you'd like the facts to be different.

    In your shoes, I would consider the matter addressed—passively, tacitly. No, that's never the most ideal period to end a sentence, but life is sometimes a bit murky.

    The obvious solution here is let this simmer, and simmer down, which means keeping some distance and seeking job opportunities elsewhere. It's not romantic, it's potentially a drag, but it puts sanity and reason first. Next solution is to take a cold shower, literally and figuratively, and then go back to a cordial, professional relationship. Many adults have crossed such lines and found ways to gracefully step back in the history of humanity. It's not so romantic either, but sometimes responsibility has to be sexier than romance.

    Can I ask how glaring the divide here is between you guys on both a professional and age level?

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    Mirror - I'm not going into detail, but your characterization of him is a bit off. I do hear your concerns though. And I do have a career right now and would never sleep my way up.

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    Blue - appreciate your thoughtful response. He's 14 years older and very successful, I'll leave it at that. I've known him since my 20's when I worked for him then, but I left the company to move away internationally for some time. Over the years, our paths have crossed more than once for different reasons, but it was just this last re-connection where we both realized that something might be there between us...it was kind of serendipitous really, and I hope the job is still mine if I want it. But I think you're right - face value it is, and play it straight.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    For better or worse, I have some experience here and there with navigating blurred lines. Not quite in a professional context, or at least in the employer/employee paradigm, but I know a bit about the dance of crossing them and uncrossing them—along with that moment when you just need to draw the straight line, in red pen, over the squiggly line in pencil. This is that moment. You'll thank yourself later.

    One thing I always come back to: the beginning of romance, no matter the circumstances, should not feel like navigating a minefield. When it feels like that, or takes a turn where it becomes that, something is amiss. Better to call that out than become conditioned to equate mine defusing with romance. There are better ways to get a sweaty brow out there in the world.

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    I'm well aware of my overthinking tendencies and all the land mines were placed by me. I wouldn't call this the beginning of a romance, but I do care for him and enjoy being around him...I'm going to be extremely careful as this unfolds.

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