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Why is this married woman flirting so dangerously with me?

West Wind

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Hello. I will try to exercise brevity as much as I possibly can. I consider her a "work friend" if that makes any type of sense. We talk a lot as we work -- about nearly anything, really. Verily, there's no subject that is off limits between us. That's possibly due to us not being judgmental.


We take our lunches/breaks together with two others pretty routinely. During lunch/work we talk and laugh, etc. We've known each other for a few years now, so we've had the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more intimately than the others.


Anyhow, she seems to be intrigued that I am still single in my 30s. Truthfully, I'm not the marrying type; I'm fine with having casual flings here and there as I always have. She tells me about her marriage -- which, from what she has told me over the years, is still going strong. Kudos for that.


However, lately, I've noticed a slight change. I am, at heart, a natural flirt, and I know where my boundaries are and I never have, and never will go beyond them. We flirt a bit, it's fun, yes, but I have always had a stern attitude that nothing will become of it; it's simply a fun way to pass the time for me.


The change is that I've noticed her talking about her boobs and butt a lot more to me. Almost as if she wants me to validate their significance. Example: she tells me she has big boobs for a woman her size. I tell her I'm more of a butt man, then she tells me about the size and shape of her butt. I try to steer the conversation in a more appropriate direction, but she seems hellbent on getting something out of me.


This type conversation escalated into something more, I fear. I went to her cubical where she was talking with a friend about a spreadsheet. I tossed her a few pieces of candy.


Her friend noticed and laughed, saying that I should try her candy -- which she pulled out of her pocket and extended to me a caramel. The woman I gave the candy to snatches it, and eats it. They both laugh, and I told her that it was mine.


The woman then opens her mouth, shows me the candy and says, "Come and get it." Her friend laughs and walks away. I jokingly try to take back my candy I put on the desk, but she grabs my hand and tries to prevent me from doing so. She wrestles with me a bit, then literally puts my fist onto her chest and whispers, "Let go of my boob," as she laughs.


I drop everything and stop immediately. I play it off calmly and make an exit. Later, I'm making some copies in the print room when she stumbles in again. She's making fun of the situation earlier, and I tell her I don't want to hear anything about what happened. She smiles and comes over to where I'm standing, and is like, "Give me my stuff," as she forces her chest on my hands on the copier. I try to move them, but she continues to laugh and press her chest on me.


I told her to get back to work, then she kicks me in my butt, laughing, then walks off.




Understand that I am confused like never before. I've flirted many times, but never have had this happen from any woman I've worked with. As a man, yes, it's flattering, but my morals conflict with this and I refuse to act on something that could destroy someone's life -- including mine -- and I'm not going to hate myself for it.


My question is, why would she do this? Please, no immature answers because I am really confused at this point. Thanks!

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So glad I get to respond first. I think you're going to get a lot of women responding about men at work doing sh*t like that with them. Just imagine if your genders were reversed. Even to think of a guy grabbing a woman's hand and forcing her to rub his chest---how much trouble would the guy be in?

She has 100% crossed the line and is jeopardizing your career. For whatever reason---she has decided to let go of constraint. It will never stop. You need to stop talking to her. No more lunches or candies. If she comes near the copier(room?)--leave it. Etc.

I'm only suggesting those things because it sounds like you didn't have the instinct to go to HR. You should really go to HR and AT LEAST tell them that you as having an issue that you would like to work out yourself. Or tell them the whole damn thing. I can see this turning around where she could feel jilted because you don't pursue her and then she takes YOU to HR. Don't wait for it to happen again. She is escalating.

Think about how out of line she is---would she do this if her husband was there? And she's even chatting with her spreadsheet buddy about this. Disconnect from her.

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No immature answers? You mean like your immature behavior?


This is work, not a playground or a bar and she is a married woman. You shouldn't even be wondering what her comments mean and she shouldn't even be making them. She has a husband..does that make any sense to either one of you? A HUSBAND. Someone she has made vows with and you should respect that.


You act very childish for a 30 year old and extremely unprofessional for an employee.


I can see why all you are able to do is flings.


Maybe you should grow up and see what adult life is actually about one of these days.


