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Drunken flirting = trouble


Sez

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Hi everyone,

 

One drunken night at a work event I flirted heavily with my older, newly-divorced boss. I thought I had a crush on him for a bit, which is in itself quite strange, and probably due more to proximity than anything else and not having anyone else I'm particularly into. He is not that attractive, although he has a good sense of humour and is intelligent, and has been pretty kind to me. BUT he's really unpopular with some people at work - I think people are a bit unfair to him but at the same time can see why he winds them up. I never fancied him before and I have worked with him for several years, but i began to wonder if my feelings towards him had changed.

 

So, I got drunk and flirted. Well actually it was worse than that - i also ended up telling him some pretty personal stuff which i now really regret and makes me cringe and wonder what the hell I thought I was doing.

 

He was however very pleased and flattered about the whole thing, and has been v. flirtacious with me recently. We were both due to go to a party of another colleague, but I had the feeling he was hoping something would happen between us - in fact he pretty much told me as much. In the end I kept clear as I wasn't sure - I don't really think I want anything to happen. How can I tell him this, or should i just not say anything, as it's unlikely we'll be at another social event together any time soon? I don't want to hurt him, and also i told him personal stuff which I really don't want anyone to know - I did ask him not to tell anyone afterwards, but there's a little bit of me which worries he will. I know I have been really stupid... Plus I am reluctant to just use the 'we work together' excuse as even if I left I don't think I would want anything to happen.

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Hm. Your boss sounds like my boss to a T. lol.

 

Anyway, you probably realize that no matter what you do at this point, your relationship with your boss is potentially screwed. Having said that, I'd guess your best bet is to come clean and be honest that you were just drunk and said things you shouldn't have said and that a relationship with him is not practical. After that, I'd probably see about transferring to another dept or finding a new job.

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I would continue side-stepping, and don't speak personally about any of this unless cornered to do so. Still, try to avoid that at all costs.

 

If you play this right, it's just one open bookend that doesn't require another for 'closure' or anything. That's only a way to compound the problem.

 

Work is not a therapeutic environment, it's not a dating environment, and if you want to keep your work life drama-free and office-gossip free, drop this whole story line like a hot potato--and pretend it doesn't exist.

 

Back to professionalism, and you'll thank yourself later.

 

In your corner.

 

PS--if you do end up cornered, apologize lightly and shrug it off as some distant liquor-speak you can't really recall. Don't close this--but don't take it anywhere. Let it die it's own death over time.

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Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate them. I think for the time being I won't say anything, will go back to being professional and low key at work - there won't be another situation like that for a while anyway.. I've managed to create enough drama one way and another Plus I am also looking for another job...

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Well you gotta do what you feel is best, and hopefully it works out for you.

 

I have to say though that putting myself in your boss's shoes, I'd appreciate directness and honesty vs having my feelings spared at this point. Keep in mind he's recently divorced, so he's probably very jaded and easily inclined to view women in a very, very negative light.

 

So if he still thinks you're interested and continues to put himself out there for you, you're not doing him (or you) any favors by being coy. He's going to feel like an old fool once he realizes you aren't interested (probably because at some point you're going to be forced to be explicit in your disinterest anyway), and he's going to HATE you for the ordeal. He's going to feel like you lead him on for your own amusement. Even if he wasn't newly divorced, he'd probably feel this way, but he's going to be extra vile considering his circumstances.

 

Like I said, whatever you do, the consequences probably aren't going to be pleasant for you, so you might as well play the odds and hope that by coming clean, your boss will at least respect you for your honesty and integrity and not lump you into the same category with his ex-wife. Your work relationship with your boss will probably become cold and definitely won't be as chummy as it used to be, but hopefully it won't become downright unbearable or hostile, which I can virtually guarantee it will wind up being if you don't set the record straight now. Just my 2 cents as a guy.

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I can appreciate the sentiments behind this and would agree if we weren't discussing a work environment.

 

It's not up to you to control whether this man takes the hint and backs off, or whether he continues any kind of investment. His mind stuff is his own business, but it's up to him to keep his behaviors appropriate. That's all you need to be concerned about here.

 

Conversations fueled by booze are forgettable, but if you carry the drama into the office fully sober, you've got zero cover and you've just amped up the volume. It's unnecessary, and I think you understand this. I think you're handling it well.

 

Fingers cross for your job search, and in your corner.

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