And Chelsea is 100% spot on, if roles were reversed there would be a sexual harassment charge. It's not cute and it's not funny.

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I must have struck a nerve with you. That, I cannot help. Understand that this is confusing for me and I've already stated that she has gone too far. To get on here, attempt to pass judgment on a person when you don't know the slightest bit about them isn't smart.


As far as your "fling" comment: my father committed suicide due to my mother's infidelity when I was younger, which is the main reason I live that lifestyle.


So, please, act as you say I should act and be respectful.

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You only struck a nerve with me on the level of not respecting someone's marriage and helping carry on foolish behavior at work of all places.


As for your father, I find that very sad and I am sorry to hear. If it's still affecting you to this degree, you might consider counselling in order to heal from it. Flings will never bring you anything good.


As for respectful, I say it how I see it and you sir are the one who is not acting respectful, nor is this married woman. In fact far from it.

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Sherry, I would ask that you read the OP's post again. Can you please tell me why you think the OP, who is being harassed sexually at work, is the aggressor here? This women is literally rubbing her chest on him.

You misunderstood me.

I meant that if roles were reversed, how this married woman is acting could and would be up for sexual harassment if she were a man.

The fact that OP is not only accepting it but is also adding and provoking it, is just wrong on so many levels.

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Well, I agree with you, but only to the extent that I think OP should take a stand and directly tell her to stop / go to HR. I don't fault OP for casually / nervously playing it off at first and then coming here for advice. I wouldn't call that provoking the behavior - you're blaming the victim.


Sounds like OP has boundaries and knows this isn't okay. Hopefully he takes the right course of action from here.

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He's been entertaining her for years, it's no wonder she has the wrong idea.

OP says he doesn't want to cross boundaries but he has already crossed them allowing himself to become so close to someone else's wife.

I think what should be done now is to undo it, and you're right, he needs to take a stance and let her know it's not going to continue.

There is a lesson to be learnt here.

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The question is not "why is she flirting", but the question is "why are you participating in this?" It takes two to tango, and you are tangoing. So stop it. Cut it out.

Do you think a man could get away with talking about the firmness of his abs and...um...male member to a female coworker? nope, so stop accepting her talking about her breasts and how big they are. Shut her down. It would be harrassment if you were not a willing and eager participant.

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Somewhere along the line, it's going to be taken out of context. And someone is going to LOSE their job because the other person (or worse, a witness) cried "harassment" to HR. You cannot trust ANYONE in the workplace with yours or her behaviors. Period.


I've seen this game happen before in the workplace. In fact I have reported someone before for making sexual comments toward another coworker around my presence, and it's taken very seriously. You are playing with fire by sticking around this woman. Keep away from her and treat her like the plague. She is a drama trap.


You are at work to earn a paycheck and pay your bills. Nothing more. Stay away from married women. Flirting at work is very unprofessional and leaves you open for a sexual harassment lawsuit. Leave it outside before it comes to bite you.

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Thanks to most of you for the advice. What made it difficult is that she is more of a friend. Going to HR would make me feel as if I was stabbing a friend in the back. As I've said before, I will address this issue with her if she tries to continue this.


This is the 1st time this has ever happened to me with anyone as far as her behavior goes, which is why I came to this site for advice. It will not happen again. Thanks.

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Thanks to most of you for the advice. What made it difficult is that she is more of a friend. Going to HR would make me feel as if I was stabbing a friend in the back. As I've said before, I will address this issue with her if she tries to continue this.


This is the 1st time this has ever happened to me with anyone as far as her behavior goes, which is why I came to this site for advice. It will not happen again. Thanks.


She is absolutely not a friend. Friends don't bait someone to cheat on their husband with them. Friends respect someone else's personal space and body. Friends don't proposition friends inapprorpriately. She is not your friend - she wants to get in your pants.

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I think you should talk to her before reporting her to HR. Tell her to dial it back. It may be awkward as hell, but it's better than stabbing her in the back, as you say.


As a side note, when she says something about her boobs, don't tell her you're a butt man!

OK but if she doesn't like how he's not playing along? And she goes to HR before he does??


Got to be careful with confrontation, especially when your hands aren't clean either. I can easily see this backfiring

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